I began studying French in 2020.

As I have studied French, I have discovered many useful resources.  Here, I share them with you.  I hope they help you as much as they have helped me.

If you are learning French, here are my top recommendations:

(Note: Some of the following links are affiliate links.)



Everyone hates grammar.  Language courses often claim you can, and should, skip grammar.  I do not recommend you skip grammar.  Instead, I recommend you learn it.  Get it over with.  Rip the band-aid off.

For grammar, I highly recommend Madrigal’s Magic Key to French, by Margarita Madrigal.  The book is fantastic.  In one volume, you will learn all the grammar you need to learn.  Because this book covers all of the important topics for French grammar, I would count this book as two years of high school French.

If you are ready to start reading right away, and if you do not feel like spending nearly $200 on a used book, you can find a free digital copy of the book here on Internet Archive.

Some time ago, I took students through the book.  Those classes are still available here: https://dwanethomas.com/previous-classes-4/.  There are also tests available for each chapter.  Students simply take the test at the end of each chapter and this site will grade the test immediately.



Right away, you should start listening to French.  Do not worry if you cannot understand what you are hearing.  You are getting the sound of the language into your head.

If you want to learn French during your daily commute, you might enjoy the podcast Coffee Break French.  This podcast is great for those just starting out, and for those who are further down the road.  The podcast is free.  Of course, you could always sign up for the premium podcast, but I find there is more than enough in the free podcast series.  You can even practice writing to other French learners on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CoffeeBreakFrench.



I enjoy reading the Bible in French.  You can both read and listen free here: https://live.bible.is/bible/FRNTLS/MAT/1.

If you are looking for more to read, check out your local library. 

The library in my town has a rather small French library.  I find kids books especially helpful.  You may be surprised what your library has.  And, if they do not have what you are looking for, talk to the librarian.  Often, libraries share books among themselves using the Interlibrary loan system.



I really enjoy watching the livestream videos on Chatterbug.  In particular, I recommend the streamers Amandine and Laurena.  

The livestreams are a collection of videos on entertaining topics.  Taught by enthusiastic native speakers at all levels, it almost feels easy to level up in French.  There are videos for beginners, intermediates, and advanced students.

For conversational French, I recommend the Extra series.  This is a show for French learners.  The story follows four friends in France.  One of the friends is attempting to learn French.  It’s a little flirty at times, but it’s mild.  I recommend it for high school students and beyond.

Though my students roll their eyes at me, I highly recommend Peppa Pig in French.  Peppa Pig is a popular show that follows Peppa and her family through daily life.  The benefit to the series is students learn all kinds of daily vocabulary in context.  Here is the official French channel: https://www.youtube.com/@PeppaPigFrancaisOfficielle

As you advance, start watching Tin Tin in French, and Asterix in French.  This YouTube teacher takes you through these comic books line by line… in French!  


The Quick Version

If I were starting over, I’d probably only do two things.  I would read Madrigal’s Magic Key to French.  You can also take the classes on my site, if you would rather.  My site includes tests.

There are forty-five chapters in the book.  Reading one chapter a week, a student could be done in a year.  In my opinion, this book covers all of high school French one and two.  An ambitious student could finish the book in a summer.

After reading Madrigal’s Magic Key to French, I would start binge watching Peppa Pig and the livestream videos on Chatterbug

I suspect an ambitious student could be proficient (not fluent) in French in eighteen months.

By the way, these two steps would easily count as French one and two.  Because it is so comprehensive, I suspect the Madrigal’s Magic Key to French, alone counts as two years of high school French.