Speaking your target language comes only when you make a conscious resolve of doing it. But does the thought of having to speak French with natives send chills down your spine? While listening to native French speakers, do you feel that you might never be able to understand and communicate with them? If yes, this article is for you!
But Why Should You Learn French?
French is one of the most popular and most spoken romantic languages in the world! It is a widely spoken language all across the world. More than 300 million people around the globe speak it as their official language in about 29 countries. Quite evidently, it opens the doors to interact with a huge population of the world!
- French is an asset to one’s profession. France makes one of the world’s largest economies. In fact, French is one of the official languages in the European Union, the United Nations and the African Union and several others.
- With a good knowledge of Spoken French, you can score well in exams such as DELF, DALF, TEF, TCF etc which you can use in your career and profession. You can settle in a francophone country and work there.
- If you can communicate in French, you can meet and befriend so many new people and know of so many new cultures! It opens the doors to knowledge about the francophone world via the internet.
- You’ll be able to watch and understand French movies, literature, music, history, culture and what not!
- French can fetch you the job that you wish to have. Many jobs in francophone and even non- francophone countries require their employees to have the knowledge of French communication and hence, offer amazing salaries to them. That is definitely a reinforcement for you to learn to speak French!
- Your trips will become so much easier with the skill of Spoken French. You will be able to deal with most of the situations in a francophone country during a business trip or personal trip. With just a few pickup lines and expressions of politeness, you can lay an excellent impression on native French speakers and make them want to talk to you!
Tips for improving your Spoken French
Work on your pronunciation
As a speaker/ learner of English, the first and the most important thing to learn Spoken French would be to improve your pronunciations in French. French pronunciations are entirely different from English ones and that makes it extremely important to be able to pronounce well in French. Without good pronunciation, it is impossible to move further with French grammar and sentence structures.
Reading out loud
If you are a beginner, reading out aloud will enable you to improve not only your pronunciation, but also your intonation. You should record your audio every time you read a text and listen to it to correct yourself later. In addition, this is great training for your vocabulary and sentence formation skills and hence your speaking skills!
Know your own level of French and continue from there
Know your level of speaking skills in French and then work further to improve in that direction. Make sure to get the order of your grammar topics right during the practice. This helps you improve your sentence structures instead of getting entangled.
Learn to Introduce yourself nicely in French
Learn how to introduce yourself in an impressive manner in French. Most of your conversations are going to start this way. Therefore, learning to present yourself in an effective manner in French is an excellent way to boost your confidence!
Practice Common Dialogues and Discussions
Prepare yourself to communicate in the most common daily life situations such as at a supermarket, bakery, restaurant or cafe, hotel, hospital, train or bus station, airport etc. Learn some expressions of politeness that the French native speakers use and employ them in your speaking. You can prepare a few dialogues for everyday situations:
- Talking about yourself in French.
- Ordering food in a restaurant
- Ordering coffee
- Talking about your family in French.
- Talking about your hobbies in French.
- What did you do during the weekend
- Buying clothes
- Reserving a room in a hotel
- Buying groceries
- Buying movie tickets
- Buying bus/ train tickets
- At the bakery
- How to practice French conversation skills
Non-verbal French communication
Practicing French gestures, fillers, sounds and non-verbal communication is a great way to sound a little bit more French! To be able to sound as close as possible to a native speaker, include the common sounds and gestures used by the natives in your own Spoken French.
Fillers and most common sentences for small talk
Knowing a bit of small talk in French and most commonly used French expressions and slangs is a great way to boost your speaking. Plus, these make your sound more French. The natives would want to talk to you if you use more of these while speaking.
Exploit the power of the internet
Consume as much authentic content as you can from native French speakers!
Watch series, movies, videos and listen to radio, news, music, podcasts available all across the internet! Club this activity with imitating the native speakers. Also, cultivate the habit of noting down useful vocabulary, sentence structures and expressions. Use them whenever you get the next best opportunity to use them.
Make your home- environment compatible to French learning
To better your skills in Spoken French, it is a great idea to have a home environment wherein you change most of the things to French. Ditch all the English music, movies and series. Instead, switch to French movies, songs, literature. Prepare French cuisine and talk to yourself in French. Also, regularly read about the French culture, geography, history to enhance your general knowledge. The results will absolutely surprise you!
Have somebody to correct you and provide relevant feedback
Welcome your mistakes but at the same time have somebody who can correct them. Do not go on learning wrong concepts thinking that they are right. Have an experienced language instructor or a native speaker who can correct your errors in Spoken French.
Have a Study Partner
Continue your French learning in the company of other French learners so as to keep your level of motivation high. While learning a foreign language, there are bound to be phases where you may not feel as confident. To keep that balance and motivation, have a study partner.
Try imitating native speakers
This is a very simple technique and is extremely helpful in learning a foreign language! All you need to do is listen to audio recordings of native speakers and copy it as perfectly as possible. This practice of imitating will work unbelievably on your French pronunciation! Imitate the intonation, the most common expressions, idioms and gestures of the natives. You will learn a plethora of grammar and sentence formation through this.
Think in French
Every time you catch yourself thinking in a language other than French, remind yourself and make a conscious resolve to continue thinking in French. Depending upon where you’re located, you may or may not have a French speaking environment around you. But everyone has a habit of talking to oneself almost all the time. Continue to do so in your target language and see your confidence rising!
Join Online French Speaking Sessions
To get an environment of language exchange wherein everybody speaks French, you may join some French speaking courses (possibly one that has native speakers). This way you learn a lot of new sentence structures, vocabulary, grammar and you gain immense confidence. Plus, you get the opportunity to have your errors corrected by an experienced language instructor.
Now that you have got all the tips to practice and improve your Spoken French, go ahead and take your first step to speak in your dream language without any fear! Remember, making mistakes is a part of the journey and that makes it important to welcome them. Bon apprentissage ! 🙂