4 favorite sites for teaching French

My favorite sites for teaching French

My favorite sites for teaching French change all the time – depending on which level of French I am teaching, what interests the students have, and whether I’m teaching online or in-person all affect the choice of sites that I use.  At this time, my district is still online and we aren’t likely to go back until after spring break at the earliest.  That is a big maybe, though – my school is in one of the highest positive-rate zip codes in Arizona, and thus one of the hardest-hit areas in the world. 

I have three classes this semester, on a 90-minute block schedule: two level 2 classes and one level 1 class.  My students are divided almost evenly between boys and girls.

Here’s are my favorite sites for teaching French as of right now:

Actujour.fr – This is a website that publishes current events and news stories each day.  The best thing about the site is that it makes multiple versions of each article – ranging from A1 all the way up to C1/C2.  I use A2 for my level 2 kids (depending on the article) and A1 for my level 1 kids.  Many of the articles at the A1/A2 level have high-context topics where students may already know about the subject matter, or there are many cognates to help them.  This is also a great site to teach reading strategies – there are often several related words such as dessin/dessinateur/dessinée, which helps students to learn to recognize these word families.

Update: actujour.fr was one of my favorite sites for teaching French because it had so many different levels. Sadly, they haven’t updated in quite some time. But you still could use their older articles.

Hugo Decrypte – Each day, Hugo shares 5 short news stories.  Once a week, he does a “good news” posting with good stories from around the world.  They are very short reads – no more than 5 minutes or so, even for beginners – and the photo that accompanies each story also helps with context clues. 

For more advanced students, there is also a Youtube channel where Hugo goes more in-depth with the daily news. Culturethèque – If you are an AF member (only $35/year for French teachers) – you have access to the digital lending library.  Books, short stories, videos and magazines are all available.  You can check out up to 15 magazines per month with your account, I like some of the bande desinées as well as some of the teen-oriented magazines.

1jour1actu – A site that is geared towards ages 6-14ish, they have great videos and articles about the various things going on in the news.  The videos are short and simple, and they have drawings to go along with them to help the beginners to understand the topic.  They have also been releasing a free pdf each week during the pandemic with a variety of articles, some in BD format.

Promocatalogs – A nice collection of advertising circulars for companies in France.  It seems that no matter what the topic in level 1 – clothing, food, school supplies, sports – there is a circular to go with it!  These are easy to read with limited vocabulary, but they also allow for cultural comparisons.  Students can learn about the value of the Euro and how to convert Euro/dollars.  Plus, it’s just fun to read them! The is one of my favorite sites for teaching French numbers since you can talk about the prices!

Of course, there are also game sites that I use to practice vocabulary – you can read about those here. These are some of my favorite sites for teaching French, but maybe you have suggestions for some new ones I might take a look at?  If so, please add them in the comments!

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