Books to Learn French

So, you want to learn French?

If your goal is to learn a new language, then the best think you can do to accomplish it is invest in good learning tools. What tools will aid you best in your language learning journey depend on your learning style.

If you learn best by visual cues, then it is imperative that you invest in a French book that has many images. If you are an auditory learner, then a book that is accompanied with CDs or online audio courses will serve you best.

French can be a difficult language to learn, but the books explored in this list can make learning the language easy and fun. This guide will explain the pros and cons of five French learning books on the market today.

You will also learn about additional tools and methods you can use to make your learning experience easier and more effective. French is on its way to be the most spoken language in the world, so now is the time to learn it.

If you have more questions about whether you should learn French, then stick around to the end of this guide where we will provide five reasons why you should learn the language.

Top 5: Book to Learn French Reviews

1

The Living Language French course will take you through all three stages of French (Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced). This program includes three course books, nine audio CDs, and a free online learning lab.

The Living Language French course books include 46 lessons. They also include numerous review exercises and culture notes. The fact that this program includes review exercises and culture notes is a big deal since those two features will greatly aid your progress in learning French.

The culture notes will allow you to tie the French you learn to the culture that speaks it. Also, since you’ll need to communicate with native French speakers at some point of your language learning journey, the culture notes will provide you with information you can discuss with them to show that you’ve studied their culture.

This Living Language French Program also comes with a glossary, a grammar summary, and a notebook. The nine audio cds included with this program explore French vocabulary and includes dialogues and exercises.

You can listen to the Living Language French audio CDs while following along with the books or while on the go. This feature can be particularly helpful for busy moms or active students who need the ability to learn on the move.

The free online learning course that comes with this program has flashcards, interactive games, and quizzes for each lesson.

The Living language French Complete Edition course has a 4.3 star rating on Amazon, and it currently costs about $28. One thing to consider before purchasing this program is that it emphasizes French grammar rather than learning conversational French.

PROS

  • 46 lessons spread over three course books.
  • Culture notes and glossary.
  • Free online learning course.
  • Audio CDs.

CONS

  • Emphasis is on grammar and not conversation.

2

Easy French Step-by-Step focuses on building a solid foundation in French grammar. It teaches the languages by immediately introducing you to its rules and basics so that learning the harder aspects of the language will be easier

Easy French Step-by-Step teaches more than 300 verbs. The verbs taught is this program were chosen because of their use frequency. Easy French is for beginners, and it is 400 pages.

Easy French Step-by-Step does not come with any audio CDs, so verbal or audio learners may struggle. You may also question your proficiency at pronunciation since there aren’t any included audio samples to compare yourself to.

Easy French Step-by-Step has a 4.3 star rating on Amazon. It is easy to follow and easy to read. Easy French Step-by-Step currently costs about $12.

PROS

  • Learn 300 verbs.
  • Builds strong foundation of French basics.
  • Affordable.

CONS

  • No audio cds.

3

Beginning French isn’t your typical language learning course book. It isn’t a program, and it doesn’t include audio CDs or review exercises. Beginning French is a story. It details the life an American family who moves into a “completely restored” farmhouse in Southwest France.

Beginning French includes 12 recipes and has an interactive French glossary. Beginning French is written with wit and charm, and though it isn’t the most expansive French learning aid, it is definitely unique, and you can expect to walk away from the book knowing something new.

Beginning French currently costs $16, and it has a rating of 4.7 stars on Amazon from 139 reviews.

PROS

  • Multiple recipes.
  • Entertaining story.
  • French glossary.

CONS

  • Not a traditional course.

4

With Merde, It’s not Easy to Learn French, it is easy to learn French. Merde is a story that beginner to advanced students alike can enjoy. This book has Exercises and an English translation.

Merde, It’s not Easy to Learn French is split in two sections. The first section of this book includes grammar exercises and the story written completely in French. The second section of this book has a glossary list of the most difficult terms. This section of the book also has the story translated in English.

What sets this book apart from other books of its kind is that it is written in simple French. Usually, books written in French are incredibly difficult to read because they include complex sentence structures and complicated tenses. It also doesn’t help that these books often also include slang.

Merde, It’s not Easy to Learn French doesn’t include many, if any, of these things. It also isn’t full of idiomatic expressions that can difficult for a non-native speaker to understand.

Merde, It’s not Easy to Learn French is 101 pages, and it currently has a 5.0 star rating on Amazon. One thing to consider before purchasing this book is that it does include some adult language.

