Think French Audio Magazine Review

An independent language advantage course review by Andrea Lainé

Think Language online audio language magazineThe Think French audio magazine is more than a simple French audio language course – as with the Think Spanish audio magazine, it is designed to help you to learn French while teaching you about life and culture in French-speaking countries.  It is a much more current and engaging approach to learning French online for intermediate and advanced learners.

As a French beginner however, I wanted to get an idea of what the French magazine could offer me and whether it would be too difficult for someone at my learning level.

I viewed the December 2010 issue of the Think French audio magazine. As with the Think Spanish audio magazines, the content changes every month and each magazine has between eight and ten articles which you can read, while listening along to the French. Each article has between one and two pages of text including images and photos. A lot of the vocabulary is highlighted in bold, which means it is listed in the bilingual glossary and runs along the left-hand or right-hand side of the page.  The selected vocab also corresponds with each paragraph in the text making it easier to find the words as you listen/read. You can check the meaning or get a translation of any of these words – the glossary includes nouns, adjectives, tenses, idioms and phrases – all relating to the context of the article. This is a useful tool for your language learning skills.

Article topics range from recipes to focus on people, places, religious festivals, tourism, arts and crafts, ecotourism, the environment, history as well as news stories from around the world. The topics are current, engaging and enjoyable. The Think French December 2010 issue had articles about the Christmas traditions in Canada, food of Provence, sport and biographies. The edition had one biography about the Belgian singer songwriter, Jacques Brel and included the lyrics to his best known song ‘Ne me quitte pas‘ and a link to youtube.com where you can listen and watch Brel singing the song (with English subtitles).

The articles are not too long and are good for French learners of all ages and levels. They say that you need to have a least ‘high school level French’. The magazines may be better suited for intermediate and advanced learners. Having said that, as a beginner, I gained a lot of new French vocabulary and cultural knowledge without feeling overwhelmed. I listened, read the text and gained the general gist of the articles. I could look up any words I didn’t know (and weren’t in the glossary) in my dictionary. This is an excellent way to improve your French reading and listening skills no matter what level you are.

Think French is slightly different to conventional French language courses and this is how it works.  Once you pay your membership fee, you will be able to login online and get access to your new French audio magazine every month online – or (and, as an added bonus) – you can download the magazine as a PDF and print it out as well as download the accompanying audio clips to your ipod, itunes, mp3 or transfer them to a CD or your PC. You can choose to download the entire magazine by clicking on the cover image or to download one article at a time by opening each article PDF. They recommend that you make a folder on your desktop and save the entire magazine in one go. That way you will still have access to the whole magazine even when you don’t have access to the internet. This is a practical time-saving tip.

as a beginner, I gained a lot of new French vocabulary and cultural knowledge without feeling overwhelmed

Each article has an option to download an audio clip in French. The audio clip has a clear and understandable narrator who reads the article out aloud in French. The narrators are both male and female and vary in speed and pronunciation.

At the end of each issue you can practice what you have read and heard by having a go at the ‘Grammar Lesson’ and ‘Repeat After Me’ tasks. A PDF of the grammar lesson is available so that you can print off the sheet and write in the answers to the quiz or keep the sheet for future reference. The Repeat After Me task corresponds with the Grammar Lesson and gives you the chance to practice your listening skills. You download the audio clip of each phrase (there are about 9-10 phrases in all), listen to the short phrase and then repeat it during the pause. A PDF of the list of phrases is also available. The December 2010 French magazine for example, had been running a series (of 3) lessons called ‘Linking Words’. Each grammar lesson is different.

Think French membership also includes access to the Think French online community. You receive extra learning tools such as additional audio files and vocab flashcards, access to the French writers if you have any language learning questions as well as exclusive members-only offers.

Sign up for your Think French audiomagazine subscription now>>

SPECIAL OFFER!!

For a limited time only, you can get one year of back issues free with Think French! For more information on this offer and to buy the Think French Audio Magazine subscription now>>

The Think Language range of audio magazines is also available as Think Spanish and Think Italian>>

Get the French language advantage with Think French. Claim your competitive advantage!


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