Learning French by reading: tips to be efficient


Learning French by reading, tip1: Start basic and small

Children’s books are great practice for beginners, as are software programs with short sentences or passages that allow you to listen to accompanying audio.

Learning French by reading the BBC’s “Learn French” series.) Don’t try to dive into a novel or newspaper too early, since it can be discouraging.

Learning French by reading, tip2: Choose material you’ve already read in your language

Even if you last read something 15 years ago, the fact that you at least know the gist of it will help you tremendously to pick up context clues and implicitly learn new vocabulary and grammatical constructions. Learning French by reading books that you’ve already read in your native language.

Learning French by reading, tip3: books with their accompanying audiobooks

Learning French by reading just a single book while listening to the accompanying audio—even if you don’t understand everything completely—will dramatically improve your “ear training” and habituate you to the general speed and cadence of a native speaker. Learning French by reading a book with their accompanying audio book to make sure you don’t miss any vocab or grammar structures.

Learning French by reading, tip4: content aligned to your level

The challenge is therefore finding foreign-language reading materials that are commensurate with your level of vocabulary and grammar.

  • If you’re at a beginner level, learning French by reading social media posts, short, easy articles, or children’s books.
  • If you’re at an intermediate level, learning French by reading books you’ve already read and short news articles.
  • If you’re at an advanced level,  learning French by reading books, articles, or other native texts that interest you.

Learning French by reading and making digital flashcards for every new word

Learning French by reading Flashcards aren’t just handy for learning before you start reading materials, but also during your reading. When you come across a new and unfamiliar phrase or word, you can make your own flashcards using different flashcard apps. Once you add a flashcard to your deck, it automatically become part of your language learning process. Learning French by reading flashcard is way more effective that reading a new word, looking it up, and forgetting mere minutes later.

What I most appreciated was they gradually but firmly try to make you improve. My French tutor teaching style is informative but fun and hence not too overwhelming. They are always bringing new ideas to the class and making the learning process continually both challenging and interesting. They correct your mistakes in a manner that does not make you feel like you are not grasping / retaining the information.

I needed to learn as much as possible in a short period of time given I was travelling to French speaking countries and the intense 20 hours i did with My French Teachers’ really helped make my trip much better and easier. 

Kilian Nielsen
Vice president for Finance Technology, Morgan Stanley