Since I have been learning French in France I have definitely veered towards the total French immersion technique. Personally, I love the continuous stream of the French language and the rate at which this pushes you to progress. This is the approach recommended by the EasyFrench Language School in Montpellier and this is what you will experience in your lessons. This is just my point of view though and for those of you who would prefer to take a bit more of a calm scenic approach to learning French in France I have a podcast that I think you will really enjoy. It’s called Coffee Break French and the bulk of the content is available for free and if you want to get the most out of it you can pay for the premium version and get access to transcriptions and extra content.
This podcast was recommended to me by Norwegian friend Victor who is taking the DALF exam preparation course in Montpellier in the hope of becoming a translator in the future. He has never had my strong desire to avoid English at all costs and from a would-be translator’s point of view there are benefits to this approach.
The podcast is hosted by Mark who will switch between his perfect French and English spoken in his wonderful Scottish accent. You will join him as he delves into all subjects French and has a goal of getting you to hear native speakers talking and he steers conversations in the direction that will be of most use to the listener.
Why is This a Gentle Helper for You During Your French Language Stay
What sets this podcast apart is that he will explain the subject for the episode in French and conduct interviews with native French speakers to begin with, than he will delve deeper into what elements of the language were used, repeat them and explain them in English. He then throws this in with a load of general information about France and French culture to give you a rounded learning experience.
For instance, in the first episode I listened to, Mark was embarking on a journey to Nice in the south of France. Nice is just a few hours from Montpellier which is where I have come to do my intensive French course for adults and I’m planning on doing a weekend trip to Nice at some point so I was immediately hooked. He went on to talk a bit about the region of Cote d’Azur in which the city lies as well as describing his journey which is a very useful thing to learn about. He performs an amicable interview with one of the air stewards who, as luck would have it just happens to be a freelance translator as well.
The interviewee ‘JP’ goes on to talk about how he lived in London and now lives in Nice. He talks about his time living in London a few years previously and his life in Nice now. Edited in after wards is an explanation by Mark of some of the components involved, he explains the difference in the conjugations and tenses used when describing somewhere you have lived previously and somewhere you are living currently. This piece by piece approach makes for very easy French learning and it is very digestible. You have time to let each aspect sink in and marinate and it really sticks in your mind.
The situations Mark places himself in, much like the situation of making a journey involving a metro ride and a flight are very relevant to people learning French. Whether it’s set in a café or going to the beach he plonks himself into these common situations and explores the language used commonly there and then goes on to break down and explain important parts with a mixture of French and English.
Learning French in France can be challenging sometimes but everything about this podcast has the air of relaxation. The topics, the pace, the accents both French and English. The title is perfect for this podcast and it really just feel like you are in a café having an amicable conversation with Mark. I think this is a fantastic podcast and great for filling in some of the things that you might rush over in your intensive French course. Give it a try and see what you think……..happy listening!