Everything you need to know to learn French quickly and efficiently
Would you like to speak French fluently ? Do you feel ready to start learning the language of Moliere? I am sure you are ! But maybe you are not sure about how to go about it… No panic ! In this article I am going to give you some tips and explain step by step how to learn French quickly and with ease.
To learn a foreign language, there are mainly two possibilities :
- Studying by yourself, with a private teacher if possible.
- Going to the country where the language is spoken and preferably taking courses in an accredited school.
Of course you can do both ! For example you could add one or two weeks of French courses in France to your personal training. In any case, to learn a foreign language efficiently, be prepared to be consistent with regular learning sessions. There are some habits you will need to acquire.
Habits you need to get into :
- Be disciplined, probably the most important one, it could be difficult to master in the long term but if you want to progress, you have no choice ! Certainly you are motivated to learn French right now, but like sporting activities, it is a temporary feeling. After several weeks of training, it is highly likely that you will feel discouraged, when that happens only self-discipline will give you the strength to continue ! You will just have to bite the bullet. Tell yourself : « Every day, I will study French for thirty minutes, period ». Moreover, you new found ability to stick to your guns will be very useful in other parts of your life ! Several scientific studies say that the human brain needs 21 days acquire a new habit, so beginning will be the most difficult time but after three weeks i twill become part of your routine!
- Be clear about your goals, plan step by step your progress. For example : « I have four months to reach A2 level. »
- Be consistent, you will learn much better by studying thirty minutes everyday that four hours once a week. That is how human brain works ! Of course you have to be disciplined to be regular.
To sum up, bear in mind these rules : Regularity, organization and self-discipline. Now that you have understood the importance of these rules, let’s start learning French ! Here I tell you how to proceed step by step.
First step : Learn the basics. (A1-A2 level)
As I told you before, you have two possibilities to learn French quickly : you can study in a French school in France or you can study on your own. Obviously the first option is the most efficient, but also the more expensive. If you can afford this, do not hesitate ! Another solution is to buy a short course (one or two weeks). Even a short trip to France is ideal to put your language to good use and practice. This will also help you keep motivated.
I will talk about it at the end of this article. First let’s see how to organise your training. Here are my suggestions :
- Learn the French alphabet. This is the first thing you have to do ! Try to pronounce each letter out loud. Repeat several times.
- Study minimum thirty minutes every day, find a method which is not focus only on grammar, it is better to start by learning whole sentences. By doing this you will memorize vocabulary and you will be able to talk about simple topics. I would suggest the Assimil method, Teach yourself, books and online material…
- Learn the common, everyday words.
- Try to listen to the French language every day, a huge amount of content is available on the internet : songs, tv channels, audiobooks… Try them all ! Little by little you ear will get tuned. The BBC has several excellent programmes too.
Learning the basics alone requires several months. If you follow my suggestions, you should progress fast !
Step Two : Strengthening. (B1-B2 level)
You can be proud of yourself ! You have been learning French for several months and now you can talk generally about a few of your favourite subjects! For the following period, proceed like this :
- It is time to study grammar ! You have learned a lot of words but now you need to understand the logic of the French language. Find a good method that focus on grammar and a dictionary of verbs and how to conjugate them (there is a good one called Bescherelle).
- Keep listening to French ! Try a website such as Lyrics Training. You will have to listen and complete the lyrics of French songs, that is a fun way to improve your comprehension skills.
- Sign up to a website like italki where you can find a teacher or a native pen pal. This is a way to keep motivated. Just one class a week would be very effective !
- Start to watch French movies or series with subtitles.
Step Three : Advanced training. (C1-C2 level)
Congratulations ! Now your French is really getting good ! Let’s continue studying at an advanced level ! There is much to do now:
- Read books, press articles, websites… You will learn more and more vocabulary and you will master the syntax. Do not translate words, only those which stop you from getting the gist. Read topics that you are interested in.
- Watch television, movies and French series. It is quite easy to find content online. For example Netflix is available in several languages.
- Continue keeping some classes on Skype if possible.
- Travel to France ! It is time to put your language into practice ! You should really try to do this, you deserve it !
I would like to stress that nowadays the best way to learn a language is to go abroad. When you experience full immersion, you learn very quickly and it is always interesting to discover a new culture. If you can afford to do this, you will also understand how important is to choose the right language school. To progress quickly, choose a French school that has the French government quality label. I would strongly recommend French in Normandy in Rouen because it offers : quality courses, a super cosy, friendly atmosphere, it is easy to get to Paris and Rouen is a very beautiful French city… This article will help you to know how to choose the best French language school.
Last but not least, do not forget that you now have everything you need to succeed ! Good luck ! Bon continuation !