LAN­GUAGE

Break your lan­guage learn­ing down into man­age­able chunks with these fun, bite-size ways to prac­tise French, says Peter Ste­wart

France - - Contents -

We find the best re­sources for brush­ing up your lan­guage skills.

Afriend of mine told me re­cently that he was get­ting fed up of learn­ing French from the same old grammar books. I told him that when it comes to learn­ing a lan­guage you get bet­ter re­sults by hav­ing a va­ri­ety of re­sources at your dis­posal, es­pe­cially ones that en­gage you in dif­fer­ent ways.

If you lead a busy life and have lim­ited time to sit down and learn a lan­guage, try the 3 minute French: Book One (Creates­pace In­de­pen­dent Pub­lish­ing Plat­form, £4.75). The first in a 26-part series, it cov­ers ev­ery­day top­ics such as or­der­ing food and drinks, book­ing a ho­tel room and ask­ing for direc­tions, all of which can be learned in just three min­utes a day.

Another help­ful re­source for learn­ing French in man­age­able chunks is the Quick Fix sec­tion on the BBC Lan­guages site (bbc. co.uk/lan­guages/other/quick­fix/). Es­sen­tial phrases are di­vided into cat­e­gories such as shop­ping, food and drink, get­ting around and go­ing to the doc­tor’s which will help any­one plan­ning a hol­i­day to France. The phrases can be down­loaded quickly and eas­ily onto your por­ta­ble elec­tronic de­vice for on-the-go learn­ing.

It goes with­out say­ing that learn­ing French pro­nun­ci­a­tion is key to mas­ter­ing the French lan­guage. One re­source that will help is the third edi­tion of the Say It Right In French (Mc­graw-hill Ed­u­ca­tion, £9.22), which fea­tures 500 words and their clear pro­nun­ci­a­tions. Words are grouped ac­cord­ing to themes such as food and drink and travel, with a new sec­tion for this third edi­tion on so­cial me­dia trends.

Par­ents can in­tro­duce their chil­dren to the joys of learn­ing and read­ing French with 10 Bed­time Sto­ries in French and English (Creates­pace In­de­pen­dent Pub­lish­ing Plat­form, £12.90). The sto­ries cover a range of fam­ily-friendly themes, with each para­graph ap­pear­ing first in French fol­lowed by its English equiv­a­lent. In the ac­com­pa­ny­ing au­dio down­load, both ver­sions are read by na­tive speak­ers, so chil­dren can pick up the cor­rect pro­nun­ci­a­tion re­li­ably.

For a more re­lax­ing way to learn French, it’s hard to beat a good film. The 2015 com­edy Ros­alie Blum tells the story of a hair­dresser who meets a mys­te­ri­ous and lonely wo­man and slowly be­comes ob­sessed with learn­ing all about her past. Packed full of funny mo­ments and fast-paced di­a­logue, this film will keep you on your toes.

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