French Resources
Helpful ideas for Keeping Up (or Brushing Up) on Your French
A lot of students ask how they can keep up (or brush up) on their French.  Sometimes it's because scheduling limitations force them to skip a quarter between two French courses.  Other times, it's because they suddenly have a great and unexpected opportunity abroad -- a year or two after finishing their language requirement.  If you're interested in keeping up or brushing up, you are not alone, and there are a number of options available.  For example...

1. Watch the French news online.

The reason I suggest the news is that you probably already know what's going on by following the news in English, so you should have quite a bit of context to help you understand the French.  Many of the French TV stations have streaming video of their daily news programs, along with short clips of their other programming.  My first recommendation is

France 2

but there are some other stations with clips online as well, including:


France 3

Canal Plus


2. Read the French news online.

A good place to start here is:

Le Monde

You can also do a Google search for French newspapers to try and find other sites.

3. Read French literature.

Try smaller pieces like short stories or poems.  This is a bit more challenging than the news, but if you stick to the shorter pieces it shouldn't be overwhelming. If you're interested in short stories, an excellent author is Guy de Maupassant.  Some of his short stories are available at:


Or you can do an author search for "Maupassant" in Alden Library's "ALICE" catalog. Alden library has a number of his works.

For poetry, I'd recommend Jacques Prévert.  His work is not in the public domain yet, so it's doubtful you can find it online (at least not a legal copy).  So for him, you'll have to go to Alden Library on campus.  Again, just do an author search for "Prévert" in the "ALICE" catalog.

One other option is to buy a basic reader in French.  You can find several by doing a search for "French reader" at  They have several easy texts in dual-language editions or otherwise heavily annotated editions for beginning or intermediate-level students.

When tackling a piece of literature, ALWAYS read the story or poem more than once.  The first time you may need to look up a lot of words in the dictionary.  Re-read the story multiple times until you no longer need to look up words or look at annotations.  This is a good way to use a literary text for grammar and vocabulary development.

4. Read French-language comic books.

You can pick some of these up at Alden Library as well.  The Astérix books are very popular, as are the Tintin books.  Do a keyword search for "Astérix" or for "Tintin" -- they'll be listed in the 4th floor Childrens' area of Alden.  Again, you should probably read any given comic book more than one time, for maximum language benefit.

5. Watch French films with subtitles.

A lot of video stores carry these.  Watch the film more than once.  After watching a few times with the subtitles, try watching WITHOUT the subtitles, focusing on understanding the French once you're thoroughly familiar with the story.

6. Listen to French radio.

Probably the most difficult option - it's already hard enough trying to listen to French with no subtitles, but song lyrics are particularly difficult to understand.  Still, listening to French radio is interesting from a cultural perspective.  There are a potload of French radio stations online.  Just do a search on Google to find them.

Hope you find some of this helpful and entertaining!