Learning French doesn't have to be complicated or frustrating. In fact, if you're taking the time to plan how you are going to do it, it will be very easy.
So, how to begin to learn French ? How you can start to learn French by yourself. We are going to go through the steps to build your own way of learning French.
Here are the seven steps to create your own plan to study the French language.
1 – Why do you want to learn French ? (to know the reasons why you yant to study the French language)
The first step is to be clear on what you really want, to be clear about what you want to accomplish. Because the reasons why you want to learn the French language are numerous : travellling, to get a better job, to fall in love, talking with French people, because you need it strongly in your everyday life, because you live with a French guy,... there is one given reason for each person who wants to speak French. Why is it so crucial to know why you want to learn French ? Because of that aim you are going to know precisely what you need to know to achieve your goal. Maybe you do not need to know how to write a formal letter if you just want to speak French with your step family. You may have other things to do. Write down the reasons of your willing of learning French. In order to not be frustrated I suggest you to know where you are going, to know where you are going from the beginning in your learning French journey. You could feel that what you are doing is not really helpful to lead you where you want, you would think « maybe I will not speak a proper French ». So you could loose the willing to learn, the long-term motivation, and so you will not speak French at the end of your learning journey. Or, you might even decide that you just not cut for it, which is complete nonsense. Everyone is able to learn French !
2 –What do you want to achieve ? What do you really want ? For what are you studying the French language ?
The second thing is to precise what do you need to know according to what you want to reach ? You need to know exactly the right thing to be able to do what you want to do. For example, if you want to speak French with your step family, you need to be capable of greeting people, doing a little bit a small talk, talking a little bit about yourself, about what do you think, being able to make jokes. Is making that list it is much more clearer ? I think so. What do you need to learn ? What you need to work on ? If you want to aim what you want, if you want to speak French fluently, with no mistakes or at least with not so much mistakes. If you do ont know exactly, if your goal is a bit ambiguous, it can help you to think in terms of situations. For example, if I want to know French in order to talk with my step family, I would need to think about the conversation. You can write a few phrases that you can say, now. Think about your own experience of life and creating a list of the topics you want to talk about.
3 – What is your plan ? What is the way you want to follow ?
The third step is to creating your plan of studying the French language. It is going to be the points that you refer to when you say « I know how to talk to people in French now ». « What do I do after that, what more things do I want to know ? » So, from the list you did before. No, I suggest you to organize those points into small parts which are easy to handle. Once you will do one, you will go to the next one, etc,... You can also add to that the phrases that you want know. I suggest you to write them in your native language (maybe it is English) and there will be your departure point to get started to learn about that specific subject. But I suggest you to not be too hurry, to not going too far. Do not write conversations. Once you finish that, you will get your study plan. It will be your reference on a regular basis to see where and to be aware of where you are in your learning journey.
4 – How your brain works ? What is your cognitive functioning ?
The step number four : What is the best way for your brain to get information, to learn new things ? Not everyone learns the same way, it's a very good thing to know about yourself. How is your brain working ? How do you personally absorb information the better way ? Because maybe the action of reading a book and doing grammar exercises is not helping you a lot. Do you prefer learning with a teacher ? By yourself ? Or do you prefer to watch films or reading books ? Talking with your pets ? Speaking with someone everyday ? If you do not know how your brain works, that is ok.
5 – How do you need to learn ?
In your case step number five is to know precisely the way you need to learn new things. This is different from the previous step ( to determine how your brain works). How do you need to learn is based on what do you want to reach (your goals). For example, if you want to speak French with your step family you will need to focus on listening comprehension and talking about a sepcific topic, speaking, and so on. If you do not know that you will maybe complain, you will not be able to talk with the others. How do you want to speak with the other people ? Maybe you will be really good at reading or at listening to films but you will not be able to make sounds in French. I suggest you to concentrate on writing, speaking, listening or reading.
6 – What is your routine ? What is your regular work ?
Step number six. Now you need to create your own routine. Because learning a language comes with practice and it is not well thought that doing it weekly, it is better to do it daily and it is possible to learn the French language when you are busy. It can be 10 - 20 minutes a day. In a few months you will be positively surprised by the journey you are doing.
7 – What are your right resources ? What are the good resources you can use ?
And finally the seventh step. I suggest you to select the right resources : entertaining, relevant and precise ones. But entertaining, relevant and accurate not to everyone but to you and your goals. It means you have to enjoy it, you need to like it, you have to enjoy studying with these French resources. It could be Youtube videos, movies, books, blogs, podcasts. They have to be relevant for you and your goal.