Updated: Apr 18, 2019
Adeline, one of our Assistant Managers, continues her language learning tips!
If you followed my first tip, you now have an app or an address book ready to store up a lot of new words. Let’s make sure this gets filled up! You can of course use it to memorise vocabulary learnt at school or university, but you might want to explore more options. The key with learning a language is exposure: the more you speak / read / listen / write, the better you get, so make sure you seize every opportunity to practise. Most of my suggestions below will help you practise French or English, but the list can be expanded to include any languages — feel free to comment and let us know about your favourite resource!
You might want to catch the news in your target language (this might also give you a welcome break from all the Brexit talk…). In France, the mainstream newspaper is Le Monde. Take a look at their website! Their app, 'La Matinale', also gives you a selection of articles every day and is great for keeping track of what’s happening, even when you don’t have much time to spare. If you haven’t studied French for long, you might find that it’s a bit difficult to understand — don’t worry, this is totally normal. The newspaper Mon Quotidien is aimed at younger readers. It uses simpler language and gives you synonyms every time unusual words are used, so it’s really helpful for making progress without even realising you are working! For both papers, the websites are a great way for you to find out if the format and themes suit you, but they also offer international subscriptions (digital or paper), that could go straight onto your Christmas wish list.
If you are learning English, the BBC offers great resources: Bitesize is meant for native speakers studying English at school, and Learning English is tailored for people learning English as a foreign language.
I would also recommend trying to listen to the news to make sure you don’t focus only on written documents. For French news, France Inter is the equivalent of BBC 4, and is a good place to start if you are interested in the news as well as documentaries. You can catch it live on their website but also access podcasts of specific shows. It might be a bit tricky at first, but there are all sorts of programs, so you should be able to find one that interests you! TV5 Monde also have news coming from all over the francophone world and have a mix of videos and articles. Their section for French learners is amazing, as it gives you transcripts of the videos and suggested exercises, to make sure you fully understand the resources. They also use the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, which means you can keep track of your progress and make sure you use the resources tailored to your level.
In French, we call modern languages “les langues vivantes” (“living languages”). As languages “live” as you study them, you just need a tiny bit of effort to get out of the comfort zone of your native language and to explore something else. The best thing is that you can focus on things you already like, and just find online resources in your target language — even the most trivial of pastimes can give you a chance to learn new things. Do you love The Great British Bake Off? Watch “Le Meilleur Pâtissier” online! The format stays the same, so you won’t be lost, but you’ll pick up French phrases along the way.
What pastime do you think you can try and do "in translation"? Let us know!
Blog Post Crafted by Adeline
Adeline assists Leticia in running our Admin Team. With a PhD in English, she can call herself a doctor but can’t write prescriptions!
Adeline manages the staff on our Admin Team, liaising with tutors, clients and applicants. She is responsible for processing the ID, Qualifications, DBS Check and References for all our newly joining tutors, as well as taking tuition enquiries, matching tutors to clients, and supporting tutors and clients throughout the process of tuition.