So, you want to speak French?

In ACIP, we offer a variety of French classes at different levels to suit your abilities and your needs. Classes are from foundation and beginners’ lessons, to improvers and advanced conversational French. Our tutors include French native speakers (with English) and those with experience of teaching. They are all volunteers. While they have their own approaches and methods, they are all committed to helping you develop and improve the core language skills you will need – speaking, listening, reading and writing in French. Classes are fun but serious learning does take place.

To help you decide which ACIP class and level might suit you best, here are a few questions for you to consider:

• Are you an absolute beginner?
• Have you ever learnt French, even if this was many years ago?
• Did you study to ‘O’ or GCSE level or beyond?
• Do you feel that you have a basic grasp of French: Can you introduce yourself? Can you order a meal in a restaurant? Can you shop at the supermarket?
• How much do you understand when spoken to in French?
• Can you make yourself understood in day-to-day situations?
• Do you feel confident speaking? Can you hold a conversation with a neighbour or friend?
• How comfortable are you with French grammar? For example, do you know how to conjugate the different verb tenses? Are you able to use them in conversation?
• How is your pronunciation?
• Do you find it easier to read and write French rather than speaking and listening?

Obviously these questions are a starting point to help you think about your level and your confidence in French and to choose the best class for you. It is also important that you decide what your goal in learning the language is. For example:

• Do you simply want to get by day to day?
• Do you want to build on what you already know so that you can deal with formal situations and hold informal conversations with friends and neighbours?
• Do you want to read French books and news? or listen to French TV and radio?
• Do you want to learn about French culture?
• Do you want to get to grips with French grammar?
• Do you want to become fluent?

When you have considered these questions and know what you are looking for, please read the class descriptions on the Acip website. Contact the tutor/s of the class that seems right for you. Talk to them about your goals and your present level of French and ask to try out their class.

Learning a language as an adult does require personal effort – including attending regularly, doing the homework given, seeking out opportunities to practise and, most importantly, not giving up!

Bryony Marshall and Jenny West. January 2018

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