Do you have a good grasp on French vocabulary but feel like your pronunciation isn’t quite as good as it could be? Or worse! Maybe native French speakers struggle to understand you even though your sentences are correct? These issues can be frustrating, disheartening, and even embarrassing! But don’t worry, we have THE solution to your problem: French shadowing practice!

Image of a person's shadow on the ground. Text reads "French shadowing practice." MosaLingua logo.

What is shadowing practice?

It’s super easy. All you have to do is observe and imitate, like a shadow. The goal is that you listen to a sentence or two spoken by a native speaker, and then you repeat their words exactly as you hear them. This helps you train your ear and your mouth to recognize and produce new sounds. In the video below, our French instructor Lucie will take you through a series of sentences and phrases that will probably come in handy any time you travel to a francophone destination! Keep watching to learn how to ask someone to take a photo of you.

Why is French shadowing practice important?

If you practice French on the MosaLingua app, then you’re already practicing your pronunciation by repeating the flashcards you learn. That’s great! But pronouncing a language well isn’t just about sounds. There are many elements to keep in mind if you want to get as close as possible to native pronunciation: intonation, stress, liaisons, contractions, and much more… With shadowing, you’ll learn to integrate all these elements naturally. Yes, I told you it was an incredible method!

How does it work?

There are different ways to practice shadowing, but here’s the method we recommend at MosaLingua. I’ll repeat each sentence 3 times:

  1. The first time, just listen. Focus on the sounds and intonation. Close your eyes and let yourself be carried by the rhythm of the sentences!
  2. The second time, it’s your turn! Note the position and movement of my lips and gestures. This will help you understand the rhythm and tone of each sentence. Then, pause the video and repeat after me. If possible, record yourself and compare it to me.
  3. The third time, repeat my sentences like an echo. Say the sentences at the same time as me, and try to match your rhythm and intonation as closely as possible. I’ll also highlight the difficult elements, so you’ll know what to focus on.


Ok, now we’re ready to get started!

WATCH – French Shadowing Practice: Asking Someone to Take a Picture

You can do the whole exercise with Lucie in the video below. Listen closely to copy her inflection and pronunciation! The video is in French, but subtitles are available in English and several other languages. You can also adjust the playback speed by clicking on the Settings gear at the bottom right.

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