Archive for Learn French

French Study tips: What Kind of French Student are You?

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? 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!

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Categories: Learn French

French via Skype: Learn French at Home

learn French with Skype
Learn French from the comfort of your own home

For those of you who would like to learn French at home, my new Skype French lessons allow for you to learn from my same renowned curriculum easier than ever! 

My core philosophy as a Naperville French teacher has always been to teach personalized, one on one lessons for the best language learning experience. As much as my students and I both love this face-to-face interaction, there are some times that this just isn’t possible. Due to time and distance constraints, it can be difficult for some to attend my Naperville French lessons. That is why I have developed a new strategy: online French lessons via Skype.

How do French Lessons via Skype work?

French lessons via Skype are easy and simple. Just like my regular Naperville French lessons, the student and determine a one hour time slot to meet each week. We work on conversation, grammar, vocabulary, and more. I call you, the student, and we speak French via Skype the entire time.

Who is Eligible for Skype French Lessons?

My Chicago French lessons by Skype are just as beneficial as the Naperville private French lessons I have been teaching for a decade. But, French lessons via Skype are only intended for certain students. In order to best learn from Skype French lessons, the student should already have attained a certain level of the language. It can be extremely difficult to learn basic grammar and vocabulary over a computer screen, so I ask that students be at an intermediate to advanced level of the language. French lessons via Skype are intended for students looking to ameliorate their language skills and practice conversation with a French native.

The Benefits of Learning French via Skype

Skype French lessons will help you get comfortable with conversing with real French people in French. With more practice comes a more natural feeling when speaking the language and quicker thinking. Students will continue to learn more vocab and fix grammar errors with each lesson.

Learn French at Home with Chicago French Lessons Skype

I am so excited to announce my new language method, teaching French lessons via Skype! Video calling with a French native is a wonderful opportunity, and my students who travel or have a tight schedule can keep learning the language with me. Whether you are travelling for business, on vacation, or just cannot get out to Naperville due to work and family conflicts, my Chicago French lessons by Skype are just a call away. Make the most of your language capabilities with my video chat classes. Schedule your lessons today to learn French at home!

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Categories: Learn French

Career Opportunities that Benefit from French

In this global age, speaking French or another foreign language is a great advantage in the professional world. Discover some careers that benefit from french. 

My students taking French lessons in Naperville IL all take French for different reasons, whether it be for school, work, or pleasure. No matter what their purpose is for taking Naperville French classes, learning French certainly proves beneficial in the professional world. Here career opportunities for frenchare some jobs that have positions or skills that necessitate or greatly value knowledge of the French language.

1. Being a French teacher

The most obvious job that requires French is being a French teacher, of course! I have been teaching French classes in Naperville for over 10 years, and I love what I do. Those with great talent in French or who like to instruct others may wish to go the same route. You can teach children, at a school, by means of private lessons… or you can go live out your dreams in a French speaking country teaching English. The possibilities are endless….

2. Translator/ interpreter

When becoming a translator or interpreter, the more languages spoken the better. I offer services as a Chicago French translator and Chicago French interpreter; however, many of the translators and interpreters who focus solely on this task work with several languages. With this job, you will dedicate studies to the French language to later be able to verbally interpret or translate documents from and into another language. Oftentimes, a translator or interpreter focuses on a specific field, like legal or medical, to work well with technical terms.

3. Tourism industry

A career in the tourism industry will either require a high level of French or consider some French useful, depending on the location. Whether it be working in a restaurant, at a hotel, as a flight attendant, or other career paths, French will make your job much easier.

4. Global corporations

When looking to work for a global corporation, multiple languages can help. My work as a Naperville French teacher has given me the opportunity to work with many individuals learning French to work with multinational companies. Whether it be working at a physical branch in a French speaking area, working for customer service, or dealing with French suppliers and clients, another language is always a plus.
5. Proofreader

Proofreaders who can speak French are preferable in the business, as they are able to work on French editions of a book or magazine, translate and correct documents in French, and benefits from speaking french

6. Accounting

While accounting and French do not seem to go hand and hand, I have known several French speakers given the opportunity to work for on accounting. This is particularly useful for dealing with French accounts and French clients.

7.Hardware/ software companies

Learning French is also very useful for software and hardware businesses, as many technical support systems operate for several countries. This means that being able to speak a second language, like French, can come in handy for speaking on the phone.


Learning a new language is a valuable investment that goes beyond fun- it can help shape and enhance your career path. Whether you want to do something that is specifically dealing with the French language, or make a professional choice that can benefit from added French knowledge, French will make your career more valuable. Take French tutoring in Naperville with me and see where the French language can take you!

