Resources for French Students

These are very brief descriptions and do not take into consideration the specific attributes of each resource; please stop by the Language Learning Center where our staff will be able to assist, or email us at

(* = on-campus specific tool) - This online dictionary will give you French-English translation or English-French translation. It will also conjugate any verb for you and has an online forum where you can look up or ask grammar questions. This dictionary is so helpful to have open while writing papers or reading assignments. There is a tab on WISE that links you to this site or you can go directly to: ( - The World of French Culture and Education in the USA

Le Monde - French-language newspaper

Quizlet - Quizlet's flashcard function can help you study for tests and learn new words. And the best part is: you don’t have to spend all that time and paper writing them down! Create flashcards or search Quizlet’s flashcard database. You can practice them online or download them to your personal computer. Studying just got way easier.

BBC French - A resource that aids with contextual vocabulary, including audio pronunciation, games, and videos.

RFI (Radio France International) - A website with audio and script of French News.

Bon Patron - Bon Patron is an online text editing database that Willamette subscribes to. What does this mean, you ask? It means Bon Patron will edit your essays for you! Simply copy your writing into the text box, click “Vérifier le texte,” and Bon Patron will check your spelling and grammar. Trust us, it’s much better than Word spell check.

To use *Bon Patron Pro, go to: on any computer on campus. You can use the regular Bon Patron from your computer, but the LLC subscribed Willamette campus to a special Pro version with extra features. Taking even 10 minutes to check your paper, your grade will show the difference.

Check out the tutorial.

Tex’s French Grammar - A website with self-correcting grammar exercises, pronunciation audio and grammar tutorials.

Tutoring - Get essay help, ask grammar questions and practice your language skills with native French speakers! Click “Sign-up” on the left side of WISE to schedule an appointment with your language assistant.

French word processing in the LLC

The LLC at Willamette University, in the World Languages Studio of the first floor of Ford, is a mac lab with 18 macs, and 10 PC laptops.
Each computer also has Systéme D v.6.0, a writing assistance program for French.

Microsoft Word

PC Windows XP English (United States) Keyboard

1. Typing special characters: to type special characters in Microsoft Word, you must do it in two steps. The first step involves pressing the control key plus other keys simultaneously.

The second step is typing the letter you want. Here is a chart that explains how to type the
various characters:

á - control key + " , then a
à - control key + ~ , then a
â - control key + shift + 6 , then a
é - control key + " , then e
è - control key + %7e , then e
ê - control key + shift + 6 , then e
ë - control key + shift + ; , then e
ô - control key + shift + 6 , then o
æ - control key + shift + 7 , then a
ç - control key + < , then c

2. To use the proofreading tools to proofread in French, highlight the selection you want to proofread; then, go to the "Tools" menu up at the top, go to "Language," and click on "Set language. "Select" French (France)" from the dialog box that appears. Then click on "Spelling and Grammar" under the "Tools" menu to proofread the selection.

Macs, OSX English (United States) Keyboard

á, é, í, ó, ú: option + E + a, e, i, o, u
à, è, ì, ò, ù: option + ~ + a, e, i, o, u
ä, ë, ï, ö, ü: option + U + a, e, i, o, u
â, ê, î, ô, û: option + I + a, e, i, o, u
ç: option + c
Œ: option + q


(Mac OS 9 only)

  1. Click on the Apple in the top left of the screen.
  2. Single click "Keycaps". A little keyboard will appear on the desktop.
  3. Hold down the option key- the accents will apear.
  4. Single click the accent you want.
  5. Type the letter you want accented and it will appear in your document.


Use this website:

Willamette University

Digital Learning Studio

Ford Hall 101
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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