Finesse your French: how to maintain and build your advanced French skills – part 9

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You’ve done it! Your French language learning journey has reached the advanced stage. Now, the future of your French language learning really is all up to you! But how do you maintain and build your advanced French skills?

You’ve worked hard and come far in your French learning journey – and you’ve discovered how to have fun along the way.

But this learning is no good if you can’t keep your skills up.

Fortunately, MyFrenchLife™ is right here to help you through this stage, just as we have been all along. We’ll show you how to not only maintain your advanced French language skills, but how to continue building them to new heights.

Maintaining your advanced French skills: preventing language decay

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Finding advanced-level French exercises online is simple enough – especially if you’ve already been learning French at a lower level. But finding programs that deliver a more comprehensive advanced French learning experience is much harder.

But, if you’re willing to do a little digging, you’ll find some great resources. FluentU provides this excellent list of sites. Many of the most respected programs, such as Français Authentique, are based on repetition, habit, and avoiding stress.

And this is no accident.

It is commonly recognised that habit-based learning, especially when it involves direct immersion, makes it almost impossible for you to slack off.

This is wonderful news for you since it means that maintaining your advanced French skills is as easy as staying connected and engaged with your French language material.

How to build your advanced French skills

But ‘maintaining’ your advanced French skills only gives you the incentive to stay in one place.

To help your French to be the best it can be, you must recognise how to continuously improve. The most effective language learners understand that their journey does not need to have a ‘finish line’ – the best learning is never-ending.

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So how do you turn this theory into practice and continue to expand your understanding of French?

One important piece of advice is to avoid consciously pushing too hard against the ‘ceiling’ of your existing abilities. Research shows that trying too hard to learn the niggling details of a language may be hurting you in the long run. Adult brains are better optimised for learning through experience.

This suggestion points towards the idea of prioritising the kinds of advanced vocabulary you want to learn.

Wherever you choose to specialise, use an individualised study system to keep track of your progress. Check out the study system featured on Lawless French to get an idea. This will help you to keep the process fun and to feel proud of all your achievements as you build your limitless French skills.

Learning French never stops

At first, this suggestion of continuous learning may seem an alarming one. Perhaps you’re thinking:

But if I never stop learning French, how will I feel accomplished and satisfied? How will I feel like I’m ‘done’?

But that’s the point!

MyFrenchLife™ - - Finesse your French - Advanced French skills - newspapers and tea

The final hurdle as you learn French is the realisation that being ‘perfect’ at French isn’t the best goal. In fact, it’s not even a reasonable one.

When you look at language learning as an ongoing and evolving process, the joy of success will come not from passing a test or meeting a benchmark. It will come from your own sense that you are learning French for your own enrichment.

This is the most exciting part of your entire French learning journey. It’s the moment where you get to make your mastery of French whatever you want it to be!

How have you maintained and expanded your French language knowledge? Where have you struggled? Let us know in the comments section, and be sure to share this article with your friends to help them build their own fluent French future!

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

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 -this article

Image credits
1. Man on tablet by kaboompics, via Pexels
2. Studying in Starbucks by Anita Hart, via Flickr
3. Newspapers by stevepb, via Pixabay

About the Contributor

Judy MacMahon

Experience FRANCE beyond the CLICHÉ with MyFrenchLife is for Curious Savvy Francophiles wherever you are. Meet Francophiles in France, online, and/or wherever you live. You’re very welcome to join us - Judy MacMahon -

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One Comment

  1. Keith Van Sickle Jul 24, 2019 at 2:19 AM - Reply

    For me, the key is to do what you enjoy because if you don’t enjoy it you’ll never do it. Sometimes I’m motivated to read and so I focus on reading books and newspapers. Sometimes it is listening, so I’ll watch TV and movies. Sometimes it is conversation, etc. As long as it’s fun I’ll keep doing it!

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