Commitments to Making Progress in French

Do you want to make progress in French?

You have found the best class for you and know what you want to achieve. Learning a language as an adult, is a challenge. While your tutor will support you with learning experiences and materials, commitment and effort on your part is vital. Attending a class once a week will not be enough.

Here are 10 commitments that may help you to make progress:

1. Attend regularly
Regular attendance helps you build on the learning presented to you week by week.
Please let your tutor know when you expect to be absent.

2.Participate fully in your lesson
Overcome any shyness or lack of confidence and take every opportunity to speak. Remember – we learn from our mistakes. Work with others. Ask questions.

3.Get to grips with the grammar
By becoming more familiar with French grammar you will be able to construct the sentences you need with the vocabulary you know and so be more readily understood (and understand).

4. Watch your pronunciation
Reasonable pronunciation is important as it aids understanding. So listen and imitate. Our accent in our first language is determined by the age of 5 or 6 so most of us are never likely to have a true French accent.

5. Complete your homework with care
The homework you are given will build on the learning you do in class and gives you an opportunity to reflect on what you have learnt, to practise and to get feedback.

6.Revise and repeat often
Repetition helps with recall. Set aside a regular time to go over what you have learned. Even 10-15 minutes a day will help.

7.Invest in a good dictionary
A hard copy and/or an on-line dictionary is essential. A basic French grammar book with English explanations such as ‘Schaum’s Outline of French Grammar’ by Mary Coffman Crocker and ‘501 French Verbs’ by Christopher Kendris would be useful reference books. Duo-Lingo is a really useful app and is free.

8. Speak at every opportunity
Being immersed in French language and culture is the best way to make progress – so what an opportunity we have living here in France! Don’t be shy; try speaking at every opportunity to neighbours, shopkeepers, friends and in class. This will build your confidence and skill.

9.Listen to French radio and TV
Listening to the radio and to TV helps you attune to the language. Listen and watch even if you do not understand.

10. Don’t give up!

Jenny West. January 2018

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