Most of the exercises are more relevant if you like to read, but there are some that don't necessarily require you to like to read. These are exercises that can allow you to work on all French skills. Yes, even speaking!



The first exercise to do with a book, you never thought of it before, but it is to... read it !


Reading a book in French is a great way to get in touch with French every day. Plus, if you have the time and you like it, it's perfect!

Reading in French allows you to do several things:

  • improve your reading comprehension, of course

    to better assimilate grammar and conjugations

    to enrich your vocabulary if you prefer the classics of French literature or more common and everyday vocabulary if you read contemporary literature.

To read even one page a day is already great! Don't put pressure on yourself to read a book a day, you'll get discouraged quickly.

If you don't know what to read in French, I recommend books in French from beginner to advanced level in this article : 10 books to practice your French (from A1 to C1 level)



The exercise that I am going to propose to you now is totally combinable with the previous exercise. It is about read aloud.


Reading aloud is not about reading in your head, but about speaking. It's a great exercise for improve your pronunciation and also your fluency.

It's not an easy exercise! But, often, the exercises that are not easy are the ones that will make you progress.

So, I said it could be combined with the first exercise. But, I noticed that when you read aloud, you often focus on pronunciation and not comprehension.

  1. I recommend you read a first page. Don't read it out loud.

  2. Just read the page to understand what you are reading.

  3. Then read the same page again, but this time out loud. This way you can concentrate more on pronunciation.

Combine these two exercises every day: reading and reading aloud, it is fast and very interesting to progress in French.


Bonus exercise:

Very, very, very useful to improve your pronunciation and fluency. This is a shadowing exercise in French. If you know me, you already know what shadowing is. The technique of shadowing is to imitate a native speaker when he speaks.

  1. Read the page of your book normally once, to understand what it is about.

  2. Search on YouTube for the book you are reading in audio version.

  3. Put on the audio of the first sentence. And repeat it right after, trying to imitate the person who is reading.

I can also play the audio without stopping and repeat out loud at the same time.



The 3ᵉ exercise is to: summarize a book. To say what you understood from the book you read, what you take away from it.


So, for this exercise, you need to have read a book. After that, you can also do it with an article. It's a little bit shorter.

There are two ways to summarize a reading: in writing or in speaking. It's up to you to choose which one you prefer to practice. You can also do both, actually.

If you want to do both, I suggest that you first summarize the book orally and then in writing. Because, if you do it in writing first, you're going to read what you've written in speech. And that will be less spontaneous.



This is kind of the same type of exercise as the third one, but you can also comment on the book. You can also do both: summarize and then comment on a book. Again, you have to have read the book, or again, it works with a newspaper or blog article.

You can also do this exercise in writing or orally.

You can give your opinion on this book, say if you liked it or not. Comment on the writing style, the pace of the book, the plot, the ending. You can say anything.



For this fifth exercise with a book, I propose you a French vocabulary exercise! Whether you like reading or not, you can do this exercise. It's even an exercise that can push you to read, if you don't like it.


The principle:

  1. Read until you come across a word you don't know. You will write this word on your numeric or written notes.

  2. Try to find out what the word means without looking it up in a dictionary.

  3. To do this, you will reread the sentences before and after to understand the context and try to find the meaning of the word. You will make several guesses about what the word means.

  4. Once you think you have found the meaning of the word, look it up in a dictionary to find out what it really means. I recommend WordReference or Larousse as dictionaries.

There you go, it's a fun little game to read and enrich your vocabulary in French!



The sixth exercise you can do with a book is to leave a review of that book. I really like this exercise, because it's a real exercise, in context.

Yes, I invite you to really leave your opinion in French about this book. On the Babelio website for example, you can leave reviews in French on books.

You can use what you wrote in exercise 4. When you commented on this book, you must have left your review. This is the logical continuation of exercise 4.



The last exercise is also an exercise in context: discuss a book in French. With other native or non-native speakers, talk in French about the last book you read, your favorite book or the one you hated.


And if you've done Exercise 3 and 4, it will be even easier, because you'll have some ideas for discussion about the book.

Don't you have anyone to discuss books in French with?

It's a good thing, because this week in my French conversation group, we are going to talk about books and literature. This is our topic this week. My students will be discussing their favorite books, books they have read or would like to read, book recommendations.

Thanks to this group, you will express yourself more naturally in French, you will gain confidence in speaking and meet great students!