5 Tips to maximise learning French online
Welcome back to the blog, and if you’re new, I’m happy to have you here. I’m Annick a French native and online tutor. I have been tutoring online for a few years now but also learning other languages.
With that, I have seen that different people have different ways to learn but there are a few keys that make a good language learning routine for all.
Today, I will share with you some of my best tricks. Ready?
I have students at various stages of their studies. Some want simple conversational French, mainly because they speak French properly but need some actual practice, while others start from scratch. Depending on your level and goals, the amount of time you spend will be very decisive.
Indeed, if you simply want to practice here and there, you could do just fine with a French movie night + an hour of conversation per week.
But for a beginner, a minimum of 2-3 hours a week are required. If you don’t think to have the time/money to invest, don’t worry too much. But you will need to implement strategies to make the best from your 1-hour session.
My students can ask me questions anytime, regardless of the time. Obviously, we all agree that I can’t answer everything every time, but having the possibility to text me allow them to get their questions out before they forget. If you can’t reach your tutor, make sure to list all your questions somewhere, be it on a post-it or the memo on your phone.
You will learn a great deal by being curious and asking around whenever you don't understand something.
I know, we all want to wait until we’re ready. But the truth is, the only ones who really get anywhere when learning a language, are those who try, fail and try again. Also, you might want to leave your ego at the door. It is really hard and difficult to be corrected, not to find the right words, say something silly, forget what you were trying to say... But if you can let go of that and let your tutor gently guide you, you will learn a lot.
Also, one of the most important things to look for in your tutor is how they make you feel. You need to feel great and confident to be able to show some weaknesses. But go ahead, it's worth it!
I do give exercises, but only to those who do them. (and that’s something I can find out really fast). Look, this isn’t school anymore. I don’t force anyone to attend, I simply try to help. So if you enjoy homework, ask for some exercises or find a manual. If you don’t but prefer practicing differently, that’s fine too. You just need to express what works best for you to your tutor and see with them what they think.
Grammar is important. All those little rules are the backbone of the language. You don’t have to like it, but you need to go through it, a little. At the very least, don't argue with concepts. I guess that for an anglophone giving your age using “to have” or having inanimates with a gender is weird, different and at times confusing. You can discuss it, question it, but eventually, you need to move on. It won’t do any good to anyone to ask why do you guys say “ninety” “four-twenty-ten”. I know it’s weird, but it is.
The faster you agree to a “that’s new, strange but okay”, the faster you will be able to move on to more interesting things. Don’t hold yourself back.
But at the same time, grammar isn't everything. As I explained earlier, you need to put yourself out thee and talk, accept little remarks when you make a mistake and try your best to speak naturally while not forgetting the grammar. It's a lot, but you can do it
Finally, I think that though we can definitely learn a lot on our own, having a tutor to directly ask questions to, follow up and keep us accountable for is a major step in learning.
Make sure to plan your lesson ahead, practice and think about how you want it to go. Write down your questions, remarks and discuss your difficulties with your tutor. And don't forget, there isn't just one great teacher out there. Finding the right one for you is what matters most.
Leave us your questions and remarks!