If you’re looking for a thoughtful gift for someone who is learning French that they’ll actually use and enjoy, then you’re in the right place. As someone who has learned French from home, I have put together a list of the best gifts for French learners so that you can surprise them with a gift they actually want! Here’s the list of incredibly thoughtful (and affordable!) gifts for the French learner in your life.
Gifts for French Learners
This is #1 on the list of language learning gifts because iTalki is for sure the best way to learn a language online on a super low budget (which I'm all about!).
Instead of giving your loved one a generic mug that says "bonjour" on it, you can ACTUALLY give them language classes that can really teach them a language.
I've taken hundreds of classes on iTalki (usually at about $5-$7 per class) and it has taught me Italian, improved my Spanish, and got me to an intermediate level with my French.
Basically, you are paying a native speaker to talk to you WITHOUT using English for a half-hour to an hour. There is absolutely nothing more valuable than that at any level of language learning.
You can find my language study plan here to show exactly how I use these classes with only a few other (free) resources to learn a language quickly!
Worried that they might not have used iTalki before? If they haven't used it, they'll definitely be thanking you for introducing them! It's the best website out there for one-on-one classes with native speakers (trust me, I've tried others and they don't compare!)
I literally won't shut up about iTalki, so send them to this blog if they need help or more convincing!
In order to send a gift card, you will need to create an account with iTalki, then scroll to the bottom of the page where it says "Buy a Gift Card."
You can choose the amount that you would like to send them. It doesn't matter if they don't have an account yet, either!
$20 will get them about 3-4 classes with a native speaker, which is an awesome gift for any language learner!!
One thing that language lovers usually love just as much as learning languages is reading about learning languages! This book is the first book about language learning I ever bought and read and I ate up everything it told me.
You might be thinking, why don’t I just buy them a grammar book for French?
You could do that, but most language learners can be picky about the resources they use and you might choose a book that is above or below their current level.
This is the perfect book for any level since it covers some in-depth ways any person can be fluent in a language and NEVER forget what they’ve learned (powerful stuff!) It’s one of those language gifts that can be given to anyone, no matter what language they’re learning!
Your language learner may be focused on speaking or learning vocabulary, but a lot of times language learners neglect one of the best ways to learn vocabulary quickly: through reading!
You don’t want to buy them just any book in French, though.
The best books to read (even for more advanced speakers) are books that you have already read in your native language! Even better if they are meant for a younger audience, meaning that the vocabulary will be simpler to understand.
It doesn’t matter if your language learner is 15 or 55, this gift will definitely bring a smile to their face! It’s not only a thoughtful gift but also it shows that you understand a bit about how to learn a language through reading.
I’m 27 and I still plan to work my way through the Harry Potter books in French! This is a great gift for language students of any age.
Not only do I get the magic of Harry Potter back by reading it in another language, but I also am learning new vocabulary passively as I remember what I’ve read in the past.
If you do want to gift your French learner a grammar book, let it be this one!
I used this same book, but for Spanish, and I thought it was well-organized and it kept me motivated to keep learning difficult grammar concepts.
It goes through each of the major concepts of French grammar and then has exercises to help the practice what was learned.
The answers are all in the back of the book, so it's a really great way for them to test themselves and a great gift for people learning French!
If your language learner loves to stay organized, this is the perfect present for them. I'm seriously OBSESSED with my planner by Molly & Rex on Amazon.
I use it to schedule lessons, plan out which language activities I want to focus on by the day of the week, write out language goals for the week and month, etc.
Unlike other planners, this one is actually big enough to fully implement and plan out a language study plan by day. It's about the size of a normal school notebook, and the extra room is perfect for taking notes or setting new goals!
It also comes in blue!
Although I haven't used this book myself, I am a huge fan of Benny Lewis and I know that his products work.
In fact, he learned French on his own and worked up to the highest level of proficiency (a C2 if you're familiar with the language levels), and was able to become a translator.
The main theory of this course is that you need to learn by speaking the language as soon as possible, instead of waiting until you know more to start speaking.
If you're looking for a super-motivating gift for your friend learning French, this one is it! Benny Lewis is a famous polyglot ( a person that speaks multiple languages) and is known for learning them to fluency in just 3 months.
In this book, he outlines how he did it, even as someone who struggled with languages in high school!
I loved how he simplifies language learning and makes it seem like an attainable goal instead of something that only a few people can do.
This book is perfect for anyone considering learning a language or even those who have learned a few already!
Although I've never had one of these myself, they are something I've always thought about getting and am now putting on my Christmas list!
These would be perfect to have next to you during your conversation classes on iTalki or while figuring out what to study next and they'd be a perfect present for a beginner language learner!
You can never go wrong with a brand new notebook meant for journaling in another language or taking notes on grammar. For some reason, every time I get a new notebook it seems like a world of new possibilities opens up and I’m even more ready to tackle my goals.
However, you have to make sure you get the right kind of notebook for your language learner. Many times I’ve gotten notebooks with no lines (blank pages for sketching) or with really thick spirals that always bend and break in my backpack.
The best language journals are more compact and have lines to organize your thoughts better. Trust me, your friend or loved one will appreciate the gesture much more if they are able to actually use the gift you gave them!
A few accessories you could get to add to this present are small color-coded sticky-notes that can help them split the journal into sections, lots of pens and highlighters, or blank flashcards for practicing vocabulary.
Like I mentioned before with the Harry Potter book, sometimes learners underestimate the power of reading in French to learn words in context.
These are 20 short stories that can be a great and super thoughtful gift since not a lot of people buy these short story books as a gift.
One thing to keep in mind though is that although this book says it's for beginners, it may be more fit for intermediate learners.
However, it can still be a great gift for a beginner if they take one story at a time and work through them slowly until they've learned a handful of new words.
Here is another great gift idea for a French learner with more short stories that they will love. Olly Richards is famous for helping people learn languages easily (and almost passively!) by just getting engrossed in a good story.
If they love to read, this is a great book to give them even if they are beginners or intermediate learners!
Also, I just love the cover of this book, that alone gets me excited to keep learning French!
A super classic gift to someone just starting to learn French is a French Phrase Book!
I bought this exact book on a trip to Paris and I loved carrying it around the city while learning new phrases. Why not romanticize the crap out of learning French? That's what Paris is for!
This can be a super great gift to give along with some extra little things like small color-coded sticky-notes that can help them split the phrasebook into sections.
Or pens and highlighters to mark phrases they have learned or that are difficult for them, or blank flashcards to write down the phrases and keep practicing on the go.
Here at the end of the list, I've included some of the more expensive items in case you're looking for a bigger present for your language learner.
The first one is Rosetta Stone French. I have used Rosetta Stone French before with my husband and was actually pleasantly surprised at how challenging and useful it was.
I had already taken 2 semesters of French in college, but as I sat through the lessons alongside my husband I was able to realize how much I still had to learn!
I had always heard that Rosetta Stone was a waste of money, but I actually really enjoyed it. It was a gift from my mom for Christmas and even though I hadn't asked for it, I was super excited to try it out!
Rosetta Stone basically teaches the language without using any translation, meaning the learner won't ever see English being used. Only pictures and sounds. I really enjoyed learning this way, compared to the translation model in Duolingo for example.
This version of Rosetta Stone is online includes Lifetime Access (meaning that it will never expire). They no longer make CD versions of Rosetta Stone, which is better in the end because they can continually improve their courses.
I've included Rocket French here at the end because I've heard a lot of good things about it! I've never tried it myself, but it's on my list of programs to try out.
This is a program similar to Rosetta Stone, but it claims to be able to take the learner from beginner to intermediate in one course, and then beginner to advanced in another.