Living in French #1: ‘French-immersion-at-home’
Learning French the natural way
For years I’ve spoken about ‘learning French’ but recently I’ve changed my mindset to ‘Living in French’, which is all about learning french ‘the natural way’. The way children learn a language—yes, by total immersion through sound and sight and repetition in particular.
We all dream of being in France and since March of 2020, that’s not been possible for most of us. And many of us have experienced that when in France our French language skills improve out-of-sight. We refer to the ‘magic’ of immersion, but I for one have not really taken this to another level before.
Living in French—how I did it before?
I’ve for many years tried to include French in my life.
You know: the news, conversation, French film with subtitles, French film festivals, reading blogs, listening to French podcasts intended for the French rather than the learner about things that interest me, changing the language on my phone, etc etc. I thought I was serious about this immersion-at-home approach. However, now I’ve realised that I could do more – much more!
And this year I’m doing just that—I’ve taken it to another level! And I thought that you may be interested to hear what I’ve discovered…
French immersion at home—another level
The first thing I did was look harder at my life in English and noted down the things that give me the most pleasure—the things that I do daily, weekly, frequently! And I also noted down to topics that most interest me.
You know the drill… current affairs, politics, interviews/with inspiring people, food, wine, films, music, books/reading, healthy lifestyle, entrepreneurial thinking, innovation, creative pursuits, France and most things French as well as sharing and chatting with friends, just to name a few… Then I thought about my regular or frequent activities: walking, pilates, yoga, meditation, swimming, and all those things I’d already listed. And of course, don’t forget about your devices. There’s the phone, laptop, iPad, Kindle, and television: turn them all to French immediately, remember, you’re trying to create your own French world—be brave.
How say you start building your own lists at this stage. Whilst it may seem that these lists were becoming too long, just push on and allay that negative voice-in-your-head, that persistent doubt.
Now, French infiltrates my everyday life
Next, I tried to work out how to incorporate the French language into each or most of those occurrences and activities.
I went searching! Searching for me, that’s an everyday occurrence.
I’m insatiably, incurably curious as you may know.
The nickname I have for myself is ‘the ferret’, ‘le furet‘, and the verb ‘fureter‘: to ferret out. For years I’ve been digging and searching and finding answers or solutions to most things. What’s more, I enjoy doing it, and I enjoy solving the problems and/or coming up with a solution.
This time I found MANY solutions or in fact what I’ve called opportunities for immersion-at-home. And I’ve collaborated with others and what I’ve created is providing so much variety in my life. It’s exciting, and it has turned out to be a flexible approach. These resources will enable me to continue to add fresh content and new techniques and new inspiration constantly. I’m sure that I’ll discover how to expand my French immersion at home approach. In fact, probably you’ll have some recommendations for me… What I’ve tried to create is more an approach—a way of thinking about how I learn French.
10 ways to ‘live in French’: immersion-at-home
Let’s now look at 10 ways of putting your ‘Living in French’, your French-immersion-at-home plan in place. These are the component parts and we’ll start publishing detailed articles on each of these 10 rich resources.
Watch out for and follow this series as we progressively publish.
1. Devices and other daily tools—Change to the French language – all devices. Don’t forget your social media accounts… And better still include meditation and yoga practise in French too if that interests you – in other words, everything you can think of.
You may feel calm about changing from English – but it’s also normal to feel a little nervous – take a deep breathe and dive in – remember you can always change your settings back anytime.
2. Audio—Enjoy living with French in the background. There are slow and fast options and even options for sleep: Learning French with audio.
3. Film—Watching/listening to Film in French
Most films have the option of listening in one language and subtitles in the same language: French for example. Or listen in French and watch in English. I personally prefer the former. [ INSERT link to the page with detail about Netflix and TV5 etc]
4. Podcasts—An extensive, deep, and rich source of learning resources for learnings and competent French speakers alike.
5. Music—Various resources where you can read & learn the lyrics in French.
6. Cartoons—Cartoons for children, but also ‘Bande destiné’ the very popular French cartoons for adults which have almost a ‘cult’ following.
7. Culture—Resources that provide access to French people and how they speak in everyday French. Not argot or verlan but everyday modern French about the arts and more.
8. Street—Become exposed to conversations in the street between French locals.
9. Conversation—Various resources to enable access to conversation with French natives wherever you live.
10. Apps—A list of apps to help you progress your French language skills, no matter what your level.
How is your French? are you ‘living-in-French’? Share your thoughts and experiences with us below in the comments.
How is Your French? Poll
At MyFrenchLife we’re so interested in assisting you with your French that we have a simple Poll for you to complete right now. Many thanks for participating. There is only one compulsory question, so this will only take a minute. Please help me with this as it will help me direct our content to your competency level.
Here is the link to our How is your French Poll. Merci d’avance