You’re taking French classes, you ask your French tutor all the right questions, you’re beginning to speak it little by little and you’re completing all of your French home assignments and preparing for your DELF exam, now what? Well mon cheri, now we practice!
We’ve all heard the story of people learning French for years at elementary, middle and high school, yet they can’t hold a conversation.
I am not saying this is the case for everyone in this same situation, but generally speaking, this is usually how it goes. One reason may be the lack of practice outside of the classroom.
When you are learning a new language in a non-francophone country, it may be tricky to practice some of your newly learned phrases outside of the classroom.
The only practice you get is when you are actually in class, which will be, generally speaking, 10 hours a week? That amount per week is unfortunately not enough to make you a native French speaker.
When learning a new language it is crucial to practice, and as the saying goes, practice does make perfect!
But how you may ask? Well, there are many, and may we add FUN things that one can do to practice this beautiful new language you’re learning.
You will be surprised as to how many great French films are available through online streaming programs. Source: Denise Jans on Unsplash
If you’re a fan of the arts, you’re in luck! There are many great French movies that one can enjoy that are just a click away, literally!
With the increase in popularity of online streaming services, there is an abundance of foreign films that one can find through these outlets.
Not only are they in French but you can also add French subtitles so you can improve your eyes and ears to how French is pronounced.
If you are feeling a bit less courageous, you can always leave the audio in French and add English subtitles, this will still be very beneficial, as you will start to train your hearing to familiarize with the language.
Another art-related technique you can practice your French with is by music.
This way, you are training yourself to hear and try to understand the words and you are also finding cool new artists that you may not have been familiar with!
Just to mention a few of our favorites, Stromae, Angele, Christine and the Queens, our list can go on.
If you’re the type that likes to sing along, then why not search your favorite songs’ lyrics? This can be a double benefit as you’ll not only train your French hearing but you’ll train your French reading skills.
Song lyrics can easily be found online, no matter what language, with just a click of a button! Why not blast that music up and sing out loud next time you’re home alone? There is always room for some French pronunciation practice.
Listening to French podcasts while on your daily commute to work or school can be a great way to train your comprehension skills. Source: Henry Be on Unsplash
Maybe you’re not much of a music listener, but you enjoy a good podcast. We’ve got something for you too!
There are great French podcasts that are available for you to listen. If you don’t know where to begin, then maybe this list can help!
There are French podcasts of all topics and interests; even better, most of them are free, now there’s something to be happy about. Another great thing about podcasts is that you can find them in just about any level.
You can find podcasts anywhere from basic beginners level all the way to native French-speaking level.
After all, the best way way to practice and learn your French is by getting used to hearing the locals.
A good podcast can definitely make your morning commute a lot more interesting!
You don’t need to have a French phone or French carrier to have access to the hundreds of French apps that are available for download. Source: Bagus Hernawan on Unsplash
Our list of practice methods doesn’t end yet! There are phone applications that make practicing French all fun and games. One of the popular ones is Duolingo.
The more you utilize the application to practice your French the more it personalizes your exercises. It also rewards you if you’re doing a good job with badges and points and it gives you quick results so you can instantly see if your answers are correct or not.
While Duolingo may be one of the well-known French learning applications, there are others that are similar too and you can just as easily download them to your phone.
Not only is learning French through playing games fun but it can also relieve stress, which means, if you are less stressed, there may be higher chances of your lessons becoming easier.
Playing through educational applications that promote French learning can remove the stress of having to study your French but actually make you enjoy “studying” but through fun games.
There are plenty of Paris newspapers that have apps available for your phone, you don’t need to be in France to read the local news. Source: Roman Kraft on Unsplash
A good way to expose yourself to France and its culture is by keeping up with their happenings. A great way of doing this is by checking out their local news!
We aren’t saying to upgrade your cable service to be able to watch them nor to have their newspapers be delivered to your doorstep for a skyrocketed price. You simply can just get their local news apps on your phone or tablet.
With today’s technology, there is an app for almost everything! If you are still getting used to reading in French then you may be interested in reading shorter summarized articles. Two great French news apps that offer that are Le Parisien and 20 minutes.
Both of these applications can easily be found on your preferred applications store and are free! These apps will make you feel like a local, even if your thousands of miles away.
They not only focus on daily news but, if you’re ever visiting France, they will suggest fun weekend happenings near you. It will be a great way to fully immerse!
Joining French social groups in your city can motivate you to practice French more often and lead to a higher comprehension and speaking level. Source: Ben Duchac on Unsplash
Besides the arts and podcasts, you can try a more social approach like group meet-ups to practice your French.
There are organizations such as a nationwide one called Meet Up. Their sole purpose is to bring people with similar interests together. If this is the route you decide to go with you can find people that are willing to practice speaking French with you.
Whether the person is a native speaker or a newbie like yourself, whatever the position they are in, you’ll meet someone new while practicing your French skills.
One other way you can find French social groups is by searching Facebook!
There is a group for just about anything on Facebook. If meeting a person one on one isn’t your thing, then joining one of these groups can be a better option.
It may sound a bit intimidating to just join a group online and meet with people you have never met, but everyone will be in the same scenario as you and this normally free practice!
If you are already open to learning a new language, then why not be open to meeting new people? Better yet, people with the same interests at you, to be French speakers!