Language Learning Tip #7: Listening to French radio!

For most people, speaking and understanding French is more difficult than reading and writing. This is simply because you don't have time to think when you listen to something or when you have a conversation. With reading and writing, you can take as much time as you need but not with speaking and listening ...

The thing is, you need to trick your brain into thinking that it understands more than it thinks. Of course, you won't learn a lot of new words with only listening (although you can learn a bit) but the idea is to get used to listening to French on a daily basis, even if you won't understand much at first.

One way of doing this, as you already know, is to watch a lot of TV shows and movies in French. You can find more about this in my article about Language Learning with Netflix.

For now, I would like to focus on listening to the language as a background noise. It will be a bit difficult at first because you will want to focus on what you are hearing and, if you can't do several things at the same time, it might be a bit difficult for you to focus on your work and listen to something in another language. However, I am sure that you can already do it in your own language with less difficulty, am I right? So, let's try to do it in French too!

One way of having good quality and authentic background noise is to listen to the French radio. You can easily find most radios online for free but I have prepared a list of the best ones for you - you don't want to listen to a radio with foreign music only!

1. RTL

RTL focuses on entertainment and news so you will hear people talking a lot which is good to improve your listening skills.

2. France Inter

France Inter specialises in debates, discussions and news. It's good to keep up with what's happening all around the world and how it affects France.

3. France Info

France Info is very much like France Inter but focuses more in French national news with a lot of different people intervening throughout the day.

4. France Culture

France Culture is a bit more difficult as its show are mainly about culture and social issues: from the notion of race to Picasso's painting, you will be able to learn a lot about French culture and society.

5. Europe 1

Europe 1 has a general programme focusing on news but with also political and comic shows.

If you want to listen to more music at first, listen to RTL2 it has a good selection of pop/rock music both French and international.

You can find all the French-speaking radio stations (so not only from France but all over the world!) on this website and you can also listen to the live show on this website:

French radios have A LOT of advertisement but at least it will give you a break from the very fast speaking radio hosts!

Now you're ready to listen to French radio at home, whilst working or exercising, cooking or going on about your daily life. As I was writing this article, I was listening to a Korean podcast to learn without learning ;)

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