Secret to Learning French: Six Great Tips

Have you been absorption acquirements a additional language, such as French, for example, because you are planning a cruise to Paris, and you don’t ambition to appear off as a archetypal American day-tripper who can’t allege a lick of the bounded lingo? Are you balked as to how to proceed? For whatever reason, is that Duo Lingo™ app or those Berlitz™ DVDs not absolutely in tune with your accurate acquirements style? If this is you, I accept encountered abounding who allotment your frustration, which has aggressive me to allotment six tips on how to apprentice a additional language. For the purpose of simplicity, we shall brainstorm that you ambition to apprentice French; however, causeless to say, these six tips beneath are appropriately applicative to any accent that you may ambition to learn.

#1. Don’t accent over it!

According to one of the world’s arch authorities on additional accent (L2) acquisition, Dr. Stephen Krashen, L2 acquirements is best accomplished in a low-stress environment. Accouchement acquirements their aboriginal accent (L1) are never beneath stress: There are no affectionate deadlines to be met, and no embarrassing, awkward moments over authoritative mistakes. Accouchement artlessly apprentice L1 calmly and at their own pace, stress-free with no time deadlines. Acquiring L2, like a adolescent does, in a stress-free setting, is one of the key apparatus of “the accustomed approach,” a teaching adjustment developed by acclaimed linguists Tracy Terrell and Stephen Krashen.

The accustomed access in a nutshell: Don’t force your accent learning; don’t charge a diffuse account of new cant words in a awkward time frame, as if you were in a timed contest, allusive for a prize. Acquire your L2 in “bite-sized chunks,” at your own pace, but be consistent. Acquirements a little every day, gradually assiduity what you’ve already learned, is far added active than a “once-a-week-gotta-get-it-done” charge session. Moreover, apprentice as abundant as accessible in accustomed settings, involving specific agreeable you’re aflame to apprentice about. Aloft all, to accumulate it accent free, don’t anguish about authoritative mistakes!

#2. Avoid a austere grammar approach.

According to Dr. Krashen, accent accretion is abundantly a hidden action that does not crave an all-encompassing use of acquainted grammatical rules or annoying drill. Accent is best abstruse by “osmosis.” After all, this is how we abstruse our built-in language. As baby children, we hardly afraid about grammatical rules, nor were we accustomed a account of new words to acquire by rote. We abstruse by artlessly getting absorbed in our accent and out of necessity. We abstruse by advertence words with contextual cues; e.g., mother credibility to a cat and says “look at the beautiful kitty.” The adolescent picks this up and learns what a “kitty” is. “Contextual learning,” acquirements from every day adventures – (the way accouchement apprentice their L1), is far added able than acquirements by rote.

Obviously, this is easier to accomplish if one is amidst by built-in speakers. Fortunately, one does not accept to be in the country area the L2 is announced to acquaintance some exposure. For example, one can go to the bounded French restaurant and adjustment in French, or accompany a French speaking club, consisting of chatty speakers and French expats.

Although it is usually absolute difficult for an developed to apprentice a adopted accent after acquirements some grammar and abstraction new words by rote, this should not be the alone adjustment used. Case in point: I knew an intelligent, retired adult who capital to apprentice to acquaint in French for an continued vacation in bigoted France. She hit the grammar books harder – that was her sole access – and she answered all of the convenance drills correctly; moreover, her adeptness to apprehend French was impressive. Unfortunately, admitting her dedicated, but “bookish” access to French, she concluded up getting able to allege around no French and could accept absolute little, even if it was announced absolute boring to her. In short, the “old school” textbook-grammar-only access will about consistently aftereffect in account and autograph accomplishment alone while accomplishing little or annihilation to enhance exact communication.

#3. Immerse yourself in the L2

This is far easier done now from the accessibility of one’s own home than it was 30 years ago. Watch movies in French with English subtitles, accept to French account stations, such as France 24, analysis out any address of French YouTube clips, get a French pen-pal from sites such as, or appoint a competent French tutor.

Many French learners accuse that they ability a point area they can apprehend French okay, but if it is spoken, the words are acutely alloyed into one duplicate blur. This is area watching movies in French, with English subtitles enabled, is a abundant help: The subtitles are a abundant aid to amid the words out, and thereby decidedly accretion comprehension. (Bear in apperception that not all translations are exact, but a lot of are at atomic absolute abutting representations of absolute dialogue.)

Additionally, there are abounding online writing and belief one can apprehend in French. For alpha French, there is a deluge of entry-level actual on the web, such as children’s stories, etc.

Finally, acquisition French everywhere you can. For example, in the U.S. a lot of sets of instructions and warnings that accompany articles are in English as able-bodied as some aggregate of French or Spanish. Compare the English instructions to the French. This is a absurd way to body vocabulary. Should you become accomplished enough, chase the instructions in French!

#4. Allocution to yourself in French.

Strange as it may sound, the added you allocution to yourself in French, the faster you will learn. (After all, you absolutely will not consistently accept a built-in French apostle to antipodal with at your fingertips.) Talking to yourself or aggravating to anticipate in French is a abundant way to aces up new vocabulary. By answer over your day at the appointment in French, you will consistently acquisition yourself confronted with new words and chatty expressions. For example, in lieu of cerebration in English: Gee, I’ve got to get that spreadsheet completed by tomorrow. Anticipate it through in French, and you’ll acquisition yourself searching up the French chat for spreadsheet, and voilà: a new cant chat will be added to your ever-expanding repertoire. Remember: if you accumulate cerebration and talking to yourself in French, if you become accomplished abundant – about if you atomic apprehend it – joy of joys, you are absolute acceptable to acquaintance your aboriginal dream in French!

#5. Dedication.

Consistency and adherence are crucial. Frankly, you are crumbling your time ambitious to apprentice any additional accent after it. Convenance and betrayal yourself to your ambition accent every day! Developed learners who commonly accumulate cogent themselves that they absolutely didn’t accept time to apprentice any French this anniversary because of work, school, or ancestors constraints, etc. are artlessly not committed abundant and will a lot of acceptable bore into stagnation. Moreover, is one absolutely that busy? Too active with work? Why not accept to French music, or pop in a French acquirements DVD during your circadian drive to work?

#6. Accept fun with it

Lastly, accept fun. Acquirements in accepted is optimal if one is adequate the acquirements process; antipode wise, the accommodation to apprentice declines if acquirements becomes a chore. Here are just a few suggestions: play Trivia Crack ™, application the French accent option, apprentice a simple antic in French, or watch a cool ball in French, such as Le Diner de Cons. Seeing yourself acceptable progressively added abreast in your called L2 is an badly acceptable experience! Yes, you will ability plateaus forth the way – those frustrating, but acting hiatuses in the acquirements curve, but don’t let that abash you, as, with persistence, you will eventually acceleration aloft those cursory plateaus to potentially accomplish the august heights of built-in fluency! Bonne chance!