It’s probably never been so easy to learn French – there are so many apps, books and websites available out there.
Unless you are a total beginner in French, one of the best ways to improve your French reading skills is to regularly read the news in French. Not only will you be building on your vocabulary, you will also be keeping up to date with trending issues both in France and worldwide.
Thanks to technology, we can now also listen to the news in French via TV channels and podcasts. There are endless options out there, but I’ve put together a list of the best newspapers, TV channels and podcasts to get your daily dose of the current French news.
Let’s take a look! First however, one word of caution…
The News in French Are Not Always The Best Study Tool
As a beginner student, one thing you need to watch out for is building your confidence in the French language as you are building your actual knowledge.
The news in French – even when promoted “for beginners” feature all sorts of tenses and French verb conjugations, and a very formal way of writing or speaking French which may not be the priority for beginner students.
This is why I believe getting your news in French is a great idea for intermediate and advance students of French, but not necessarily for beginner French students who may benefit more from a simple French story focussing on everyday use vocabulary and simple tenses and sentence structure, as featured in French Today’s French learning method.
A new approach to learning both traditional and modern French logically structured for English speakers.
Now, let me tell you about one of my favorite resource to learn French with the news.
The Best French Podcast for News
News in Slow French
For so many students, French pronunciation is a real challenge, especially modern spoken French pronunciation. Therefore, I’m always in favor of studying French with audio: in that way, podcasts are a fantastic idea.
News in Slow French allows learners to listen to news stories at a much slower pace. Being able to train understanding French at a slower speed is a great tool, especially for intermediate French learners.
Each News In Slow French podcast episode includes small pieces of discussion on French grammar and popular French expressions. However, only tiny sections are free. To subscribe for the language exercises, transcripts and full episodes you’ll need to pay a fee of $20 (I think it’s worth it).
Now let’s see how to get your news in French in a more classic way… You may be able to order these newspapers in paper form for delivery in your town, or simply browse them online.
The Best French Newspapers
Le Monde is one of France’s best known left-wing papers. As the name suggests, it focuses on all sorts of world affairs, particularly political issues. As a non-native French speaker you may find this newspaper hard to understand, as the writing can be quite analytical and dense. I would recommend this newspaper for more advanced French students.
Le Figaro is actually the oldest newspaper in France, is also ideal for more advanced readers. It has a conservative stance and is considered a roughly right-wing newspaper. Le Figaro’s main focus is political and social issues.
Le Parisien is a great newspaper for intermediate readers. Although it is not a national newspaper (it is only issued in the Parisian area), it is very popular. It covers a wide variety of topics such as culture, sport, celebrity lives and cinema. The language is a bit more accessible for French learners.
If you’re looking for a very brief rundown of the latest French news, 20 minutes is the paper for you. 20 minutes is distributed daily for free to commuters in France. As the name suggests, it should only take you about 20 minutes to read the whole paper! This paper doesn’t really have a political bias, but it sure does contain a bit of hot gossip and scandals.
And now let’s see the French TV channels for news.
The Best French TV Channels for News
Good news: You can watch French news from the comfort of your living room couch! The world has become so obsessed with Netflix that we sometimes forget how beneficial and easy television is.
There is probably no better place to find your news than France 24. They broadcast news 24 hours a day every day so you can tune in whenever you feel like it. If you don’t have French TV, you can stream France 24 on their website or on YouTube.
BFMTV is one of France’s most popular news networks. It airs 24/7 and there is also an app so you can listen to the news on the way to work or whilst cooking dinner. You can immerse yourself in French culture and language by listening to BFMTV for a few minutes every day.
To get the most out of your French learning experience, I recommend combining both listening to and reading the news. What matters most is that you try to make a daily routine of it – even if that means just 10 minutes a day.
So, what is your preferred method of getting your news in French?