French Practice > Steps you can take to improve your French practice

Steps you can take to improve your French practice

As a French student in an American university, I took a job as a foreign language tutor. Over the past two years, many students have asked me “how can I improve my French?”. Having helped them, I have been able to come up with simple steps to learn French. This article will explain you these steps to improve your French and how to practice French.

French Practice, Learn French by building a strong foundation

French should be learned in steps that add up like a pyramid. If the basis are not handled, than the foundation is weak, and no progress can be made.

The point of speaking French is to convey a message. So why make it difficult. Using simple sentences eliminates errors and simplifies the message. However, those simple sentences have to be error free. The following lists the most important points to be assimilated:

I) Sentence Structure In French, sentences go from the general to the specific. The format is: Subject + Verb + Article + Adjective. Simple sentence structure using SVAA is the best way to keep your sentence clear of syntax error.

II) Gender Know when a word is masculine or feminine. At first, make a list of irregular words, and check it for verification, but do not peak! If you subject if feminine, than so are the verbs and adjectives. The same goes for masculine sentences.

III) Verb Tense and Conjugation Know how to conjugate the three groups, when to use each tense, and the correct conjugation of each pronoun. Do not complicate sentences with verbs. Make them simple.

IV) Plural and Singular Coordination Make sure that if the subject is plural, than so are the verbs and adjectives!

V) Always have a dictionary handy A dictionary is handy to see if a word is feminine or masculine. You can get a translating dictionary, but do not take the habit of translating word for word.

This step should be used continuously during the others. If you have a strong foundation, than moving on will be easier!


Take practical actions to French practice

Practice makes perfect. Unless you put in practice french what you have learnt, you will not improve. The previous step is to teach you the basic of French. This step is for you to use your French.
The best way to learn a language is to be with the people who speak it. It is easy to find French people to talk to, and technology is very helpful. Once your foundation is strong, the following will make you improve dramatically:

I) Watch a French Movie with French Subtitles This is a great way to familiarize yourself with the speed of the French language. The best way is to put French subtitle to see the spelling of the words. I recommend starting with a French movie you are familiar with.

II) Learn French Online by visiting websites See French as it is in real life, without the speed of the speaker. When you block on a word, try to figure out what the word means with the context. If you really cannot, then use a dictionary. Some dictionary have French words with English definitions, so you do not have to translate.
The web site www.rocketlanguages.com is great to practice. It offers help to Practice French Grammar, take French Practice Test, Practice French verb, and Online French Courses.

III) Improve your French from listening to the music Listening to French music will not only help you with speed, but it is a great way to get close to the culture. If a singer goes to fast, read the lyrics at the same time. Reading in the lyrics allows you to practice in French what you have heard.

Getting close to the language will teach you more than anything else. Do not panic. Start easy, and gradually make it harder.

IV) Games can help you improve French

V ) Go on a French chat This is a great way to learn and use your French. You will be able to practice in French, and it is free French practice.

VI) Study Abroad Regarded as one of the best college experience, studying abroad works. Why? Because no one speaks English! You have to speak French! This is the best way to practice speaking French.

Correct my French mistakes

Unless you make mistakes, you will not make progress. You must learn from your mistakes. If you continuously make the same mistakes, write them on a piece of paper. Every so often, read that paper to remind you of why you make the mistake. For example: example is “example” in English, and “exemple” in French. A good idea is to take French practice exams.

Think in French

Whenever you try to use French, DO NOT translate from English to French. The simple reason is that words have a different order. Instead, try to think in French. To do so, make simple sentence. Remember: SVAA. To improve on this, practice French verbs, and practice French grammar.

By following these steps, you will make progress in no time. During every step, check your foundation. Also remember, everyone can learn a foreign language! So