Intermediate French: Understanding spoken French
In this free course, Intermediate French: Understanding spoken French, you will meet people living and working in France and Belgium by watching video clips and hearing them speak about themselves and their lives. Listening to and seeing people describing what they do and who they are can offer you an enjoyable and interesting insight into a way of life in a different culture. You will find that the more you watch and listen, the more you understand. Exposure to spoken language is invaluable when you are learning to speak and understand a new language. You may not understand everything you hear, but even so, the act of listening can help you in many different ways: you will understand more vocabulary, you can learn useful phrases, and listening to the intonation and sound of language can improve your pronunciation of spoken French.
The video recordings you view were recorded for your learning. These video clips are all authentic; they all show people from France or Belgium talking about themselves at normal speed. Listening to spoken language presented at natural speed helps to prepare you for spoken language you may encounter in real life, whether on the street in a French-speaking country, watching material on the internet, or listening to French radio.
Authentic sources, especially authentic audio-visual resources, typically include language, grammar and expressions that you may not have come across in your language learning before. In this way they provide you with an extremely useful learning resource. They prepare you for the world beyond the classroom.
At first, authentic speech may be difficult to understand due to its unplanned content and delivery. However, an awareness of the features of natural speech and the conscious use of listening comprehension strategies can greatly increase your ability to understand what you hear. As your confidence grows, you will be able to use the strategies and skills you acquire to understand more and more in a range of settings and improve your oral communication skills.
You will focus on different ways you can use authentic audio and visual materials to help you learn French. The language level of the course is for intermediate level learners of French at B1.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course.