What did I learn about teaching French as a foreign language?
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Hi English speakers who want to Learn french 🙂 !
In this article, I share with you my thoughts from my experience :
-In language learning
-Teacher of French as a Foreign Language
Language learning at school
At school, I spent years studying the rules of French grammar, I was bored and the French language is so complicated that to remember all the rules of grammar is impossible, even for a person who speaks French as a native language, which is my case.
If you ask a Frenchman about a rule that you do not understand, surely he will not answer you because French is very complicated.
But not impossible to learn!
To complete this topic, have a look at 6 ways school has killed your French learning - and 4 solutions to catch up from https://frenchlover.org/blog.
It's the same for English, I took the English language as the main language (Spanish was my second language), and after several years of school I hardly spoke English. And I could not understand it, whether watching a movie, listening to songs or trying to talk to someone.
My experience in an international city
When I arrived in Geneva (Switzerland), which is an international city where more than half of the population is foreign (a large majority of English speakers), I was frustrated because I had trouble communicating, in other words, 7 years of learning English at school, resulting in frustration at being unable to communicate, interacting with others, not being able to enrich myself with all the cultures that abound in an international city (London, Berlin ...).
I lived in a human gold mine and I did not have access to gold !
So I decided to take myself in hand to improve my English, to access this wealth. Since then,
- I watch movies in English (US English and UK English)
- I participate in linguistic exchanges
I improved my English much more by doing this (I've been doing it for 2 years), than in 7 years at school. Some people told me that I had improved much during this period. In France, I had never been told that.
Important: have solid basics
The English language is not difficult from the point of view of grammar, so it is not obligatory to speak English well, to study the rules of grammar. On the other hand, French is much more complicated, the French language can be summarized as "rules + exceptions", so it seems essential to me to know some basic rules.
Simple grammar notions to build a good foundation for the practice of French :
Teacher of French as a foreign language
I am a teacher of French as a Foreign Language, I teach privately and at a popular university. In total I teach about 10 different nationalities (American, English, Italian, Portuguese, Brazilian, African, ...), I did not meet a person able to learn French without knowing some rules.
This is not exactly true in the sense that one can express oneself, be understood, but with a French who will always be with holes (like Gruyère (special french cheese)).
The question to ask is : What level do I want to reach?
It is obviously not necessary to know all the rules of grammar to be comfortable and to be able to communicate, on the other hand, it is necessary to know basic rules to be understood, to exchange with the others or to write (for example: foreign students, I met a lot of them in Geneva, some had difficulty in understanding courses because, for example, not knowing how a sentence is built in French).
And you, what is your experience in learning languages?
Thanks for reading this article 🙂
Tell me in the comments, I will write an article about it !
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.