Bienvenue to learning French! I would like to begin by congratulating you on your willingness to put in the work and achieve your dreams.
Becoming bilingual is an amazing accomplishment, but don’t forget that the journey there can be just as wonderful. You can learn so many amazing and life-changing things as you progress. Remember that, ok?
Anyway, moving on. I assume you are here to learn what you are missing, or what you need to do to begin learning French. You have come to the right place!
Learning a language is like a puzzle that continually grows as you progress through the language. What it really boils down to though, are 5 categories that you need to ensure are an active part of your French study.
Whether you hired a professional tutor, learn in a school setting, learn on your own, or any combination of those, you need to make sure that all 5 of these pieces are a part or your study regiment. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!
1. How to learn French Grammar
The French language is very (very) particular about grammar and this can be so confusing to learn. I’ll be straight up with you, unless you have learned a lot of languages before, or you are some kind of language-learning-genius, you need to be learning grammar with explanations of how to use it.
Be very careful though. Learning grammar can also become a bottomless pit and can be very discouraging if you get too much too fast.
Grammar is absolutely essential for learning French, but you really need to learn in understandable, bite-sized lessons that match your proficiency level.
Either of these two options will be your best bet for succeeding at French grammar. So, master French Grammar in bite-sized pieces or perfect your French grammar with The Lingo Experience.
2. How to Learn French Vocabulary
This may seem like the most “duh” moment of your life.
Obviously, you need to learn French vocabulary so you can actually speak French. But the key to learning vocabulary is to take it in strides and depth. As you begin learning French, you need to learn the basics – the surface level stuff. As you progress, you expand your reach of topics and also the depth of topics you have already learned.
For example, the first few lessons you learn in French you learn how to introduce yourself, how to talk about your family, the colors, and other simple topics. As you progress you want to dive more deeply into each subject.
3. How to Improve French Listening Comprehension
You need to listen to actual French conversation and speech. And no, issolated, short sentences spoken by a robot don’t count.
They say you have to begin with the end in mind when you do new things. If your end goal is to speak in short, broken sentences like a 2-year-old, then by all means, only listen to Duolingo’s robotic sentences.
However, if you want to speak fluently and elegantly, you need to start listening to full sentences and conversation in French. Listen at different speeds so you can focus on both isolated pronunciation and the overall context.
I have yet to find anything as amazing as the audiobooks by Camille at FrenchToday. Simply fun, educational, entertaining stories that really help you improve your French.
Begin speaking fluently by listening to fluent conversation.
4. How to Speak French
If you want to become fluent or bilingual, you really need to actually practice speaking.
Learning to speak comes in two steps. The first is to practice speaking and imitating conversation on your own. Sign-up below to get your quick-start to speaking French instant download.
The second step is to actually start speaking with tutors.
Yes, this will require working through your fears of speaking to people in another language as well as your fear of making mistakes. It’s probably best to set the appropriate expectation right now before you go any further.
You cannot learn a language without making mistakes. Thousands of mistakes.
Let me say that again so it hopefully sinks in: You cannot learn a language without making mistakes.
It’s probably best for you to get used to making mistakes.
Start scheduling speaking practice in and give yourself a deadline to meet. This could be with a native tutor, a more advanced French speaker, or even a local meetup in your area.
5. Consistent Reviewing
The old adage “use it or lose it” is absolutely true for learning French as well.
Once you’ve built yourself up, you need to ensure that you are reviewing sticky spots, progressing forward, and continuing to practice speaking and listening in French.
Just keep moving forward, no matter how slowly you are progressing.
Even small, simple steps toward progress will bring fantastic results in time. Be patient. Keep moving forward.
Start with your dream and your goal in mind and then keep that in mind when you get discouraged.
You CAN do this. I believe in you!
Do you believe in yourself?
**DISCLAIMERS: This post may contain links to affiliate content. Please note that I always recommend products that are in your best interest and not mine. Please also know that I am not a native French speaker and my pronunciation is not perfect, however, I can definitely help you improve your pronunciation and get to a point where you can converse with native speakers and they can fine-tune your pronunciation.
No matter how many days, months, or years you study it won't magically make you able to speak.
Don't let that be you.