Listen to French: 50 Bookmark-worthy Websites for Improving French Listening Skills
To understand spoken French, you’ve gotta listen to French.
Lucky for you, the internet is a magical place, ripe with opportunities to listen to French more effectively.
You can listen to French with music, with talk radio and even with podcasts, and here you have a selection of the top 50 online places where you can do just that.
- Education Scotland
- News in Slow French
- A Green Mouse – French Stories for Children
- 990 French Short Dialogues Practice – Improve Speaking Skills
- Comme une Française (Like a French Woman)
- Extr@ French
- Lawless French
- One Thing in a French Day
- Coffee Break French
- Français avec Pierre (French with Pierre)
- Ciel Bretagne
- Easy French Poetry Podcast
- FluentU’s French YouTube Channel
- Le point du FLE
- TV5 Monde’s “Apprendre le Français” (Learn French)
- French Resources from the University of Surrey
- Le plaisir d’apprendre
- 1 Jour, 1 Actu (1 Update a Day)
- Teachit Languages
- Easy French
- Lang Practice
- Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center
- French Revision with Eileen
- “Découvrez la France” (Discover France)
- “Français eXtra” (French eXtra)
- Learn French by Podcast
- Learn French with Alexa
- “La Suite dans les Idées” (The Suite in the Ideas)
- RFI Savoirs (RFI Knowledge)
- Français Authentique (Authentic French)
Education Scotland has 10 listening exercises aimed at young, beginner-level learners of French.
Each of the 10 exercises describes the everyday lives of a different French teenager, with topics ranging from school, geography and jobs to making a reservation at a restaurant.
Each recording also has a transcript so that learners can follow along and check their understanding.
FluentU is a virtual immersion tool that bases its language lessons on authentic videos that native French speakers actually watch. The content includes funny commercials, clips from soap operas, vlogs from popular creators, popular music videos and everything in between, so the vocabulary and language used are quite varied.
Videos come with a full transcript (with audio pronunciation of each word), a list of key vocab to watch out for as the video plays and French and English subtitles (both of which can be turned on or off as needed).
While watching a video, you can use the built-in contextual dictionary to check the meaning of any word. Hover your mouse over a word to see a quick definition, image and grammar info. Or, click on it for a more detailed exploration, including an audio pronunciation, example sentences and clips from other videos that use the word.
You can add new vocabulary words to flashcard decks, and review them with quizzes that use a spaced repetition system (SRS) algorithm to improve word retention. Plus, there’s an app for iOS and Android device users.
For those who don’t know, a dictée (dictation) is a French listening exercise in which you listen to a recording of spoken French and then write down exactly what you heard.
Sounds easy, right?
French is complicated in the sense that a lot of gender agreement between nouns and adjectives and verbal agreement happens, and most of the time, this agreement includes silent letters like an extra -e or –s (nouns/adjectives) and -es or -ent (verbs).
Sometimes, there are so many silent letters that a word can sound almost nothing like the way it’s spelled. So in this way, dictées are good for listening to French and practicing grammar.
Why am I telling you all of this?
Well, ToLearnFrench.com has over 360 dictées for you to practice listening to French.
Click on one of them and practice writing out what you hear. Each also has an answer key for you to check what you heard (and make sure you made all those pesky agreements properly!).
EasyPronunciation.com is a cute little site that has a lot to offer the learner of French.
You can use it to learn phonetic transcription, get word frequency statistics and even add pronunciation to subtitles, among other cool features.
But my favorite tool on the whole site is the French Pronunciation Trainer.
Just choose a native speaker and type a word to get its native pronunciation. Better yet, choose a sound and get lots of words including it (phonetic transcription included).
The site allows you to get 10 words for each sound for free, but you can subscribe to the site to get unlimited access to the advanced settings and create longer personalized lists.
There’s only one thing I don’t like about the site: it doesn’t include the translations of the words you listen to. However, if you use a good dictionary, that won’t be a problem at all.
