I'm a French learning student in high-school and I would like to improve my French vocab and speaking skills. A friend suggested watching low level TV shows (like the Magic School Bus for example) with French audio and English subtitles, but I feel like I'm reading the subtitles more than listening to the French.

Is it better to have French audio + English subs or English audio + French subs?

  • 3
    I'd say French audio + French subs is best if you can understand something. May 18, 2018 at 2:26
  • 2
    It's not actually an opinion question! There would be research showing the effectiveness of each method. Agreed with Stéphane in general. For the other configurations, French audio + English subs is better for comprehension, English audio + French subs for production. Note that if watching something familiar (e.g. favourite episodes of Magic School Bus), there should be no real need for English.
    – Luke Sawczak
    May 18, 2018 at 2:42
  • The problem with French audio + French subs is that very often, subs are shorten compared to the audio and thus doesn't match at 100%. But still, this is the solution I would go for since it is not really a problem if you can speak a little French. May 18, 2018 at 6:42
  • 1
    There's a similar question on Language Learning where the (long, interesting, read it!) answer is “it depends”. May 18, 2018 at 8:22

2 Answers 2


Well, the best would be:

  1. Find TV shows you're interested in (in terms of content, something you will actually watch, consistently)

  2. Find TV shows at your level (without too many new words)

  3. Use French audio + French subtitles

You will consolidate your knowledge, create cognitive ease, better intuition and learn new words along the way. Reachable objectives are always the best.


As another workaround, I would suggest you to listen to audiobooks in the beginning since there is an one to one correspondance between text and audio. You can either googling or bying one or two. There are also various audiobooks available in YouTube for all levels. For instance







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