Firstly, when learning French it pays dividends to discover the style of learning that fits you best. If you've always been a person that has learned quickest when listening to new information, writing it down, or reading it multiple times, then modify your learning to include more of this particular process.
Of course, different styles – the immersion method that Rosetta Stone employs, for instance – may suit you as well, even if you haven't experienced them before. Try all of the options open to you and tailor your learning from there.
Particularities aside, it has to be said that a greater understanding of the language can be enjoyed simply by frequently listening to French being spoken as you learn.
This can mean using the audio learning materials that form an aspect of your online course, but more broadly it means listening to French songs and watching French television shows, films, news reports, online videos – if there's a recording of French being spoken online, then seek it out and listen to it.
Why does audio assist so much? By hearing native speakers speak the words you're learning, you'll be able to imitate the sound and intonation of the language, internalising this as opposed to agonising over how to properly pronounce that particular word or phrase.
When you next pick up your study materials, this knowledge will stick with you, making the learning process a whole lot quicker and easier.
Visual cues can speed up the French language learning process immensely. If you constantly reference the literal English translation for the French words and phrases you learn, then you'll become easily confused. The two languages can differ a fair amount, after all, and you'll end up remembering the strangely-phrased English whenever you try to recall the equivalent bit of French.
Instead, use images that describe the particular concepts you're trying to learn, and associate these with the French words that describe them, thereby side-stepping your native tongue and its particular way of processing information.
Rosetta Stone's language-learning software uses visual cues throughout for this reason, although flashcards are a perfectly fine alternative – you might even improve your artistic skills in tandem!
You may be a busy person, but by setting aside time each and every day to learn French, you'll dramatically improve the speed at which you take aboard the information. Try and devote at least an hour each day to studying, and increase this if you have more time on your hands.
Read through flashcards, talk to other learners, communicate with speakers, and learn new words and phrases – anything to engage the growing French region of your brain!
There's a reason why being immersed in a language is well known as being the best way to learn – if all you hear, read and write is French, then you'll force your mind to make the connections it needs in order to make sense of the new information.
When you begin trying to understand French, the mismatch between English and French grammar will be confusing. This is completely natural, but the quicker you master the basic grammatical rules, the sooner you'll have the structures of the French language memorised in your mind.
With these structures in place, you can then place new words you learn in the right grammatical place, saving yourself time and energy that would otherwise be used revisiting grammar.
While most language courses will do a good job of teaching you the words you need to know in order to speak fluent French, there will be some that you'll encounter that aren't featured in the syllabus.
Don't skip over these words – the more you know, the better-equipped you'll be when you start conversing – so always either carry a French to English dictionary or keep an app that does the same thing loaded on your phone.
Learning French isn't an overnight process, but with the above tips and tricks, you'll fast track your route to fluency. If you want to learn French quickly and easily at a pace that suits you, try out a free trial or demo with Rosetta Stone today.
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