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Categories: Learn French

The Benefits of Learning French Young

I teach French Lessons in Naperville, Illinois. My language school, NaperFrench, sees a large number of children coming to take my Naperville French classes. In fact, I began teaching French to children; therefore, I fully understand just how great children are with languages. The younger an individual learns a foreign language, the better. Between a child’s natural ability to learn a second language and the variety of benefits that will reward their efforts, young learners find taking language classes to be an enriching experience.

Children learn foreign languages naturally

It is often said that children can pick up a foreign language much more easily than adults. The reason behind this is that children are still children's french lessons napervilleforming their brains, making the child brain much more flexible and adaptable. Children who learn a foreign language, like my young students taking NaperFrench French lessons in Naperville, are able to optimize their learning potential. When young, kids learn a second language just as easily as they learn their first language- this is an amazing ability, as any adults who have ever tried to learn another language will tell you that it is much more difficult for them.

Because the language will be acquired naturally, there is a great linguistic advantage for children. Experts explain that the ability to hear and reproduce new sounds is lost by the age of 8 to 12, meaning that there will be a permanent foreign accent in any language. The ear and vocal muscles of children are flexible, just as the brain is, so they can still reproduce the miniscule differences in a second language with native quality.  Plus, children learn naturally at during their youth, whereas adults must attempt to get their brains to break the rules of their mother tongue in terms of accent, grammar rules, and more.

Cognitive Benefits

Studies show that learning a second language enhances a child’s overall verbal development. Children can differentiate between languages from birth, so there is no chance that a foreign language can interfere with the development of English skills. But, the benefit goes beyond just knowing another language itself. Children learning another language, like taking French lessons, exhibit better skills in elementary school, have better problem-solving skills, more creativity, and better spatial relations. Later in education, kids who know another language score better on ACTs and SATs.

Later on in life, young language learners have enhanced multi-tasking and planning skills, and enhanced memory. The brain is trained to focus on important information and discard the unimportant. Children can also communicate better and have more flexible thinking.


Giving your child the gift of language lessons from an early age is an investment that will continue to reward them and last a lifetime. Not only will your child learn a foreign language more easily and reap all of the linguistic and cognitive benefits from it, but he or she will be able to learn even more languages more easily. Children also gain an expanded world view and learn to appreciate and understand other cultures. When it comes time to enter into the professional world, your child will have an edge in the global marketplace. So, give your child the opportunity to get ahead by taking children’s French lessons in Naperville with me!

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Categories: Learn French

Easy Ways to Learn French Fast and Make the Most out of your French Lessons

Private French lessons are the best way to learn French, but there are a few things you should be doing to optimize your lessons and learn the language faster and more easily.

Learning a new language is an exciting and important opportunity, but it also requires time and effort if you really wish to learn well. Being a teacher for French classes in Naperville, I am happy to say that my students understand that the best way to learn French or any language is through private, one-on-one lessons like my own that offer a unique curriculum adapted to each student. However, for all of my students and others learning a foreign language, I would like to provide some insight on a few tips to enhance your language learning experience and make the most out of private language lessons.

Reasons for Learning French

If you are planning on taking French classes or are currently receiving tutoring, you should have a clear reason for learning French. My Naperfrench students are all unique and different from one another. And while I make a custom curriculum for each student based on age, personality, and interests, I also consider their intentions for learning the language and why they are taking French lessons in Naperville, IL. Many students come in conjunction with their school programs to receive French tutoring and succeed in school classes or skip levels in high school. Other students come from a young age, as parents see the intellectual and business opportunities that it will give their children in the future. I have students who come because they are moving to Paris, Nice, or other parts of France or simply would like to vacation there with some knowledge of the language. Still others come to me because they love the beauty of the French language and the culture of France, either looking to brush up from lessons in the past of start a whole new experience with me. Having clear intentions will not only help you decide how much time and energy to invest into learning the language, but it will allow you to receive the right kinds of lessons and work towards your end goal.learn french fast and easy

Dedication and Motivation

Along with having a clear reason to learn French comes dedication and motivation to your studies. Planning a goal for learning a new language allows you to determine how hard you are going to work and get you motivated to achieve that goal. Learning a foreign language requires a lot of time and effort- and French is no exception. There needs to be ongoing effort on the part of the student to attend classes regularly, study outside of class, be attentive, and look for different opportunities to use French. Of course, the degree to which you will work on all of these elements depends on your end goal and particular circumstances. If you are suddenly moving to France or need to keep up with French to pass your school’s final French exam, you will need to spend much more time and energy on learning than if you just wish to practice light conversational French for your personal pleasure. Additionally, you must stay motivated throughout as not to start putting in less effort and keep improving. Without motivation, you will not enjoy your learning of the language.

