Instant definitions for new words.
Free digital versions of classic novels.
Great resources for all learning styles.
We love the feel of a good book in our hands…
But we also love the convenience and variety that learning with e-books brings to the table!
That said, you may’ve already seen that affordable e-books for French learning can be hard to find.
Don’t despair, fellow French enthusiast! We’ve compiled a list of top-notch French learning e-books that won’t break the bank. Every e-book on our list can be had a very low price (sometimes even free!)
But first off, here are some tips for mixing and matching your findings.
How to Mix and Match E-books for Maximum Learning
We want you to get the most for the money and time you invest in your e-book learning.
Because e-books tend to be relatively short, we highly recommend learning with more than one at a time. We suggest putting some concentrated effort into designing self-study lesson plans that use a mix of e-books with different focuses.
This means choosing e-books that complement one another instead of covering the same concepts. It also could mean gradually starting to use books that are a little more advanced than what you’re currently working with.
For example, you might pair an e-book on French verbs with a classic French novel like “L’Étranger” to see the verbs you’ve learned in action. Or you might try two short stories in different genres to read dialogue and exposition in different contexts.
You can get even more out of your e-books by supplementing your reading sessions with FluentU. FluentU is another fun, story-driven digital platform to learn French, but through video.
Other sites use scripted content. FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the French language and culture over time. You’ll learn French as it’s actually spoken by real people.
FluentU has a wide variety of great content, like interviews and web series, as you can see here:
FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive subtitles.
You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used.
For example, if you tap on the word "crois," you'll see this:
Practice and reinforce all the vocabulary you've learned in a given video with FluentU's adaptive quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning and play the mini-games found in the dynamic flashcards, like "fill in the blank."
As you study, FluentU tracks the vocabulary that you’re learning and uses this information to give you a 100% personalized experience.
It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned.
Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play stores.
7 Low-cost E-books for a Rich French Learning Experience
“Am I small? Je suis petite, moi?“
French learning resources developed for children can be surprisingly enjoyable and engaging for adults, too. We love this imaginative picture book written for bilingual reading.
The story follows a young girl on a journey who asks various animals that she meets if she’s small. The book is especially helpful for French learners in that it offers English/French translations and vivid art to hold readers’ attention spans.
It could be a helpful resource for beginners to learn adjectives for size, shape and color as well as some fun animal vocabulary. At just 26 pages, it should be easy to squeeze into your busy schedule!
“Learn French News Vol. 1”
When you’re ready for a break from short stories, you can’t go wrong learning French with the news. This dual-language offering from author Nik Marcel aims to equip readers with the ability to read French news in French.
Readers will learn to extract the main points of articles in order to build comprehension, even when unfamiliar words are present. It’s important to note that the book’s news stories, while real, aren’t current. The focus is instead on helping students develop their tool set for reading French news articles in general.
The book’s real rewards come when readers use the skills they’ve acquired to read current articles from French news hubs!
“Kids vs French: Talking World”
Users of iPhones and iPads will appreciate how much the content in “Kids vs French” jumps off the page! The book’s “Tap-and-Play Audio” feature and colorful illustrations make learning fun and interactive. It has 16 chapters that teach readers over 250 common vocabulary words.
For a true beginner of French, an option like this could be a fun choice to start developing a base of vocabulary.
“Essential French Grammar”
Learning French grammar is an integral part of the French learning journey, and we’d all love to be able to learn more verb conjugations and pronouns in less time.
This resource offers lessons on French grammar that aim to be as fast and efficient as possible without sacrificing depth. The book frequently references English grammar’s construction to draw attention to similarities and differences between the English and French. These distinctions and details are then illustrated with phrases and sentences.
We especially like the book’s 50-page list of French-English cognates and its section on common word endings. It’s clear that the authors have gone to great lengths to design a resource that cuts the fluff often found in French learning books and replace it with a large amount of high-value content.
“French Short Stories for Beginners”
While the title might make you think these French short stories are only for beginners, it’s important to know that they’ve been written with intermediate learners in mind, too. This resource offers a five-step plan that teaches readers the best way to effectively practice reading in French.
As for the short stories themselves, readers will be delighted to find natural dialogues and realistic vocabulary that’ll help them improve their conversational French as well. A variety of genres like science fiction, history and crime are covered to keep the reading interesting and fun for readers throughout!
“Fluent in French”
At a slightly more expensive price point, it’s understandable that this book might make readers hesitant to purchase. However, “Fluent in French” may just be the most comprehensive French learning e-book on the market in our price range.
With lessons offered for students of all levels, this resource addresses many high-value areas of French learning from reading the news to comprehension of native speakers. We highly recommend this book to refine your knowledge of the concepts covered in the other e-books we’ve listed here.
The book also provides strategies and resources for French language hacking to accelerate the learning process and maximize your motivation on your quests to fluency. Intermediate and advanced learners will be especially interested in the chapter about French language learning plateaus, which are a common issue for even the most experienced students.
“French Short Stories for Intermediate Level”
We’re big proponents of learning with French short stories because they’re quick to read and make learning fun. We especially like this resource because it offers a variety of extra material to help you glean more from the text.
These include glossaries so you’re not always running to a dictionary and exercises at the end of the stories.
If you find that this format works well for you, the author Frederic Bibard (who also wrote “Fluent in French”) has two more editions so you can build on your language learning momentum.
Best of all, each edition comes with audio so you can get some added listening practice.
For the budget-conscious French learner who values convenience and variety of content, French e-books are an excellent option that you can take with you wherever you go!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn French with real-world videos.