If you’ve been staring at screens a lot more lately like me, your eyes must be strained! Whether you’re working online, binging Netflix, or playing that trendy new video game, it’s hard not to use your technological devices all day long. If you’re looking for a different activity that doesn’t involve a screen, why not brush up your French by listening to some podcasts?
Podcasts are not only a great form of entertainment, but also a way to train your ear when it comes to listening comprehension. When you’re learning a language, podcasts are a “lazy” hack to practicing your skills because all you have to do is listen! I like to listen to podcasts while driving, taking long walks, or even while doing house chores to help make the time go by quicker. Of course you can take it up a notch and take notes if you want to go the extra mile and document some new vocabulary. As a language teacher, I often use podcasts in my classroom because they are an “authentic source” (made by speakers of the target language for other native speakers rather than for the classroom). Plus, podcasts are full of stories, which our brains love! When hearing a foreign language in a story format rather than a bunch of sentences out of context, our brains can more easily remember the target language.
If you’re looking to practice French outside of school and improve your listening skills or if you are already fluent and looking for something else to do, I have a list for you!
For the Learners:
Love listening to French, but frustrated because native speakers talk sooo fast? Check out News in Slow French , which gives bi-weekly news updates in French spoken at a slower speed. As your listening becomes sharper you can even increase the rate at which the speaker is talking! I also find it helpful that transcripts are provided with each show so that you can read as you listen. There are also recordings about other subjects besides the news like Science, Art, and Politics!
Something for Everyone:
The next podcast was recommended by one of the professors from my Master’s in French program . In fact, this is not just one podcast, but a whole series of different shows created by France Culture. From Science, History, Philosophy, International Affairs, and all the way to the Adventures of Tintin, there is a show for everything! Similar to France Culture is Arte, a Franco-German network that broadcasts programs all about culture. Their tagline is : “Emissions, reportages, témoignages et bruits pas sages,” which means programs, reports, testimonies, and mischievous noises. If you like interviews, documentaries, and stories, you’ll be sure to find something interesting from either of these two radio networks.
For the Feminists:
On journalist Lauren Bastide’s podcast La Poudre, she interviews influential women artists, politicians, and more about their lives in a hotel room for an “intimate conversation.” A new episode comes out each week about these inspiring women and their stories. Some well know guests include Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, Gloria Steinem, revolutionary feminist leader, and Chris, musical artist also known as Christine and the Queens. However, there are many more incredible women to learn from and listen to.
For the True Crime Lovers:
Are you a sucker for a good mystery? Does true crime disturb, yet fascinate you? Check out L’heure du crime with Jaques Padrel, an investigative journalist who consults specialists, audio records, protagonists, and witnesses to uncover unsolved crimes and controversial legal affairs…
For the Parisian at Heart:
Finally for the Parisian within us all is the podcast by My Little Paris , a website that publishes content about the trendiest spots in Paris, Fashion and Beauty, Food and more. When it comes to podcasts you can search by moods from “feel good” to “frissons” (shivers) or categories like Travel, Dating, and Société. As you listen you can imagine you are in the cosmopolitan hub that is Paris, get that same nostalgic feeling you do when you read a fashion magazine, or discover the latest culinary tendances. The possibilities are truly endless!
As always, thank you so much for reading. Let me know if you tune into any of these French podcasts and what you think of them! Are there any other programs you would add to my list? Leave a comment below!
À la prochaine,
P.S. Save this article for later on Pinterest by clicking on the graphic below: