Linda’s language tips
Dive into the language soup
Listen to the radio, watch the television, listen to announcements on public transport, and read everything in sight.
Supermarket leaflets, station adverts, books for toddlers and comic strip ( bande dessinée) books are great places to start, as they also have visual prompts. Also magazines often contain interviews which are essentially reported speech, so you are picking up speech patterns.
Watch shopping channels, news and weather forecasts
Shopping shows use repetition to hammer the point home, so are great for picking up language. Plus, as they are demonstrating the product, you have visual prompts. The news is about specific subjects that you may already be aware of the details of, and the weather forecast again uses a lot of repetitive language and has strong visual aids.
Listen to French music
Chérie FM radio is great as it tends to play old-school French songs. Although French radio does play some popular English songs, the amount of airplay given to foreign music is restricted by law.
Watch films in English, with subtitles in French
This is the opposite of what most people do, but in fact the brain takes in information better when it is in a passive state. Listening in your native tongue takes little effort and your brain is able to read the subtitles and make the links between what it sees and hears.
This engages another part of the brain and facilitates learning. I actually learnt a lot about pronunciation walking through the beautiful cemeteries in Paris and reading the names on the tombs out loud, with my husband correcting me.
Try to follow instructions
I began with very simple recipes then subscribed to a monthly cookery magazine. You can do the same with gardening, photography or DIY projects.