Tuesday, June 30, 2009

French - Advice Needed

I am researching French classes to take (hopefully full time) to learn the language and pass the government French level tests.

If you have any advice on...

*what to look for in a French school/training centre (and anything to avoid)?

*things I can do to learn French (I am listening to French radio; do not have a TV but hope to find online sources, have some magazines/books)

*any other advice about this

Thanks!

5 comments:

E Helena E said...

I know nothing about training centres, resources, etc., but I do know from experience that the best way to learn is to speak, speak, speak. This is what worked for me years ago when I had good Separatist Québeçois friends who preferred that I speak bad French to them than switch to English. It was extremely helpful. Find someone (M from church?) you can converse with on a very regular basis. Do not allow them to revert to English if there is something you don't understand in the conversation. Ask them to re-phrase it in a simpler way. Don't be self-conscious or embarrassed, express yourself as though they understood no English at all, even though what you are saying may seem very simplistic and childish. That's why it's nice if you have other common bonds and feel at ease with the person. At first, concentrate on talking, uttering phrases before worrying about grammar. Concentrate on spontaneity, which may seem very labourious at first. (Of course, my writing and reading are not so good, but you will certainly need conversation- that is a start).

Mimi said...

Admittedly, I had French in High School and none since then, but I bought some Calvin and Hobbes in French when we were in Canada. Maybe that'll help?

elizabeth said...

Thanks E-H. Yes. I agree with this.

Mimi - now that would be a lovely read. I LOVE Calvin and Hobbes!

Philippa said...

Check out Livemocha.com. You can sign up for free lessons in any language you wish to learn!

Amy said...

The Ottawa Public library has the Pimsleur Conversational French program to check out. It is about 8 hours on CD. John has used Pimsleur to learn many languages so that he can converse with native speakers. He says that this is the best way to begin learning a language.

http://www.lirico.ca/ipac20/ipac.jsp?session=E246E34K99827.15171&profile=lirico-eng&uri=link=3100006~!1961564~!3100001~!3100002&aspect=subtab101&menu=search&ri=9&source=~!horizon&term=Pimsleur+conversational+French&index=ALLTIT2

I highly recommend it as well!