Lingua.com is the perfect website to test your listening comprehension skills.
The site offers 10 free listening quizzes divided into three levels (A1 to B2).
When you access each quiz, you have an audio file recorded by a native speaker and some questions you need to answer.
The topics covered in the free tests include family, school, vacations and pets, among others.
You can buy access to the premium content for around $10 a year. Yes, a year!
The premium content includes 90 listening comprehension tests and 50 dictations, among other features.
This site might look plain at first sight, but once you discover all the free ways to practice your listening it offers, you’ll understand why I’ve included it in this list.
When you access the site, you’ll notice there are four options: “Practice sentences,” “Take a test,” “Practice with texts” and “Practice verb conjugations.”
“Practice verb conjugations” doesn’t include any listening component, but is a superb place to practice conjugation.
“Practice sentences” is basically a customizable dictation machine. You choose the level, the language you want to practice and you’re ready to go. When you check your sentences, pay special attention to the “Translations” section. It’ll show you other ways to say your sentence and different formality levels (like tu/vous versions of the same sentence).
“Take a test” is exactly that: A listening test. You listen to 12 sentences and try to build them correctly by choosing from all the words you’ve been given.
Finally, “Practice with texts” allows the learner to practice dictation with literary texts. I recommend this feature to advanced learners who want to perfect their listening and writing skills.
News in Slow French
News in Slow French is completely true to its name.
It offers interesting pieces of news in slow French for learners who want to practice their listening skills and get to know what’s happening in the world.
The content is divided into three levels (Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced), and the site also includes two additional sections: “Courses,” mainly focused on grammar, and “Series,” where you can listen to podcasts on topics such as meditation or poetry, among others.
This site is one of the best resources you can find to improve your French listening skills specifically, but there’s a catch: You can only listen to the first 30-60 seconds of each recording for free.
If you want access to all the content, you’ll have to buy a subscription for $19.90 per month.
A Green Mouse – French Stories for Children
This cute website is perfect for kids and for teachers who are looking for ideas to include in their classes.
A Green Mouse has plenty of children’s video stories any beginner learner can benefit from.
Before you access each story, you have a description (in English) about the topic and the grammar/vocabulary that can be learned with each specific video.
The best feature of the site, apart from all the listening comprehension practice you get, is that each story includes grammar explanations, vocabulary lists, transcripts and even online quizzes.
990 French Short Dialogues Practice – Improve Speaking Skills
This six-hour video has been created to help you improve your speaking skills with the help of 990 French dialogues on many different everyday topics (for example work, shopping, going to the movies, offering something to drink, etc.)
However, the video is perfect for long sessions of listening practice, for instance, while you’re commuting to work or cleaning the house.
Each sentence included in the video has been recorded by a native French speaker and includes an English translation.
I love using Kwiziq with my students because it’s fun, interactive and very user-friendly.
Kwiziq lets you practice your French listening comprehension with two types of exercises—bilingual readers and dictations.
The bilingual readers are short articles on many different topics you can read and listen to at the same time. This type of exercise can be done when you don’t feel like typing or you just want to listen to some French.
The dictations are much more useful, though.
You choose a topic and start typing as you listen to some sentences. After each sentence, you can check how you did and, most importantly, you’re given a list of the grammar aspects included in that sentence!
If you want to review a grammar topic or know more about it, just click on it and you’ll be redirected accordingly.
Kwiziq has some free bilingual readers and dictations available, but if you want to enjoy all the premium features, you need to buy a subscription.
Comme une Française (Like a French Woman)
The creator of the YouTube channel “Comme une Française” is Géraldine, a French-Mexican woman who you’ll probably relate to.
Géraldine moved temporarily to the UK after finishing her studies and felt firsthand what struggling to put your thoughts into words really means.
When she went back to France, she decided to start helping people improve their French language skills, so she created her YouTube channel.
“Comme une Française” is a place where you can learn about French culture, traditions, everyday life and jokes, but also about French vocabulary and grammar.