Lessons Suited to your Needs

Learn French fast by learning French the right way. The easiest way to learn French quickly and effectively is by having the right lessons. As my French lessons at NaperFrench emphasize, lessons should be private and individual. Group lessons may initially seem like a good way to learn, but over time you will realize that you are not learning fast enough because the class is not tailored to your needs and you get dragged down by the weaker students who struggle to get the concepts down. Individual classes allow for lessons adapted to all of your goals and needs. Moreover, your French lessons should have extensive audio in addition to reading and writing, so you can properly learn the sounds and pronunciation of the language. But, learning a foreign language solely by audio like with video or audio discs does not incorporate the other crucial element for the best way to learn French- practice and conversation. All lessons should give you the opportunity to speak, and learning French is even easier when the other speaker is a French native. No matter what you choose to learn French, make sure it is effective and fun for you- this will make the lessons enjoyable and thus easy and effective for you to learn French fast.


Taking French lessons is ultimately only a part of what it takes to learn French- signing up for language lessons just is not enough. To learn French fast and easy, you must begin by setting goals and investing yourself in order to fulfill these goals. Learning French should be fun but it will also require hard work and effort in order to make the most out of your foreign language learning experience. Lastly, make certain you are taking the proper French lessons that are adapted to your goals and learning needs.


10 Tips to Learn French Fast

In addition to learning French lessons, here are some ways to learn french fast at home.

Effective French lessons provide the best means of learning French. But, I am a French native offering French lessons in Naperville, and I have learned that no matter how good French lessons are, there is always something more the language student can be doing outside of the classrooms for added improvement. Here are some little things you can do to learn French at home.
1. Travel to a French-speaking country: The optimal way to learn French outside of the classroom is traveling to a country that speaks French. Whether for a yearlong study abroad program, a three-month stay, or a weeklong trip, every moment helps. Being in a place where French surrounds you, you will naturally pick up French and be forced to speak it. The most benefit will come if you are able to go into the10 tips to learn french fast country with a fair amount of French already learned.

2. Speak the language: French can be spoken outside of the classroom, and will help a lot. Trying to describe objects in your house, speaking to your pet, or conversing to yourself will help you feel more comfortable speaking and get you used to French. Plus, your mind will remember verb conjugations and vocabulary and you will better your accent.

3. Read French books: Trying to read books in a foreign language is helpful to get familiar with new words as well as orthography. Books should present a challenge but not be too difficult, or you will overlook the sentences instead of decoding them. Beginners should try to read children’s books; as you advance, try reading harder books and keep a French dictionary handy to understand challenging words.

4. Watch French videos: Watching French movies, short videos, or the news are all helpful tools to get extra practice with French. Watching this material will get you used to hearing French and work on your understanding of the language. It is best to try watching foreign language movies and videos without subtitles, as your mind will naturally turn to the subtitles rather than challenge itself to understand the audio in a different language.

5. Listen to French music: Taking time to listen to French songs will adapt your ears and mind to hearing French voices and the accent. It will be easier going forward for you to understand French; Also, you will get the chance to learn new vocabulary through the music and remember it thanks to the catchy tunes.

6. Subscribe to French publications: Subscribing to French newspapers, magazines, or other publications delivers very similar results to those of reading French books. You will learn new vocabulary, read more easily, and feel more comfortable with the language. The difference with publications is that they are shorter than books, and this is often beneficial. Individuals are able to focus on understanding short bits of information, and can work without lengthy struggles that discourage the reader. There is also very diverse content to choose from, so everyone will find something they like.

7. Discover online communities: Online communities and forums can be between other French students, French natives, or both. These internet outlets give you the benefit of hearing and reading French conversations, and even partake in them yourself. Communicating becomes much easier with these types of methods.

8. Find a pen pal: Pen pals are a unique way to practice French. This improves writing and reading skills; plus, it pushes you to write with vocabulary and phrases beyond textbook French and find a natural rhythm of writing that discusses your interests. These natural conversations will improve your French skills and get you a new friend.

9. Try out French word games: Word games and crossword puzzles in French teach some more lessons in French.

10. Study French culture: Not only does it make you sound better traveled and smarter about history, French culture improves your French. Studying French culture, even if in your native language, adds meaning to the language and thus adds value to learning the language. Some of this history will even begin to teach you roots and meanings of the words you are learning, and better understand them contextually.

