10 Tips for Improving French Skills at Home
Learning French? Need some extra tips to get ahead?
These fun and helpful tips help French language learners of all ages and grades turn “je ne sais pas” into O-la-la!”
1. Watch your favourite shows and movies—in French! Listening to French will helps students acquire better pronunciation and improves the ability to distinguish words, sentences, etc. Add on French subtitles if you would like to see what the actors are saying.
2. Listen to French music. Whether it’s pop, jazz, rock, or hip-hop, there’s French music for you! Listening to French music allows you to hear the natural intonation of the language, which you’ll subsequently start to use when speaking in French.
3. Word-A-Day. Grab the French dictionary and pick one word a day to focus on. Learn how to spell it, say it, and when and how to use it. Try writing some sentences that use the word, and make sure to show your French teacher so that you know you’re using it correctly!
4. Vocabulary Flash Cards. Choose 10 new French words per week. Write each word on a flash card, with the translation on the other side. Test yourself a couple of times each day—you’ll be surprised at how quickly you learn the words. Keep the flash cards and at the end of the month, review all of the words for the entire month—it’s a great challenge!
5. Stay connected–en français! Change the default language of your email account, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles—even your computer—to French. You already know where the buttons are and what they do—now you’re staying connected and learning French!
6. Check out some French books! Your favourite books: Harry Potter, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Hunger Games, are all available in French! Try reading them—you’ll be amazed at how much you understand, especially if you’ve already read the English version! Your local library will have a non-English section: check it out! Pick a book that matches your language level—it’s okay if it seems a little simple: if the book is too challenging, you’ll simply end up frustrated and not understanding the story.
7. Pen (or email, or Skype) pals! Your teacher can probably connect you with someone who is a French first language speaker who you can practice your writing skills with. Don’t feel like writing on paper? Use email! Or, if you’re looking to improve your oral French, pick up the phone or use Skype to get some one-on-one practice with a native speaker!
8. Start a French club. Get together with your friends, with a French-only rule. Have dictionaries on hand to make it easier to express yourself. To make it more interesting: the first person to speak English has to buy/make the others a treat!
9. Keep a French journal or diary. It doesn’t have to be long, or complex. Just write down a few short sentences every day, and you’ll see your skills improving as you go! After a couple of months, you’ll be able to look back and see how far your writing skills have come!
10. Flash Cards Two. Use the vocabulary flash cards from #4, try to give a rhyming or opposite word for each card.
Boost French Confidence
Get even more tips on how to help your child boost his or her French confidence (and performance) in our video below.