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Learning French

How can I learn French at home? Challenges vs. learning French at a language school

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How to learn French at home

There are several ways to learn French. The most obvious method is a language school in your home country or a French immersion course in France. But – how to learn French at home? Is this possible?
Following are some tips to learn French at home.

Challenges of learning French at home

1. Be motivated

It is important that you have a good reason to learn French in order to stay motivated in the long term. You need to communicate with the French, at work, whilst traveling. You are in love with a French-speaking person – all this are good reasons to learn French. Define your goals and have a discipline to learn French at home. Devote time regularly.

2. Immerse yourself into the language!

An important tip: If you learn French at home, make sure you are surrounded every day by the French language. Practice the language daily. Gradually, you should try to incorporate the French into your everyday life. Try to think in French, to speak in French, to write an e-mail, watch television in French, listen to a French song and try to understand it. It is very important to immerse you into French culture and to use diverse media that make you enjoy learning.

Like this you can learn French at home.

3. Self-learning: Use varied media!

There are many different media to learn French at home.

  • French books
    There are of course a multitude of general French books that can teach you languages. Grammar books; vocabulary books; books for written exercises; books with audio media for listening comprehension etc.
    In addition, there are also specialized books for law, marketing, media, technical books, etc. All these books offer specific vocabulary to learn French at home.
  • Internet, other media
    You will also find many learning opportunities online, there are interactive activities and many French exercises are offered. Some sites such as TV5 Monde and RFI (Radio France International) offer exercises from authentic materials (videos, podcasts). On Youtube you will find many instructional videos made by French teachers, students or just Francophiles. You’ll also find many tips on how to learn French at home.
    Listen to French radio or watch French TV and movies, with or without subtitles. Even if you do not understand everything, you hear the language! The more you listen to the language, the more you become familiar with the sounds and the easier you can communicate later.
  • Applications for mobiles
    In the same way you can to learn French at home or on the road by using applications on your mobile phone.
  • Magazines, books
    There are also magazines to learn French, either paper or digital. You may consult “The Connexion” a magazine and website that is aimed at English speakers learning French. You can quickly expand your vocabulary and additionally learn a lot about the French culture.
    Some publishers offer short French novels at different language levels. You will discover the classics or enjoy just reading a story in French.

4. Search for a tandem partner

The ability to communicate with someone is the first goal of learning French. Our tip is to look for a tandem partner with whom you can talk in French. This can be a student or someone from your circle of friends, but best, someone who speaks French as mother tongue.

You can learn with this person French and offer in return English conversation. It is free and both people benefit from it. Of course you can also find a tandem partner on the web and communicate via Skype.

There are also many organizations worldwide offering linguistic exchanges. Some universities offer tandems and language exchange with French students studying English in your city. So you can make tandem with native speakers – that way you learn French at home best.

5. Leave your comfort zone and have fun

To learn French at home requires a strong motivation and discipline. Do not be discouraged, it is important that learning French is a pleasure. So, have fun! Sing, write, watch good French movies, enjoy exhibitions of French artists in your city etc.

Do not be afraid to make mistakes! To speak a foreign language is intimidating at first glance, but just speak it, it is the only way forward!

In summary, learning French at home is an everyday, regular task. It is best to vary the activities and media. Do not just sit on your desk and learn French vocabulary. For sure learning French at home cannot replace a French immersion course in France, but it can be a good preparation for a language course in France or help you to improve after a language stay in France even further.
Follow our tips and you will enjoy learning French at home.