3 ways to learn a foreign language
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Hi English speakers who want to Learn and Improve French 🙂 !
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In this article I share with you 3 ways to learn a foreign language.
Learning a foreign language can be boring when you run out of ideas. You can stagnate in the learning process, having a lack of motivation.
1 - Learning by pure practice (the "cooking pot" way)
Be immersed in the pot of your target language.
Before leaving, it is important to know the basics of the language : learning a language by being into it is very difficult if you do not have prior knowledge. If you arrive in a country knowing absolutely nothing of the language of the country or only 3 words, this will be (very) difficult to carry out the basic actions (find a home, find your way, socialize, ...)
- Always be in a learning environment : go to places where there are expats, stay connected with the language (having a notebook, the 3 envelopes to → see further).
I lived 7 years in Geneva, an international city. More than half of the people are foreigners and many of them speak English, which has been a boon to improve my English.
My language learning program every week :
- Language exchange focused on French and English (2 hours / week)
- Linguistic and cultural exchange: CouchSurfing (3 hours / week)
- Linguistic and cultural exchange: Mundo Lingo (3 hours / week)
When I was not immersed in my target language (French for you), I was learning English with a notebook in which I note the sentence in English and the translation into French (when I'm not sure to remember it, otherwise I write only the English sentences to read it again and put it back in my head).
I also use the 3 envelopes.
2 - Socialize
- Learn through social interactions : it's an informal situation that makes you feel better and
that makes learning more comfortable. Language exchanges are a good way to start when you have just arrived in a city you do not know and do not know who to speak your target language with. Plus, it's a great way to make new friends. Image de ppersonnes dans un bar Also benefit from social environments like bars, pubs, youth hostels if you are in the country of the language you want to speak (for French: France, Quebec, Belgium). I recommend you, to learn a language, that you know at least the bare minimum to have basic conversations. Otherwise, people will not want to help you improve the language. Once you know the basics, you can make progress quickly by applying what you know, interacting with others, and having fun doing it.
- Learn with partners on the net
This can be an important part of your learning. You can easily find a partner on the internet. This is what allows internet, even if you are lost in your village in the American countryside and you dream to go to France or Belgium, you can speak French with a French native of France. Maybe he also lives in the countryside with cows and goats and dreams of visiting the United States. And in any case, even if you live in Cleveland and want to learn French, it will be easier to find a language partner on the internet than near you. It's the magic of the internet. You can find a language partner on HelloTalk.
3 - The most intellectual way
- Learn the language through books
Reading books is, in my opinion, a very good way to thoroughly integrate the language. Learning a foreign language through books must be associated with practicing it in an oral way (to work on listening and fluency). You can know many words, have an extended vocabulary, if you do not understand what the other tells you cannot enjoy the social exchanges. The reading associated with speaking helps strengthen the foundations. I recommend reading content with which you are already familiar. Also bilingual content : go back and forth between the target language and your mother tongue and see the difference in construction between the two languages, I have a lot of fun doing it, it's great :).
- Change the language of your phone in your target language. It has been a long time since you
use your phone in your mother tongue, you know it by heart (or almost), so it is very easy to use it in your target language. You will translate easily the words, which you will see every day, so that you will integrate very quickly.
Make the most of these 3 ways
Nobody works 100% in one of these 3 ways. These are just landmarks. The ideal is to combine the 3 ways for an optimal result. You need to find the right "dosage" for you. Before using these strategies, 🙂 you must have some basics in your target language 🙂
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Thomas Ricomard specializes in teaching French as a foreign language. He has been providing private lessons since 2015, both in-person and online (via Skype). He taught at the Popular University of the Canton of Geneva (Switzerland) from 2015 to 2018, instructing several groups of 20 students from around the world (United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Spain, Brazil, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mexico, etc.), ranging from beginner to intermediate levels (A1 to B2). With a Master’s degree in clinical and cognitive psychology from the University of Geneva, his knowledge of psychology allows him to tailor his teaching methods for optimal learning, taking into account factors such as visual memory versus auditory memory. He expresses his passion for the French language through writing texts, including poetry and songs, which he presents publicly at numerous music and slam events.