French is the official language for over 25 countries. It is also the most internationally significant Romance language in the world and is spoken by over 300 million people worldwide. No wonder it is one of the most studied foreign languages.
Africa has the largest population of French speakers in the world. It is one of the most popular foreign languages spoken and learnt by a lot of people in Nigeria. In fact, in 1996, the late General Sani Abacha declared French the second official language in Nigeria.
It is also taught at the primary and secondary levels of education in Nigeria. In short, it is practically a compulsory subject in the curriculum of primary and secondary schools across the country. It is also a degree interested students can learn at the tertiary level of education in the country.
There are a lot of reasons people are learning and want to speak the French language. It is a language that comes with a lot of benefits especially if you can speak it and English fluently.
The question here is " how keen are you to imbue yourself with the language ''?
You may already have been taking some French language classes and courses, yet are still considered an intermediate speaker. And for you, that is not good enough! Fluency is what you crave!
To be honest, one of the best ways to become fluent in any language is through immersion.
The best way to immerse yourself in French is to live in a French-speaking country. You might be thinking that's such a big decision to make just for the sake of speaking it fluently.
Just take a minute to think of the people who have migrated to Nigeria and are fast learning English and some of our native languages.
There are several ways you can move to France to learn the language better. This is what we will be discussing in this article as you proceed.
We of course know that some of these suggestions may not apply to you. However, they might give you some food for thought.
Education: Studying In France
Travelling to France to study is a great way for you to immerse yourself in French. The country offers an excellent environment for all international students. It has a fantastic quality of education, lectures and research opportunities.
It is important to note that if you are intent on pursuing higher education in France, you may be required to sit the DELF – the French language competency exam before you can matriculate.
If you however already have a university degree, you may consider taking classes that address your passion: art, music or fashion, for example. Or you can even take some short professional courses that may suit your educational needs.
And, of course, you can consider going for language classes!
It is no news that over 250,000 international students choose France as their study abroad destination as France ranks 8th globally and 5th in Europe among the world’s top study destinations! France also ranks number 3 for student preferences when it comes to experiencing a new culture or lifestyle.
You can check out The Centre International D'Antibes, on the French Rivier. They have been welcoming international students for over three decades. They have French courses tailored specifically to young learners: including teens and adults.
They are even family-oriented as the school offers family classes. So parents and their children can all learn together. This encourages family migration where children and parents can attend school to learn the language together.
If you are planning to sit for DELF, you might be interested to know that their alumni have a 97% success rate. This proves you have a higher chance of passing the exam if you enrol with them.
You can take a quick look at their website would reveal several coupons for discounts on assorted programmes, and accommodations.
In short, this way of learning French will create plenty of opportunities for you to make new friends, speaking French all the while.
The great thing about studying in France is that you will learn a beautiful language that enables you to speak to around 270 million people in almost 30 countries in the world. After your education, you can even plan to stay in the country by finding a job.
To find a job, you will almost inevitably need to be fluent or at least near-fluent in French. Your English language skills will even be another advantage in your pocket if you can speak both languages fluently.
Migrate For Work
Many people dream of moving to France, which of course is an avenue to learn the language better. If you’re realising this dream, you could be moving for a job.
Presuming that you usually communicate in English, what type of work can you do in France?
The obvious answer would be: become an English teacher!
Teaching the English language is a big deal in France. Students learn it as part of their education over there. The way the English language is our official language in Nigeria despite the other local dilates we have, is the way French is the official language in France.
A native-born in France would automatically speak French because that is their language. In short, if you cannot speak some French, it may be difficult for you to live in France. The English language is learnt over there. No one speaks it by default.
These are some of the reasons English language courses remain high on the list of requested lessons.
You could also become a Superprof tutor all the way from Nigeria, giving English lessons via Skype.
You could establish your profile before relocating; that way you may have built up a client base before you even set foot in France!
Do you already work for a global company or one that is looking to go international to a French-speaking country like France?
If Yes, taking French classes may pay off. A good place to start is by getting one of the French tutors on Superprof Nigeria.
Let us say your company is planning on setting up an office in France or already has a branch in France and they are looking for someone from the home office to help staff it.
This would be a great opportunity for you! Not only would you keep your employment status but you would have assistance in getting set up in the country of your dreams!
One other way to achieve your goal of finding employment in France is to make a clean break: contact employers in France to find a job.
Starting A Business In France
If you’re looking at starting a business in France, France has made it easier for foreign residents to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.
Unlike most G20 countries, It is easier and cheaper to start a business in France. The best aspect of starting your own business in France is that this country's infrastructure is light-years ahead of others, especially in the telecommunications sector.
Of course, for you to be able to set up a business in France, you should make adequate preparations in learning the language.
How can you relocate to start a business in a country without understanding their language? Sounds absurd right?
Here are some of what you must do to start up a business in the country:
- Sit the DELF Pro or regular DELF
- Make sure you are properly accredited for that business
- the French government requires a specific diploma and licensing for every business
- Submit a business plan and financial forecast
It would also help if you have been in the area for a while, talked with other French merchants who are somewhat in the same business as you hope to establish.
Volunteering in France
Volunteering is another beneficial way you can move to France to learn French. If you are more of a free spirit and just want an all-encompassing learning experience in France, perhaps you would be open to a homestay or two.
So, if you want language immersion and a profound cultural experience, all within the safety of a host family, HelpX might just be the site for you!
HelpX, short for "Help Exchange", is a barter platform in which people offer or receive homestays, including lodging and food, in exchange for performing agreed-upon tasks for a few hours each day.
You can decide to use this avenue to learn about the French culture while also learning to speak the language fluently. You can practice your French, whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced speaker, in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.
Of course, you won't sit in a classroom, and there are no French teachers – unless the family you stay with offers to teach you French by getting you a qualified tutor. Your daily communication will be a tool in learning the language better.
You would be permitted to stay in any one household for 2 weeks to 2 months; each host has different needs and you could learn to speak French all over the country with different people by travelling from one place to another to meet different hosts.
And, after travelling everywhere while gaining proficiency in French, you could then be ready to sit for the DELF examination.
However, if you can't see yourself moving to France yet, then you can always get a French tutor on Superprof Nigeria to come to teach you at home or online.
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