I don’t know about you, but audiobooks have been completely saving my reading motivation lately! After staring at my screen as part of work from home, I have been giving my eyes a bit of a break and listening to amazing stories while going on a walk, taking a bike ride, or making dinner. Especially when it comes to learning a language, I always recommend audio books and books with audio components. By working audio materials (especially those that have the audio playing over the text) into your French language acquisition, you engage both audio and reading comprehension! What could be better?

If you’d like to do the same, you can find my favorites en français for beginners and kiddos below!
Did you know that Audible’s Discover collection is currently available for listening? Their selection à écouter en français includes some awesome options both for children and beginners. Some suggestions: Les Vacances des petits curieux, De la Terre à la Lune, and a bonus option for fans of Minecraft, Le village.

The Fable Cottage and The French Experiment are two collections of fairy tales and fables created by the same team. Each offers beloved stories retold for an audience learning French - they even offer an option to see the translation while reading. You can read through by scrolling with images or decide to play a video of the story to see the action unfold. I recommend The French Experiment as it lets users play the audio and video without becoming a member of their site (we did read some of these stories as part of two story time events here and here if you really want to hear them aloud). Personal favorites: Le Petit Chaperon Rouge, Petit Poulet, Boucles d’or et les Trois Ours.

Designed for adult learners of French, LanguageGuide.org offers a variety of short form stories that play on audio and offer the sentence translation by hovering over the punctuation. They have three categories of options including, beginning readings, jokes, and advanced readings. Their first two sections show which are easiest, medium difficulty, and harder using an * system. To listen: Une conversation à l'école, la guillotine, Deux Amis by Guy de Maupassant.

Epic! is a great resource for language learners, but be careful! Because it’s designed for classroom use, they limit free usage to “classroom hours,” which are Monday through Friday, 6 am to 3 pm. To access our epic recommendations, sign in here with the classroom code rbn8180. After creating an account, your mailbox (located in the upper right-hand corner) will have all recommendations, sorted by age. Audio materials can be found under “Read to me books / lectures sonores.” Suggestions include: La Fée Fifolette a cassé sa baguette, Petit Ours Brun fête son anniversaire, Pyjama Party (this last one includes music to rock out to while reading!)

Radio-Canada is a favorite here at the library, as you might know if you’ve been reading our blog for a bit. If you’re looking for even more recommendations than the 14 included in our previous post, look no further: 752 lapins, Frida, c’est moi (a book that is also available through Curbside Pickup for our members!), Tyranono une préhistoire d’intimidation, Une patate à vélo (by favorite author, Elise Gravel.)

Culturethèque is the largest e-library available on this list, with many options for children and language learners of all levels of French. If you don’t yet have an account through your membership with the Center, you can sign up here. Some recommended selections: Easy readers with audio components, bilingual bandes dessinées with audio in French, audio picture books.

Let us know your favorite audio books in the comments below!

Ingrid began her passion for French through the immersion program in Milton, MA, and has followed it around France and the world. She took a break from this first love to pursue a B.A. in English with a minor in Irish Studies at Boston College and a Masters of Library and Information Sciences at Simmons College. She is thrilled to meld her excitement for libraries and French language and culture in her position at the Center!

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