Have you ever had trouble getting services in a new place due to a language barrier? This is a problem that hinders persons from different native lands from interacting. It's hard for people without a common language to transact or build relationships. So, if you're traveling to France, you need to identify the best way to learn French for you.
French is the fifth most spoken language in the world, with 29 countries using it as the official language. It's in your best interest to learn French if you have interests in such nations or people. Fortunately, you can learn French through several methods. What one considers the best way to learn French may differ from another individual's preference. We researched to determine how people can learn the language on their own. If you would like to become a French speaker, we have a few tips for you.
FAQ About Learning French
Below are a few questions people who want to learn French usually ask; and we've provided answers.
1. What Size of Population Speaks French?
The government of France estimates that there are 220 million French speakers from different parts of the world. The figure continues to grow as more non-native speakers enroll in French classes every year.
2. What's the Best Way to Learn French on My Own?
There are many ways through which you can train yourself. You can determine your best way to learn French after reading this article.
3. How Does Learning French Help?
French is a career asset since it's a language spoken on every continent. Learning the language gives you a competitive edge in landing a job with multinational companies.
4. Where Can You Learn French?
Many schools and agencies teach French. It shouldn't be hard to find one in your region. If you are the do-it-yourself type, this article is just for you.
5. How Can You Improve Your French?
To improve your French, build relationships with seasoned French speakers. Regular communication with them will help you improve your diction. You can also invest in textbooks, movies, songs, and any other resource that exposes you to the language.
How We Reviewed the Methods of Learning French
We set out to define the best way to learn French due to the growing popularity of the language. It was difficult to settle on one method as we found many online sources offering unrealistic solutions. But with persistent research, we have narrowed the choices down to viable methods available to most people. We compiled a top ten list from our findings. We then compared the options and defined what we found to be the best way to learn French.
The Price of Learning French
Several factors determine the cost attached to learning French. For instance, enrolling in French classes can cost you up to $30 per hour. The price deviate significantly depending on your country and the institution you choose.
You may not have to spend any money if you join a French-speaking community. You can pick up words here and there and become a fluent speaker with time. If you buy textbooks or multimedia files, the cost will depend on the price tag. If you are lucky, you could find valuable online resources offering free training. We couldn't append a financial metric to learning French due to the disparity in the training methods. We were focusing on the best way to learn French through the do-it-yourself route. We could only rate the ease or convenience of each method as highlighted below.
What We Reviewed
From our field study, we settled for ten learning methods, which we'll discuss in more detail below:
The preferred learning methods for different people may vary, but most language learners face similar challenges. Social media has enabled users to network with thousands of people learning French every day. Look for French training forums and share your journey with the learners. Communities of language learners have individuals of different proficiency, and the mix of skills is an advantage for all members. You learn what you don't know and teach others students the areas you have perfected.
Taking part in discussions is an excellent way to gain more knowledge. You will not only make friends but also discover new avenues of study. Communities can promote your confidence, reduce stress, and enable you to appreciate your weaknesses and work on them. The challenge you could face here is maintaining long-term relationships with learners. People join and leave, and you will not always find answers to your questions immediately.
The best way to learn French without getting frustrated is to acknowledge that you are a beginner. You will face obstacles that can discourage you if you lose your focus. It's allowed to feel that way, but convince yourself that you can make it. When you are learning a new language, you are trying to understand how its speakers express themselves. Set realistic goals and don't press yourself too hard. Consider that meaning is more important in a language than grammar, and you will slowly improve.
We realized that people who struggled a lot with French began with higher targets than they could achieve. They got frustrated and developed a negative attitude and eventually gave up on their goals. Don't let that happen to you; be realistic about how long it will take to master the French language.
Our research found podcasts to be the best way to learn French for most people. It enhances your listening and speaking skills. Listening to native speakers acquaints you to the pronunciation, flow, and speed of the language. Video podcasts allow learners to contextualize the words they hear in real life. Listening to audio formats is also helpful, but you miss out on the subtitles. Students who use podcasts become fluent speakers much quicker.
