Learning a new language is an exciting adventure that opens doors to many new opportunities. It allows you to meet different people, travel to new places, and can even give you the edge on the job market. As adult learners, we all know that learning a new language can be challenging — French in particular! — and frustration can easily take over when we don’t see the progress we want. To help avoid frustration and get closer to achieving your goals, here are a few things you can do to to make the language learning process easier:
Embrace Your Mistakes
The very first thing adults must overcome is the fear of making mistakes. Nobody likes feeling embarrassed, especially around native speakers, but making a mistake is nothing to be ashamed of. Making mistakes means you are practicing the language and creating more opportunities to learn.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Long since gone are the days where language classes consisted of conjugation drills, piles of worksheets, and teachers yelling “now repeat after me.” Classes are much more interactive and there is a large emphasis on communicating. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the time to practice what you’ve learned. Be diligent about writing down new words, conjugating new verbs, and going back over your notes regularly. It’s one thing to know that practice makes perfect, it’s another to put to good use.
Don’t Worry About Understanding Everything
Especially early on when learning a new language, it can be frustrating to not understand every word you hear in conversation. Word breaks and intonation are different in every language, and it can be overwhelming to try and comprehend everything all at once. In French, word breaks are often hard to distinguish due to la liaison and l’enchaînment, and learning where these euphonic techniques are used will help train your ear.
Take Advantage of the Alliance Française de Seattle
At the Alliance Française de Seattle, we are dedicated to help individuals of all ages and levels learn French and discover French and Francophone cultures. Whether you take a class, attend a language workshop, or check a book out from our library, we have the tools you need to be successful in your French language learning.
Has it been a while since you learned French? Call us today at 206-632-5433 to schedule a free placement test, or take one online.
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