Champs-Elysées is a monthly audio magazine for intermediate-to-advanced speakers of French.
The main element is a radio-style program on CD or tape, packed with news, features and interviews, covering a vast array of current subjects linked to France: politics, culture, history, heritage, etc. This is accompanied by a printed booklet containing a full transcript of all of the audio. Some of the vocabulary (in bold, which makes it easy to spot) is explained on the right hand side of each article, which is very useful and handy, as the tone and level of language used are very high.
Champs-Elysées Plus includes two additional study elements. A second booklet contains exercises linked to some of the articles, which focus on grammatical points and help to remember them. A lot of the exercises use repetition as a learning tool, but the exercises themselves are quite varied, with word searches, crosswords, etc. A second CD has sections of the main program read at a slower pace, plus audio flashcards of key words and phrases.
These magazines are excellent for people who have a solid foundation in French and wish to maintain and improve it. I wouldn’t advise them to a beginner, but for example, I have a few friends who did French at school and don’t get the chance to practice often who would really benefit from using them. The fact that each issue deals with current affairs makes them immediately interesting; not only can the learner work on his/her French but she/he can also keep up to date with what’s going on in France. The small format of the booklets means that they’re easy to carry around and handle, making them ideal for commuters or frequent travellers. Besides, the mix of reading and listening exercises means that each skill consolidates the other.
All in all, a great way to maintain a foreign language.
Champs-Elysées also publish audio magazines in Spanish , German and Italian.