Learning a new language is literally embarking on a journey. Despite the excitement that it generates at first, we can quickly face discouragement before the efforts required to start noticing results. This is a normal feeling. Ups and downs happen everywhere, there is no exception for learning a new language.

Today, I’ am sharing five easy ways to sustain your progression in French and become more effective in your practice :

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  • Reusing new vocabulary to engrave it in your memory:

There is no better way to memorize new vocabulary and expressions than reusing it instantly within your own sentences. Repeating and rephrasing is a good exercise to make the language your own. This is an effective way to activate your memorisation process and imprint the chunks in your long-term memory.

  • Writing to make your speech more fluent:

Grammar is a thing. Especially in French. In order to become comfortable with it, there is no secret but practicing as regularly as possible. It does not mean that you have to write an essay every day, but frequent small practice definitely makes the difference. Choose a topic or a point of grammar you would like to focus on and start writing small paragraphs. It can be related to the activities you did the day before (to practice past tenses for example), your plan for onward vacations, or even your own position on hot topics. It will remarkably help you gain fluidity while speaking.

  • Listening to short authentic audios:

Listening is one of the core dimensions to become more familiar with the language, specifically with its accent and intonation.You can find plenty of resources online to practice your listening skills. One would rather listen to the news in French (Journal en Français facile by RFI is a valuable resource, and so is News in Slow French, more convenient for beginners). Other channels and media frequently create small podcasts and videos adapted to French learners. I’m thinking of Arte with mini-series such as Tu mourras moins bête or Karambolage. TV5 Monde also offers an ample variety of materials and activities to help you develop your comprehension skills. For more advanced levels I highly recommend listening to more formal talks on specific subjects as you can find a big diversity on TED France.

  • Introducing French in your daily environment:

Who never dreamed of learning without being conscious of learning? Being exposed to French on your News feeds on social media can easily supplement your learning process. By following pages, francophone celebrities (or even just french acquaintances), you maximize your opportunities of being exposed to the language. Reading small posts on topics that interest you is a daily exercise that is going unnoticed! Here are a couple of pages, easy to find on Instagram: hugodecrypte (the news of the day in 5 pictures and sentences). quoteandcitation (for more philosophical moods).

  • Believing in yourself!

When it comes to talking about our skills in another language, it is often hard to show self-confidence. Transferring our intellectual and academic competencies is not the easiest thing. In order to gain confidence and acquire better expression skills, trusting oneself is the most effective tool. It starts with trusting your comprehension skills when someone is communicating with you. Yes, you did understand what this person was saying to you, stop raising doubts! You could also start to watch Francophone movies in their original version, using French subtitles as additional assistance. It does not mean to understand every word of every sentence spoken but rather to immerse yourself in an authentic environment.

Stop overthinking and remember that you are considered a bilingual person as soon as you can speak 20 words of it! So don’t hesitate to repeat to yourself: Oui, je parle français!

What is your best tip to learn a new language? Let us know in the comments below :)