So, after far too long, we are continuing with our series on the best foreign language resources on the web. This week we are focusing on what is still the most popular language to learn in the UK; French. And for very good reason! As well as being a very beautiful language that many see as the language of romance and culture, it is commonly used in business and also in international relations. This is due to the fact that as France has the world’s fifth biggest economy and French is spoken by over 200 million people across the world.
This fantastic site is courtesy of Manchester Metropolitan University. It is split into three sections, one for primary, one for secondary (itself divided into sections for pre- and post- 16) and one for advanced learners. Each part has resources suitable for both learners and teachers including games, grammar and vocabulary exercises, a verb conjugator, videos, worksheets linked to real French websites and much, much more!
Exercices de français pour étrangers
This website includes sections on vocabulary and grammar but it is the site’s listening materials that are the best and most helpful resources. There are clips from TF1 to which questions have been set, gap fill exercises for poems, songs and film trailers and exercises based on television advertisements.
Carnegie Mellon University Open Learning Initiative
Excellent online beginners course featuring videos of native speakers from one of the top 20 universities in the US.
The Ashcombe School MFL Department
Wonderful materials for secondary students including video quizzes, audio resources, role play practice, and online exercises. Invaluable.
Radio France Internationale
RFI is a public service radio station that broadcasts around the world. RFI specialises in news and current affairs programming but also promotes the French language through innovative online language courses such as “Le Talisman brisé”, where beginners follow the African adventures of Kwame the gardener as he learns French. There are also great resources for more advanced students, including a bilingual crime serial, a business French course and a news bulletin in simple French.
Specifically designed for secondary teachers, this site has the best worksheets on the web. There is a small fee of £20 per year but it is absolutely worth it.
TV5 Monde is a global television network which broadcasts programmes produced all over the French speaking world. As well as programme clips and information, its website has a section full of wonderful resources entitled “Langue Française”, which is made up of three parts: Discover French, Learn French and Teach French. Teachers and learners should make sure that they also check out the Discover French section as it has games and exercises as well as information about the Francophone world.
Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning – The University of Texas
The University of Texas has absolutely fantastic online resources for both teachers and learners. There is a great course for beginners, a reference grammar with exercises, cultural resources and works of poetry. There are also videos of native speakers in conversation to help improve the listening and speaking skills of intermediate and advanced learners.
As stated on their website, this is the ultimate revision site for all things French. It includes audio and video materials, past exam papers which mark themselves, grammar exercises and general advice. Although aimed at those in the English school system, the materials are useful for anyone wanting to brush up their French.
On this site you can find authentic video and audio interviews with native French speakers on a variety of topics. Each interview has accompanying comprehension questions, a transcription and notes on grammar and vocabulary. An excellent resource for intermediate learners.