Finesse your French: how to engage with contemporary France part 6
Now that you’ve reached this point in your French learning journey, it’s a time to celebrate! Why? Because now your French is advanced enough to let you engage with contemporary France in a meaningful way.
By now, you’re a high-level intermediate French language learner who’s discovered how to make French grammar easy. So, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of your improved comprehension skills by working to engage with contemporary France.
Not to worry – at MyFrenchLife™ we’re all familiar with this exciting process. We’ll show you how to engage with all kinds of French media, and how to use these media to actively understand the French-speaking world.
Contemporary France – vocabulary
The first key to being savvy about French current affairs is to cover the vocabulary – especially when listening. It’s important to be familiar with specific terms that will tend to crop up over and over again.
If you’re cringing at the mention of memorising vocabulary, you’re in luck! Nailing these types of words needn’t be a struggle…
- First, since most of them are fairly advanced, they tend to have easy cognates in English
- Second, the spaced repetition method has been shown to make learning vocabulary much easier. It’s essentially a hack that helps your brain save newly-learned facts in its long-term memory.
But, in order to translate these facts into real-world learning, you’ll need to engage with French media directly.
How to boost your French media savvy
When trying to put your French language comprehension skills to practical use, nothing beats immersing yourself in authentic French media! No, it’s not as scary as it sounds – there are many options. We understand that diving straight into Le Monde or listening to the nightly news broadcast in French may seem too intimidating.
So, why not try this alternative?
News in Slow French offers weekly news updates at a reduced speed to make comprehension easier. From there, it’s quite simple to build up to French news broadcasts that are subtitled in English – and from there, to subtitles in French only.
Meanwhile, TV5Monde offers current events programming for French learners based on your level. Additionally, RFI offers news in easy French to help you feel more confident about listening to the French news itself.
But it doesn’t all have to be news.
Passive learning – maintain your French skills on the go
But no matter how committed you are, keeping up with your language learning regimen can get hard.
Who has time to spend many hours a day actively learning French?
Passive learning offers one good solution to this dilemma. As two recent studies have pointed out, listening to material in your target language solidifies knowledge already gained and helps prime you to absorb more.
So, take advantage.
Listen to French podcasts or songs at home or on your commute, and add current French content to your social media!
Time to reap the French rewards
The best thing about this type of engaged learning is how fun it can be! Now, you can expand your French learning journey beyond resources specifically designed for learners. It’s time to supplement this type of experience with the real world.
Now get out there and discover la France actuelle as you move further towards full French fluency!
What have you discovered through engaging with contemporary France? What has interested or surprised you the most? Share your discoveries in the comments section below!
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Click through to discover more articles in our ‘Finesse your French’ series:
How to engage with contemporary France – part 6 – this article
1. Reading a magazine, via MaxPixel
2. Laptop by kaboompics, via Pixabay
3. Girl on bike by Kurt Bauschardt, via Flickr