We have scoured the market and come up with our recommendations of what we believe to be the best French textbooks currently available on the market.
Whether you’ve just started off or you’re nearly speaking to a native language we believe that we have a recommendation for you.
It’s important to remember that a textbook won’t help you to learn a language on it’s own. You need to gain exposure to that language. You need to listen to music in it, to watch movies in it and most importantly to speak it.
However, a textbook can help you get on your way. Textbooks are fantastic accompaniments to other methods of learning. There are a classic material for a reason.
Use a textbook to supplement your learning and nail those grammar issues that you may have. So without further delay, here is our selection of the best French textbooks currently available:
French Textbook Recommendation List
Complete French Beginner to Intermediate Course
Ultimate French Beginner-Intermediate
Living Language French, Complete Edition
Ultimate French Advanced (Coursebook)
Le DALF – 100% réussite – C1 – C2 – Livre + CD (French Edition)
Practice Makes Perfect: Complete French Grammar
- Advanced French Grammar – Second Edition
Now keep on reading to find out about each of these French textbooks in detail and to see which is the best one for you.
Best French Textbooks For Beginners And Intermediate
If you’re just getting started with your French journey then a French beginner’s textbook is the perfect place to get you started.
Some of the textbooks available cover from a beginner level all the way up to intermediate and some just concentrate on the basics.
Whatever your requirements are, you should be able to find the perfect French textbook for your needs.
Complete French Beginner to Intermediate Course: Learn to read, write, speak and understand a new language (Teach Yourself) – Gaelle Graham
Our top pick to get you started with learning French is Complete French by Gaelle Graham.
This is a great learning resource for self motivated students. It covers grammar, vocabulary and uses authentic conversations to help you with your listening skills.
Each section is broken down into manageable segments to help you get the most out of your learning and to study either on the go or when you have a break in your day.
We would highly recommend Complete French for anyone who is getting started with learning French or even if you’ve learnt some before and are just looking to brush up on your French skills.
Average Price: $28.21
Ultimate French Beginner-Intermediate (Coursebook) (Ultimate Beginner-Intermediate) – Living Language
The Ultimate French textbook is great not only for learning French from scratch but also for reviving the French you may have learnt years ago.
The textbook is broken down into various lessons and at the end of each lesson are plenty of exercises to help you go over what you’ve just learnt.
Practising what you’ve learnt is incredibly important if you want to remember it. The more we practise the more we remember so having these practise exercises at the end of each lesson is particularly important.
Average Price: $19.95
Living Language French, Complete Edition: Beginner through advanced course, including 3 coursebooks, 9 audio CDs, and free online learning
Living languaes use linguistic sciences, proven techniques and their impressive 65+ years of experience to craft textbooks to meet your language learning needs.
Their Complete French Edition is a great way to take you from the daunting start of a complete beginners through to a confident intermediate learner.
Living Language prides itself on giving you an insight into the language that will help you to express yourself and not just to repeat words and phrases like a robot.
Average Price: $31.17
Best French Textbook For Advanced
Ultimate French Advanced (Coursebook) – Living Language
So you’ve mastered French beginner and intermediate and you’re ready to move onto advanced French learning.
If you’ve gotten to this stage then to reach the mastery of French that you’re probably looking for you’re going to need a textbook. This textbook is perfect for people living abroad in France and wanting to integrate better in the society or for business people who need a flawless level of French.
Ultimate French is perfect for advanced learners, people living and travelling abroad and people who are wanting to conduct business in French.
Average Price: $12.23
Le DALF – 100% réussite – C1 – C2 – Livre + CD (French Edition)
If you’re considering taking the DALF which is the official French test for advanced students of C1 and C2 level then we would highly recommend this textbook to help you prepare.
Average Price: $39.95
Best French Textbooks For Grammar
We might not all like grammar but it’s a necessary part of language learning, so here are our recommendations of French textbooks for grammar.
Practice Makes Perfect: Complete French Grammar, Premium Third Edition – Annie Heminway
Not many people like grammar but it’s a necessary part of learning a language.
Although you can get by picking things up and repeating words and phrases you hear, eventually you’re going to need to learn the grammar behind the language and with French it’s no different.
Complete French Grammar provides you with concise explanations and examples to help you understand the grammar rules, then gives you plenty of opportunity to practise them with lots of different exercises so you can commit them to memory.
Average Price: $12.33
Advanced French Grammar – Second Edition – Véronique Matez
Advanced French Grammar is the perfect book to take you to the next level with your French.
If you find that you already have a competent level of French and you communicate very well but you still have some problems with the more tricky grammar points then this could be the book for you.
Advanced French Grammar looks to hammer out those annoying problems you may be having with your French and give you the tools to move towards a level of mastery.
Average Price: $12.19
Why Using A French Textbook Will Help Your Learning
A lot of people are preferring different learning methods to old textbook use when it comes to learning a foreign language now. Many people prefer to use apps, or are opting for conversation exchanges and the textbook is becoming less prominent. But don’t worry, there is still a place for textbook learning with languages.
Using a textbook when learning French will help you to supplement your learning. A textbook is a great way to get to grips with grammar points, learn the ins and outs of the language and check your progress with practise exercises. Of course a French textbook shouldn’t be the only way you’re learning. If you’re learning a foreign language it’s important that you try to learn in lots of different ways. Make sure you’re practising your speaking and listening skills as well as the skills you might be practising in a French textbook.