All in all, her videos are very educative and can be used as French listening practice.
However, I recommend these videos mainly for total beginners who want to start getting used to the sound of French, since she uses a lot of English in them.
Extr@ French is a funny sitcom/language learning program that was created for learners of French who know a little bit more than “Salut” but still aren’t able to understand fast, fluent French.
The program tells the story of Annie and Sacha, who are flatmates, Nico, their neighbor, and Sam, Sacha’s American pen pal, who come to pay them a visit.
Sam’s French is… Let’s say it’s A1, so he’ll struggle to both communicate with and understand the rest of the group.
This will lead to several misunderstandings and hilarious situations that will have you crying with laughter.
However, the show wasn’t created to laugh at French learners!
On the contrary, it’s an opportunity to listen to slow native French, learn some slang and expressions used in conversation and become aware of where non-native speakers make mistakes (and how to avoid them).
Run by the French translator and teacher Laura K. Lawless, Lawless French offers many resources for conquering French grammar, speaking and listening.
Its listening exercises are for learners of all levels, with topics such as travel, geography and history.
For each level of proficiency, Lawless French offers tests so that learners can know what level they’re at, and make appropriate study changes accordingly.
One Thing in a French Day
One Thing in a French Day is an amazing French podcast created by Laetitia, whose motto is “Invite your ear to French.”
Indeed, the One Thing in a French Day podcast will invite your ear to over 2,000 podcasts in native French, each of them ranging from two to five minutes and covering every day topics that go from informal expressions to French pastries (Laetitia loves baking pastries!).
There’s a new episode every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and you can access all of them for free as well as download them all (also for free!).
Even though this podcast is completely in French, I recommend it for learners of all levels.
Beginners can start using it to practice shadowing, while intermediate and advanced students can take advantage of all the grammar, vocabulary and cultural microlessons.
Coffee Break French
Coffee Break French is a spectacular podcast every French learner can use, regardless of their level.
The episodes are divided into four seasons and a course, which correspond to five levels:
- S1—Absolute beginners
- S2—Lower intermediate
- S3—Upper intermediate
- S4—Advanced learners
The course La Vérité éclate toujours (Truth always breaks out) was created for upper-advanced students who want to challenge themselves.
The topics covered range from meeting friends and going shopping to ordering drinks and answering emails, and the grammar and vocabulary get more and more challenging as you progress through the different seasons.
The audio of the episodes of this podcast is free, but additional premium content—such as video lessons, lesson notes and grammar explanations—can be bought (one whole season costs around $150).
Français avec Pierre (French with Pierre)
Français avec Pierre is one of my students’ favorite YouTube channels for a reason.
Pierre is an amazing teacher who’ll take you on a trip across the French language to teach you about pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, culture and cooking, among other things.
The videos are completely in French, from the ones for absolute beginners to the ones where he travels around the world or interviews different guests.
He has plenty of video material for all levels, and his videos can be used not only to improve your listening comprehension skills, but any other language skill you might need to work on.
I recommend you have a look at all his playlists and choose the ones you think can teach you the most.
My personal favorites are the one devoted to grammar (grammaire) and the one on vocabulary and expressions (vocabulaire et expressions).
Translated to “Sky Brittany,” this website offers an array of exercises that allow learners to prepare for French exams.
Even if you don’t have any formal tests scheduled, this website is still a fantastic tool for learners.
The exercises span reading comprehension, listening comprehension and writing, and they cover levels A1 (beginner) to B1 (intermediate) of the Common European Framework of Reference standard for language learning.
This website has been a personal favorite of mine not only for learning French, but also for the other Indo-European languages that have tutorials on ielanguages.com.
Though there are tutorials for almost 15 languages, French is the primary focus and has the largest amount of resources, which include a French language tutorial and an e-book on informal and spoken French.
Both of these products come with audio files that feature different samples of native French speech.
The e-book on informal French comes with slang, fill-in-the-blank exercises, transcripts and audio files, among other awesome stuff.
