If you've read some of my previous posts, you probably know that I recommend supplementing Duolingo with other outside resources. Duo will drill the vocabulary and grammar, but you may find that you still have a hard time listening and reading fluently. That's where external resources come in handy.
Here is a list I have created of all the great French resources I have used. Most of them are available free online; those that aren't free are easily accessible.
This is an online platform where volunteers around the world gather to read audiobooks. There are hundreds of books in French, but you can find them in other languages - from Dutch to German to Italian - as well. These books are free to listen to and download, and you can get the app on your phone for easy mobile listening.
Francais avec Pierre (intentionally no cédille on the c)
This is a YouTube channel made by a French teacher who has been certified to teach French to foreign students. Here you'll find a combination of humor, helpful tips, and tons of grammar that you probably didn't know. (Pierre also has a web page, https://www.francaisavecpierre.com/.)
One of my favorite French authors is Jules Verne, and wonderful was the day that I could read his books in their original language. :) Since his books are mostly out of copyright (in the U.S.), they can be downloaded for free online (try Project Gutenberg). If you have a Kindle, they can often be found for free in the Kindle store. This is undoubtedly a great way to practice reading while being immersed in an excellent story. Jules Verne also wrote many short stories, which are perfect for the slower reader or beginner.
I'll admit that I tend to re-watch the same five movies over and over again. But this can come in handy when learning a language. Pick out one of those movies that you know every line to and try switching the audio to French. You can often switch the audio to another language while keeping the subtitles in English, which is another great learning tool.
ILA Free Online French Test
If you'd like to know your approximate level in French, this test is a great choice. It is completely free and includes 32 questions that test various aspects of the French language. At the end they’ll give you a score based off the Common European Framework of References.
French in Action
This is a comedic TV series developed for French learners. It’s free online, has a fun mini-storyline, and is great for learning. (These were created for adults, so parents should approve for younger children. Also, these videos are only available in the U.S. and Canada.)
Now for a couple of handy resources that aren’t free but are still good learning tools.
A conjugation dictionary is just what it sounds like - a dictionary with lists of conjugated verbs. This is waaay more useful than Google Translate, which has reputedly low accuracy (something which I personally have seen the comedic results of).
Muzzy is a silly children’s cartoon that was created specifically for beginning French learners. The story is ridiculous, but it’s a GREAT way to learn the language, as the speakers are clear and the concepts are drilled into your head with songs and rhymes. Younger children would especially enjoy the fun characters.
To top it off, Duolingo is frankly the best free language training on the internet (and it beats some of the paid courses as well). These are simply little rabbit trails I suggest exploring while learning French.
I'm glad you mentioned Librivox. I think it's one of the best-kept secrets of language learners, by which I mean I don't think a lot of language learners know about it.
By the way, I volunteer at Librivox and they don't have an app. They have a website (https://librivox.org), and their audiobooks are hosted by the Internet Archive (https://archive.org/details/librivoxaudio). Anything else is a third-party initiative, and some of them make you pay. Since Librivox audiobooks are in the public domain, they can get away with it.
Thank you so much for talking the time to share such useful information! I had started searching for such resources and ideas only a few days ago but you've put this together saving me so much time. Thanks again :)
Thanks. The language test is super helpful, although I wish it split up scores into reading and listening. I think I'm more of a B2 reading level, but listening is more like A2.
Parlez-Moi with Sol is a good series for learning French:
Also, Yanneck Sayer has a TON of great stuff on Youtube:
My reply is probably posted too late for anyone to see it, maybe even you, dancepointe, but anyway, a couple of remarks.
He is the reason I learned to read French, too! Here is a library of his books (3rd link down on the left) in various formats and translated into some other languages. Many of his books are available on this site in audio, in recordings that at least are fairly good and often are really excellent; usually a link to a copy of the written text is given on the page of the particular recording, too. Here is a site that offers his works and those of many other excellent older (i.e., public domain) authors in very nicely formatted files (search is from "Rechercher les ebooks" on the right, which for me at least doesn't really look like a link).
What are the 5 movies that you constantly watch?
Thanks for posting this list of resources!