How to learn French better: 5 keys for success
Are you learning French? There are easy ways to learn French better. In this article, I’ll give you the top 5 tips that you need to learn French faster and better. You’ll also find below a video in French that explains everything in this post.
How to learn French better
If you are eager to learn how to expand your language skills in French, you need to implement these simple steps. For more explanation, you’ll find the details associated with each of these steps in the following sections:
- Listen, Read, Repeat
- Choose A Principal Method
- Stop using lists to learn vocabulary
- Directly Speak In French
- Be consistent when learning French
Video on How to learn French better
You can watch the video below and discover the tips on how to learn French better. If you prefer reading, then continue reading!
1. Listen, Read, Repeat
Listen, read, and repeat is the first advice to learn French better. There are various learning methods and techniques in order to develop your listening skills, discover new information, and boost your learning.
Just as reading is important to acquire new knowledge, listening is essential to ensure successful oral communications. It’s not about active listening, either. Listening is a way to learn how words are pronounced in French, how sounds are articulated, and how intonation flows when speaking French. This is why listening is vital for successful communication.
Develop your listening skills as it is an effective solution to overcome many learning difficulties. For instance, if you come across words such as oeuf (egg) and oeufs (eggs) in French, how could you know the right pronunciation? For someone who never heard these words before, it’s quite challenging to guess their right pronunciation in French.
As listening is one of the vital means to learn French better, learners should be aware that not every French audio is suitable to develop their language skills. As you might guess, many French audios are not created or designed to teach spoken French.
Speakers will probably cut words and speak fast. Eventually, they might have an accent that is hard to understand by French learners. This is why choosing appropriate audio that suits your level in French is also an important step in the process of learning French.
Reading is an important skill when learning a foreign language. Reading in French, like in any other language, is a skill that every learner should consider developing to learn French more efficiently.
That means, once you’ve mastered the core of this skill, you can, and you should, you’ll better understand the French language and your learning becomes more productive. Often the goal is to read a variety of new things. Whether you read French comics or you read French magazines and newspapers, ensure that some of these readings are for pleasure while others for studying.
In a way, you can think of reading as a process with which every learner updates his/her knowledge. If you can read, you can learn anything like a new vocabulary, tips, grammar rules, etc.
Often the goal is to retain information, and here is where reading and listening are intertwined. While reading is useful to learn new vocabulary, listening shows what these words sound like.
When it comes to learning French, the advice is to associate each word with its sound. Repeating out loud what you are learning may improve your ability to retain and recall the word, as well as its pronunciation.
It is a scientific fact that building up language skills little by little, starting with easy words, and establishing associations and links are effective tips to enhance how to study faster and better.
2. Choose A Principal Method
Stop wasting time with random materials that many of them aren’t made for you. Every person is different, take the time to choose one main learning method that you’ll stick to it.
The advent of the internet and smartphones gave French learners a new tool. French videos and recorded podcast audio became available online. Learners are free to watch and to listen to such learning materials almost anywhere and anytime.
As with physical books, a large choice is now available and every day thousands of new content is released by many French language organizations, online teachers, mobile apps, etc.
What French learners have access to is beyond what anyone could have imagined a few years back. However, many people still struggle when learning French and consuming every piece they can touch.
They start with a smartphone app to learn French, then buy a book to learn French better, and then watch all the videos and podcasts that are released every day. After a few weeks or months, they become frustrated and come to the conclusion that the French language is hard to learn. This isn’t the case.
There is no best method
While many learners are convinced that learning this way is the best for them, learners who made real progress fast often work differently. They choose one main method and stick to it. Of course, every person is different.
Some persons are visual and prefer to learn by watching videos in French. Others prefer to listen to audio recordings and podcasts to learn French. Also, many prefer reading books, watching French movies, and a large number are already enrolled in online courses and coaching programs.
Click here to check our private French lessons program.
Every method is convenient for someone, there is no best choice.
