A lot of my students keep learning French on their own, outside of our weekly lessons which is amazing!
One thing that I always tell my students to do is to watch films or TV shows in French with English subtitles at first, then a second time with French subtitles and, the grand finale, no subtitles!
I know it's not easy but it does work and even if you don't understand everything you can build up your listening skills by focusing on the intonation, the rhythm and pronunciation.
Now, you can even go further with this browser add-on available on Chrome: Language Learning with Netflix.
With this add-on, you can watch a film or TV show on Netflix and you have access to an online dictionary whilst you're watching the film (no need to pause and look up words on WordReference!).
Let me show you an example for me; as you might already know, I am currently learning Korean so I watch a lot of drama. The only problem is that Netflix doesn't integrate Korean subtitles a lot so it's hard to come by a Korean drama with Korean subtitles. A TV show I've recently finished watching, Crash Landing on You, has Korean subtitles (yay!).
As you can see from the screenshot above, the logo Language Learning with Netflix appears and is on, which is why I have both Korean and English subtitles.
If I click on a Korean word I don't understand or I'm not sure about, here 안심하세요 a pop up window will appear with the translation of that word and it also pauses the show automatically. Please note that translations are not always perfect but you can think of a more correct translation with the context.
If you want to use it further, you can also subscribe to it for £3.95 per month and save phrases and words. Personally, I don't think that you need to subscribe to it as the free version is enough but that's completely up to you.
They also have a catalogue referencing the films and TV shows available on Netflix in the target language you study and with subtitles! http://languagelearningwithnetflix.com/catalogue.html#language=Korean&country=United%20Kingdom
You select the language you study, country you're in and you have a whole list of what you can watch - then you click on "Watch on Netflix" and it automatically starts with the subtitles and LLN.
Let's see the French catalogue and what you can watch next...:
La Mante seems like a great thriller, quite dark and mysterious, but I'd like to give it a go (I love horror and dark films!). however, I feel pretty confident with my French skills, I think, so I will start with hiding the English translations! Yes, you can do this if you go in the LLN options on the bottom right of your screen.
You can show the English subtitles by clicking on them to check that you understood it right, in case you need to but if you know you have understood what is happening, don't click on the English subtitles and just trust your language skills!
I hope that this little guide will help you improve your French whilst having fun and watching lots of French films and TV shows! If you find any more features to this let me know in the comments :)