Six great ways to improve your French

Serge GainsbourgAt VoulezVouloz we recommend having one hour of French Tuition each week and backing that up with at least 30mins of study each day. This can be a challenge for many people, with so much going on in their busy lives, so here are some tips on how to get your French fix faster:

 

1) Watch French films

French art house movies like Jean De Florette and Jules et Jim might not be your tasse de thé, but often you’ll find mainstream movies with French subtitles.  Either rent a French language movie and have it playing in the background while you cook dinner or tidy up, or watch your favourite movie with French subtitles. You’ll be amazed at how much you pick up.

 

2) Read French Children’s Books

Obviously, reading French books and magazines is a great way of improving your French comprehension, but often they’re simply too complicated for beginners. VoulezVouloz recommends buying French children’s books from shops like Abbey’s Bookshop in Sydney or from Amazon. The simple sentence structure and verb usage are easier to understand, and it’s a great way to pick up new vocab. Our current favourite is Margot L’escargot.

 

3) Read your favourite website in FRENCH

Pick your favourite website and view it in French. Check out Apple iTunes, for example: http://www.apple.com/fr/itunes/, or use the Google or Yahoo translation tools to translate the site on the spot. Check out katetoon.com.

 

4) Listen to French newscasts

Although you’d have to be pretty advanced to catch every work in the super fast French news broadcasts, just having it playing in the background can help your ears attune to the French language. Over time you’ll be able to pick out more and more. SBS broadcasts French news from FT2 Paris at 10.20am in the morning or check out RFI.

 

5) Listen to French music

When it comes to French music it’s hard not to think Euro Pop, but think again. There are some really excellent French artists out there such as Camille and of course Gainsbourg. Try getting a French music collection on CD such as So Frenchy So Chic.

 

6) Find French places in Sydney

Whether it’s a local French restaurant, bakery or café, be sure to visit regularly and strike up a conversation with the French staff. They might be a little bemused at first, but explain that you’re learning their language and they’re sure to be sympathetic. Soon you’ll be ordering your favourite meals in French! Our favourite French spot in Sydney is La’Renaissance café. Try the cheese sticks or the strawberry cheesecake – delicious!

They say that when you live in France – and speak French every day – you can be semi-fluent in around six months, so the key to learning French is to surround yourself with as much French as possible. You’ll quickly find it works by osmosis!

Call us on 0448 271 392 to book your first lesson today!

 

 

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Published: Apr 6, 2011

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