Jane Hanslip

is the owner of French in the Dor­dogne a lan­guage school near Berg­erac which runs French im­mer­sion res­i­den­tial cour­ses.


Lis­ten­ing is key

Chil­dren learn this way. Best with na­tive French speak­ers or lis­ten­ing care­fully to au­dio lessons via the in­ter­net or in the car, or on the ra­dio. Re­peat like a child would, im­i­tat­ing, prefer­ably out loud, to en­sure the pro­nun­ci­a­tion and rhythm of each word and ex­pres­sion is cor­rect. Get feed­back from French na­tive speak­ers. Peo­ple need to un­der­stand you. Fo­cus on the most fre­quently used ex­pres­sions We use very few words of our vo­cab­u­lary, maybe only 5,000 in to­tal. Con­cen­trate on build­ing ex­pres­sions for use in key sit­u­a­tions such as re­serv­ing a ho­tel room, or­der­ing in a restau­rant or book­ing tick­ets. Build up your vo­cab­u­lary around these and get feed­back. A lit­tle ev­ery day is bet­ter

Even 30 min­utes watch­ing a French film or a TV pro­gram with French sub­ti­tles, lis­ten­ing to French ra­dio or do­ing some lan­guage ex­er­cises on the in­ter­net. Start writ­ing the ex­pres­sions down that you hear and read, go over and over the words and phrases un­til they be­come sec­ond na­ture, re­peat­ing them out loud. Don’t worry about mis­takes

Just re­peat what you hear the French say and ask them to ex­plain if you don’t un­der­stand and ask them to cor­rect you. You never stop learn­ing a lan­guage! Take a week’s im­mer­sion course

To prac­tice speak­ing over an ex­tended pe­riod of a week or two weeks. This will give you the con­fi­dence to im­prove.

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