News In Slow French – Great for intermediate learners average for beginner and advanced French learners.
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This online languages platform focuses on delivering handy content for French language learners of all levels in a very functional manner.
This News in Slow French review aims at looking at the features, strengths, and weaknesses the platform has as well as make a comparison with some of its peers.
News In Slow French Review
- The presenters at News in Slow French deliver current event topics in an engaging and fun way.
- They always explain expressions and grammar in each lesson right after a conversation has ended making it feel natural.
- They have a giant archive of grammar, expressions catalog, and a ton of articles for learning French.
- They have lots of cultural reviews all around the course presented in easy-to-understand storylines.
- Lessons at News in Slow French are focused more on the listening part of language learning.
- The course works better for people who can seek French at a higher than beginners.
- The app version of the platform is too basic because it hasn’t incorporated the courses.
Getting Up To Speed (G.U.T.S) Beginner Course Features
This course is quite unique from many other applications or French courses out there.
News in Slow French starts you off with total basics as you advance into tutorings that are more challenging.
The host naturally incorporates French and English languages into their conversations while adding culture and fun to make it better for the learners to understand.
However, less English and more French are used as the learners continue advancing in the language course whose different sections include.
- Hello Again
In this section, News in Slow French gives a brief summary of what they will include in the screenplay lesson for this beginner course.
The learner is expected to have studied the contents in the lesson together with flashcards before jumping to dialogues.
Flashcards are a very important language learning tools and News in Slow French has incorporated them in this beginner course as well as the higher levels.
They however aren’t as convincing as they should because as said earlier it feels more like a downloaded vocabulary list.
Nouns, verbs, exclamations, and sayings are arranged separately, however, the different sections are not headed and the list is not big.
This is where students get to learn French through the on-screen dialogue of the actors in the play.
The audio can last for up to 5 minutes and a transcript of the same has been provided for the learner to read along with it.
By hovering your cursor over a French word written in red, News in Slow French shows you the translation in English.
The French teacher is usually a native French speaker who puts together a nicely done script which is followed by hearing the student construct French words.
The only drawback here is that the language lesson is essentially passive requiring you to do more listening and less speaking.
With a great resource such as Pimsleur, you will be taken through both listening and speaking part of language learning all the way from the beginning.
Grammar Lessons and Dialogues
News in Slow French offers grammar lessons in two parts namely the dialogue and written lesson parts.
The language teacher explains a grammar point while having a dialogue with the student then asks the student to use what they have learned together with what they know.
You can also follow through the five-minute dialogue sessions with records of the same for easier comprehension.
Judging by the looks of it, News in Slow French is quite similar in terms of structure to Coffee Break French.
The grammar teachings always come after the dialogue in a written form explaining every grammar point in detail just like any other languages textbook.
Right after grammar is the expressions lesson where the tutor gives explanations of French expressions in a five-minute dialogue with the student as well as in writing.
As we have earlier seen, the structure follows the same format where the teacher is having a conversation with the student.
The student can ask questions as long as the conversation is ongoing while practicing using expressions taught to them in various contexts.
You get to have better explanations of the expressions through more examples in the transcripts provided for the lesson as you continue learning French.
After going through all that dialogue you finally reach the pronunciation practice classes where you do more than just listening to conversations.
Here, News in Slow French gives you 5-6 recorded phrases which you’re expected to hear the audio then record yourself saying them one by one.
You then get to compare your recording with that of the French speaker which really boosts your process of learning French.
Alternatively, you can use Speechling for practicing pronunciation as it has more examples to work with together with other nice features than News in Slow French.
With Speechling you can submit your pronunciation exercise to be graded by the teacher which is quite effective when learning to speak french.
With every lesson News in Slow French gives you at least two quizzes to test your comprehension.
These beginner course quizzes have an array of fill-in-the-blank questions which the learner is expected to complete as they test their rate of comprehension.
The transcripts provided in the News in Slow French lessons are very handy when looking up the meanings of the more challenging words and phrases.
By now the News in Slow French has already the bulk of the lessons for this beginner course.
The closing section is basically a short one-minute commentary to wrap up the getting up to speed course.
To Sum It Up On G.U.T.S
It is actually pretty good however it has some striking insufficiencies such as the lack of lessons in writing plus there are other apps out there in the world that could do better.
As earlier said, the courses are not the best for beginners however intermediate learners will have a field day learning French through this platform.
The fact that the lessons are well structured and take the form of a screenplay with engaging content and characters makes all the difference.
Each new episode on News in Slow French builds on the last screenplay while increasing the use of French and less of English in the lessons as you advance through the course.
It would however be better if it was a tad bit less passive as you will be listening to French content the majority of the time.
It also doesn’t have much more to offer other than the grammar and expressions lessons so you use less French than in other applications, however, it’s still a great resource.
Applications like Pimsleur and Coffee Break French will get you to speak the French language more often by prompting you to compile various words into sentences.
