Finesse your French: how to overcome your French learning frustration – part 1
At MyFrenchLife™, we’ve all encountered French learning frustration at some time. We imagine that you’ve been feeling frustrated too. What with all the resources online, experts available, and extraordinary promises made about how easy it is to learn, it seems too hard – where do I start?
Luckily, we’re here to help you develop a plan to overcome your French learning frustration.
In this series on how to ‘Finesse your French’, we will share our tips, tricks, and advice. We will introduce tools to take you from a frustrated debutant to a relaxed and confident French speaker. On y va ! (let’s go!)
In this article, we’re starting at the beginning: how to overcome your French learning frustration and finally reach your dream of effortlessly speaking French.
Are you ready?
French learning frustration: what’s your French language learning style?
The idea that there’s a right or wrong way to learn a language is antiquated. The Guardian demonstrates just this by quoting polyglot Benny Lewis:
I did poorly in languages in school.
This is good news for you!
You aren’t “bad at languages,” “too old” or “just dumb”– you simply learn in your own way! So, our guide explores multiple approaches: different methods will work better for different people.
Benny’s problem was that his natural learning style didn’t match the ‘traditional’ approach found in schools – does yours?
How to find your preferred method
We know you’ve heard many promises before – we all have.
So, how is it different this time?
At MyFrenchLife™ we aren’t teachers selling a product! We aren’t the experts, but we know the experts, and we’ve all been where you are! We’ve worked out how to overcome our frustration and become relaxed and confident French speakers.
Now we want to share that with you. We have sifted through the myriad of resources and found the best – and amongst these, we hope there are some which are right for you!
Traditional approaches to learning French
Many of the easy-to-access programs for learning French at beginner level take a traditional approach:
- TV5Monde’s French learning center promotes a typical strategy
- And a YouTube video from language learning site JeFrench gives another textbook-like experience – but optimized for more audiovisual learners
Textbook-style learning is ideal for some, but not for everyone. After all, according to The Atlantic:
Less than one percent of American adults today are proficient in a foreign language that they studied in a U.S. classroom.
Clearly, other methods are also needed…
Creative approaches to learning French
Fortunately, the Internet is a goldmine for learning resources: both traditional and creative. So, let’s get creative!
A website specialising in French language games offers French Hangman to get you thinking quickly in French.
And it’s not just for the kids. Try it and challenge your friends – who will win?
As we know, learning solo can be tough, but if you can partner up it can even be fun. WeSpeke offers a matchmaking service where you can talk with a native speaker in your target language (French). You are each native speakers in the language the other wants to learn.
In addition, listening to some chansons or a French podcast in the background during the day can go a surprisingly long way. Whichever method you choose, it’s clear that whilst these creative approaches are fun, they are more than ‘just for fun’!
Learning French: what’s the best way – for me?
We have two particular favourites: –
- Lawless French with the renowned expert, Laura K Lawless, and
- Français Authentique with Johan Tekfak,
both with very different teaching styles,
both of which are complimentary from our experience!
- And, of course, it’s always good to check in with your fellow MyFrenchLife™ readers on the best way to learn.
We’ll cover these experts and their methods in more detail later …
But ultimately, it’s a matter of finding what works for you.
It’s a matter of discovering your learning style and your preferred method.
But whatever your style and preferences, now is the time!
Get out there and get started – we’ve got your back! Before you know it, you’ll be confident in your French skills and ready to meet your French future head-on!
How is your French learning journey going? – Do you have a case of French learning frustration? And importantly, have you discovered what helps you overcome your frustration? Add your voice to the comments section, and be sure to share this article so that your French-loving friends can get started too!
Enjoyed this article?
Currently at a different level of French learning?
Click through to discover more articles in our ‘Finesse your French’ series:
You CAN learn French this time: a breakthrough method – introduction
How to overcome your French learning frustration – part 1 – this article
Moving beyond French conversation basics – part 2
French language and culture – part 3
The intermediate French learning plateau and how to overcome it – part 4
How to make French grammar easy – part 5
How to engage with contemporary France – part 6
How to push towards French fluency – part 7
How to have advanced French fun – part 8
How to maintain and build your advanced French skills – part 9
1. Frustrated man, via Wikimedia Commons
2. Beginners French: video lesson 1 for beginners in French by JEFRENCH.com, via Youtube
3. Hangman, via Wikimedia Commons
4. French teacher by Bonjourden, via Flickr