How To Choose Which French Textbook Is For You
- Price! How much does it cost? Are you willing to splash out a bit more on an effective French textbook or are you looking to save some money? If this is the case then you could consider searching different websites to compare prices rather than buying the first one you come to.
- Size! Are you going to be carrying it to class with you every day or is it something you’ll use to study at home. This may sound like an arbitrary point but it can make a difference to which French textbook you end up choosing.
- Canadian, African or European? There are so many different types of French to choose from. Make sure you pick a French book that reflects the type of French you’re learning.
- What’s the focus? Is it a general textbook? Or does it have a focus on French grammar? Make sure you pick a textbook that will help you to improve what you’re specifically looking to improve.
- Aesthetics – This may sound like a silly point when you’re using the French textbook to study and not to hang on your wall, but it helps to consider how it looks before you buy it. Remember you’re going to be working your way through this textbook every day for months to improve your French. You don’t want to be using a French textbook with tiny text and no images because you’re just not going to want to open it.
- Does it come with a disk? You’re going to want a chance to practise your listening skills so make sure you find a book that has a CD or audio options so you can practise that important feature as well.
- Does it come with exercises? You need to be doing exercises to check your progress and understanding. It’s not enough to just read through the material in your French textbook, you need be doing exercises at the same time.
How To Get The Most Out Of Your French Textbook
After you’ve chosen the best French textbook to help you learn, now you need to find out how to get the most out of it and we can help you with these top tips.
Study Your French Textbook Daily
It won’t be enough if you pick up your French textbook once a week or a couple of times a month. To see real benefits in your French learning, it would be best if you study once a day if possible, even if it’s just for half an hour. Small study chunks can make more of a difference than if you save all of your French study for one day a week, even if you do spend a few hours on French.
Buy A French Textbook With Practise Exercises
Make sure the textbook you buy has exercises in it so you can practise what you’ve learnt in the textbook. This way not only will you solidify your learning but you’ll also be able to check on your own progress and go over things you may need more practise on. The best textbooks for this are the ones that break each chapter into bite size chunks with exercises after each new explanation. That way you always have the opportunity to practise what you’ve just learnt.
Set Yourself Achievable Goals With Your French Textbook
If you plan to complete the whole textbook in a month then unless you’re a serious student you’re probably going to encounter some issues. However, if you set yourself goals that are easy to achieve then you’re more likely to have realistic success. For example if your textbook is broken down into chapters then you could set yourself the goal of completing one chapter a week. That way you’re more likely to have success and complete the chapters weekly rather than setting yourself an objective that isn’t achievable.
Remind Yourself Why You’re Using A French Textbook
You’re not using a French textbook to make yourself miserable or just for the sake of giving you a heavy amount of studying to do, you’re using a French textbook because you want to learn French! You want to speak it, to read in it, to watch movies and listen to music in it. Don’t forget why you’re putting in the time to use the textbook. If you have the goal in mind it’ll be much easier to continue studying when you’re maybe not in the mood or you want to skip a night.
Supplement Your French Textbook With Other Ways Of Learning
Don’t make studying from a textbook your only way of learning French. Make sure you’re doing other things that you find fun as well. Try having conversations in French, reading books or watching a movie. If you supplement your learning this way then it’ll be much easier for you to pick your French textbook back up later on, especially when you see yourself understanding more of what you’re reading or being able to express yourself better in a conversation.
We hope you’ve find our recommendations of the best textbooks for French useful. Whichever French textbook you decide to purchase depends on you. Remember that although we make recommendations ultimately the decision is up to you and you need to choose the textbook that will best help with your French learning needs.
Another key thing to keep in mind is that a textbook is only a supplement to learning a foreign language and in order to get the most out of your language learning experience you need to speak it at every possible opportunity. Try to immerse yourself in French by watching French movies, reading French books and speaking to French speakers whenever you can. This coupled with your French textbook should put you on the path to linguistic success.
Now you’ve found the best French textbooks for the job, why not take a look at our recommendations of best French graded readers to help improve your French comprehension too. Reading is always fun and if you can do it in a foreign language it’s even more satisfying. But unfortunately you might not be able to start off reading complicated French books straight away. Instead consider taking some time to read graded readers and build up your comprehension from there. If you do that you’ll find your French reading improves in no time.
Or take a look at the best French DELF textbooks that we would recommend to help you nail the DELF and DALF exams. The DELF and DALF examinations are the official French language exams that you need to take to become a resident and work in France. If you are considering taking this exam then we would highly recommend a textbook for studying French to help you prepare. And taking this exam can also help to dramatically improve your French at the same time, as you’re studying to pass, you’ll notice your French skills sky rocket.
French Textbook FAQ
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about learning French and using a French textbook.
Can You Learn French From A Book?
You can learn a lot of French from a book, however if you want to learn the language completely then you will need to have conversations and speak the language as well as listening to different French media.
Why Is French So Hard?
French can seem so hard because of how different it is to English. The French language has a lot of sounds that we don’t use in English that can be difficult to produce until you get used to them.
Can I Learn French On My Own?
You can learn a surprising amount of French on your own, however you won’t get a mastery of the language if you’re not conversing with other people.
Is French Difficult To Learn?
Like any language French is relatively difficult to learn but definitely possible for a native English speaker. It is classed as being more difficult than Spanish but easier than German, Chinese, Russian and Arabic. So if you’re thinking about learning it you should definitely give it a go.
Good luck with your French and keep learning!