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How to keep up with French news and improve your language skills

From podcasts to social media, there is a wealth of resources available

Podcasts are a great way to keep up to date with French news Pic: DimaBerlin / Shutterstock

For some, it is difficult to feel fully integrated into a new country until you know what is going on around you and have mastered the language.

Keeping across the French news can help you achieve both.

Beyond The Connexion there is a wealth of resources for keeping up to date with what is happening in the country. 

Podcasts and radio

The benefit of podcasts is that you can listen as many times as you want if you feel like you have missed something on the first listen or if you want to tune into a particular section. 

But radio can be good, too. For example, it gives you a good opportunity to practise tuning into French at a random point in the conversation. 

News In Slow French: This is a great resource if you are just starting your French language-learning journey.

It offers a slowed-down version of the day’s headlines and key stories. The episodes are also very short, making it easy to practise little and often.

Actus du Jour: This is a relatively new podcast that has quickly become a sensation in France, with host Hugo Décrytpe

Every day, the podcast summarises the headlines of the day in less than 10 minutes. 

News podcasts are a good way for learners to improve their language skills as you may already have a vague idea of the context of the subjects they talk about and the hosts speak clearly, making it easier to understand. 

Local radio podcasts: Depending on where you live in France, you should be able to find the local radio bulletins in podcast form. 

Search your local radio station in your podcast app to find out what is available. 

Not only is this a good way to keep up your French, it means you can tune in to what is going on in your local area. 

Local and national radio: It is a good idea to keep the radio on in the background in the kitchen or the car as you go about your daily tasks. 

This means that you can tune in and out without having to focus too closely, but even by doing this you are likely to pick up on some of the stories being discussed. 

While national radio is useful for an overview of the entire country and will give you insight into the goings on in politics on a countrywide scale, local radio can be extremely useful to keep your nose in with what is happening in your local area, and it may even help you get involved in communities where you can further improve your French. 

France Culture - Journal de 18h: These 20-minute podcasts are the 18:00 news in podcast form. It starts by giving the headlines before delving slightly deeper into each story. This is a great way to get a bit more. 

Read also: Try these 17 French expressions to help improve your language skills

News websites 

Brut: This is a news platform that brings you stories in video form. It is a big hit on social media, with short videos perfect for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. 

Videos are short and sharp and often feature interviews with experts or people involved in the stories. 

This is a great way to access niche stories or learn about initiatives in France that you might miss on the more mainstream TV platforms.

Newspaper websites: These are of course a great way to access the news, with Le Monde, La Liberation and Le Figaro all options. 

Previously, research by Reuters found that Le Monde is the most trusted newspaper in France. 

Of course, many websites require subscriptions, however you can often read one or two free articles per day or per week. 

Read also: Six French films to watch this month

Social media accounts

Social media accounts are another good way to keep in touch with what is going on in the world if you know which accounts to follow. 

French journalists: If you are a Twitter user, it is a good idea to follow French journalists that you have read the work of or heard on the radio. 

Nowadays, breaking news will often first be published by journalists on Twitter before it makes its way to TV or radio. 

French news platforms: Again, this is a particularly good way to keep up with the news in real time if you are on Twitter. 

News platforms will publish stories on Twitter accompanied by a caption and the headline, giving you a snapshot into the story and offering a quick way to practise your French. 

The same is true for Facebook, however, it is worth noting that Facebook is often slightly slower meaning that older stories can circulate days after they have been published. 

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