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Does your commute involve a long drive? Do you sometimes find yourself stuck in traffic with nothing to do? This article is to the rescue with the best audio solution for how to make the most of your time in the car by brushing up on your French. Let’s talk about:

  • How listening to French radio, podcasts, and songs can help;
  • Why French speaking games are a great idea;
  • How you can work on pronunciation even on your own;
  • Study French with General Français!

Read on for our list of top tips for how to learn French in the car!

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Listen to a French radio station

Our first tip for how to learn French in the car is the easiest: simply switch on the radio. Driving on long journeys is a particularly good time to introduce your brain to French sounds, which is perfect for familiarizing yourself with the language without feeling like you’re really studying. There are lots of ways to introduce French sounds into your car journeys, but our first suggestion is by listening to French radio. You can do this in two main ways: if you’re lucky enough to be a French learner living in a French-speaking country, switch on the radio until you find something you like the sound of; if you’re learning French elsewhere, try downloading a radio show in advance, or stream a digital radio station through an app on your phone to listen live. The objective of listening to French audio such as a radio isn’t to understand every word – if you could do that, you wouldn’t need to practice at all. The objective is to become more used to hearing French sounds, to begin to understand sentence structures and to isolate words from each other. If you have a beginner level in French, here are some recommendations for how to learn French in the car with the radio:

  • FIP provides an eclectic mix of French and international music with hourly news bulletins.
  • France Inter has news and opinions on a wide range of subjects.
  • RTL is another news and opinion station with chatty hosts and even the occasional quiz.


Listen to French songs and sing along

Listening to music in the car is a natural instinct for most drivers and passengers, but did you know it can be a great learning activity too? Our next tip for how to learn French in the car is as simple as making a playlist of French songs and following along (or doing your best to, anyway). Learning by singing is an easy and effective way to build your brain’s passive comprehension of French, and you can help by:

  • Listening to each song multiple times until you understand almost everything
  • Repeating words and phrases that stand out to you
  • Looking up the lyrics to the song in advance so you can sing along better
  • Integrating the words and phrases you identify into your own sentences#

For a quick French course in the car, here are a few musical suggestions for adults: try Stromae’s Papaoutai for an electro pop lesson in French; Je veux by Zaz offers a quick lesson in using vouloir with a few phrases you can coin for yourself; La vie en rose by one of France’s stars in music, Edith Piaf, is a must for any French playlist.

Download podcasts onto your phone

Even as a beginner in French, the world of French podcasts isn’t off limits to you. If you’ve been wondering how to learn French while sleeping or in the car and enjoy yourself listening to someone talk on a subject that interests you, podcasts are the answer. Did you know that you can find podcasts on almost any subject these days? From current affairs and history, to French lessons and comedy, you’ll have no difficulty finding a free podcast for your level that you find interesting.

Why to use poadcast

Listening to podcasts is one of our top tips for how to learn French in the car because:

  • They make great audio comprehension practice for every level, including advanced learners and they are one of the easiest ways to learn French and improve listening
  • They are a great way to become familiar with French pronunciation and speech patterns, even if you don’t understand every word
  • Many podcasts are part of a series so you can keep listening over the course of the day, week, or year

Recommendations for beginners

If you think podcasts could be the way to go, here are a few of our top recommendations for beginners who want to learn French on their own:

  • Try One Minute French for short, sharp episodes centering around a one-minute audio conversation, followed by language analysis.
  • Try Learn Out Loud to focus on learning new words and expressions.
  • is a great podcast for language analysis and grammar lessons.
  • If it’s current affairs you want, try News in Slow French for a lesson in pronunciation and vocabulary.

Choose interesting audiobooks

Everyone knows that reading books is a great way to expand your vocabulary in French, but not everybody can find time in their busy schedule to curl up with a book. Our next tip for how to learn French in the car offers the solution: listen to audiobooks in French on the road. Let’s talk about how to go about choosing an interesting audiobook suited to your learning level.

If you’re a beginner in French, we suggest trying low-level books aimed at older children or young teenagers. If you’re an intermediate French speaker, try mid-level books, such as short stories and novels. If you’re already advanced in French, you can continue to improve your French by reading native-level books, fiction novels and nonfiction autobiographies. There are a few good websites where you can find your next French story for the road. Try checking out: Audible, Scribd, Amazon Kindle and Fnac.

Play speaking games in the car

On a long drive, playing games can be a great way to pass some time. If you’re driving with other people, whether it’s your family or friends, why not suggest a French word game to get your brains working? There are lots of simple games you can play on the spot without much preparation, such as:

  • I spy: this simple car game will have you practice words for objects in your immediate vicinity
  • 20 questions: a simple way to practice asking and responding to questions in French
  • Qui suis-je : with just a pen and paper you can play this guessing game from as few as two players

Games are a fun way to squeeze a vocabulary lesson into a car drive, and it’s always a good idea to choose learning activities that help you associate fun with your French learning. With a little forward planning, you can play other types of car games by downloading quizzes onto your phone.The higher your level in French, the more ambitious you should be.


Practice pronunciation by speaking to yourself

Even if you’re travelling alone in the car, that doesn’t mean you can’t get some French practice in. Our penultimate tip for how to learn French in the car is as simple as they come: strike up a conversation with yourself! If you’re a beginner in French, it’s important to build your confidence in speaking French before you can move on to the real thing: speaking with natives. A journey in the car is the perfect opportunity to get chatting to yourself in French without anyone to correct or criticize you. Here are a few ideas for subjects to talk about:

  • Practice your “about me” story, covering subjects like where you’re from, your studies, your family, your goals, and why you’re learning French.
  • Practice giving your opinion on different subjects, from the weather to the latest news development.
  • Try pronouncing words and sounds you find tricky over and over, until it starts to feel more natural.

Practice French on an app (if you’re not driving)

This next suggestion for how to learn French in the car comes with the disclaimer that you should only consider it if you’re a passenger. If you’re sitting in the car with nothing to do, having a French app is the perfect way to fit some quick French practice into your day on the go. There are different types of apps you can consider downloading, from pure French gaming apps (think about something word based, like Scrabble), to language learning apps (think Duolingo). The latter is one of the best online programs and a viable alternative to language learning websites.

In addition to those we have seen, among the best ways to learn French are media that combine audio and visual images, such as YouTube videos and French movies.

Improve your French with the best online solution: Global General

These tips for how to learn French in the car are a great starting point on your journey to improve your French at beginner, intermediate, or advanced level. Integrating French into your daily life is a great way to familiarize yourself with the language and improve your passive comprehension, but what can you do to improve your level in a more active way? GlobalExam has designed Global General for learners just like you, who are looking for a way to learn a language without spending hours at a time pouring over dusty grammar books or being stuck in a classroom. Whatever level you have in French, you’ll need some structure for your French learning, and this is where Global General can help. Sign up to our e-learning platform and you’ll get access to:

  • A 100% easy-to-use digital learning platform for learning French at any level
  • Specialist content targeted at your level
  • Study content that stretches your mind without making you fall asleep
  • 500 audio tracks to help with listening comprehension
  • 5000 corrected exercises so you can test your grammar knowledge
  • A progress tracker to keep on top of how you’re doing

Have you been looking for a way to make language learning a little more fun? Global General is the solution!