You can find French podcasts for all levels of learners. A beginner's podcast may entail greetings and pronunciations of common words. Advanced students can find files that expose them to structured sentences to enhance their vocabulary. The disadvantage of using podcasts is compatibility issues. Some file formats cannot play on certain devices.
Reading French content is an excellent way of becoming a speaker and writer of the language. It's advisable to focus on your favorite topics. If you like cars, for example, look for magazines discussing automobiles. Set aside at least 30 minutes per day for reading French. As you progress, you can increase this period depending on how much time you have available. Reading is ideal for building a learner's vocabulary, though it should be combined with listening and speaking practice to enhance your all-around fluency. Be sure to make notes explaining the meanings of new words. Revise the notes frequently by reading them aloud.
Immerse Yourself in the Culture
Embracing the French culture is another way that eases your learning process. Visit French eateries, listens to French radio, read French publications, and so on. The exposure can familiarize you with words and phrases to help form your French backbone. You don't have to be in France or in a country that has a French majority. The language has a history in many parts of the world like. The downside of learning French through culture is that it can be time-consuming. You may never become a fluent speaker unless you incorporate it with a more engaging learning method.
Buy a Textbook
Getting the right textbook to guide you through the training is an excellent method of learning French. You will need grammar books for beginners that don't need the guidance of a teacher. The reason we recommend textbooks is the quality of the content they usually have because they are written by accomplished instructors, and the books go through strict editing before getting published. Most authors release improved versions regularly.
When learning on your own, you may not be sure where to start. Textbooks eliminate this confusion by ordering the lessons starting with the basics. Each section has objectives for learners. Look for textbooks with short topics. An ideal resource should have questions and answers at the end of each chapter for self-evaluation. The challenge with textbooks is that they assume the formal model of education. Some people get intimidated and drop the lessons along the way.
Find Academic Resources
The best way to learn French in the shortest time possible is to diversify the resources for training. What to look for depends on your learning method, availability, and your willingness to spend money. You don't have to purchase the most expensive material.
One place you can find low-priced French content is your local bookstore. It is possible to find cheap used books that contain high-quality study material. The books could include different pieces of French literature and other reliable references. Bookstores are great because you can peruse the books for an overview before buying them. Online stores are also an option, but you may have to rely on guesswork. If you go this direction, consider a seller with reasonable return policies. If you have the time and finances, join a French class near you or hire a tutor.
Listen to French Music
Music provides a means of getting entertained as you learn. With an improved mood, your brain will better understand and retain content. Many classes that teach different languages use songs as a learning tool, and this method works well if you listen to songs over and over. Repetition helps students to memorize new words. Ensure that the songs are in your favorite genre and they have catchy tunes.
Another reason music can be your best way to learn French is its portability. You can load thousands of songs in your phone or a portable player. Also, you can listen to your collection as you do other jobs. As you enjoy the songs, you will learn the correct pronunciations of tricky words. Singing along is the best way to learn French through music.
Use Language Apps
Language apps assist learners to put words into context. One example is FluentU which offers plenty of examples of how to use words. HelloTalk has incredible functions like translation which enhance the learning process. These are just two examples of the many language apps you can use to learn French. Though some are effective, you might have to try several apps before getting your match.
Watch French Movies
If you are to learn French by watching movies, the desire to study must surpass the entertainment aspect. You must focus on every word said. You may have to keep on rewinding to get the words right.
There is no point in watching a two-hour film in one sitting and learn nothing. That's where segmentation comes into play. Split the movie into parts as small as 15 minutes and concentrate on each at a time. Watch the film several times and try to mimic the characters as they speak. Movies with subtitles are powerful study aids since you learn spellings and pronunciation at the same time. One pitfall is that some learners watch movies passively and forget to concentrate on the words.
We conclude that the best way to learn French is to combine as many methods as possible. We felt that no routine works in isolation. However, we realized that podcasts are more resourceful than the other techniques of learning French. Students have access to an unlimited number of video and audio files, and they can access them from a variety of devices. The method we thought was best for all ages was collecting textbooks. They contain relevant content and learners have goals to achieve at the end of the lesson. French students can find affordable books at bookstores.