Resources I'm using to learn French

Photo by Eugenia Remark

In 2023, there are many things I wish to accomplish. Learning a second language is one of them. 

I've been on the French train for a couple of years now. I would hop into an app like Duolingo or Babbel and practice, then log back in a month later. Learning French was for fun and I didn't apply much time or thought into my practice. I work full-time and now I'm in school full-time as well, so you might be asking why now? As the all-powerful Hilary Duff (aka Lizzie McGuire) once said, why not?

Seriously though, I'm already busy, so I might as well add in some other brain training. It kind of makes sense when I look at my schedule broadly. I love to travel (I'm taking a two-week trip to Italy this summer.- This trip happened. Read about it here!) so learning another language seems like the next step in my personal growth. And yes, I am aware they do not speak French in Italy.

Now that we have the why out of the way, I wanted to share how I'm making it happen. My action steps if you will.



Duo. I love you. No, this is not sponsored. I actually pay for the annual subscription. It just works so well. I think Duolingo helps get the absolute basics out of the way. I don't use Duo to expand my vocabulary, but sentence structure and word gender is important in French; that's where Duo comes in. I definitely recommend it! If you already know some French, Duolingo gives you the option to select your knowledge level to navigate what you should be studying.

Duolingo is a free desktop website and an application that you can find in your smartphone's app store. They do offer a paid ad-free version as well!


Babbel is similar to Duolingo. However, it breaks down your learning in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages or CEFR. This means it gives you a clear guide for learning, especially if you plan on taking the CEFR language certification. For example, if you're a beginner, you're speaking level is A1. This is a huge help in finding other material that suits your language level online or in textbooks. I recommend Babbel for someone who would rather cut out the repetition that Duo offers.

This is a great resource for understanding CEFR!



If this isn't the first post you've read on this blog, you might be aware of my love of podcasts. Long-time listener, first-time French listener. There are so many greats options, but my personal favorites are:

- Duolingo French Podcast

    Of course, Duolingo has a French podcast. Like I said, I love Duo. This one is great if you're working on your speech specifically. Not as nice when learning to listen, as the words move a little too quickly. But a great option overall.

- Little Talk in Slow French

    This podcast is great for listening and speaking. Even if you're unsure of what they're saying, it's great for learning new words and associating the French ou's and o's (and other important sounds). As it says in the name, the narrator speaks slowly, which is super helpful.

- Coffee Break French

    I love this podcast for various reasons. First, they intersperse English into it, making it easier to follow as a beginner. Second, each episode is a different story focused on different words. This means that you are hearing new French words, their definition, and their English counterpart. It's a fun game whilst you learn.

These are my favorites, but I highly recommend searching on whatever podcast platform you use. You might find something you like even better!

YouTube / Television

Learn French with Alexa

    Alexa is a lovely teacher! She has been teaching French for years and has so many videos for all learning levels. I recommend her GCSE playlists for students (and to those who are not, too.). Plus, she has several playlists devoted to vocabulary, which I am utilizing currently.

French in Plain Sight

    Hosted by Alex, French in Plain Sight is a channel dedicated to intermediate-level French learners. He is brilliant and his videos cover a wide range of grammar, vocabulary, and speaking techniques. 

- Netflix

    Did you know you could watch Netflix in French? Not everything on Netflix has this capability, but most Netflix originals do! Recently, I was watching Ginny & Georgia in French. All you have to do is click on the Closed Captions button on your screen and select either French audio or French subtitles, or both! You don't need a VPN or hacked Firestick for this one. Something that is super helpful to me is French audio and English subtitles. Helps me to understand what's going on but also to associate French words with English words. ** Be careful with this one. You need to be super engaged to learn from this method. Enjoyable nonetheless.

    This is particularly helpful when watching something you've seen before in English. If you can quote a movie, then watching it in French will again, help identify that grammar and vocabulary, while also improving your speaking and listening.

I hope these resources are helpful to you! If you have any other suggestions or resources that have worked for you, feel free to leave them in the comments below!

NoteThis page contains affiliate links. If you click on an item and make a purchase, I may receive a small amount of money in return at NO extra cost to you. Read my Disclaimer for more information! Happy reading!

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