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Great ways to practice outside your French lesson

Our aim at Alpine French school is to give you all the tools you need to progress and develop your French further. In your French lessons with us, you’ll learn all about the tenses, vocabulary, conversation, learning methods and everything else you need to be able to speak French. However, you won’t become fluent without practising! Here are our top tips for getting in some extra chat without feeling like you’re back at school doing homework…

Read a book in French

Take yourself to a lovely French cafe and nestle down in a corner with a good french book. Choose according to your level of French, start at the bottom and work up. If you’ve been learning all about the tenses in your French lessons you’ll be able to spot them as you read through the story. You can also buy French books that are written especially for language learners which provide translations for the difficult bits. It’s also a great well to help you progress your vocabulary. Have a dictionary on hand for any words you don’t understand.

Go and watch a French film at the cinema

Quite early on in my French lessons, I took myself to the cinema to watch a kids film in French. I was worried I wouldn’t understand anything, but on the contrary. It was a relatively simple story with songs and I was surprised at how much I understood. It’s a great way to practise what you’ve learnt and at the same time have a lovely evening out. It’s also quite helpful to go and watch an english film with french subtitles. You can see the translations as you go along and pick up a thing or two as you watch.

Go to a French restaurant and do ALL the ordering in French

This one’s quite a difficult one because you sometimes find that as soon as you speak French as a learner, waitresses and waiters will speak back to you in English. However in and around Morzine there are several fantastic restaurants that have signed up to our “friendly French scheme”, which means they’ve promised to help you out with your language if you present them with a special business card. You can pick these cards up from Alpine French School after your next French lesson if you think it would be useful. But challenge yourself. Even if the waiter speaks back to you in English, persevere and do your entire order in French. It’ll put some of that great vocabulary that you’ve learnt to good use.

Make some French friends

This is the best (and most fun) way to practice your French outside of your French lesson. If you make a friend whose first language is French, then you have to practice. You’ll also feel less self conscious of getting things wrong if they’re a good mate. I find that my French friends also want to learn and improve their English so it works both ways. Head out for a walk and do half of it in French and half of it in English. You’ll be shocked at how quickly you progress.

Listen to French music

Listening to the radio and music in French is a great way to practice your language. It can be really hard to understand the lyrics of French songs but once you do “get them”, the lyrics stick and can really help with your vocabulary and sentence structure. Remember, songs are repetitive so you get lots of chances to hear the same thing over and over again. Radio is also great because you do lots of listening practice without really realising. You’ll soak in more than you actually realise.  Immerse yourself in the language… it’s the best way!


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