French learning tools – iTalki, Radio etc.

It has been a while since last time I wrote something on language learning. I had summer break with my weekend French classes and was about to continue them this Setpember, but institution offering them failed to offer me schedule which works for me this time so I’m not sure if and when I continue these classes.

To some extent because of that I decided to try something else as I didn’t want to stop my language learning for prolonged period of time. At some point YouTube filtered out to me an advert of iTalki (not surprising as I frequently watch language learning videos there). So I put on my to do list to try this service and finally did it. I was under impression that this service sort of new, but as I found out afterwards this is not the case. Anyhow I registered there and found an English speaking French tutor who lives in France and already had 4 short learning sessions. It is quite different experience by contrast with my previous learning schedule with 4 hours of group class during weekend once a week.  Now I have one to one 30 minutes sessions 4 times a week with native speaker. It is early days still, but I like the dynamics of this learning style. The fact that I have 30 minutes of time per lesson means that I really focused all the time, it is too short to be bored or tired in the process and I really like this (it means maximum efficiency). Next spending this little time 4 days in a row during the week feels better and seems to be more efficient instead of too long pauses which I had with more hours but once a week only.

I already started to work through beginner’s French text book and getting some useful guidance from my teacher. First of all previously I was not able pick good radio stations for casual listening of French speech, back in a day I was not able to pick up right stations, even after posting question about this on – “Radio or podcasts for French language learners?”. Now thanks to my teacher I’m solved this part for me, and this is how my TuneIn Radio list looks like now:

TuneIn French Radio

These French radio stations are really good – exactly what I was looking for – lots of speech and quality language/content (relatively the same as BBC for English learners). You may also see there East Rand Stereo which end up on my list after my visit to South Africa…

From other useful things I learnt from just four 30 minutes lessons I had so far there was revision of job related French vocabulary, I learnt mnemonic “CaReFuL” (this is to remember the fact that final consonants are usually not pronounced in French, except for c, r, f, l), and now I know that apart from liaison there is an elision, the latter was the thing I knew about without knowledge of its name. 🙂 Elision is the omission of the last vowel of a word when the next word begins with a vowel or an h (most commonly used with the definite articles le and la).

So I really pleased with my experience with iTalki and my new teacher so far and will continue to work on my French using 4 days a week schedule with 30 minutes lessons.

LITTLE UPDATE: After I showed this post to my former class mate (From french classes bien sûr) he shared with me another really useful resource for French language learners – Apprendre le Français avec TV5MONDE which seems to be really good for learners with resources and activities sorted by proficiency levels (from A1 to B2).


  • ravinder singh says:

    I found the Best e tutoring website just like italki providing the best personal tutors available.. and its really good place to do so….Joined a program here a week ago and got to know about several mistakes that I do very often..Completely satisfied from the sessions and the lessons provided and they are helping me very much in learning the language…Preply is a great platform for getting good tutors help especially for learning International Languages.I highly recommend it.. Must use this for e tutoring…

    • Mikhail says:

      Thanks, for the recommendation – haven’t seen this yet. But site UI looks very similar to iTalki at first glance.

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