How can I learn French by myself?
How can I learn French by myself? is a recurring question with my students. How about a detailed roadmap to help you with learning French?
#1 How can I learn French by myself: Why learning French?
Before embarking in this exciting journey, maybe you wonder why so many people learn French or why learning French is important? Besides the obvious (when you need to learn French for business or study in France), here are a few more great points to keep your motivation going! Learning French can be important for a variety of reasons. Let’s make the picture a little bigger!!
– French is spoken by over 300 million people worldwide, making it one of the most widely spoken languages in the world (et oui!) and with forecast of 700 millons by 2050!
– French is an official language in 29 countries, including France, Canada, and Haiti, and is spoken as a second language in many more (meaning you can travel and communicate with a lot of people besides the French!)
– French is a Romance language, which means that it is closely related to other Romance languages such as Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, making it easier to learn if you already speak one of these languages 😉
– French is also an important language in international relations, business, diplomacy, and culture. Knowing French can open up job and educational opportunities, and make it easier to travel and communicate with people in French-speaking countries (and you’ve heard about the language of love also…<3)
– French is also important for those who wants to study in France and other French speaking countries, or in fields such as literature, philosophy, art history and many more (and believe, it’s never too late…)
Great! Now that you know why to want to learn French is important… well, how can you learn French by yourself?
#2 How can I learn French by myself? My best tips!
- Immersion: Surrounding yourself with the language, whether it be through watching TV shows or movies in French (with captions), listening to music, or speaking with native speakers, can help you pick up the language more quickly! Check out your TV programming (or Netflix…). You’ll find FREE French classes on this French channel dedicated to French learners (from French beginners to advanced French levels)
- https://apprendre.tv5monde.com/fr/exercices/premiere-classe A self-paced official French learning channel
- Youtube…A little tip: Set the speed at 0,75 on Youtube or Netflix. Beware of CC that can be a little ‘off’ 🙂
- Practice regularly: Consistent practice is key to French learning. Try to set aside some time each day to practice speaking, listening, reading and writing. Yes, you have to make that little extra effort!
- Use flashcards: Flashcards can be a helpful tool for memorizing vocabulary and phrases. Check out quizlet! You’ll find Speak French Avec Moi Quizlet class here: https://quizlet.com/class/22988486/
- Try a language learning app: There are many language learning apps available that can help you with vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. I cannot recommend one, just try and see which one you like best!
- Find a language partner: Find someone who speaks the language you’re learning and practice speaking with them regularly. Check local ads, post in French Facebook group!
- Learn the most common words first: Focus on learning the most common words and phrases first, as they will be used in everyday conversation. Seems obvious but worth repeating!
- Be patient and persistent: Learning a new language is a process that takes time and effort. Be patient and persistent with yourself, and don’t get discouraged if you don’t make progress as quickly as you would like.
And all of these leads us to motivation….
#3 How to keep my motivation when learning French?
Starting is the first step! Keeping and staying motivated is often the most difficult for most of my students! Here are some my best tips for staying motivated when learning French:
- Set specific and achievable goals for yourself, such as passing a French exam or being able to have a conversation with a French-speaking person. Start with being able to carry a five-minute conversation, name things in your everyday life and surroundings…
- Create a daily routine for studying French, such as setting aside a certain amount of time each day to practice vocabulary or grammar, whether at the gym, commuting, in the morning or at bedtime…
- Find a language partner or study group to practice speaking with and keep you accountable.
Here are a few channels to try for listening comprehension
- https://www.youtube.com/@arte A French-German Channel
- https://www.youtube.com/user/tv5monde : A French speaking dedicated channel
5. Use flashcards, apps or games to make learning vocabulary and grammar fun and interactive. I like Quizlet but feel free to create your own flashcards! As mentioned, here is Speak French avec Moi Quizlet channel: https://quizlet.com/class/22988486/
6. Buy an entry-level grammar/beginner book in your language to help you understand the underlying structure of the language. I know most students really hate grammar but believe me, a little grammar carries you a long way….
7. Reward yourself when you achieve your goals. How about a little croissant or a nice bottle of wine..or Champagne!
8. Try to find the connection between French and your native language, especially if you already speak Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, or Romanian… And do you know that 30% of English is made of French words?
