At the beginning of the year, one of the most common resolutions people make is to learn a language. But, how to achieve a good level in the language in just one year?
Even though it seems a short period of time, a year is enough to learn a language and to communicate in the country where the language is spoken.
So if you want to learn French this year, here are my tips so that, at the end of the year, you spend the holidays in Paris speaking French.
Start with the basics
To know a new language can be scary, so the best way to get started is through an amusing and easy course. Duolingo is the most successful app in the area of language learning and there is a reason for that. It’s free, easy to use, fun and has constant updates to keep you engaged.
That was my favorite method when I learned French. The course has text and audio, the first few lessons are easy and great for you to get used to the French sounds. Still, the chapters are quick to complete, requiring about half an hour for the first 50 lessons and an hour from the 51st lesson. The texts are simple and fun and the audios have a great quality.
The best way to get accustomed to a language is to speak. So, I recommend the site Italki, where you can choose a native teacher to help you to practice the language. Another great alternative is to attend language meetings in your city, a great site to find these types of meeting is Meetup, in some cities Couchsurfing has still enough active users, where you can find a tourist to talk with.
If you are looking for a free French course that works, this is THE course. I recommend starting with the Phonology course, which is very good and easy. Later, try the French Basic Course, which is an outdated course, extremely dense, difficult, often boring, but looking on the bright side is free, complete and very helpful to French students.
For the grammar lovers
For those who like grammar, there are two great series of books that can help you.
The first one is “Grammaire Progressive“, which currently has 4 books and is highly recommended by all French teachers I know. The series follows the style of the “Cambridge: Grammar in Use” series of books, presenting one page with the grammatical explanation and the next one with exercises.
The second series of books I recommend is “Practice Makes Perfect“. The reason I like this series of books is the countless number of exercises and the books with specific topics such as verb tenses, pronouns and preposition, as well as the basic and complete grammar courses.
This is the last tip of the day, but it is essential. Try to get the most out of French culture, whether watching movies, series, listening to music, podcasts or reading the original version of “The Little Prince“. This is the most natural and fun way to learn (at least for me) a language.