French is a beautiful language, but can be difficult to learn. It requires time, patience and practice. Just memorizing words isn’t enough if you don’t understand their usage. Learning the language and regular practice in speaking are essential to learning a lang uage you were not born speaking. There are plenty of resources available to help you learn to speak French fluently that offer practical learning tools and techniques.
How to Learn French
Take a French Class, Online or Offline
Taking a class is one of the most efficient and readily available ways to learn to speak French. Most local community colleges offer reasonably-priced classes that are open to anyone. You can also check adult education centers to see if they offer language classes. These classes will provide a solid foundation that enables you to eventually pursue independent learning. There are many available classes online as well that are usually cheaper than a brick and mortar school and allow for more flexibility to fit them into your schedule. Some excellent online resources for learning French include:
Live Mocha: http://livemocha.com/
French Paris Online: http://www.frenchspanishonline.com/
Adopt Your Own Learning Style
When it comes to how to learn French, people learn in different ways. Some learn better while listening, others learn better while reading. Determine which type of learner you are so you can decide which learning style is best for you. A classroom setting will usually involve more writing and memorization, which is a good way to learn, while online classes may provide more auditory learning. Speaking as you learn is a good way to immerse yourself in the language and enable you to learn quickly.
Start With Vocabulary and Phrases
Try memorizing at least thirty words and phrases a day. This will help you learn as much as eighty percent of the language over time. Many common phrases and words are used over and over again and will help you get the basics. Label items in your house so you see the words and practice using them. Make flash cards for use during any down time and practice speaking out loud. Continue to practice words you have already learned so you don’t forget them and use them with the newer words.
Gradually Introduce Yourself to the Language Structure
Once learned enough words and phrases, you can learn how the words work together. Practice conjugating the verbs you have learned and using them with nouns in their correct tense. Many phrases involve gender-specific words so learning the difference is important to speaking French correctly. You must also learn the correct pronunciation of words. Many words when written do not produce the sounds you would expect.
Find Others Who Are Learning French
You are not the only one trying to learn French so find others that you can study and practice with. Check your local school or adult learning center for information on study groups. Conversing with others is a sure way to help you learn how to speak French correctly and with little effort. Find a pen pal or a study group online that can help you use what you’ve learned. Practice and use is the key to learning to speak French.
Concerning how to learn French, practice is of great importance. In fact, practice is the key to learning anything new so keep practicing your French. Daily practice strengthens your existing knowledge as well as expanding your knowledge and understanding. Review what you have previously learned so you can continue to build more complex sentences. Set aside time every day, even if it’s just a half hour. Building good habits will aid you in your learning.
Immerse Yourself in French
Immersing yourself in the language will solidify what you have already learned and keep you learning further. French radio is readily accessible online so listen for a few minutes at a time to help improve your understanding of how the language is spoken. Buy French books and read them out loud. This gets you used to proper pronunciation even if you don’t understand all of the words and helps with your conversation skills. You can also watch French films with subtitles. This helps you learn more words and phrases while hearing them said properly. It also helps you learn colloquial French and see how different it is from a direct English translation.
Talk It Out
Taking what you have learned and actually using it is essential to learning to speak French correctly. Take the opportunity to use French whenever you are able. Write your shopping list in French so you continue to learn. Count your items in French, say the prices in French, and read the labels in French. Try thinking in French—both to yourself and out loud. You can also join the non-profit group Alliance Francaise which promotes French throughout the world. You will find others who share your interest in the language and will help you learn and use what you have learned.