The learning process is certainly fun, but many times it can also become routine and make you feel like you have stopped learning. Whenever we learn a language, we want to communicate as quickly as possible, and we start to despair a little when we don’t reach our goals as quickly as we want. It is important to understand that, like any process, it is necessary to devote time and effort in order to have the best results. The good thing is that there are always ways to make everything work better. That’s why our students told us their tricks to practice French in a fun and effective way when they’re outside the classroom! Take notes, because this will be very helpful for you!
Watch animated cartoons
Many of our students shared that one of the easiest ways to begin to understand a language outside the classroom is by watching cartoons on television. “It’s super good to start understanding the language. They speak slowly, with short phrases and, above all, with easy to understand vocabulary, it’s a good way to get distracted and practice at the same time” says Mara, one of our students from Brazil.
Listen to music
Mara also points out that a great way to practice the language is to listen to music. “It is very easy to be stuck in your head; the sentences are short and often repeated. It is perfect to search for the lyrics of the songs and to follow them at the same time that you hear the music “, she emphasizes. There are many radio stations that you can listen to or simply search on the internet for songs by French artists. A good tip is to find the most popular song lists in France and start listening to the ones you like the most.
Those who are lovers of cinema will surely enjoy a good French film to practice the language. One of our students’ the favorite activities is watching movies at home or in the cinema. In Montpellier, some cinemas in offer films with French subtitles. “Movies are perfect for practicing the language. It’s a good way to relax while you learn. I put films with subtitles always in French, which allows me to see the writing of the words while I understand the pronunciation. It’s perfect!” Says Foteini, a student who is in his fourth level at IEF. The school also has a long list of DVDs that can be borrowed. Our students can take these films home or even can organize groups of classmates and reserve one of the rooms for an afternoon viewing..
Enjoy a good book
Reading is undoubtedly one of the best ways to approach to a language, and is also one of the best ways to expand your vocabulary. A book of suspense, travel, romance, or even a book of comic strips are perfect to always carry with you. “I love detective novels. I easily connect with the subject and it’s a way of always keeping me reading in French. I also carry with me a dictionary and a small notebook to write down the new vocabulary, it is a great way to learn new words” says Michelle, who visited us from Canada for three weeks.
Read the free newspapers
Every morning, it is possible to find various publications that are totally free. “Every day before getting on the tram, I take a couple of newspapers and so I have something to read on my way to school. It seems to me excellent, because you can choose between different articles that fit your interest and also allow you to measure your grade of understanding. At the beginning of my stay I only managed to read the headlines and gradually I could read more and more until I understood the complete note” says Elena, a Spanish student at IEF.
Attend TANDEM language exchange events
In the city and at IEF there are several language exchange events that allow students to practice their oral communication while making new friends. “Whenever I can, I attend the GoLingo events or the TANDEM Language exchange meetings at school. They have helped me a lot to speak more fluently and to communicate without being shy. They are an excellent option to have a good time and, in addition, are totally free”, says Santiago, who came to IEF for nine months.
Be organized and select the most useful contents
While learning the new language, you will constantly be receiving new information, so it is super important that after each class you review the content and organize it. “It is good that of all the material that you receive you make selections of the contents that are more useful or easier to use, besides to pass in clean everything that you see in classes. It is an excellent idea to organize classes in sections such as vocabulary, grammar or expressions, and differentiate them with different colors that help you to fix the information” says Sofia, who prepared to present the DALF in IEF.
Record audios of native French
Sofia also tells us that one way to improve her pronunciation was to ask French natives to record small audio files for her, so she could listen to them again later. “I asked someone natives to read a small article of my books. Then I listened to it paying attention to the pronunciation and then I read it and recorded it. Then listening to the two audios I could see what mistakes I was making and improve them”, she says.
Watch French comedians on YouTube
Social networks are a tool that is available to everyone. They enable you to enjoy content or to create it, and many people have created their own spaces to reach others. Comedians are a great example of some of them. “Since I came to France, I searched on YouTube for French comedy channels that were easy to understand and that allowed me to practice the language while having fun. It’s super recommended”, says Eugenia, a Mexican student at IEF.
Make drawings of the content
Eugenia also tells us that her passion for drawing helps a great deal while she learns. “All my notebooks are full of drawings of objects, phrases, or designs that represent some emotions. It makes much easier to remember the word or the expression if my mind fixed the drawing”, she adds.