10 Tips for learning French

Sep 28, 2018 by

There are many ways to improve your French today, but not all are equally effective. Learning a Romance language like French, if it is not your mother tongue, might be difficult, especially for an English speaker. Here are 10 tips to help you improve your level of French by reading, speaking, listening to music, watching a movie or even traveling.

1. French is more than just grammar

One of the biggest mistakes we make in learning French is to focus almost exclusively on grammar. Trying to understand the grammatical basics without having to translate them literally into our language is fundamental to making progress. You can’t learn French without starting to think like French. Grammar is important, but not the only thing necessary.

2. Less vocabulary and more useful

In addition to the obsession with grammar, another common mistake is trying to learn too much vocabulary. If you want to get good results with French, it’s best to do it like children: just memorize vocabulary and useful expressions such as introducing yourself, saying hello, saying goodbye, ordering coffee or taking the bus.

3. Films and music in French, the hit soundtrack

Two great allies for learning French are films and series and music. Two very useful tools for listening in French and learning French vocabulary and culture in a playful way. In addition, they will allow you to optimize your free time with your usual hobbies while learning French.

4. France, the best place to study French

Although it may sound obvious, the best way to learn French is to travel to a country where the language is spoken. French courses in France are the most popular, not just because the language originated in the country, but also because there are many options to choose from: general courses, designed for those who want to acquire sufficient French language skills to enroll in a French university, for specific purposes, for professional use (business, medical, tourism, legal and secretarial) or to prepare for the official DELF-DALF French certificates, among other objectives.

5. Language Travel in France

A fun and effective way to learn French is through language trips, which combine French lessons with cultural activities, excursions and trips around France, such as discovering Montpellier, Languedoc or French Provence, tasting regional products, enjoying Occitane dances or French music or vibrating with a pétanque session, among other French plans.

6. Sign up for an online French course

Whether you don’t have the opportunity to travel to France or you prefer to achieve a good level of French before your trip to France to study in Montpellier, the online French classes are perfect for you. Whether you are a beginner or a student with a more advanced level of French, with the online French courses you will learn French from the comfort of your own home, spending as much time as you consider necessary or free after your daily duties.

7. Internship in France

But if you really want to make the most of an international star, a good alternative is an internship in a company that, although it requires a minimum level of B1 French and is designed for students over 18 and young graduates, has the advantage of allowing you to put into practice the knowledge acquired during your studies at the same time as practicing French.

8. Reread your favorite books in French

Facing a whole new reading in French may be too risky, but the story changes if you already understand what the story is about. Rereading your favorite French novels and books is a great way to improve your French. If you choose the French version of your headline readings, the ones you know by heart, you will be able to understand the dialogues better and you won’t get lost in the plot. Less frustration and more opportunity to concentrate on French syntax and vocabulary.

9. Find a French location near you

A wine shop, a restaurant, a pastry shop or a French-style café…. surely there is a business run by French-speaking people near you. Open your eyes wide, because I’m sure you have one closer than you think and it can be your best ally to practice your French. But if you find a place for drinks where parties are organized and French music is played on a regular basis. Take advantage of the French-speaking clientèle and put your French into practice.

10. Be constant

The last point, but not the least important, is constancy. If you want to make progress with French you should be in regular contact with it on a daily basis, even if only for short periods of time. Ideally, you should take advantage of downtime (waiting in line at the supermarket, bus ride from class to home, etc.) to review, listen to a French pod cast, watch a movie or listen to a French song.

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