While the best way to learn French (or any language) is face to face with a fluent speaker, learning through YouTube comes a good second. Besides the fact that many people find video the easiest medium to learn through, it's particularly appropriate for languages, since you can listen to how every word is pronounced and go back over it as often as you like.
You'll find everything on YouTube from lessons for beginners, intermediate or advanced learners to vlogs in French that can provide valuable practice in listening. The downside, of course, is the sheer quantity of material on the platform. How do you know which channels to head for and which to avoid? Here are ten of the best.
Concentrating on short videos on topics such as vocabulary, phrases, French culture etc., this channel is excellent for beginners, since a good deal is in English.
This channel helps beginners learn about French grammar in English, but you'll also have the opportunity to listen to French speakers discussing a variety of topics.
The French videos on Easy Languages allow intermediate French learners listen to conversations between native French speakers, all in French, that are easy to follow.
Also for intermediate learners, innerFrench offers videos in French about French culture, education, food, literature and much more. The host speaks clearly and a little more slowly than most.
While RFI offers resources on its website for beginners and intermediate learners, their YouTube channel offers more advanced learners short videos about current affairs from around the world.
Also for advanced learners, this channel provides free, high-definition documentaries in French, covering a huge range of topics, from dinosaurs to notorious serial killers.
In general, if you're learning French you want standard Parisian French, but there are other varieties. Amélie Barbeau talks about DIY, recipes and other topics in a Quebec accent, perfect if you're interested in New World French.
Norman is a young YouTuber who makes videos about a wide variety of subjects. He speaks colloquially, which is perfect if you want an insight into how French is actually spoken by young people, and some of his videos have the option of English subtitles to help. Whether you want to learn or practice listening, there are plenty of great French channels on YouTube. What none of them offer, though, is interactive learning — for that you need a tutor, whether live or online. Register at TutorExtra to find out more about the French tutors available.