Here are my French study tips with some questions to ask yourself in order to understand how you should be learning the language.
1. How much time do you spend studying French?
One of the best French study tips I can give my students is to dedicate some time to studying everyday. As with any other foreign language, learning French requires work, and the best way to overcome the obstacles and get a comprehensive grasp of the subject. Work a little everyday. Languages are best learned when your brain works with them everyday. It doesn’t have to be long. As students of my French classes in the Chicago suburbs will tell you, Even just 10 minutes a day will go a long way.
2. Do you process or memorize?
You cannot focus on learning French with your goal being to pass your next exam. That is why the next of my French study tips is to actually understand and learn the material. To some, this sounds obvious. But as a Naperville French teacher, this is easier said than done. People get so caught up in their daily lives that they end up working on their knowledge as a way to get an A on their test or to meet the teachers expectations. But, the language demands an understanding. When it comes time for you to actually speak, you need to understand French and be able to formulate your sentences. Simple memorization and translating in your head will not cut it. If you are used to memorizing phrases from an audio or video method or memorize verb charts from a book, then you need to think of how you can actually learn the language. Private French tutoring in Naperville can help.
3. What kind of dictionary are you using?
Every good French teacher in Naperville will tell that resources matter. Investing in a good dictionary will get you far. Once you are motivated to learn and processing information the right way, you will come across words you don’t know. This is actually great, because it allows you to gain new vocabulary that you are using in English and may not correspond to the vocabulary being taught to you in your French classes in the Chicago suburbs. But, Google translate is not a reliable option. Find my recommended list of resources in my French study resources blog post.
4. What do you do when someone corrects your writing?
Students take my Naperville private French lessons to learn from the best, native speaker. This means having someone to teach and also correct them. But, when students get tests, homework, and essays back correcting their writing, they have the tendency to care only to look at the grade and forget everything else. Corrections are there so that you can learn from them. If you are taking a class in school and don’t discuss your mistakes with your teacher or at take note of what she wrote on your work, you are never going to learn.
5.What do you do when you learn a new word or grammar?
My top tip for studying a language- whether you are learning via a private Naperville French teacher, on your own, or in high school or college foreign language classes- is to practice what you learn. When you learn new vocabulary or grammar, you need to keep it in mind. This applies whether you learn an entire new verb tense in your lesson, or just a single word from a text. Using it beyond the point of learning will reinforce what you saw and drill it into your brain. Try revising what you just learned the night after your lesson to make things clearer and easier to remember.
6. What do you do to practice your French?
All French study tips point to one direction- practicing your French! To learn French more easily and quicker, you need to practice with every opportunity that comes your way. Make the effort to try speaking the language both in and out of the classroom, but in a few extra minutes a day to study, etc. The best advantage comes from finding innovative ways to deal with French- like watching a movie in the language you are learning or reading articles in it.
7.What method are you using to learn French?
People come to me as a French teacher in Naperville knowing that I provide the best method for learning French. One-on-one private lessons are always best for learning a foreign language. But, if you choose another method, beware of how you are learning to better understand what you will learn from it. Audio tapes or video methods may help you, but understand that you will need to put in extra effort to speak with a real French person. In a large group, you may learn a lot, but you will need to spend extra energy correcting yourself and reflecting on what you as an individual are struggling with and how to fix these errors.
8. What do you do when talking to a French native?
My French classes in the Chicago suburbs are unique, because I am teaching as a French native. I grew up in France, so I have the accent and best language skills around. Students also adore that I have the cultural knowledge, which those taking lessons love to learn about in addition to the language itself. Being able to talk to a native is important. One must adapt to different accents and learn to have a natural conversation with someone who is actually French. It is hard at first, but you must learn to not switch to English, or recite scripted phrases, or stumble between each word, or any of the other common mistakes made by students. Practice makes perfect.
9. Why are you studying French?
The last of my French study tips is to reflect on why you are learning French. It is important to understand, as it will explain your motivation (or lack of), your progress, and what you need to do moving forward. Some are studying merely to get the credits in school, or because learning a language is obligatory. Some are passionate about French culture, or would like to study or live in the country. Some people love learning languages. Motivations are different for everyone, but a sincere interest in learning will get you much further than learning a foreign language as an obligation.
Understand your learning process and what you want in the future to get the most out of your French lessons in Naperville. I would love to help you get even further with the French language and help you learn with a customized curriculum fit for your exact needs!