Sheena’s Tips for Learning French

I’ve been in France for 3 months and it’s safe to say my French has improved immensely. Immersing yourself in the language is by far the best way to learn it, however it’s not going to just sponge straight into your brain. You have to do a bit of work to push yourself along and to make good progress.

The things I talk about in this blog are all things I’ve found extremely useful in learning French. It’s highly beneficial to do a little extra work, just to cement in all the new phrases, verbs, and words.

The first thing I recommend you to is keep a notebook of all the new words you learn. Try and write the new words on a scrap piece of paper ( Don’t throw it out by accident.. ) and then transfer the words in your notebook later. This way your notebook doesn’t have to go everywhere with you and you can rewrite the new words neatly into it.
Another useful thing to do is study commonly used verbs. These are the verbs used day to day by everyone. For the best results, you’ll need to practice them too. I find if I speak to someone they’ll correct me if I say something wrong or I just ask them if what I said is correct. Doing this means your mistakes are corrected quickly and you don’t usually make them again.

A really helpful trick for learning phrases is setting a rule for yourself that once you learn a new phrase you have to use it in a conversation within 24 hours. This sets a little challenge for yourself and I always find once I use the phrase in one conversation I’m then able to use it in lots of different conversations.

The most difficult thing about speaking French is the accent and pronunciation. You can know all the vocab and verbs in the world but if you don’t use the French accent when saying them, you might as well be talking to a wall. It’s extremely hard to understand French spoken with an Irish accent! It’s difficult and a little embarrassing but it’s well appreciated by others.

One of the classic approaches to learning new words is buying a good dictionary, and actually using it. I feel like my dad saying this but if you don’t know a word “Look it up” as the man himself says. They are a bit old fashioned but they’re more reliable than google translate.

Finally I just want to say, don’t let people speak English to you. It’s a bad habit to get into and doesn’t benefit you at all. You’re in France to learn French, not teach others English
I hope you found this helpful and I hope your French improves greatly.

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Bon Voyage,
Sheena Devine


Sheena Devine