Easy French Poetry Podcast
The Easy French Poetry podcast was created to make French poetry accessible to French learners.
Although beginners can have a difficult time understanding everything, the podcast is a great way for learners of all levels to have direct contact with the Parisian accent.
Camille, the narrator, recites selected poems twice, once slowly so you can repeat after her, and once at normal speed.
Many of the poems include a personal interpretation in French afterward.
This podcast is a great introduction to French culture and poetry, as well as a superb resource to practice French listening comprehension and improving vocabulary and grammar through listening.
FluentU’s French YouTube Channel
FluentU’s French YouTube channel was created as an educational channel to give learners of French everything they need to improve their language skills.
The channel takes the best clips, movie trailers, songs and inspirational talks and transforms them into valuable French learning resources.
Some videos use different clips as examples of the topic that’s being discussed:
Other videos use a specific movie trailer and dissect it, transforming a two-minute clip into a powerful French lesson:
There are also videos that explain a specific topic or help you improve a specific language skill, such as speaking or listening comprehension:
In fact, you can use any of the videos on the channel to build your comprehension and improve your French overall.
You can use the movie trailer analyses for long listening sessions, and the shorter vocabulary and grammar videos to have a microsession here and there.
Finally, the channel offers a type of video I personally love the most: tools and resources videos.
These are videos where you can find out about the best movies to learn French, the best tools to master the language, how to learn French with songs or which podcasts you should listen to in order to improve your listening comprehension.
As explained in the following video, there are many French podcasts available for beginner to advanced learners:
These podcasts can be aimed at learners themselves, offering new vocabulary and grammatical information in a lesson-style environment, or be aimed at native French speakers and be completely in French.
Whether you like improving your listening skills with songs, podcasts or video lessons, FluentU’s French YouTube channel has you covered.
Subscribe to the channel today and hit that notification bell so that you always have something to listen to in French!
Le point du FLE
FLE is an acronym for Français langue étrangère (French as a foreign language), and this website is a go-to resource for learners of French as a foreign language.
The listening exercises are divided into three niveaux (levels), and there’s a mixture of video, podcasts and mp3s.
What’s more, the exercises come with fill-in-the-blanks, and some are even dictées.
For beginner French learners, there are a number of exercises that have a transcription, so you can follow along and better understand what’s being said.
There are several different ways in which you can practice your French with FrenchPod101, from creating a free account on their website or app to subscribing to their premium features.
However, if you just want to improve your listening skills and don’t want to create an account or pay for a subscription, all you have to do is visit FrenchPod101’s YouTube channel and use their videos to learn for free.
FrenchPod101 has a ton of videos on vocabulary, sentence structure, grammar, writing, French holidays, etc.
Even if you aren’t interested in learning about French adjectives or how to buy groceries in France, you can always use the hundreds of videos available to listen to some French and improve your listening comprehension.
Something I don’t particularly like about FrenchPod101 though is that English tends to be very present in the videos (especially if they’re for beginners), but other than that, this channel is a great place to start listening to some French in an undemanding way.
If you want to make sure you listen to as much French as possible with FrenchPod101, just watch their 24/7 French TV channel.
TV5 Monde’s “Apprendre le Français” (Learn French)
TV5 Monde’s “Apprendre le Français” offers 3,790 free exercises to learn, improve and practice your French.
The exercises are divided into four levels:
One of the best features of these exercises is that only native French material is used in them. From the very first lesson you’ll only be listening to French, and that’s as challenging as it is helpful.
Even if you aren’t planning on doing the grammar, vocabulary, writing and listening comprehension exercises, you can always use all the free audiovisual content as a basis to improve your listening skills.
Just a warning before you start: if you’re a complete beginner, you’ll struggle to understand anything apart from the exercises with questions in English.
The website has literally zero content in any language other than French, so take advantage of it and immerse yourself in the language even if you don’t understand a word.
