Reading French – J’apprends à lire le français

I have a lot of time on my hands so I’m learning French. My goal is to learn how to read French so I can read French books. I’m not studying pronunciation or developing listening skills. For now, I’m just studying grammar and building my vocabulary. I have a lot of French language textbooks and audio tapes (actually CDs) but I’m not interested in conversational French so instead I’ve read numerous books that concentrate more on grammar and vocabulary. So far, I have read the following books:

  1. McGraw-Hill French Rencontres (old high school textbook)
  2. The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Learning French
  3. French For Dummies
  4. Essential French Grammar

Currently I’m reading Teach Yourself French In 24 Hours. This book is really filling in a lot of details on French grammar that were not covered in the other books. I should finish reading this book in a week. When I am done reading this book I should know everything you need to know about French grammar. I have not memorized anything but at least I’ve been exposed to every aspect of the language. Memorization is only really necessary to pass tests. In the real world, I prefer to get repetition by reading multiple books on a subject that interests me.  

I have created a help file to organize my notes on French. I currently have 127 pages in this help file. A few audio files are built into the help file to help me with pronunciation, but most of it is notes on French grammar and vocabulary lists.

After I finish Teach Yourself French In 24 Hours, I will read three French textbooks published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; Nouveaux copains, Nous, les jeunes, and Notre monde. These textbooks were published in the early 1990s. Most of the text is in French which is why I saved these for later. They should give me a lot of practice in reading simple French. I may also use the workbooks Cahier d’Exercices which are available for each book, although I only have two. I also have the Nouveaux Copains Teacher’s Edition with all the answers to the exercises.

Nouveaux-compains400x500 Nous-les-jeunes400x500 Notre-monde400x500

After I read those three books, I’ll move on to Skills and Techniques for Reading French by Louise C. Seibert and Lester G. Crocker. This book is specifically designed to help you learn how to read French.

I expect to be able to read French fairly well after that, but I still have many more French textbooks that I could read to reinforce the material. At the moment, I can sort of half read the news on French web sites.

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