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French Radio London

Thanks to Dominic McGladdery for reminding us about this. It is sometimes claimed that London is France's sixth largest city. Based on population alone this may or may not be true. (I have no idea how anyone would know exactly how many French people are residing in London at any one time and I doubt the figures bandied around: between 200 to 300 thousand.)

In any case French Radio London has been around for a while and it's a good resource for A-level students and teachers and for adults wanting to improve their listening skills. Of course, it is easy these days to listen to a huge range of francophone channels on the radio (the TuneIn app is brilliant for this if you have a mobile device), but French Radio London has its own particular audience in mind and its content may have particular appeal for British listeners.

You can listen live to discussions and music (francophone or anglophone) or you can access the archive of listen-again programmes, which include interviews and features. A glance through the archives reveals features on, for example, the diamond jubilee, the recent parliamentary elections, Julie Delpy, a homage to Edith Piaf and a feature on the film The Artist.

It's all sponsored by a range of French companies listed on its partners page. If you wish to win a prize you can take part in one of its online competitions. You can currently win a Tom Tom by writing, in English or French, about your best summer holiday.

But you know, what I haven't yet come across in my searches is the ideal A-level listening site with interviews pitched at AS/A2 and accompanying interactive exercises. As it is, I am happy to recommend to students sites such as Curiosphere, Lafrancebis (now partly subscription, I believe), Audiolingua, Médecins sans Frontières and Podcast Français Facile (also in iTunes).

When I recall that when I began teaching you were lucky to be able to pick up France Inter on long wave radio! Ah! The pleasure I had transcribing passages for interviews recorded on cassette tape! I feel a blog coming up on the importance of listening.

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