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We are all experiencing a situation that we could never have imagined with the worldwide pandemic of the new Coronavirus Covid-19. Most of us around the world are now either on lockdown or self-isolating or social distancing but whatever term you use to describe it and whichever the specific measures used in your country, we are all spending a lot more time at home than before!
If you are keen to start learning French, or to improve your French during this period to make good use of your spare time, then here are some tips. Some you can even try with your children if you are home-schooling so that you can all work on your French together….here are 10 top tips to work on your French and most of them are free!
The best way to improve your listening is to listen to more French! You can do active listening which is the kind of listening you did at school and the kind you do in your French lessons. But also just having French on in the background while you’re doing other things at home can also help to tune your ear in to French. France Info is a news-based radio which is good because there is a lot of talking, however if you want a mix of talking and music, try Virgin Radio, Europe 2, France Inter…..
French TV is now available over the internet so there is no excuse for not watching it! Try different channels and programmes to find something that you like – choose something you like watching in your native language and try and find similar things in French. You can try watching children’s programmes, or the French version of your favourite shows. You can also put on subtitles in French if you feel like it helps you to read the French at the same time as listening to it.
There are now so many news sites, blogs, magazines and other publications and articles on line that you can find something you enjoy reading and give it a go in French. Depending on your level, choose something suitable – if you are a beginner or an elementary learner then you may prefer to try sites that target learners such as BBC French or Bien Dire.
There are many French learning apps now available for your phone and many of these are free of charge or at least have a free trial. There are apps for all levels and ages, you could try Duolinguo, Brainscape French, Memrise, Busuu just to name a few.
A step up from an app, an e-learning programme is a more involved way of studying online. With syllabus that evolve as you work and improve, there many e-learning programmes out there, some of which are free and many offer at least a free trial. Have a look at Kwiziq, Rosetta Stone & Babbel to start off with….
Choose one word to learn each day, either on your own or with your family. But choose a word that will be useful for you so that you will use and remember it in the future. You can even stick post-it notes around the house to remind you about the words you are learning or label things around the house which can be a fun game to play with the children as a home-schooling activity.
Anytime you count anything, do it in French! If you are counting money, weighing or measuring anything, do it in French. You can get your children counting how many pencils there are in their pencil case, doing counting races to count different items around the house – but all in French. A great schooling activity….
If, like many of us, you are home-schooling at the moment, do your children’s French lessons with them! And you can find online resources to supplement what the school gives you. You can try websites for children too such as logicieleducatif.fr, turbulus.com, Montessori….
Everytime you write a list, do it in French. Write your shopping lists in French, write your work to-do lists in French, write reminders in French – you get the idea! Any little simple things you are writing, try and do it in French. This will work on your vocabulary but words that are relevant to you and your life and this is an important thing to remember when learning a language; keep it useful and relevant.
Alpine French School offers a Word of the Week which appears on our Facebook feed. Like our page to keep in touch and get new vocabulary on a regular basis. You can also find these resources on our website.
Good luck and take care of yourselves and your family :)
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