Linda’s lan­guage tips

French Property News - - Real Life -

Dive into the lan­guage soup

Lis­ten to the ra­dio, watch the tele­vi­sion, lis­ten to an­nounce­ments on pub­lic trans­port, and read ev­ery­thing in sight.

Start low­brow

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.

Read aloud

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.

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