PROS

  • Glossary of difficult vocabulary.
  • Written in simple French.
  • Includes exercises.

CONS

  • Has adult language.

5

French for Kids is a great tool to learn French. French for Kids includes ten first reader books. It also comes with online audio and 100 vocabulary words. French for Kids use the color immersion method to help teach the language and weave the vocabulary words into the reader’s mind.

The book can be read individually or along with the audio narration. The 100 vocabulary words are also taught by using useful expressions, phrases, and images. Each page has one line of French text, and it follows a repetitious structure. Research has proven this method to be effective for speeding up the learning process and building confidence.

French for kids has an English translation on the inside cover to aid readers if they get stuck while reading the stories, and there are bilingual vocabulary charts on the back of the book for quick review.

The free online audio included with this book is spoken by a native French speaker to help with proper pronunciation. The audio can be accessed by online and streamed, or it can be downloaded.

Each of the ten books have a theme: Clothing, Family, Animals, Colors, Face/Body, Fruits, Numbers, Snacks, Toys, and Shapes.

French for Kids has a rating of 4.8 stars on Amazon from 15 customer reviews.

PROS

  • 10 themed stories.
  • Audio narration.
  • English translation and vocabulary charts.

CONS

  • Only learn 100 words.

Buying Guide

Each of the learning aids listed above have their pros and cons. How effective one book over the other will be for you depends on your needs and learning style. Remember, if you are an audio learner, it is imperative that you choose one of the options that come with audio CDs in order to make the best of your French learning efforts.

To help you decide which book is best for your learning style, we will break down each learning style and include the books listed above that will best help you.

Audio Learners

If you are an audio learner, then Living Language French and French for Kids are the best options for you.

Both of these programs include audio aids. Living Language French is a more comprehensive program, but if you have kids or you would like a program that includes reading a story in French but also has audio narration, then the French for Kids book series may be best for you.

If you need help choosing between the two programs, keep in mind that the are very closely priced: $27 (Living Language French) and $25 (French for Kids), and Living Language French is a complete program from beginner to advanced while French for Kids is only for very beginners.

Visual Learners

If you are a visual learner, then either of these books could help you, but you may enjoy the color immersion method used in French for Kids or the games and activities included with Living Language French.

Verbal Learners

If you are a verbal learner then Living Language French may French for Kids may also be helpful for you. Living Language French may be particularly helpful for you since it includes audio dialogue rather than just narration of a book.

Physical or “Hands-on” Learners

If you are a hands-on learner, you may prefer learning French by reading Beginning French and doing its recipes. By following along with the recipes in the book, not only will learn to create new delicious meals, you’ll also better learn the French language since you’ll an action to tie the words to.

Hands-on learners learn with their body, hands, and touch, and cooking involves all of those things along with your other senses of smell, sight, taste, and even sound. Scent is one the best tools we have as people to help us remember things, so by following the recipes in Beginning French, you’ll have an added advantage when it comes time to recall what you’ve learned.

Logical Learners

Logical learners prefer to use logic and reason to learn something. If you are a logic learner, then reading Merde, It’s not Easy to Learn French may help you immensely to learn French.

Since you’ll have to use context clues to understand the story, reading Merde will stimulate your desire to be challenged and use logic and reason when learning.

The games included in the free online program that comes with Living language French may also be an effective tool to help you logical learners who prefer to use logic to learn.

Social Learners

If you are a social learner, then using a book to learn may not be the best choice for you. You may prefer to learn in a classroom setting with other people. However, the audio dialogue included with the Living Language French program may feed your need to talk with others when you learn.

Solitary Learners

If you are a solitary learner, then any of these books will satisfy your need to study alone.

Now that you know which book on this list will best help you learn French for your learning style, let’s explore the reasons why you should learn French in case you’re having any doubts.

Why Learn French?

  • French is one of the only two languages that are spoken on five continents, the other is English.
  • It is predicted that by 2050, French will be the most spoken language in the world.
  • French is one of the official languages spoken in many business industries and at the international Olympics.
  • Though many people have turned to learning Spanish to make themselves more competitive in the job market, fewer people are turning to French. This is leaving the gate wide open for you to swoop in and fill a void for French speakers in many industries.
  • If you ever hope to travel to Paris and see the Eiffel tower, then knowing French will help you in your journey. French natives love it when tourists have taken the time to study their language even if you butcher its pronunciation.

Final Verdict

Now that you’re assured that your decision to learn French isn’t a mistake, go out and get yourself a French learning book today.

REFERENCE & RESOURCES


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