"To learn a new language is to have one more window from which to look at the world." -Chinese proverb

The world is a beautiful place that is heightened by a variety of languages, cultures, traditions, people, and landscapes. I once heard an elderly woman say, "Variety is the spice of life," and I couldn't agree more!

Therefore, to feel truly immersed in the world around us, it is wise to learn more about unique culinary dishes, colourful traditions from far away lands, and the sounds of breathtaking languages. 

But what language should I choose to learn? While there are so many to choose from, many people are entranced with the romantic sounds of the Romance languages that include French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Though all of the Latin-based languages indeed provide a rewarding learning experience, there is something about French that makes everything sound romantic and unique. So, learn French!

Without further ado, in today's article, we shall consider how first-time language learners can acquire reading comprehension in one of the world's most special tongues. Allons-y! 

Use Beelingual

To be bilingual, you must beelingual!

What is beelingual? Beelingualapp is a mobile application that was released in late 2016 to help people learn foreign languages. Beelingual works by showing a text to the user in two languages at the same time, which allows users to refer to their native tongue with honing a new one.

The Beelingual app is excellent for English natives to learn French, and it is available on both Google Play and the App Store. 

But what the benefits of using beelingual to improve French language skills? The following reasons explain everything:

  • Since texts are shown in both languages simultaneously, language learners can rely on their mother tongue while acquiring a new language leading to confidence and empowerment,
  • There is a large variety of texts to choose from that come out every week such as fairy tales, the news, science papers, novels, romance stories, etc.,
  • To keep track of what you are reading, the sentences on the beelingualapp are highlighted in both languages that you are trying to acquire,
  • The Karaoke audio section allows listeners to follow the audio in the text as you listen to a native speaker read to you,
  • You can continuously listen to the reading of a text even though your phone is offline.

Honestly, the beelingualapp is a godsend since it helps language learners practice reading, listen to the pronunciation, and acquire new expressions all at the same time. Not only is the beelingualapp available in French and English but and additional 11 languages such as Spanish, Korean, German, Hindi, Russian, Turkish, Chinese, and Indonesian, to name a few.

Also, since it's a phone app, the beelingualapp can be used to practice French reading on the go in places such as the train, the office, or while waiting for an appointment.

If you haven't done so already, we highly recommend downloading the beelingualapp ASAP to kick start your French reading skills and impress those around you!

Make Effective Use of Subtitles

watching movies and TV
There are plenty of tv shows that feature subtitles to hone your reading skills. (Source: Unsplash)

Let's Netflix and chill.

Do you love watching a popular streaming service such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu? If you're any normal human being, you'll answer YES! Nonetheless, did you ever think that watching TV could help you learn another language such as French? We didn't think so.

Little do many people know that watching your favourite TV show with subtitles in the language you are studying is a form of learning. 

What are some of the benefits of watching movies and television programmes with subtitles? The following are a few reasons that will help you become fluent in no time:

  • The reading speed of the language in question is heightened,
  • Listening comprehension is better because you are paying closer attention to the subtitles and how it can be translated,
  • Vocabulary is much improved,
  • The language you are learning is visualised and better understood,
  • Grammar is understood since it is seen used in conversation through the subtitles.

Honestly, if the previously mentioned reasons don't encourage you to include French subtitles on your next binge day, we don't know what will! All in all, using subtitles to improve French reading abilities is a brilliant alternative to dive into the language and passively learn new concepts truly.

Read French Books

the endless opportunities
Does selecting a book in a foreign language cause you anxiety? Don't worry we're here to make the selection for you as to which are the best French books! (Source: Unsplash)

The French seem to do everything right. From food to wine and architecture to literature, the French seem to be masters of their domain with so much of what they touch turns to gold.

Therefore, when learning French and improving reading skills, there is no lack of reading material that was initially produced in the French language. 

Active learners who desire to level up and go from beginner to intermediate in reading can find books from many authors. When selecting texts, a great rule to follow is to pick ones that aren't too far beyond your current level of expertise. Why is that? The experience will be kept challenging yet enjoyable since a lot of new vocabulary will be honed.

Without further ado, the following are the most highly recommended books to read when learning French as a second or third language:

  • Le Petit Prince: written by the brilliant Antonine de Saint-Exupery and known in English as The Little Prince, Le Petit Prince is an absolute gem that MUST be read when learning French. Perfect for beginners who want to improve their reading skills to become intermediate students. Also, Le Petit Prince has simple vocabulary, easy to understand sentence structure and an enchanting story that will make you love French even more than you already do!
  • Contes de la Bécasse: do you like reading but don't possess the patience to get through an entire book? If so, you're not alone and if reading long literary works in your language is strenuous, the general feeling is amplified while reading a foreign tongue such as French. Therefore, short stories are the best for you! Consider analysing the shortened texts in the Contes de la Bécasse book. It is written by Guy de Maupassant and has stellar reviews from native speakers.
  • L'Étranger: probably the best modern classic novel to read for intermediate French students, L'Étranger boasts a powerful story about a Frenchman who was born in Algeria during the colonisation period. Albert Camus wrote the novel using very understandable French vocabulary that is touching and realistic.

There you have it, three fantastic books that can be read to hone your French reading skills in the best possible way. We highly recommend reading some paragraphs of the books you choose out loud. Why? It helps you practice your pronunciation and get accustomed to your voice speaking the foreign language at the same time.

Hire a Tutor to Practice Reading

the assistance of an instructor
Hiring a private tutor to practice French reading with is a brilliant idea. (Source: Unsplash)

"The more that you read the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." -Dr. Seuss 

Let's not beat around the bush, Dr Seuss was a genius, and everything that he wrote was applicable not only for children but also for adults. He encouraged children to read and made it fun so that young ones could associate learning with positive experiences.

When learning how to read in a foreign tongue, learners need to be put at ease, feel comfortable, and get a sense that it will benefit them. 

What's the best way to learn how to read in French? Hire a private tutor! Having guidance, understanding, and special tips and tricks from a private instructor are worth their weight in gold and should be seriously considered. Also, the following ways are how tutors help their students master reading comprehension in another language.

  • Training exercises of reading a sentence, a chapter of a book, or an entire short story with a professional who can provide honest feedback,
  • French language tutors are usually native speakers and know the French language like the back of their hand; therefore, the pronunciation of difficult words is improved by listening to the advice of the tutor.

Trust me, as someone who hired a private tutor to improve my reading in a foreign language; you'll want to do the same! Why? The personalised tips and tricks that you will receive significantly help iron out the unique reading mistakes you are making in French.

But where does one find an excellent online private French tutor? Look no further than the experts on Superprof! With more than 12 million professional tutors working diligently to provide classes in more than 1000 subjects and topics, you are bound to find a fantastic French tutor working near you.

With the current state of the world, the tutoring industry has drastically shifted online, more than it already was, with stellar results and more students than ever before. Therefore, have no fear UK-based French learners, you can complete French reading classes from the comfort of your own home at a time most convenient for you; that's service with a smile!

In conclusion, we sincerely hope that the advice in today's article has proven useful to you. Learning French isn't always easy, yet by applying counsel and working hard, you can become fluent in Napoleon's language within a matter of months!

Lâche pas, les amis! 

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Daniel

A student by trade, Daniel spends most of his time working on that essay that's due in a couple of days' time. When he's not working, he can be found working on his salsa steps, or in bed.