However, are you really learning if you’re listening to a French recording while you’re commuting?
Or are you really learning when watching videos in French that don’t fit your current level?
Are you overloading your free time with a lot of learning materials?
Time well spent
There is no doubt that time spent learning is time well spent. I’ll add that time spent learning well is time well spent. This is why you should choose one main method to learn. Here are a few things to do and others to avoid.
- Take the time to choose the content that you’re consuming
- Avoid distracting environments. Try not to consume/study your best content when you are in distracting environments.
- Context switching is bad. Stop doing this. 20 minutes of studying vocabulary is better than splitting the same 20 minutes between vocab, grammar, and verb tenses.
Nothing pays off better than an online course to learn French.
You’ll get a structured program that will help you optimize your time and make you learn French faster. You’ll also take quizzes to evaluate your progress.
Learning this way will make this a very enjoyable and natural way to learn French.
3. Stop using lists to learn vocabulary
Context matters. Likewise, put aside the vocabulary lists and leverage learning within a context.
Vocabulary is the building block of any language. Vocabulary enables learners to read and people to communicate efficiently in French. The more vocabulary learners have, the better their reading comprehension becomes.
Likewise, the more vocabulary people master, the least they’ll get stuck on a word while having a conversation in French. However vocabulary is more than just French word lists – it’s a context that is loaded of concepts and plenty of associations.
There are several different strategies to acquire new words when learning French. Many of these strategies have a low return on time invested. Learners often start gathering dozens of lists that contain hundreds of words.
They repeat them every day and probably multiple times on the same day. And for what results? Months after such investment, they try to speak in French but they get stuck quickly only after a few phrases are exchanged in French.
How to grow your French vocabulary?
Focus on a single context when you’re trying to grow your vocabulary in French. Our brains retain information better whenever things are placed within a context. This is why it’s much more useful to learn the vocabulary within a context and try to associate concepts together or with pictures. That’s more than just another list of words – it’s a way of efficiently circumventing a lot of unnecessary (or just unrelated) words and getting straight to the heart of a topic.
There is no shortage of topics that French learners can start with: French food, tourism in France, French work culture, French fashion, football, etc. You may choose topics that you are interested in. This will help you to master this strategy to learn French. Once you find a few topics, I recommend that you study one context at a time. And then the most important thing you can do is to directly speak and use what you just learned in French.
4. Directly speak in French
A great exercise for French learners is to speak French. Start speaking as early as possible to boost your speaking skills and become a confident French speaker.
This is another advice to help you learn French fast. Find a French speaker and start a conversation in French about the context that you just addressed in the previous step. Even with the few words that you know, you’ll gain much confidence.
You’ve finally grasped the many words of a given topic and you won’t get stuck searching for a word related to that topic. Building confidence while speaking will make you more eager to speak French.
5. Be consistent when learning French
Last but not least, repeat every day.
Repeat these steps and do them on a regular basis. This is the key to accelerating your French learning. As with any sports activity, you’ll only get better at French if you are consistent and patient.
Stick to a pace that you can sustain. I propose 15 minutes of learning French every day will help you learn French fast.
You can make incredible progress in French if you are consistent and patient. However, it’s important to remember that you must get and stay focused when learning French.
Making time helps you stay focused on boosting your French learning because it does matter!!
If you’d like to learn how to overcome pronunciation difficulties or listening challenges in French you can join these online courses.
Become better At French
These strategies are simply starting points — different tips for you to begin learning French more efficiently.
Check out our other articles on Master Your French to get more tips on how to learn French faster and better:
- Among many other things, you’ll learn how to write formal emails in French or how to think in French.
- Beyond these tips to learn French, you can watch our YouTube videos.
Now that you have a clear picture of what helps when learning French, it’s time to provide you with the various ways that Master Your French could support you to perfect your French language.
Accessing a program that is made to help you learn French will give you the right push to take a further step to boost your French learning better and faster.