Immersion is the Fastest Way to Learn to Speak French
The fastest way to learn to speak French is complete immersion. You can really learn French fast, if you hear nothing but French all day.
Immersion is not for everyone, however, if you have the opportunity you may want to take advantage. Immersion allows you to think in French (or any other target language), rather than translate. You can also learn from context and you are exposed to quantity and quality.
What opportunities should you look for? Travel of course, is a prime opportunity to experience the fastest way to learn French. Visiting French-speaking countries is a fun way to immerse yourself in the language. Try to find situations where you can really interact with the locals. Take a cooking course, go to the playground with your child or organize a soccer game. You will make friends, really experience French life and you will learn to speak French fast.
Textbook French Will Only Take You So Far
College students and adults should consider study abroad experiences. Attend university and perhaps even live with a family.
When they were young, my children thoroughly enjoyed traveling to Europe and they were able to appreciate why they were studying languages. And since they love TV, they benefitted from watching in French.
Do you have a French-speaking friend or relative? For children with a French parent or grandparent, the child will learn French fast if the parent/ grandparent only speaks French and insists that the child’s responses are in French.
It Is Beneficial to Hear as Many Different Voices and Pronunciations as Possible
If possible, hire a French babysitter. Even if it is just for a few hours per week, this immersion experience is invaluable. Tell the babysitter to only speak French. No English at all. He or she can play with your child, read with your child or sing with your child, but must only speak French. Your child will figure out what is being said, just as when learning English.
In time, your child will develop an association, which will help promote thinking in French and help avoid confusing languages. Your child will know, for example, that Marie-the-babysitter speaks only French.
If you do not have any of the opportunities stated above, try to find just a piece of immersion. There are many French TV and radio stations and you can watch French DVDs. Take full advantage of every chance to spend time with people who speak French. It is beneficial to hear as many different voices and pronunciations as possible. But more important, it is wonderful to make friends and learn about different cultures.
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