The Best Way To Learn French

French is the official language of 33 countries on five different continents. From Djibouti and Rwanda to Luxembourg and Canada, French is spoken by nearly 200 million people around the world. It's the language of love, of writers and thinkers like Hugo, Dumas, Balzac, Sartre and Descartes, and it is one of the official languages of many international organizations such as Amnesty International, the International Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders and the United Nations. The best way to learn French and to join the ranks of these people and organizations is to make the language a part of your daily life.

Immersion is widely recognized as the most effective way to learn a language, but few people are able to live abroad while studying French. Fortunately, there are other ways to incorporate the language into nearly everything you do, no matter where in the world you are studying.

To increase your French vocabulary, make new words a part of daily life by posting them around your home. Write the French terms for things on sticky notes and post them directly onto the objects. Every time you use the object, read the word aloud. Soon, you will remember 'le fer' when you use the iron and 'le canapé' when you relax on the couch. In the kitchen, you will learn to use 'une casserole' instead of a saucepan, 'une fourchette' instead of a fork and 'un grille-pain' instead of a toaster. Seeing the written word then saying it aloud will increase your retention of new vocabulary and quickly make these French terms part of your daily life.

You may also increase vocabulary by creating flashcards that feature a French term on one side and the English equivalent on the other. For an extra challenge, try making cards that only feature French synonyms. Take the flashcards with you every time you leave the house. You can study your new words while waiting in line at the bank, sitting in traffic during rush hour or while running the treadmill at the gym. The key is to make time each day to study the vocabulary. A few minutes here and there can quickly add up to real progress when learning a language.

Acquiring new vocabulary is important, but understanding how to put words together to form coherent thoughts is vital to mastering a language. New students of French can practice their skills by forming penpal relationships with people in the Francophone world. Through snail mail or email, students can develop their writing and reading skills while learning about French culture. Many universities and community centers also offer language clubs that pair students with native speakers. By communicating with their conversation partner, students can perfect their accents and feel more confident in their French speaking skills.

You can also immerse yourself in French language and culture without ever leaving home. Get your daily news through a French media outlet like the paper Le Monde or by watching French telecasts online. If you do not understand a word, write it down and add it to your flashcard pile later. When reading, pay attention to the context of words to better understand their meaning. While listening to French speakers, pay attention to their accents and cadence when talking. These two activities will help you increase vocabulary, hone your comprehension skills and learn to speak French like a native.

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