Do you have a new job in France, are you traveling to Paris for the holidays, or is your child studying abroad? If any of these apply to you, then it's time to start brushing up on your French skills. Learning another language can be difficult enough when starting from an early age, but what if that language is not one that you speak at all? Here are the top five strategies that will help improve your French in no time!
Learn the basics of French grammar
Learning sentence structure, tenses, and conjugation of verbs is a good place to begin. This will provide the foundation for your French language skills. You can learn much more than you need to know in order to speak well! There are many great books designed specifically with English speakers in mind because they explain how sentences work, what each word means and why it is used like that.
Practice every day on an app
Duolingo takes a unique approach to teaching languages. They focus on memorising words and phrases that are useful by making them fun with games, such as "fill in the missing word". You can even test yourself at any time of day! If you're looking for more options there is FluentU, where you can watch videos for your level - it is a paid app, but one I highly recommend, as it will greatly improve your listening skills.
Find a native speaker to help you learn French
You may want to ask a family member or friend who speaks French to help you learn. When learning a language, it's really helpful to have someone who can correct your mistakes and explain things that are confusing or difficult for you.
Connect via social media
Social networks like Facebook already let us connect with friends across countries but now there are also some specific platforms which allow users to speak different languages by translating what they say in real time! For example: WordReference Forums , Smart Me Up and One Hour Translation all offer this type of service for free (to a certain extent). You just need to find one native speaker willing to exchange words and then communicate through social apps.
Read articles in French about topics that interest you
Before you know it, reading in French will be easier than ever! Taking an interest in what's happening around the world can help you learn so much more. Read news articles to stay informed but also try interesting topics like philosophy or self-help books. The goal is not only to improve your vocabulary and grammar skills, but also to discover new material that interests you (and maybe even surprise yourself at how far along you've come)!
Listen to podcasts or radio programs in French
It's also a good way to practice your French pronunciation and listening comprehension. There are lots of different types, so you're bound to find something that will interest you! You can also tune into any of the many radio stations broadcasting in France.
It is possible to learn French with patience and perseverance. It may take a bit of work but the results are well worth it. Soon you'll be confidently ordering your favourite meal at the local café and having conversations with new people.
You can also use news articles, radio broadcasts, TV and YouTube, or you can tune into a conversation that's happening nearby (so long as it's appropriate). Another great way of practicing what you've learned is by reading children's stories out loud! If all else fails, read out loud whatever book you're currently trying to make sense of until comprehension comes naturally.