French is one of the most popular options when it comes to learning languages. And no wonder, given how much the French culture has given the world in literature, film, music, etc.
But how do you go about learning what many consider the most romantic language in the world? Well, we’ve got a few ideas that we’ll be happy to share with you. We’ll also talk about what can help with speaking French fluently. So let’s dive right in!
Find a Tutor
One of the greatest ways to master French is by finding a tutor to practice with. There are many online French tutors that you can browse through on LiveXP. You can check out their qualifications, experience, and even personality. And they are a great help to language learners.
It’s useful to remember something, though. Many people are very keen on getting native speakers as their tutors right away. And generally, it is not a bad idea at all. But you have to be ready to learn with a native speaker. Yep, that’s right, you read it correctly.
If you are at the early stages of your language-learning journey, getting a tutor who speaks your first language would be better. This way, they can clarify any aspects that you might find puzzling or difficult, which is especially important for beginners.
When you’ve already made some progress with French, then you can consider learning with a native speaker. Just make sure they are not simply someone who speaks French as their first language. They should know about teaching a language. It’s a whole other skill. They must have some sort of certificate to prove their qualifications.
Otherwise, you risk getting stuck with someone who doesn’t know the first thing about teaching. And then you will waste your time, your money, and your energy on something that will bring no result. And this is the best-case scenario.
In the worst-case scenario, you may find learning with a native speaker who isn’t a proper tutor discouraging. They may blame you for the lack of results. With time, you may even start to believe that it is you who does not have an aptitude for language. You may even drop learning French altogether!
To avoid this outcome, be smart about who you choose as your tutor. It is important, but it isn’t rocket science, so you can definitely do it.
Besides checking a tutor’s qualifications and experience, make sure you feel comfortable with them. If you are anxious around your tutor, if they make you constantly nervous, your lessons will not bring you joy. They will bring you stress, and with time you will start associating them with something unpleasant. And guess what people do with something they don’t like? They avoid it.
Do you want to avoid learning such a beautiful language as French? Most likely, not. So don’t let it happen to you. You know what to do now.
Surround Yourself with French
Besides practicing with a French tutor online, it is also vital to surround yourself with the language as much as you can. But not everyone can move to France or other French-speaking countries. But actually, it isn’t essential.
You can start googling in French. Whenever you feel like looking something up on the internet, try doing it in French. See what results you get. If you feel like you don’t understand anything, you can then repeat your search query in your first language.
You can also switch your phone and laptop and the apps you use daily to French. You better start with the apps you are already familiar with. It can be something simple, like your calendar. On the one hand, you will still know your way around them and will get your tasks done. On the other hand, you will be noticing the French names of all the things you’re used to.
When you feel more confident with your French, you can try shifting to watching French movies and TV shows, and reading French books and articles. By the way, they don’t even have to be films and books created in the French language. You can read French translations of the stuff you enjoy. Although familiarizing yourself with the native products of French-speaking countries can be helpful for your learning.
If you are not yet ready for this, you can use subtitles. They will help you understand more. And psychologically it may be easier for you to know that there is always something to lean on if you feel lost in all that French. It is also a good idea to start with the movies and series you have seen before. This way, you will be able to follow the plot and focus on the language itself.
You can even have some French film or show, or podcast play in the background while you are busy doing something else. You don’t even have to listen to it intently and understand every single word. The idea here is to let your ears get accustomed to the French pronunciation like babies do with their first language.
Slowly but surely, you will find yourself picking up on certain things, recognizing certain words, and understanding certain phrases. They can be very small and simple at the beginning. But as you progress, you will comprehend more sophisticated structures and fluent speech.
By surrounding yourself with the language, you’ll be more likely to pick up on new vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar rules. And then again, you google more about the words and phrases you pick up. In Spanish, of course.
Try Language-learning Apps
These are very popular these days and there is a great variety of them. Such apps usually help you memorize new words. Some of them let you train in some grammar. There are many different apps available, and they can be a great way to learn new words and phrases.
Try out a few of them and see if they work for you. Most of these word-memorizing apps are multilingual, so you can choose whatever language you like. A lot of them also have some gamification elements built in, so chances are learning with these apps could be quite a fund. Plus, they don’t require loads of time. Usually, their content is bite-sized and is fed to you in small daily portions.
You can also find French dictionaries and grammar books online. It is helpful when you’re stuck on a particular word or rule, or if you feel more academic in general. Or if you are really curious about the pronunciation and origin of words. Sometimes, learning some background can help you memorize the word.
Practice, Practice, and Practice
To start speaking French fluently, it is essential to practice as much as possible. You can do it with a partner or even on your own.
One great way to do this is to join a French conversation group or sign up for a French language exchange program. These groups meet online or in person, and they give you an opportunity to practice your speaking and listening.
What’s also great about them is that if you are shy about your French, you will meet people who are just as shy as you are. And somehow you feel much less shy when you’re in the company of equally shy people.
If you can travel or move to a French-speaking country and spend some time with the locals, that is wonderful. Being in that environment will let you practice your French skills. The locals are very likely to appreciate your effort alone! If they notice that you’re struggling, most of them will help you out. Even if they don’t, oh well, it’s their loss.
But don’t become dependent in your practice on other people. It’s important to practice speaking French whenever you can. Make French part of your daily life, whether you’re ordering food or asking for directions on the street.
You can even speak to yourself. Now, this is not as crazy as it sounds. For example, you can say out loud all the things you need to do in a day.
You can also record yourself and then listen back. Most of us don’t like hearing our own voices played back to us, but it can help us see what needs working on, and what mistakes we make. But it is equally important to know what you are good at. Acknowledge what you do well when you speak French, even if it’s just pronouncing certain sounds in a nice way. This will motivate you to keep going.
Or you can come up with a system of giving yourself a treat when you complete all the language exercises for the day or remember a word. Just go easy on the treats.
Learning a new language can be challenging, but it’s also super rewarding. Follow our tips and soon you will not recognize your French. And if you’re looking for more resources to help you, check out French tutors on LiveXP. You will not be disappointed.
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