Language Learning – Focus On French
Why Learn French?
Are you one of those people for whom learning stopped the moment you left school? Does the very idea of brushing up on the French you studied make you tremble slightly and reach for another coffee? Yet deep down, can you see the great benefits of being able to communicate in French for social and business reasons? If this describes you, read on!
Imagine being able to go on holiday to France or another French speaking country and actually understand to what people were saying, order food and drinks, negotiate prices for hotels and taxis, and enjoy the fabulous culture around you! Think how much easier negotiating business deals and communicating with clients would be if you could offer a second language. The possibilities once you have mastered French are endless!
Personal Learning Styles
Maybe your memories of French lessons at school are a blur of endless verb endings and conjugations which prevented you from accessing or enjoying the language. Many people develop a psychological block to learning a new language due to a bad experience at school. The great thing is that thanks to the internet, you really can find a range of easy, fun and flexible learning tools to suit the way that you learn.
Figure out what helps you to learn:
- Do you take things in by reading and visualising things?
- Do you pick information up by listening and repeating?
- Do you prefer to be active with your hands whilst learning, perhaps writing down words or sorting things into the correct order?
Find a system which works for you, and which you can access regularly without disrupting your daily routine. This will ensure that you stay motivated.
Interactive internet tools such as the French learning systems offered by Tell Me More French and Rocket French have changed the way in which we access new languages. Adults who think they are too old to take in a new language often find that the flexible approach offered by these tools allow them to work at their own pace, and to choose which areas of the language they want to focus on. Images and online flashcards work in a similar way to the methods we used to learn English as children, and are surprisingly effective. Just log on to learn!
Language learning CD’s can also be a great way to learn French, and often come with a book of materials so that you can test your progress and double-check any areas causing difficulty. These are useful if you like to combine the learning styles of looking, listening and doing. Listening to the CD in the car, or even whilst falling asleep (yes, this really can work!) lets the language gradually work its way into your brain. On a long journey, your conversations with the CD will make the time fly, and improve your understanding! Look out for the ‘Teach Yourself French’ and BBC ‘Active Talk French’ series, both of which cater for absolute beginners and gradually build up confidence and expertise.
A trip to France is the ultimate incentive to really commit to learning French. A few days sampling le bon vin and haute cuisine will make you see just how worthwhile your efforts have been. Laugh at your own mistakes, and learn from them – c’est la vie!