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