9. Don’t get discouraged by mistakes, they are part of the learning process.
10. Take a trip to a French-speaking country to practice speaking in a real-life setting. Easier said that done but French is also very common outside of France, such as in Canada, Morocco, Martinique, Sénégal, or Madagascar?
And, most importantly, make a plan and stick with it, consistency is key. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day…..
#3 How can I learn French by myself? Can I learn French with your podcast?
Well, I maybe tooting my own horn here but oui, you can learn French with my podcast. To be fair, there are other French podcasters out there also (I’m not trying to convince you that mine is better but you should stick to one content creator for consistency). Podcasts can be a great way to supplement your language learning and provide you with additional listening practice. Some benefits of using podcasts for language learning include:
- Convenience: Podcasts can be easily downloaded and listened to on a variety of devices, so you can learn a language anytime, anywhere.
- Variety: Podcasts come in many different formats, such as news, conversation, storytelling and more, which can help to keep your learning interesting and engaging.
- Real-life examples: Podcasts often feature native speakers using the language in real-life situations, which can help you to learn the language in a more authentic and natural way.
- Vocabulary and grammar: Some podcasts include explanations of vocabulary and grammar, which can help you to understand and use the language more effectively.
- Focus on specific areas: Some podcasts are geared towards specific areas of language learning such as business French, French for travelers, and French for specific fields such as medicine.
- Self-paced learning: Podcasts allow you to learn at your own pace, you can listen to them as many times as you need to understand or practice the content.
It is important to keep in mind that while listening to podcasts is a great way to improve your listening comprehension and gain exposure to the language, it should not be the only method you use to learn a language. As mentioned previously, comprehensive approach that includes a variety of methods such as reading, writing, speaking, and practicing with native speakers will yield better results.
#3 How about private lessons?
We all need a little extra help, a little more guidance or hand-holding! Considering private lessons is great when you need to achieve higher French goals, practice French conversations, or need to strengthen a better French core. In my classes, I always work different facets with my students.
Personalized instruction: I provide personalized instruction tailored to your specific needs, goals and learning style. I can help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses and design a study plan that works for you.
Immediate feedback: I provide immediate feedback on your work, which can help you to identify and correct mistakes quickly and improve your language skills.
Increased accountability: I can help to hold you accountable for your progress and keep you motivated to study.
Flexibility: I can work with you to schedule lessons at times that are convenient for you, especially with French online lessons.
Targeted practice: I can help you to practice specific language skills such as grammar, vocabulary, reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
Cultural and linguistic insights: I can provide you with insights into the culture and society of French-speaking countries and help you to understand and appreciate the language better.
Building confidence: I will help you to build your confidence when speaking, reading, and writing in French, and can provide you with the support you need to progress.
Focusing on specific needs: I will help you to focus on specific areas of language learning that you need the most help with such as, business French, preparing for an exam, or specific vocabulary and grammar related to traveling.
Overall, I can provide you with a more personalized and effective learning experience, helping you to achieve your goals faster!
#4 Ready to learn French? Where to start?
If you’re a total beginner or your French is too rusty, you can sign-up for my free self-paced online class. I guarantee that you’ll speak French before sunset ( You’ll be able to make a few sentences and learn a few important key points in French)
- Test your French level (beginner): https://francaisfacile.rfi.fr/fr/r%C3%A9viser/20221026-test-de-niveau-a1-je-d%C3%A9couvre-le-fran%C3%A7ais
- Start here if you’re a total beginner or have not practiced French in years, start here: https://speakfrenchavecmoi.com/le-club/
- Need a refresher and extra motivation? Then listen to ‘Le French Bootcamp’. A special series of daily episodes to boost your French, keep your motivation, and feel good about yourself! The episode are all in French to challenge your comprehension. Feel free to speak along, take notes, repeat, pause, and memorize! Start at the first episode here: https://speakfrenchavecmoi.com/french-bootcamp-1-avoir-etre-aller-and-faire/
- Have a specific question about French? You have a choice of hundreds of episode with a FREE transcript. Use the search bar with keywords or just scroll! : https://speakfrenchavecmoi.com/french-podcast-transcripts/
- Private Lessons: Do you need to get to a more executive level in French? A more personalized learning? How about reaching out to start learning French with me? I am at severine (at) speakfrenchavecmoi.com (availability comes and goes, so feel free to reach out!)
Merci et à bientôt,