Many of my students are obsessed with Speechling.
The youngest ones, especially, always ask me to use it in my classes, and some of their moms even ask me about “that listening program you use in class.”
Speechling is super easy to use, but oh, so effective!
Choose a topic or a difficulty level, a voice (male or female), the language you want the translations in, and start practicing your listening comprehension skills!
When I use it with my beginner students, I like to check the “Half speed” and the “Play original sentence again after translation” boxes.
This way, they first get to listen to the native audio at half the speed, then they listen to the translation, and lastly, they get to listen to the original sentence once again at normal speed.
One of the best features of Speechling is that the sentences you’ve already listened to appear on screen together with their translations, and you can listen to them as many times as you want.
French Resources from the University of Surrey
The University of Surrey offers plenty of French resources for free, including reading exercises, learning apps and (you’ve guessed it) listening comprehension exercises.
The listening tasks are divided into eight topics, and there are a total of 24 exercises. Their level is between A2 and B1.
Each of the tasks includes a PDF document with the exercises, an audio file, the solution to the listening exercises and the transcript of the audio.
I recommend you first download the document and read the information included in it.
Then listen to the audio file and do the exercises.
After that, use the transcript to make sure you’ve understood everything, and check your answers to see if you want to change any of them.
Finally, have a look at the answers.
Le plaisir d’apprendre
In English, the name of this website translates to “the pleasure of learning,” and it certainly lives up to its name.
This website makes it easy for French learners to find resources at each level.
Though the website itself is in French, it has exercises for written comprehension, grammar and listening comprehension for A1 learners (beginners) to B2 learners (upper intermediate learners).
Here’s some helpful vocabulary for beginners to navigate the site:
- Sélection d’activités de compréhension orale means “selection of activities for oral comprehension,” but for all intents and purposes, this is where you’ll find the listening exercises.
- Sélection d’activités de compréhension écrite means “selection of activities for written comprehension.”
- Sélection d’activités de lexique means “selection of activities for vocabulary practice.”
- Sélection d’activités de grammaire means “selection of activities for grammar practice.”
- Sélection d’activités de civilization has exercises about the history, geography and culture of France and the French-speaking world.
- Sélection d’activités de phonétique has exercises for producing and distinguishing French sounds and practicing pronunciation.
All in all, this is a fantastic resource for all learners. I just hope they create more levels for advanced French learners, too.
1 Jour, 1 Actu (1 Update a Day)
1 Jour, 1 Actu is a news and info website created specifically for kids.
Because of this, it’s the perfect way for beginners and intermediate learners to have direct contact with native French and improve their listening comprehension skills.
The podcasts section (linked above) contains several pieces of news in easy French. Just click on any of them and you’ll get access to an audio file.
While you listen, you can also read the article, which is the exact transcript of the audio.
At the end of each actu, you have a link to download a free PDF document with the transcript and the pictures included in the article.
If you want further practice, you can also visit the video section.
Titled 1 Jour, 1 Question (1 Question a Day), it contains cute videos that answer questions like how elections work, how cartoons are made and who Rafael Nadal is, all in a simple language accessible to children.
Teachit Languages is a website where language teachers share resources with other teachers, but don’t worry, you can use it to improve your French listening skills as well.
First, choose any of the resources available. There aren’t a lot of them, but if you’re a beginner learner, you’ll enjoy them thoroughly.
Once inside the resource, download the PDF document. Scroll till you find the teacher’s notes, and there you’ll have the links to the audio or video the teacher needs to use with their students.
Just click on the links and enjoy some French listening practice! You can then do the exercises as a bonus if you feel like it.
Audio-lingua is an excellent place to find native French listening material for study microsessions.
On the right side of the page, choose a level (niveau). I recommend leaving the type of voice (voix) and age () settings as they are in order to get more audio clips. You can choose a duration (durée) if you want.
After clicking on Rechercher (search), you’ll get all the audio clips that match your search settings, and all you have to do after that is listen to native French content for free!
