How To Learn French By Reading (my tips)

At parent evenings throughout my childhood ( I’m 17 now) I’ve always been told to “read more books” in order to improve my English grades and that the “best English students read books”. Ever since I learned to read I’ve always had a book on the go but only recently I’ve starting reading French books. If reading English books improves your English so much then doing the same in French must have great benefits too!

The first book I read was a book of French short stories. This book is great because it’s made for French learners as it has the English translation on the opposite side of the page. I read the French first and if I came across a sentence that I couldn’t understand ( quite a few) then I’d read the English translation. It was the Penguin French short stories and they have a few other versions of it as well!

For the book I’m studying next year at A-Level (The Outsider/ L’etranger) I first read it in English all the way through and now I’m reading the French version without looking up any words. This technique works really well as even though you may not understand the French you can work out what’s happening and figure out what new French words mean because of the fact they you have already read the book in English.

This useful technique can also be used with films! For example I watched Le Silence De La Mer (with English subtitles) and then read the book and found it so much easier to understand than if I hadn’t watched the film first whilst still learning lots of new vocabulary.

Next up I’m going to read Un sac de billes for further reading for my university application.

Check out my other posts on how to learn French with music and a review on a French conversation course by Benny Lewis! ❤️