When I was making the switch from lawyer to French teacher, I had some work to do. My French was good enough to be a tourist, but that was it. One of the resources that helped me enormously was a terrific audio-magazine known as Champs-Elysées that was geared to intermediate to advanced French learners. When Champs-Elysées closed, due to some sort of a complicated legal wrangling among the partners, it left a big gap in my life. A few months ago, I got a mailing from Bien-dire audio-magazine and I ordered a subscription to use with my higher level students. I’ve had two issues now and I can highly recommend it to you.
Each Bien-dire magazine is 52 pages long. The articles are classified by level of difficulty using the European system: A2 (advanced beginner) to C2 (expert). The layouts are visually appealing with plenty of color photographs to bring the article to life. I just read one about Toulouse with my AP students that had us all wanting to make plans to visit the Rose City for ourselves. Each article has a glossary of vocabulary words to help you develop your skills. The accompanying optional CD is a valuable resource; about 60 minutes of content is read by native French speakers to help your develop your ear for intonation and pronunciation.
The articles are timely and engaging. So far, I’ve seen articles about events in France, travel and tourism, French history, quizzes, games, book and movie reviews, and vocabulary building. One in the last issue provided a list of new words that are being accepted into the dictionary, so you can pick up the latest lingo. I have only two complaints thus far: not all of the articles have an accompanying recording and they only publish six times a year. I’d like more!
Today’s word is le bien-dire (luh been deer) means the ability to say things well, to know the apt word or phrase for the right occasion. If you’re interested in improving facility with le bien-dire, give Bien-dire magazine a try. You can try before you buy on their website, through the link above, by downloading sample articles and soundtracks. They’ll ship world-wide.
- vouloir dire & what does “Tanguy syndrome” mean in French? (french-word-a-day.typepad.com)
- Living Like a Local: How To Spend Sunday in Paris (Part II) (hipparis.com)
- Aux Champs Elysées Song by Joe Dassin, a French Success Story (localnomad.com)