• How can I improve my French?


    Learning French can be exciting, and you may feel that you enter another world when you imagine speaking French in Paris, Switzerland, Canada….or another Francophone country on vacation.  Maybe you love the language but hate the grammar, or maybe you just feel like you can’t keep up in class. What can you do? Here is a small list of some suggestions that I have found to be helpful over the years with students who wanted some suggestions to improve their French. I hope you be encouraged to try a few. Bonne chance!


    1.       Students are encouraged to listen to French music for listening practice, and this has also been an occasional HW to support their music base. It’s also fun! Just go to Youtube and type in “French music” for hundreds of choices. Some recommendations that my students like are “Coeur de Pirate, Mika, MC Solaar, Carla Bruni, Céline Dion, Edith Piaf and Charles Trénet, as well as the classic “Aux Champs-Elysées”.

    2.       Students are encouraged to watch French films for practice- ask me for the movie list by grade level if you’re interested. . We have 2 French film nights each year for all French students, there are French movies that come to Manhasset, and there are French movies available on line, at the library and through i-Tunes.

    3.       Students are encouraged to listen to French television or podcasts available online. You can access TV5 from the Internet for free!

    4.       Students are encouraged to use Rosetta Stone for practice in reading, writing, speaking and listening.

    5.       Advanced students are encouraged to read from the AP reading list, and beginning students can start with small poems. Please ask for the AATF list if you are interested.

    6.       Students are encouraged to use You Tube to explore the Francophone world for culture and history. This is also used in class.

    7.       Students are encouraged to use the Internet to explore topics we cover in class if they would like to learn more about a topic, for example we are currently learning about the Francophone region of Louisiana.

    8.       Students are encouraged to use French as much as possible both in and out of class – speaking in French with a fellow student or French speaker is a great way to live the language.

    9.       Students are encouraged to come before school on Thursdays in the lab to work with the FHS members for review and language practice (conversation, grammar, etc.)

    10.    Students are encouraged to use WBs that can explain things differently than what you hear in class. Sometimes seeing it explained another way can click for you.  For the lower levels up to level 3 I highly recommend the Amsco WB (French First Year…French Third Year). They have great grammar descriptions and culture as well.

    11.    For AP and Pre-AP classes we have AP WBs for help with practice in speaking, listening, reading and writing. There are detailed explanations that show students why a certain answer was right or wrong, as well as grammar points and AP prep tips. There are specific tips on page 6-14 that we read in class for reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.

    12.    Starting at level 4 students are encouraged to use (listen and do the activities) TV5 for listening practice. It is also assigned occasionally for HW or used in the lab for practice, but they can access three exercises per week at home.


    French is a beautiful and chic language, and I hope that you will use it not just in school, but throughout your life.  Bonne chance, and please send me a postcard if you’re ever on vacation using French! Merci!