The new year is here and it’s time to make some good resolutions (to be kept all year if you can...). If you’re learning French, be aware that there are some good habits you can adopt. To get 2018 off to a good start, I’ve got five key ‘commandments’ that will help you in your studies.
The most important thing is to practise French every day. Don’t be shy and don’t be afraid of making mistakes: mistakes are essential if you are to make progress. This is equally true for grammar, french vocabulary and french pronunciation.
When it comes to the goals that you want to achieve, being over ambitious can be a problem. Don’t focus on french grammatical concepts which are too complicated and take a steady approach. Just because you haven’t perfectly mastered the subjunctive doesn’t mean you can’t express an opinion, give an order or state a wish!
Beware of the dictionary: it’s an essential tool but one which should be used with caution. Opt for a monolingual dictionary and create vocabulary lists to revise every day. This will help you learn words in context rather than in an isolated manner.
If you can, try to watch French films in their original versions. Don’t forget short TV series as well, such as Bref, Plus belle la vie, Parents mode d’emploi, etc. And consider checking out some of the funny videos posted by popular YouTubers like Cyprien, Le Rire Jaune, Natoo and Norman.
There’s nothing like a visit to the country itself to meet native speakers and get to know the culture better. If you live with a french host family, you’ll be able to chat about subjects of your choosing on a daily basis. One final piece of advice: even when you’re with your friends, try to talk in French rather than in English or your native language.