Are you tempted to come to France to learn the language, but you don’t have enough time? Here are some tips and tricks to get started on your own.
First a good application to acquire basics or improve your grammar and vocabulary. Generally, I advise Babbel. It’s clear, simple and practical even if it is not much fun. You can download the app to your phone, so you can take advantage of your commuting time or your lunch break to do some exercises. With regular practice, you will progress quickly.
Do not hesitate to watch movies!
French cinema has lots of good movies! At the beginning, allow yourself to watch with subtitles as this will allow you to get used to the sounds of French and you will acquire good pronunciation more quickly. Remember that comprehension is the first skill to develop when learning a new language! Here are some of my favorites (and they generally work well with my students):
Don’t be afraid of books!
Of course, you have to know how to choose … If you are not advanced in French, I recommend collections specially designed for people who want to learn the language. The books are then classified by level and the most difficult words explained at the end of the book. You will find simplified versions of the classics of French literature as well as more contemporary works. Often these collections also offer a free audio version. I recommend the lff collection at Hachette. Wherever you are in the world you can order them:
French web media
The Internet is a real “treasure island” for finding sites for learning French as a foreign language, but be careful not to get lost! Many sites are difficult to use without the help of a teacher. I suggest you stick to authentic French sites like TV5 monde or radios like RFI:
Speak French in a local French Institute
In your country, make contact with the French Institutes where you will be able to meet natives. There’s nothing better to progress in your communication skills! The French Institutes, in addition to the courses, offer many cultural activities that will give you the opportunity to meet French people. Do not hesitate to start a conversation, they will be delighted to have contacts from the country where they reside. Look for the places they frequent, abroad each nationality always has a restaurant or a favorite bar. Make the opportunity to show them places typical of your area!
Coming to France for a stay, even a short one, remains essential. This trip will give another dimension to your French language learning! You will be able to take quality courses with native teachers but above all, live like the French while discovering the culture. One last word of advice, don’t necessarily choose Paris for a first stay. A warm and welcoming provincial town like Montpellier, in the South of France, will seem more accessible and more convivial.