Practice Listening With These Links

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By Mary Clements

Something that learners often struggle with is their listening comprehension. This week our awesome book writer and teacher, Juana’s assignment was to talk about tips for hearing different French accents. I love Juana’s perspective because her route to French learning looks very different to mine but yet we have arrived to the same destination. Check out her tips below!

Juana’s French Listening Tips & Resources!

As a “late” French learner (I started at 18 years old), listening exercises was one of the things I struggled with the most, especially because I believed there was only one accent in French! It was not until my second year of university when I discovered the concept of La Francophonie: the ensemble of countries and territories that speak French as a main language around the world. Did you know that according to the International Organisation of La Francophonie there are at least 54 countries and territories where French is the main or one of the official languages?

Upon discovering this eight years ago, I made a quest to look for a more diverse set of accents and content to improve my listening, and one of the main platforms that has allowed me that is Youtube.

Now, it is true that not everything we see on youtube is great of good quality, but today I thought I would share some of my favourite bilingual/ Canadian youtube channels and resources that have helped me in class as well as in my everyday life:

  • MiniTFO: This youtube channel has a wide variety of series on its own, as it is the youtube for the actual TFO TV channel from Québec. Here you can find videos about many themes! From songs about the colours and the seasons to mini-episodes to watch along with your children and young learners. I am a particular fan of their Seasonal compilations, like this one about winter.
  • Kids News Break, a bilingual Youtube channel where Wilhem and Nellie, two young Canadians, teach us about many topics and cultural celebrations. While they have stopped making videos since 2021, they have some wonderful insights on different topics such as Canada Day, Victoria Day and even New Year’s Eve traditions ! I love this channel because the main protagonists are children and they can serve as a great examples and inspiration for students who are working on oral presentations or projects.

  • Monsieur Steve:  I discovered Monsieur Steve during the pandemic and I love him to bits till this day. He has very fun videos with different topics and formats, such as vlogs, read-out-louds and more sit-down-and-chat videos about culture and hobbies. He is very fun to watch and his interactions with Dex, his Elephant puppet, are sure to entertain learners young and grown!

  • Les Petites Pommes Youtube Channel! Yes! As you may or may not remember, we have a Youtube channel! During the pandemic Mary created videos where we read out loud and invited young students to follow along. These are great if you ever want to have a French bedtime story or just practice some reading and listening skills! Tell us what you think about our content and if you have any ideas on what we should do next!