This course is split into an 8 part video series where the host exhaustively gives the learner directions on how to practice pronunciation.
The speakers at News in Slow French are obviously native providing interesting content to make the lessons more engaging.
Drawing heavily from the similarities between English and French, the platform provides good resources to assist with explanations.
News in Slow French provides a wide range of lessons covering different links or points of the French language.
In this grammar course, the learner is exposed to dialogues, lessons in grammar, interactive transcripts, audio narrations, and quizzes.
Though grammar education is in the form of a dialogue, the presenters don’t spend much time explaining the points.
As always, the hosts tell you what the focus will be on at the beginning of a lesson in grammar.
The grammar point in focus will then be repeatedly used in a very natural way throughout the podcast.
The transcript provided highlights every time the point is used in bold for easier spotting.
Much similar to traditional textbooks, the grammar lessons are uniquely done with elaborate explanations of how every word and phrase works while using examples.
Owing to the fact that News in Slow French has hundreds of videos in the grammar category, the catalog has become huge.
As earlier mentioned in the part of the lessons above, sessions in the grammar catalog are too passive.
It, therefore, works better when trying to improve your listening and enhance your vocabulary while hearing interesting debates.
Of course, no course would be complete without a quizzes section. News in Slow French has therefore put together various fill-in-the-blank quizzes to encourage you to learn the point in grammar.
As you master the point, you are also able to use it in various contexts by yourself as well as links to the records with translations of the more complex words.
This is probably the best part of learning with News in Slow French for most people.
While other resources give you a rough translation of the phrase or word pronounced, this French-language application doesn’t.
Same way as the other lessons, the presenter highlights the focus of the lesson then dive into a discussion.
You might feel like the topic links are unrelated to the goal in focus however the presenters bring out the expressions naturally in their debates making it very interesting and natural.
This section of the French language platform is all about explaining expressions used in slow French but in a fun way.
Just like the grammar lessons, there is no audio here. It is mostly written in French with examples of the expressions used while providing English equivalents with example sentences.
Intermediate & Beginner News Feature
This is where the fun starts as two News in Slow French hosts have lively weekly debates or news articles on current events in France and other topics around the world.
Such other topics include science, technology, world news, and politics.
As the name of the platform suggests the presentations are done in slow and unnatural French to help the learner dissect every word and expression being articulated.
If you’re getting good at French, you don’t have to listen to it in slow French. You could instead speed it up a little bit to normal speed to help you improve your French.
At the culmination of all news articles, two of the hosts discuss the topic presented in a slow fashion with transcripts provided highlighting any challenging word with an English translation.
Just as the G.U.T.S training they also have grammar, pronunciation, grammar, expressions courses, and quizzes.
The news stories covered in this French-language platform cover complex topics that may need a learner to refer to the transcripts provided with each episode.
To learn French better News in Slow French has ensured that all challenging words and phrases are written in red with the proper English translation when you hover over such parts.
We dub this one the least exciting part of News in Slow French. Why because the developers could have done better and Speechling does a better job at it for Free.
Speechling will give you feedback from a native tutor if you don’t mind the extra cost but the bulk of it is Free.
The intermediate course from News in Slow French is one of the best in the market.
With a huge catalog of expressions, the learner has a vast library of French content to learn from including beginner news articles.
As usual, content is delivered in the form of slow news however you can make it faster by increasing the speed to normal fluency.
This is the highest course News in Slow French offers. The expressions and grammar catalogs are great with language vocabulary however the speech is still presented in Slow French.
It is expected that a person at this level of fluency can talk quite well without many challenges so why present it in slower spoken French.
It still is a good stepping stone before venturing to proper current events news channels in the French language.
News in Slow French has created this section for French students to read and listen to both fictional and non-fictional French content that is split into different parts.
The series language part has a lot of good resources such as French history, famous French celebrities, mediate in French, and a lot more.
Linguistica 360 – The app version
This French-language platform is available in both Apple and Android versions as the L360 app.
The gives you all weekly content produced on series and news stories however the browser option is much better for accessing the courses.
The app is version is quite basic however it provides enough to practice through your mobile device with offline content.
News in slow French subscription includes a 7 day free trial period and thereafter a monthly subscription of $19.9.
This is an all-in-one subscription as you get access to content from all three levels of difficulty which can be terminated anytime you feel like it.
You can opt to prepay for a 12-month package instead of getting recurring expenses however there is no discount provided at the moment.
You may need to use this in tandem with another resource that has a better flashcard system such as Babbel and FrenchPod101, and I Will Teach You Language.
What is Slow French
This is where French content is spoken in a slow manner to help the listener understand better, improve listening skills, as well as get used to the tones and sounds.
It is definitely a good tool for anyone who wants to learn to converse in the French language however it will be more beneficial for intermediates than advanced or beginner learners.
News in Slow French is however not unbearably slow you can hasten the pace of the audio playing or reduce it to your liking.
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