Knowing a language includes the skills of speaking it, listening to it, reading it, and writing it. I wanted to share with you one of my favorite resources for helping my beginning French students develop their listening skills: a free video series that's 100% in French. It's called "Téléfrançais." I hope you check it out!
"Téléfrançais" was created by TVOntario. The 30 ten-minute episodes are available for free on YouTube. I think they work best supplementing other French language-learning materials for beginners, but once the students aren't brand new beginners anymore. I use them in my French I classes starting about second quarter, after students have built up a little bit of a foundation in the language.
The series is definitely retro, but don't let that discourage you from using it. I've spent a long time looking for a good French-only series for beginning students, and Téléfrançais is definitely the best I've found.
Téléfrançais was originally made for children, but it is still a great learning tool that I highly recommend for adolescent and adult learners, too. I've used it for years while teaching junior high and high school French, and students enjoy watching and can follow the language being used. After a few episodes, my classes also usually end up singing along with the theme song!
Materials To Supplement the Episodes
To use this series effectively in the classroom, I've actually created my own worksheets to go along with each episode. They help students pay attention, and help them listen to and understand the French being used. Worksheets for each episode are available in the store, and also come with answer keys.
Using Episodes Effectively
To get the most out of the "Téléfrançais" video series, try the following:
Pay close attention while you're watching.
You won't understand every single word. That's okay! Just try to follow the story.
When you don't understand what's going on, try repeating that section of the video and listen again.
If you're stuck on a particular word, try looking it up. I highly recommend www.WordReference.com.
Pay attention to visual clues to help you understand, too. What are the characters doing? What do they look like? Where are they? What's happening?
I know it's tooting my own horn a bit, but please do consider using my "Téléfrançais" worksheets. They really do help you understand what's going on, and help you learn and remember more of the French being used.
Check Out An Episode
Here's the first "Téléfrançais" episode! See the info above for tips on following what's happening, and for where you can find more episodes.