Galina B.

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Language: Self Study or take classes?

I will be entering college soon and I really want to learn French. For a few months I have been self studying with online resources because my my high school does not offer the language. I believe that my college only offers courses in beginners French and I do not know if I should take these courses or continue self studying. I am not sure whether I would benefit from beginners classes because I might already be ahead, but I would need experience speaking and interacting with others in French. I feel that if you self-study a language there is really no proof of it unless you take a language exam, unlike if you take a class you will get credit. I just need some opinions on this. #college #language #foreign-languages #french #self-study

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I would encourage to take classes, either at your university or at a language school, if you want to improve your speaking skills. I learned (and later taught) French in a classroom setting and have used self-study tools for Spanish and Portuguese. There is nothing like having the opportunity to use the language where you have to be understood by other people.

There are also online teaching options, like italki (https://www.italki.com/home), where you can have one-on-one lessons online.

If you really feel that you are more advanced than the beginning classes, you could also try to spend some time in Francophone area to practice your speaking.

Last updated Apr 16 '17 at 19:57

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I would also recommend you to do the college classes, even if you're not a beginner anymore. It would be a good way to really test your level. You can also use the language communities (like www.fluentu.com) to practice with French speakers. You can also get a personal tutor. It might be more expensive, but it would allow you to have lessons tailored to your level. I'm French and tutor students (of all levels) learning French. I frequently test my students, just like in a regular class. The below website is also a great resource to test your comprehension skills, and get used to hear native French speakers. http://apprendre.tv5monde.com/

Last updated May 10 '17 at 16:33

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Does your college allow you to test out of beginning-level French? If so, you could jump into the next level and still get your on-site interaction. I'd encourage you to continue self-study, but at some point it will benefit you tremendously to use the language in an immersion setting, ie, where you'll be forced to use it with others. That's the best way to learn and imprive language skills. Check to see if there are any Francophone groups in your area - often there are professionals that meet regularly to practice their French..Hope you find this helpful. Bonne chance!!

Last updated Apr 17 '17 at 10:08

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I would encourage you to take classes in person. Even if you think the level may be too low for you, you might gain some valuable knowledge from the course anyway. If you have been studying by yourself online, chances are you haven't had too much human interaction or speaking practice with other learners and it will greatly benefit you to practice with other learners. An in-person class will also give you the benefit of having an instructor that can answer questions when you are confused and clarify doubts for you.

Bon courage!

-Manuel

Last updated May 10 '17 at 16:02

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