This list should hopefully give you inspiration to incorporate a little more French into your daily life, and get you learning French more easily and faster than ever. Just remember, nothing beats actual French lessons. And, getting private French lessons tailored to your specific needs will help you find a plan to add in little elements of French listed above, along with others. Get French lessons in Chicago or get more consultation about learning French by contacting NaperFrench.

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Categories: Learn French

You’re Never Too Old to Learn French in Naperville

I’ve noticed an interesting shift in my adult students within the past few years.  While I’ve always had adult students learning French for business or an upcoming trip, many of them are now finding my services for their own personal benefit.

It is never to late to learn French

It is never to late to learn French

My average adult student is 40-50 years old and they all want to learn French for different reasons.  Some of them learned French in high school and just want to pick it back up again, or they may want to converse with a friend or loved one who also knows the language. I also have several adult students that have always wanted to learn the language and now in later life, they are finding the time to do so.   For some students, it’s quality “me time” (even though I’m there too!) and some of them even joke that it’s their “therapy!”

I always tell students the best reason to learn French is because you want to, but now there is buzz about it being great for your mind, too.  A recent article in the New York Times entitled The Benefits of Bilingualism reported that bilingual people are faster at problem solving and can monitor their environment more attentively.  Because their minds must “switch” between two languages, the part of the brain that controls attention processes is strengthened. Even in senior citizens, studies show that bilingualism helps slow the onset of dementia and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.  I knew there were a lot of benefits to learning French but this one might be the best of all!

Ready for a new challenge that’s fun, satisfying and even strengthens your mind?  You’re never too old to begin French language lessons at  NaperFrench.  For more information, contact me today.

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Categories: Learn French

New Business Cards For My French Classes

I recently had some new French teacher business cards created that also include my new address.

Now I have something to hand out to my students so they have my contact info handy.  They are always good for referrals also so pick up a few.

Let me know what you think.



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Categories: Learn French

Why Learn French – 5 Good Reasons to Learn the French Language

Why learn French when there is such a variety of foreign languages to choose from? While being able to speak any foreign language has its obvious advantages like the ability to travel to more countries and communicate with more people, knowing the French language has its own benefits. So why learn French? Here are 5 excellent reasons that should motivate you to study it.

Why learn French: number of French speakers in the world
It is not just in France and in Quebec that the French language is used: it is the official language of 32 countries spread over all 5 continents and is also spoken as a second language in many more places. There are 70 member countries of the International Organization of La Francophonie and 200 million French speakers all over the planet. This is largely due to the fact that France has been one of the main colonizing nations throughout history and a lot of foreign nations kept French as their main language after gaining their own independence back. Examples of French speaking countries, besides the obvious ones, are Haiti, French Guyana and many African countries such as Chad, Madagascar and Niger. In addition, this language is also used as one of several languages in some European countries such as Belgium and Switzerland. Even in the U.S. Cajun French, a derivative of the French language, is still spoken in some parts of Louisiana.

Why learn French: more job opportunities
With those 200 million French speakers and many more wanting to learn the language, there are many more job opportunities that are open to people who can speak it. The tourism and travel industries need French speakers; knowing this language means you can be a French teacher, get a job as a translator or an interpreter, and given the fact that the bulk of American imports and exports are made with countries whose official language is French, being able to speak this language can help you getting promoted or hired by many multinational corporations.

Why Learn French: Official language of international organizations
While English is the main language of many international organizations, French is also used as official language of the United Nations, NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) and the European Community, to name just a few.

Why learn French: social advantages
Not only it is the language of romance, but knowing some French undeniably has some social advantages. When people know you can speak French, they are more inclined to think of you as an intelligent person than someone who can only speak English. Knowing how to speak French is useful when traveling or meeting people from other countries as this language may be the only way to communicate between you and the other person, even if this person’s first language is not French.

Why learn French: cultural advantages
Lovers of literature should be able to read the works of their favorite French authors in their original versions: it just does not make sense to have to read the English translation of Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables” or “Les Fables” of La Fontaine. Likewise for classic movies: why watch a dubbed version of “Belle De Jour” when you can listen to the beautiful Catherine Deneuve speak French?

There are many reasons why a person should choose to learn a language other than his or her own native language. If you are still undecided on which foreign language to study, think of how widely the language is spoken throughout the world, its cultural influence and economic relations. Then instead of asking the question: “why learn French?” maybe you should ask yourself: “why not learn French?”

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Categories: Learn French
Experienced Tutor
* Over 10 years of experience
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French classes Anne Cottez-Jones - French Tutor
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