7 top tips to help you learn French

Top tips to help you learn French

Many people view French as one of the most beautiful languages in the world, whilst French people, take it for granted. As French tutors, we are passionate about our language, and impressed by the commitment and perseverance of our students!

C’est incroyable how rewarding it is to start teaching a beginner and then, after a few months, see him or her handle a short conversation with confidence. We’ve gathered together seven great tips to help you learn French more efficiently.

C’est parti mon kiki!

Find your learning style

Do you need to write or do you prefer to listen? Perhaps you find it easier to learn by reading? Whatever the method, you are using to learn French, make sure you adapt it to YOUR learning style.

Link words to images

“Are you telling me not to translate? But how can I learn French without translating?” Try as much as possible to link the new French words to images, situations and feelings and NOT to English words.

Try this tip: label common items around your home with their names written in French. Sound a bit funny, huh? But in only a few days, you will be surprised by how many new words you’ll have learnt! Another good way to learn French vocabulary is to use flashcards. Draw the words and expressions whenever possible, instead of writing them in English. A great way to memorise a lot of words at once is to group the related vocabulary together: on the same flashcard and to write all related French vocabulary, as you come across it.

Translate as little as possible

I know! It does sound very difficult, but trust me, this tip is worth trying! Of course, to start with, some translation will be necessary, but try as much as possible to avoid it. Translating adds a lot of work and effort to the process of learning: “Idea – English – French” versus just “Idea –French”. Translating will fool you into making mistakes when literal translation doesn’t work. Start by learning French phrases for normal, everyday conversations, such as “Good morning”, “Goodbye”, “How are you?”, and make it harder and harder as you improve.

Think in French

At first this may be hard, but it will quickly become easier as you get used to it. Learning a language is all about practice, practice and more practice. The more you practice the better and more efficient you will be at learning French. At home, at work, when you greet someone, or when you go shopping, think about how you would say the phrase in French. In no time at all you will realise that you are making full sentences and soon, conversations!

Speak out loud

This one sounds more obvious as speaking the words out loud is the way to learn correct pronunciation. A fun way to practice your pronunciation is to learn a song in French. You could use children’s songs. They are actually great learning tools, but on the other hand you won’t get them out of your head for days, which can become infuriating!

As simple as listening

Listen to how the French language is spoken. Let’s be honest, written French and spoken French sound almost like two different languages – there are many silent letters or liaisons everywhere: in conjugations, spelling and grammar. So, you should always work with audio. The internet is now your best ally. It is an infinite source of French songs and videos. You can even can find videos with subtitles. But play the game, listen at least two or three times before getting the help from the subtitles or lyrics.

Last but not the least

Prioritise. Don’t try to learn everything! To make learning more fun and interesting we work with a text. If your memory is great, go ahead and memorise everything, but if it’s not, prioritise. Which words in the text are you likely to use? Focus on learning these ones first: the rest can wait.

Slow and steady wins the race. Study French regularly, for a short time, not all in one sitting. Spending fifteen minutes a day learning your French will get you better results than two hours at the weekend with the kids playing in the background.

Review. Repetition is the key! This is probably the number one mistake students make; they concentrate on learning new material, and forget to review the older lessons. So let’s make a rule: for each hour spent on a new lesson, you spend another hour reviewing the older ones.

What do you think?

Of course it is always good to mix, match and combine these tips to help you learn French quickly. Remember, it’s important you make it fun! By using these tips in conjunction with your French tuitions you can easily pick up a lot of la langue de Molière. Bien à vous amis kangourous!

Tell us about your personal tips. Which ones works for you? Do you have other tips? Do you use some funny tips or games to help you learn French?

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Published: Nov 22, 2015

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