Some people like learning with French courses. Others want apps (not really for serious learning). And then some people like textbooks.
And French textbooks are a safe way to learn French.
Books guide you from page 0 to page 100. From your first words to your first conversation. Plus, you learn tons of words and grammar rules along the way. So, in this guide, you get… the 8+ best French textbooks for beginners.
By the way…
By the way, if you want to HEAR real French, check out this audio lesson while you browse the books. (3-Minute French Lesson from FrenchPod101.com.)
Here are the textbooks you can consider.
1. Living Language French, Complete Edition
Living Language makes the list of “best French textbooks” because of everything you get. You get 3 course-books (beginner, intermediate and advanced), 9 CDs, and online resources. All for a bit over 20 bucks.
So, you get “quite enough” to get you up and speaking with French.
The one complaint is that the CDs don’t really follow the books to the tee. But, not a big issue for me. When I learn, I just want the practice and exposure – as much as possible – so I’m not picky here.
2. Complete French Beginner to Intermediate Course
This book is made by “Teach Yourself.”
Like Living Language, they are another established language teaching company.
This French textbook aims to get you from “Beginner” level to “Intermediate. You get 416 pages with 25 modules (chapters) and they cover everything: reading, speaking, writing, and listening. Yes, listening too because you also get 2 CDs.
Just don’t get the kindle version because it’s not as comfortable to use as the actual book.
3. Easy French Step-by-Step
If you’re a French beginner…
…then this may be one of the best French textbooks for you. You’ll learn grammar early on. But that’s good. Grammar gets you communicating fluently and correctly. There are plenty of readings and exercises here to boost your vocabulary and help you read and understand French.
Plus, with 400 pages, you’re getting quite a bit.
4. Fluent in French: The most complete study guide to learn French
This is one of the more interesting books.
And that’s why it made my list of Best French textbooks.
It’s a typical textbook but rather a guide. You learn how to study. When to study. You get clear-cut examples of learning routines like the “7-day plan.” Motivational tips. Access to other resources. AND, you learn a bit of grammar to boot.
For something that’s considered as a “study guide,” a lot of people like this book.
click here to learn more
5. French All-in-One For Dummies, with CD
This is really 6 French textbooks in one.
- French For Dummies
- Intermediate French For Dummies
- French Verbs For Dummies
- French Essentials For Dummies
- French Phrases For Dummies
- French For Dummies Audio Set
So that’s why its 720+ pages long.
Overall, it’s a great reference book or beginner textbook. Run through it to load up on French information and move on to something more complex when you’re done. You learn: pronunciation, greetings, numbers, grammar rules, and conversations. Plus you get a dictionary inside.
6. 15-Minute French
Can you learn French in 15 minutes a day?
Well, this book tries to do that for you.
Across quick 12 chapters, you get to learn all the most know words and phrases. For example, you learn greetings, introductions, and talking about your family in the first chapter. In the second chapter, you learn phrases related to food: asking for croissants, tea with milk, and much more. The author does a great job of interweaving the grammar and pronunciation explanations in each chapter.
Overall, it’s very easy to read and easy to consume. Lots of pictures to look at. At 160 pages, you may not consider it as a thorough French textbook, but that’s why I like it. Simple. Easy to learn. Easy to get through. So, that’s why it’s on my list of best French textbooks.
7. French: Short Stories for Beginners + Audio Download
You know what’s a good way to learn French?
Through stories. Stories stick in your head like gum gets stuck in your hair.
With this book, you get 15 stories and audio so you can listen along. You’re also promised to learn 1,500+ words by the time you’re done. After each paragraph in a story. you get the vocab breakdowns so that you can quickly review what you’ve read.
Overall, a great way to reinforce grammar rules and learn new words.
The only downside is that you should know a bit of French. You should know the letters/alphabet, how to read, and some basic words.
8. Practice Makes Perfect Basic English, Second Edition
This is a textbook and a workbook. The best of both worlds. First, you get a quick grammar explanation. Then, you have exercises to help you master the rules and learn new words. It also helps you with pronunciation.
Great for anyone that also wants to do things and practice, instead of just reading.
9. Lonely Planet French Phrasebook & Dictionary
If you’re learning French, then you’ll want to know phrases. Why phrases?
Phrases get you speaking more right now. Especially if 1) you’re a tourist and need to say some basic things, or 2) you’re a learner who wants to add more “range of expression” to your French.
You’ll also want a dictionary… just to load yourself up on more words.
That’s where this phrasebook/dictionary comes in, with over 3500 words inside. Plus, plenty of phrases for real-life situations. The phrasebook-dictionary hybrid is geared towards travelers but beginners can also make good use of it.
These are some of the best French textbooks I’ve found so far.
But, if you want something a little more than a “book,” then I recommend FrenchPod101.
FrenchPod101 is a French learning program. You get audio/video lessons made by real teachers. The lessons get you speaking in minutes and are just 3-15 minutes in length. So, if you want to HEAR real French and learn faster with a program, I recommend them.
Check out this 3- minute audio lesson. Press play below.
- 3-Minute French S1 #2 – Greetings by FrenchPod101
Click here to get a Free Lifetime Account at FrenchPod101.com.
– The Main Junkie
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