Emily S.’s Avatar

Emily S.





What are some tips on learning a language?

I am getting a french minor, but only taking an hour long class three times a week doesn't help me much with learning the language. Is there any tips y'all have? So far I've tried some apps, watching films in french to see how much I know, and adding some french words in my everyday life. #foreign-languages #french

Ask a new question Answer this question

4 answers

The steps you have taken so far are a good start! Try French conversation groups (Alliance Française offers them i.e.) or you can offer English conversation in exchange for French conversation in your home town (1:1). Of course you can take as many lessons as you want but the ultimate learning experience is immersing yourself in the country and culture. Eventually you want to take either summer classes in France (French Canada would also be an option ...) or participate in an exchange program. To give you an idea: In order to become fluent in both French and Portuguese after High School I spent a year in France attending a language school, I also spent a semester abroad in Brazil attending a University program and in between I took summer classes in Portugal. There are many options, it does not have to be expensive, just research a bit (an au pair program is also an option). Good luck!

Last updated May 16 '16 at 02:17 AM

I agree with Stefani that you're on the right track. I also concur that there's nothing like immersion to learn a language. I took French in school for years, also obtaining a minor in it, but it wasn't until I served in the Peace Corps in Cameroon that I was able to develop my skills fully. Obviously there are immersion options that don't require a two-year commitment, such as joining various Francophone groups (which I'm sure Portland has). Another option is to befriend a French speaker and commit to meeting up or calling regularly to practice your French. Regarding technology, I've been using the Duolingo app to learn Spanish, and I'm happy with it. It would be a decent backup to practice French, but once again the more you can get yourself into immersion situations the more you'll improve. Feel free to get back with any questions. Best of luck!

Last updated May 16 '16 at 03:06 PM

Bonjour, Emily! It is always great to hear about people wanting to learn French.

As Stefani and Garth said, immersion in a Francophone country is the best option for developing fluency. However, if you don't have the time or resources for that, there are some options that might work for you.

Since you live in or near a major city, there is certain a French conversation group near you. I would suggest searching Meetup.com to see if there is group that fits your schedule. Hopefully, there will be a few native speakers in the group.

There are also websites like iTalki that can help you connect online with language partners and one-on-one lessons.

Last updated May 17 '16 at 05:06 AM
In my opinion, to learn a language you have to first learn the basics then practice, practice, practice. In your case, you're already studying french 3times a week soyou learn new things every week, you should apply those things in conversations. For me, I try to think in that language, so when I think of something or say it in my native language I try to translate it to the one I'm learning so if I don't know a word I can just look it up and I'll gain a new addition to my vocabulary. You can also watch movies and listen to songs in french, you'll unconsciously become more at ease with it by listening more and more. I learned korean this way. Good luck.
Last updated Dec 04 '17 at 02:59 PM
Ask a question