When learning a new language it is only natural one would get better the more they practice it, and the French language is no exception. To ensure you become good you got to practice even outside of your regular French lesson times.
Either studying with a lesson teacher or studying French at school, you need to add at least additional two hours every day to practice French on your own, without the help of your private French tutor.
At the university level, that time is expected to increase especially if you are in the sciences and other intensive courses such as physics, medicine, and law.
Although bending over a desk and studying for hours is commendable, whether it is to avoid distractions or to study in the ideal learning environment which is peaceful and tranquil, the desk with the stereotype serious student hard at it is not exactly the image we have in mind.
We are thinking more along the lines of studying French on the go and through other means that allow you to exercise all forms of language learning, listening, speaking, reading and writing.
One such example is listening to podcasts to learn the French language. That way you get to listen and even occasionally pick up slang.
There are many creative ways to become really good with French, either as a beginner or moderate speaker, there are always resources and ways to practice your French until it is polished to the point they can’t tell you apart from a Parisian.
With enough dedication and the right resources to practice with, anyone can become a very good speaker.
As they say, practice makes perfect, the saying cannot be more truthful as regard to language learning.
We will let you in on some tips on how to get creative with practicing your French in between home lessons and French classes.
Practicing French Language On The Go
Now that we have smartphones, we have access to great apps that help you learn French such as Duolingo, and websites where you can download free resources, they could be anything from French music to podcasts, French radio stations, chat forums where you can communicate with a francophone and so on.
These modes of learning will allow you to learn French while at the same time working out at the gym, or while taking that morning run, or while cooking at the kitchen, or during your daily commute. Just plug in your earpiece and press play to listen to your podcasts spoken in French, or read up from your French learning apps.
It will greatly benefit you to practice your French while on the go as it adds hours to your practicing time, and the more time you have on your hands to practice French the more fluent you become.
Is it the conjugation of verbs that is proving a bit tricky to you? Je suis, tu es, and you want to master how you could use them in a sentence. Or do you want to practice learning new words? Anything really, you can overcome them with much practice.
There are so many phrases and words that sound weird in French and only with this much needed practice will you be able to confidently pronounce them well.
Here's how you can take French lessons on any budget.
Devote Energy For All Aspects Of The Language
It may be that, some parts of the language are giving you a tough time and some aren’t. This is completely understandable, it happens to everyone, and if you are like most people you will stick to what makes you comfortable.
There is nothing wrong with doing that, but in order to speak and understand French fluently, you need to practice all of its aspects equally. You should be able to write, speak, listen, respond and read French. They are all equally important.
Unlike English where pronunciation is quite straightforward, in French there is the guttural r to deal with along with lots of other words that don’t seem to sound like what they are written as.
They are written one way but sound altogether like something different. So without practicing all aspects of the language, you won’t be able to accurately pronounce these words.
It is not enough to learn just how to read and write a language, or to speak it only without knowing how to read and write it, you need to satisfy every angle to call yourself a French learner. You may be surprised to know it is fairly common for learners of a new language to abandon the oral aspects of a language and concentrate on the reading and writing.
The reasons for this may be because of shyness, they can’t publicly speak with someone in this language they are desperately learning unless it’s a close friend, or because they fear they might be corrected. In any case, they are either very humble or lack confidence.
Part of the responsibilities of a good French tutor will be to assist you in the areas you are lacking and help guide you to become excellent in the French language.
The French tutor will make sure they create equal opportunities to learn all the areas of language learning. From the written language to the oral aspect. Otherwise, how can you pass any French exam? Most of the exams will test all the areas of language learning.
So you will listen, talk and answer comprehension questions.
If you must learn to speak the language this may prove difficult, because it’s not like there are many Nigerians around who know French that you can converse with. The alternative is to learn French online.
Where To Speak French Online
There are lots of cool apps that can help you learn French, like Babbel or the Duolingo we made mention of. They are excellent if you want to learn to read and write but not many of them give you the opportunity to speak the French language.
And with a small number of speakers of the language in Nigeria, the easiest solution it will seem is to go online. Websites such as conversationexchange.com are social platforms consisting of French speakers who would converse in French with you.
Dialogue with a native speaker will enrich your vocabulary and you will be able to capture the rhythm with which the French language is spoken. Besides, talking one-on-one or in a group with a French speaker(s) will finally allow you to hear how those hard-to-pronounce words are pronounced.
The French you will hear from these folk is the natural French spoken at the bank, the market, the offices and so on.
Although there is something to note, French have variances. The French spoken in Switzerland is different from the one spoken in France, and the one in Canada is different from the one spoken in the other countries as well, but the French of France is the official French known as Metropolitan French.
Apart from conversationexchange.com there are thousands of forums if you will just research them, where you can find French speakers communicating with each other, specifically trying to help out new learners.
And of course, there is Skype. You can speak with a native about their homeland, discuss French politics or the weather, talk French poetry, talk about food and whatever comes to mind. Sharpen your French speaking and listening skills, all with only the help of a microphone and a webcam.
Most good laptops have a pretty high quality microphone these days so you don’t need an extra appendage for your computer but for high quality video images, you might want to consider buying a webcam.
By just regularly connecting with people online you can imagine how well your French would improve with time. From simple greetings to the use of conjugation, you will become a master of the French language.
Other Places You Can Learn French
Television, Radio And Podcasts
Don’t ignore the TV and radio on account of the internet. Listening to them will give you a lot of insight into the world of spoken French. Listening to the language will develop your overall language learning skills.
The good thing with podcasts is you can listen to them anytime anywhere, while you are doing something or while you are sitting still. And unlike the TV and radio where music and other programs might be airing, you can find podcasts that specifically teach you French.
Established in Nigeria since the 1950s, Alliance Française is an organization supported by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they teach and advocate French culture in Nigeria.
They have partnered with many schools both private and government to help them achieve this objective. The Alliance's headquarters is located in Lagos with other sister branches opened in about 6 other states, they provide learning resources and have some of the best French tutors in the country to teach you.
You can enroll in their classes and in a few weeks you will be able to have a decent conversation in French, and because of the many French speakers in their compound, it is one of the best places to practice your French unhindered.
Ever wonder if it's possible to get certified for speaking French? Check this out.