The idea of learning French can feel like starting a difficult climb up a steep mountains. Words with feminine or masculine articles for no rhyme or reason? Piles of verb conjugations? It’s understandable to be wary about diving in. French, like any language, is a bit challenging to learn and takes some serious dedication, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t fully capable of mastering it with some work!
As a native English speaker who speaks French as a second language, I know that everyone learns differently. Because of this, everyone has pieces of the language that they are more comfortable dealing with. For example, as a visual learner, I find that reading French and working with writing really helps me remember difficult details. This also means that I tend to find myself neglecting the auditory aspects of the language more than I should. That’s where watching French videos with subtitles becomes helpful.
Not only are these videos perfect for learners like me because they have the visual elements along with the auditory, they are also valuable to heavily auditory learners since you get to hear the spoken French along with seeing the video. The more ways you learn a topic, the more likely it will stick. With videos, you get to learn the material both visually and auditorily, making the information more likely to stick in your memory.
There are tons of different options on the web that offer videos with French subtitles to help you learn. These include videos made specifically for beginning learners, videos for more advanced speakers, French music videos, films (and film trailers), and news broadcasts. These "natural" French videos can be found easily on YouTube, and most videos have an option to view captions, just click on the little "cc" on the bottom right hand side of the video and turn click for French subtitles.
French About offers a whole list of video-based beginning French lessons. You can learn basic expressions, adjectives, and verb tenses here. Each of the videos has the option to watch with English subtitles. The lessons are straightforward and easy to work with so you’ll be sure to keep pace and really learn the material.
Frenchteacherforkids YouTube user has compiled a playlist of some awesome children’s stories spoken with French subtitles. This is perfect for beginners of any age, and allows you to pair words with not only their written form but also with illustrations for you visual learners put there.
BBC French is by far my favorite of these resources. The site offers a ton of interactive French videos (with subtitles) in 24 lessons. Not only is the material top notch, but the design of the site and lessons themselves is well-done and makes for an enjoyable time learning. Seriously, if you check out any of these, check this one out.
Photo Credit: Victoria Bouchard