5 Free apps to improve your French listening & reading comprehension

phone_apps400There are many great apps both on Itunes and android stores that can help you improve your french. However, there are only a few that I would recommend that will be definitely beneficial to helping you improve your score on you french exam.

Why?

Many apps are just flash cards. And while flash cards are good, it will not get you were you need to be for your exam. As a language teacher, I have come to realise that while individual words by themselves will mean one thing, when these same words are paired with one or two other words, the sense or meaning may change. As a result it is essential to get  apps that will expose you to french that is used in context, rather than just random words. In addition, there are some great podcast that can accompany your apps.

 

(1) Busuu – Level A1 -B2

hi-256-0-deff460a5ae7ae75781194d49743685a0cf7ffa7Learn French with busuu!This app is ideal for all french language learners, from beginner to advanced intermediate levels (A1 – B2). This app has a free component and a paid component. Take advantage of the free component and if you are satisfied you can also make use of the  in-app purchase options to unlock the whole app.

The great thing about this app is that no matter what type of learner you are it will be beneficial to you. It offers audio-visual learning material with photos and recordings by native speakers. With this app you can learn by the use of images, phrases, as oppose to individual words, to better understand how french sentences are formed.

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Learn French with busuu.com! - screenshot

(2) TV5 monde

7 jour itunesThe app from TV5 monde, is called “7 JOURS SUR LA PLANÈTE”. This apps covers current affairs program with French subtitles that review the major events of the week. Don’t get confuse with the app called TV5 monde. Unlike the app TV5 monde, the app  “7 JOURS SUR LA PLANÈTE” is designed especially for people who are learning french. There are three new videos every week. Each video includes a transcript, as well as a vocabulary practice exercise which is based on the video clip. A strong level A2 is recommended for this app.

This app can be really helpful for the comprehension ecrite section of the B1 and especially B2 and higher level of your french exam. The texts and listening are very similar to what you can expect in these exams.

There are two versions: one free and one paid. The free version offers short newscast from TV5 Monde (the same videos from the website) and the paid version provides you with three videos.

7 jour

 

(3) France 24

france24

This is a free app provided by France 24 (and is called “France 24″). A media company in France ,which carries breaking news and world news.With this app you can change better languages (french, english and arabic) As a result, you can experience the same news piece in english and in french. Though helping you familiarize yourself with key words in any given news piece.  This app, while not providing any transcript for the listening, does provide easy to understand newscast that is ideal for anyone at the B2 level and who wishes to improve their listening and reading comprehension.

On the B2 and higher level of your exam be sure to expect some questions on current issues as it relates to France and it issues currently facing the country, in the Comprehension Ecrite sections of your exam paper.

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(4) ActU-Environnement: level B2-C2

Actu-Environnement1  In the Comprehension ecrite section of your DELF B2, C1 and C2 french exam, there are two exercises, each with an article. There is 2:1 chance that one of the exercise will be related to environment issues.   This is a great app to have as it covers environmental issues, sustainable development etc. and other relevant topics that you are likely to find on your french B2, C1 and C2 exam paper .

It provides easy to understand short french videos clips that cover environment topics from waste management to nuclear energy. all topics you are likely to find on your B2, C1 and C2 french exam paper. The videos are very educational and interesting and provides a good way to extend your vocabulary, in areas not normally covered in traditional french books. I would suggest a level of at least B1.

actu- envir

(5) Learn French with RFI

http://i1.wp.com/a2.mzstatic.com/us/r1000/069/Purple2/v4/fc/9a/fb/fc9afb7e-23e1-7724-32f1-84e52521bd0d/mzl.vltqsapp.175x175-75.jpg?resize=126%2C126This app ‘Learn french with RFI”  is from Radio France Internationale, well known developers of french as a foreign language activities. this app is directed at beginner, in other words a level A1. It is designed to teach french in a fun way with   radio detective series. Good news? They speak english as well.

These are audio episodes of two bilingual detective series available in 8 languages along with exercises (English, Chinese, Arabic, Persian, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Vietnamese)

This app is free for the light version. You need to purchase the full version to get every episode.

 

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About Claudia

I am an expat living in France and also a language teacher.