Develop your language skills
Develop your language skills!
Alright, I am giving this blog a try, to see if anyone finds it useful or not!
"It's not in some kind of retreat that we shall find ourselves : it's on the road, in the city, in the crowd, thing among things, man among men" Jean Paul Sartre - Situations
Those words are perfect to illustrate what the best way to learn is. Let me try and explain myself.
I was born in France and started to learn English at school, when I was 10. For nine years, I kept on working on my vocabulary, grammar, and even though it was difficult, I reached a great academic level and thought that was it!
Then, I decided to spend a summer in America in 2009, and went to Tennessee. Believe me or not, the first two weeks were probably the hardest weeks of my life! There is such a huge gap between what you are taught and reality, so much difference between what words and how you will learn to express yourself and what human beings really use indeed!
There is more to a language than just words. There is a whole culture, habits, shortcuts and expressions you can't just learn in school.
During that first summer abroad, I was amazed how fast my level would improve. When you are deep into the culture, with nothing else to rely on than yourself, you don't have a choice! In fact, our brain will never be as productive as when it has no choice :)
In two weeks, I was able to hear a conversation and understand almost every word of it. After two months, I could easily follow a conversation and you could only tell by my accent that I was not a local!
My point in all of this, is that the best way to learn is experience. Of course, you will need lessons, of course you will need basics! But fluency comes from diversity.
Watch French movies, hear some real French talking! This will develop your oral comprehension amazingly fast!
Read some easy French books, this will also develop your analyzing skills and improve your general comprehension of new words with context.
Travel to France, or French speaking countries, meet some French people and talk with them, you will learn the culture, real speaking habits, and the more time you spend there the more natural speaking will become for you.
You are fluent when you don't try to translate words from English to French anymore. You become fluent when you think in French, count in French, dream in French. I know it because I dream and think in English now, and it hasn't always been the case!
I will provide my students with French movies, books, and any material they need so they can enjoy their usual activities and still be practicing with interest and curiosity.
It is the best and most efficient way to improve your language skills :)
Success is all about finding a direction, and a purpose