Six Christmas gift ideas for people learning French

Christmas offers a good opportunity to give helpful resources that language learners may not buy for themselves

For people learning French, there are plenty of great presents which can make the process more enjoyable
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There are thousands of resources out there for people learning French, but which ones really work?

From books to games, there are lots of great gift ideas which can be both useful and fun for people trying to master the French language.

Often when it comes to language learning people avoid buying themselves the little extras that can really help move their level forward, which makes Christmas the perfect opportunity to gift a helpful language tool.

50 French Coffee Breaks

Coffee Break Languages is a Scottish-based language company that offers great resources for learners in a variety of languages.

As well as free resources such as podcasts, you can also pay to subscribe to their courses at different levels.

One particular resource which makes a perfect stocking filler is their 50 French Coffee Breaks book.

Costing around €15 online, it consists of 5, 10 and 15 minute French exercises designed to help you get into the habit of practising a little every day.

Activities are designed to be fun and interesting, from anagrams and idioms to recipes and quotations, and are aimed at a high beginner to intermediate level.

If you know people learning other languages, the books are also available for Spanish, Italian and German, and you can pre-order the Swedish and English versions.

French Grammar and Usage by Roger Hawkins and Richard Towell

For those hoping to master French grammar, French Grammar and Usage by Roger Hawkins and Richard Towell is the ideal gift.

The book, which you can find for around €15 secondhand (although new copies can cost upwards of €35) is divided into sections, each giving a comprehensive explanation and breakdown of complex grammar points.

Its twin book, Practising French Grammar offers exercises for each chapter so you can put your new learning into practice.

This text is often used in French university courses in the UK and is very useful for anyone serious about mastering the grammar side of language.

A subscription to a French magazine

This is a particularly good gift for someone living outside of France who is trying to improve their French skills.

Magazines on almost every subject exist in France, due to the nation’s enduring love of reading and literature.

This means it should be fairly simple to find a magazine that meets the interests of the person, while also helping them to work on their language skills with fresh material to read each month.

Read more: Six things that show the French love for books and reading

Courses at the Alliance Française

While a French course for a learner would be a very generous gift, you can often find one-off cultural courses and lessons at the Alliance Française or l’Institut Français in your local area for a more manageable price.

These can range from cooking lessons on how to make a classic French dish, to talks about different cultural points of interest or books.

There are Alliances all over the world, so you can search for your nearest one and simply take a look at their upcoming events.

Translations of their favourite books

A great way to improve your language level is to read books that you are already familiar with in French, as it provides you with a base understanding on which to identify new words and phrases.

Many popular Anglophone books have been translated into French so if you know that the person has a particular favourite, buying them the translation will allow them to enjoy the text all over again whilst they improve their French.

Read more: How to learn French through language acquisition

French games

These make a great Christmas present because you can instantly put them to use with family members on Christmas Day.

Whether you opt for a simple pack of cards - the symbols have different names in French – a classic like Le Chat Noir or the French version of Cards Against Humanity, it offers a fun way to keep learning relevant and active.

For a bit of French culture you could gift a pétanque set, which you can find online or in sports shops like Decathlon - a great game for when the warmer months arrive.

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