You can also download all the clips in .mp3 format for free.
Easy French is a YouTube channel with over 120 videos in which the hosts travel throughout France and ask people questions about topics such as fashion, diets, holidays and music, among many others.
It’s a great channel to listen to native French speakers of different accents, and also a superb way of getting to know more about the culture of the country (although some of the videos have been recorded in other countries).
The videos are completely in French, but they all include English and French subtitles.
If you want to join your love for the French language with your love for music, LyricsTraining is for you.
With LyricsTraining, you’ll be able to practice your listening comprehension skills while listening to the music you love (in French, of course!).
Choose any of the music propositions you’ll get on the homepage or search for the French song you want to learn with. After you have your song, choose the game mode (i.e. the difficulty level of the exercises) and start listening and completing sentences.
Lang Practice is the place to go if you want to practice French numbers.
The site is very simple and devoid of distractions. It only contains a couple of settings to personalize your learning and a place for you to introduce the numbers you hear.
Lang Practice is perfect for beginner students who want to finally be able to understand French numbers without having to do math in their heads (I’m looking at you, quatre-vingt-dix).
The numbers included go from one to one billion, so get ready for a challenge!
Each number you listen to will appear on the screen after you introduce it correctly or press “Reveal.” You can then listen to them again, see how they’re written and keep on learning until you call it a day.
“Learn French – Listening And Speaking” App
It’s a pity that this app is only available for Android users, because I’m sure many iPhone users would love to download it, too.
The “Learn French – Listening and Speaking” app is very true to its name.
It includes over 750 dialogues on everyday topics like introductions, food, greetings, shopping, etc.
It also has dialogues on advanced topics like small talk, slang and business French.
The app developers claim you can use their app regardless of your level. I agree that all the dialogues in native French are a valuable resource for all French learners, but I doubt C1-C2 students would learn a lot of new vocabulary or grammar with this app.
Anyway, when it comes to practicing your listening comprehension skills, y’all have my blessing to give this app a try.
MosaLingua is an app/PC language-learning platform where you can learn French from scratch or improve your present level.
Although it hasn’t been created specifically to help you practice your listening comprehension, the native audio it offers will certainly be of help when practicing this skill.
The easiest way to use MosaLingua is by downloading the app. In it, you’ll have access to 17 dialogues recorded by native speakers and a ton of French content divided into 14 main categories and over 100 subcategories.
What I like the most about MosaLingua is its hands-free mode, which allows you to listen to the lessons while cooking, cleaning, running or commuting. Just press play and start listening!
Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center
Like ielanguages.com, the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center has over 40 languages to choose from.
They pull their resources from articles, TV reports, radio broadcasts and more, and for French, there are almost 200 lessons to choose from.
Each lesson includes around five activities, and learners can select the level they need, whether they want reading or listening comprehension, and the topic they want the lesson to be on.
Topics include science, culture, technology and more.
French Revision with Eileen
Eileen Pierre is a French language teacher who has a passion for teaching and helping students improve their French listening skills.
On her site, she has a selection of native audios that’ll help intermediate and advanced students practice this skill and learn a ton of vocabulary and grammar along the way.
It’s very important that you read her instructions before you start, because her step-by-step way of approaching each topic will make things easier for you.
After you’ve finished the “Listening Practice” exercises, have a look at the “Learn with videos” section. The way of approaching the topics is very similar, but this time she uses videos instead of audio clips.
“Découvrez la France” (Discover France)
“Découvrez la France” is a series of listening comprehension exercises focusing on traveling and tourism.
Catered to advanced students of French, each video shows a city, monument or French travel destination.
Your goal is to watch the video and answer the questions included below it.
This series of videos contains real, native French, so beginner and intermediate students are unlikely to understand too much.
However, anybody can use the videos to practice shadowing or just listen to native French to get their ears used to the sound of it.
“Français eXtra” (French eXtra)
“Français eXtra” is a website where beginner learners of French can practice their listening comprehension with tons of exercises on topics such as the alphabet, numbers, greetings, colors, birthdays, etc.
