The two easiest parts of learning French are reading and writing, especially for those who are learning French in a country where French isn’t spoken predominately, like in the United States or England, for example. As a result, the parts that French students develop the slowest are speaking and listening comprehension.
So how does one go about developing French listening comprehension? Well, there are a number of ways. Just pop in a French DVD and watch a French movie and you’ll soon start picking up on the sounds, or find a converstion partner. Even listening to French radio will help! But I recently discovered a great technique that has helped me develop better French listening comprehension.
A really great way to improve your listening comprehension skills is by listening to French music. The goal, however, is to be able to listen to it and write out the song lyrics in French; in other words, dictation. This may take some time, and you may become frustrated as you listen to the same part a million times over and still can’t distinguish the words. But keep at it. Start with slower French songs, songs in which the pronunciation is much clearer and where it is easier to distinguish the words.
This French listening comprehension drill will really help you improve your listening abilities, especially when it comes to speaking with native French speakers. And if you want to learn French so you can communicate with others, then it’s not going to help you if you can’t understand what they’re saying back to you in French, right?
So get moving and start working on your French listening comprehension with French music!