I’ll explain how to do it correctly and give you all the tools you need in this French self-study guide, so you can get started right away!
French self-study: how to start
You may want to learn French so that you can surprise a French friend or so that you can visit the lovely French coast and communicate with the locals there. In any case, do you need an excuse to learn one of the most stunning languages in existence?
You’ve decided to learn the French language, but you’re not interested in taking a class or even private lessons… Can you learn a foreign language by yourself?
Although learning a language is a continuous process, there is one thing you can count on: you have to start somewhere. Although learning a language can be enjoyable, there will eventually come a point where you will either be worn out or lack motivation.
Committing yourself is the first step. Create a schedule (for instance, “I will study for 20 minutes each day.”) and adhere to it. Even though it will occasionally be challenging, I assure you that it will also be very rewarding.
French self-study: the right resources
After committing, spend the first few days learning about the resources you’ll be using to study French. Here are some fundamental resources you should check out before you start your independent French study:
- A good place to start is by finding a reliable online dictionary. They are widely available online. Based on your mother tongue, you’ll find one that suits you. Contextual dictionaries like Reverso or Linguee, which support a large number of language pairings and let you translate multiple words at once, including sentences and idioms, are another option.
- If you’re anything like me, you’ll need a course to give you structure after that. The best way to get used to hearing French being spoken while practicing without getting bored, in my opinion, is with an audio course.
- Naturally, a grammar manual is always helpful. In addition to strengthening what you learn from the audio course, doing this will help you get better at speaking the language. Most people think grammar is dull, but I assure you that it can be entertaining in moderation. Additionally, if you have a basic grasp of grammar, you will understand and remember much more. It could significantly alter your French adventure.
- A language-learning app can be downloaded to your phone so you can practice wherever you are. One of the most well-known apps for learning foreign languages is Duolingo. You can learn how to speak, listen, read, and write in French with the help of the French version, which combines conventional flashcards with cutting-edge technology. It’s a great way to practice French throughout the day in quick bursts.
French self-study: what to focus on
Once you begin learning, you’ll understand… There is a lot to discover! What then should you focus on? I’d wager that the majority of people want to learn French to speak it. If you also want to read Dante, you’re amazing!
So it’s as easy as that: focus on speaking and listening! Speaking is the ability that is most frequently disregarded in language courses, though not always. You’ll be shocked to learn that simply by following this course, you’ve picked up grammar and vocabulary, and you’ll be even more shocked once you start thinking in French!
French self-study: how to keep it up
What more do you require? A schedule, a great course to take, a bite-sized grammar reference book, an excellent online dictionary, and an app to practice while you wait for the bus…
Watching French news (here you can find slow French news for learners), listening to podcasts on interesting subjects, and reading—even if it’s just online recipes, short stories for French students, or even children’s books—are all fantastic ways to practice your language skills every day and stay motivated.
Additionally, it’s never too early to start conversing with and listening to native speakers. If you don’t know anyone who speaks French, go to the nearest French eatery and practice with the staff. Don’t be afraid to make errors either!