Each exercise includes a description of what you’ll learn and the type of exercise you’ll have to do.
All the exercises are listening comprehension exercises, meaning you’ll have to listen to some audio and do some task (as opposed to just listening and repeating). The tasks will mainly ask you to either write what you hear or choose the correct answer from the ones given.
Learn French by Podcast
Learn French by Podcast is a website that helps you to… well, learn French by podcast!
In fact, Learn French by Podcast is a full course for French learners based on listening to instructional podcasts.
At its base, it’s a great way to listen to French for beginners because it revolves around a real French conversation regarding a certain topic, and then the conversation is broken down, explaining the vocabulary and grammar constructions used.
“Purchase credits” are used to take lessons, meaning that learners can listen to the podcasts for free but must pay to use the “lesson guides.” These guides include a transcript, explanations of vocabulary and grammar points as well as translation and comprehension exercises.
Best of all, there are three levels of podcast lessons: beginner, intermediate and advanced. This means you’ll be able to use these podcasts for any stage of your French-learning journey.
The frenchtoday website includes three listening comprehension and pronunciation tests.
You’ll have a question and will have to choose the correct answer from the options you hear.
Sometimes, you’ll hear three or four different pronunciations of the same word, and you’ll have to decide which one is correct.
If you fail to give the correct answer, you’ll get an explanation that includes pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary tips.
David, the creator of FluentListener.com, is what I’d call a language magician.
He takes interviews in native French, breaks them down, creates a transcript with interlinear translations, marks difficult expressions, writes footnotes and explanations…
By the time you’ve finished working with the transcription of the interview, you’re able to understand every single bit of it.
His website offers plenty of free samples of his work, but these samples are only around 15-second audio clips and four to five lines of text.
Lucky for you, you can subscribe to get all the premium content and enjoy the full audio of the interviews together with all the PDF content he’s created for them.
Maddou is a website that compiles some awesome French listening comprehension activities. These audio-based exercises are perfect for complete beginners of French.
Maddou’s lessons revolve around a particular topic such as the weather, verb tenses, shopping or eating at a restaurant.
Simply choose a topic that appeals to you to get started. For example, in one such activity, you can practice verb tenses by listening to sentences and determining whether they’re in the present tense, the passé composé (compound past) or the imparfait (imperfect past tense).
Most of Maddou’s lessons are Flash-based.
This means that learners listen to something and then choose correct answers or match audio questions and answers. This is a perfect website for practicing common words, expressions and constructions in French.
French-resources.org is a treasure trove of French listening exercises for learners. (While there’s a chance that the website might be under maintenance when you visit, its numerous activities are still available for access.)
It’s aimed at children and students of French, so it’s perfect for practicing listening comprehension in multiple contexts.
With a free sign-up, each lesson includes an audio recording revolving around a topic.
Next, students are asked to complete various exercises. Some require choosing a multiple choice answer or filling in a blank, and others require students to record answers or a short presentation.
The lessons are sorted by beginner, intermediate or advanced levels and include topics such as “In a French Town” and “L’école d’Hô-Chi-Minh-Ville” (The School of Ho Chi Minh City). There are even grammar listening exercises for common verbs like être (to be)!
Learn French with Alexa
Alexa, play “La Marseillaise”!
Just kidding. I’m referring to another Alexa, the creator of the “Learn French with Alexa” YouTube channel.
Alexa is a native French speaker who’s been teaching the language for many years.
You can see she has experience teaching because her videos are easy to watch and her explanations are clear and to the point.
The channel has a lot of short videos in which you can listen to her pronouncing words and phrases, explaining grammar and giving tips about French pronunciation, among other interesting stuff.
The only “bad thing” I can say about her channel is that the majority of videos have been created with complete beginners in mind.
If you’re just starting your adventure with the French language and want to listen to a native French speaker, this channel is definitely for you.
