We live in an impatient world and there is nothing we love more than learning something as fast as possible. To learn quickly you need to immerse yourself in the language and enjoy speaking, reading, writing and listening as much as possible. Fortunately, in our new smaller world, we all have the opportunity to learn a language fast.
In our teaching philosophy in French immersions is all about learning in context and using all the available means to absorb the new language, on top of your textbook. So it is possible, with the right level of motivation and with the right methods, to learn French within a matter of hours. You may not be fluent, but you will certainly be able to survive the basics in France. But, once you are amongst native speakers, then you can really start learning! But, until the time you can wonder those Parisian streets with confidence, use some of these strategies to learn French fast.
There are a lot of words to learn when taking on a new language. There is likely a fair proportion of vocabulary in your native language you still don’t know. So, the message on vocabulary is to start practically. Each day you should make a note of eight things you encountered in that day – and no more than 8. For instance, as you attend the supermarket you might note the name of 8 foods that you did not know before. And put them in a sentence in context.
Keep a habit
Your brain works on habit. In other words, it likes to learn by visiting and revisiting the same ideas again and again until it sinks in. This spiral learning will have been the basis of your schooling – as you revisited skills in different ways throughout your years of learning. So, if we build on this idea of 8 items noted each day – if you note the same words and ideas on some days then you are likely to embed these in your vocabulary. It is one of the best ways to master a language and feel confident to use it without conscious thought.
Learn grammar in context
There is only so much progress you can make with grammar by learning from text books – mostly because few of us communicate in grammatically correct sentences.
There is some benefit to beginning to learn grammar by comparing it to your native language. This makes it easier because you can get a sense of how you have learnt to use it and apply this to the new language. This is a lot less dry that sitting and learning rules.
Try to be open to as many opportunities as possible to listen to French. You should listen to radio, TV, film – you could even watch some videos on YouTube.TV5Monde is doing a great job providing with many audios and videos for many levels. The trick is to be selective in your sources of passive listening experiences – you want good examples of language use to emulate. The more you immerse yourself, the more you will learn.
Be prepared to make mistakes
It is true of any learning that you cannot hope to progress if you are afraid to be wrong. The richest learning comes from your mistakes. So, to learn is to try – to speak and to write, as well as to read and to listen. You must be active in your learning if you hope to learn fast. Like in most countries, French people admire those willing to give language a try and will be supportive and kind to those who make the effort.
You will learn best if you go out and you speak with a purpose. You need to get a coffee – ask in French. You need to buy bread – use French. Do not worry that you may use the wrong grammar – it is all about trial and error and accepting you will not be perfect the first time you try.
There are a host of strategies to learning language quickly. From immersing yourself in French using media to starting practical, you can easily get to a point when you can travel in French speaking countries. Remember, it is only when you start to interact in French daily that you really start your language learning.