If, on the other hand, you’re an intermediate or advanced student who needs more listening practice than just the days of the week or the animals, you’ll have to subscribe to her premium content.
“La Suite dans les Idées” (The Suite in the Ideas)
Offered by France Culture, “La Suite dans les Idées” is my proposition for super-advanced French students who want to challenge themselves.
The podcast revolves around the fields of social and human sciences.
It opens a window to the brain of intellectualists who come to the program to share their thoughts on topics as complex as scientific racism, the history of contemporary art or social inequality, just to name a few.
If you really want to get proper listening comprehension practice and you’re an advanced learner of French who’s interested in this type of content, I assure you it’ll be difficult to find a better podcast than this one.
RFI Savoirs (RFI Knowledge)
RFI Savoirs is a website created by Radio France Internationale (Radio France International), a top French broadcaster.
It’s a directory of nearly 1,000 listening clips and corresponding exercises for learners of French at various levels.
Each lesson begins with an audio clip running one to 10 minutes in length.
Multiple-choice exercises follow, testing the learner on their understanding of the clip as well as helping them acquire new vocabulary. Learners can also access a complete transcript of the audio clip in French.
Lesson topics include “Résistance aux antibiotiques” (antibiotic resistance) and “les robots dans les hôpitaux” (robots in hospitals).
The lessons can be sorted by level from B1 (intermediate) to C2 (high advanced) as well as by topic.
New lessons are added regularly as RFI continues to produce news content, so this is truly an evergreen resource for French listening comprehension.
DailyFrenchPod is a superb podcast recommended for every student regardless of their level.
Created and presented by teachers with a Master’s Degree in French as a foreign language, the podcast consists of daily episodes around three minutes long, in which a presenter reads a headline in both French and English and then analyzes each word, giving additional examples of use.
The majority of each episode is in French, with a few key words translated into English to help learners understand.
There are over 4,400 free downloadable episodes available, which possibly makes DailyFrenchPod one of the biggest native French audio “reservoirs” of the internet.
Français Authentique (Authentic French)
Français Authentique is a YouTube channel turned French-language learning program that lets you learn authentic French through online immersion.
Primarily, this podcast releases new episodes on a regular weekly basis in easy-to-understand French for intermediate and advanced learners.
Topics include French grammar, lifestyle and self-improvement, as well as the regular marcher avec Johan (walk with Johan) podcast where the host, Johan, walks through his French town and talks about a certain topic.
Each podcast has corresponding transcripts available on the website, and learners can download mp3 or PDF files to assist with learning.
LibriVox is possibly one of my favorite places on the internet.
It offers thousands of hours of free audio content from works that are already in the public domain.
From poetry to war fiction, this massive collection of audio material is one of the best tools any advanced learner of French can wish for.
Just choose a title, press play and listen to it online, or download the audio clips to your device of choice and enjoy your free French audio practice wherever you want.
Created by TV5 Québec Canada, Francolab is aimed at students in Canada who’ve learned French for a number of years.
As such, this resource is appropriate for intermediate and advanced learners who have a pretty good basis in French.
All lessons in Francolab are video-based.
Students watch a video and read along with the corresponding transcript. They can then download the supplementary documentation under the apprenant (learner) tab. These documents include a multitude of exercises for listening comprehension as well as writing and speaking practice.
There’s also an answer key under the enseignant tab.
Lesson topics include Canadian legends and myths such as “La Dame Blanche” (the lady in white), art and the climate.
Learners can also follow a course for high beginners and pre-intermediate learners. It’s called Tu te souviens ? (do you remember?) and it follows a young male student who moves to Montréal to learn French.
So plug in your headphones and get clicking! Deciphering the mumbo-jumbo that’s quickly spoken French is easier than you fear.
Francisco J. Vare loves teaching and writing about grammar. He’s a proud language nerd, and you’ll normally find him learning languages, teaching students or reading. He’s been writing for FluentU for many years and is one of their staff writers.