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How to Learn French: 7 Tips for Learning French Quickly

Want to learn French quickly? Follow these 7 tips to supercharge your language learning.

In an ideal world, we could absorb languages quickly and painlessly without all the hard work. No more grammar tables, lectures, or fear of practicing with native speakers. Unfortunately, if you’re an adult learning a new language, it doesn’t always come easily.

Learning French is no different! While we don’t have a magic formula to make you fluent in a week, we do have 7 tips to speed up the learning process.

1. Identify your “why” and set goals

Why do you want to learn French? Are you committed to connecting with a partner’s family, making a move overseas, or doing a degree in a French-speaking country? Are you simply a Francophile with a deep love of the language and culture?

Identifying your “why” and pinpointing what motivates you is the first and most important step in your journey. You learn much faster if you’re motivated and keep your goals in mind.

Making your goals attainable and realistic is key. If your goal is to reach C2 level in a month from scratch, that may not be the most realistic or attainable. Think about the time you have to devote to study and how quickly you want to progress. Quicker progress means more time devoted to reading, speaking, writing, and listening to French!

2. Study French abroad!

Two women take a selfie at a cafe table with a croissant on the table.

Language experts and researchers agree that immersion is the best way to learn French. By studying French abroad in a French-speaking country, you are living in your language and using it every day.

You remember language best when it is useful to you. Ordering in a cafe, checking out at a grocery store, and shopping in a clothing store are natural settings to put your skills to the test in a meaningful way. Without a doubt, when you successfully order your first pain au chocolat et café au lait in a small coffee shop tucked away in a corner of Paris your confidence will soar.

French language programs abroad often mix traditional classroom learning with cultural immersion. This gives you the best of both worlds: a native teacher who will help you with tricky conjugations and your French accent and time in the local area to continue your practice. Engaging with culture, art, history, and literature is a great way to get excited and even more motivated to continue learning.

Don’t worry – if you don’t have a lot of time or money to spend doing a long-term immersion program abroad, even short Intensive courses can jumpstart your studies!

Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Learning French Abroad

3. Look beyond apps

Language apps are great supplemental learning tools but no matter how much you wish they would, they won’t make you fluent. If only it were that simple!

Language learning requires a well-rounded approach to improve quickly. Combine classroom learning, immersion, traditional grammar exercises, and apps to watch your skills grow in leaps in bounds.

That being said, here are some of the best apps for learning French to add to your learning repertoire.

4. Speak from day 1

Many people would agree that speaking a foreign language is the most intimidating and challenging part when they’re learning. We often develop stronger receptive skills (reading and listening) before we get a handle on productive ones (speaking and writing). Even though this is normal, it’s best to take the bull by the horns and start speaking French from day 1.

Whether that’s repeating vocabulary words out loud or speaking in full sentences, just start speaking French! Talk to a language bot, your classmates, and even yourself when you’re in the shower! Don’t feel silly – it’s all about getting comfortable using your new language.

Studying French abroad makes this easy! Being immersed in the language on a daily basis, especially in regions where English isn’t widely spoken, will push you out of your comfort zone and make it necessary to speak French to get what you need.

5. Consume French media

Another easy and free way to improve your French quickly is by consuming French media. Movies, books, TV shows, music, news, and podcasts are all great avenues to explore. Although you likely won’t understand everything at first, you will be strengthening your reading comprehension and listening skills.

Some free beginner-friendly ideas include:

Because French is such a popular language, a simple Google search will lead you to tons more free resources online!

6. Get a language partner

People sit on a terrace outside at a French cafe.

It may not be rocket science, but the best way to learn conversational French is by practicing conversation basics with a native speaker. While you could always pay a private teacher, language partners are free and mutually beneficial.

Also known as language exchanges, the goal of a language partnership is to find a native French speaker who wants to practice their English. It’s then up to the both of you to determine a schedule that works, whether that’s meeting once a week at a local coffee shop and doing 30 minutes in each language or connecting via Zoom daily for more intensive practice. The beauty of getting a French language partner is how flexible it is.

Read more: How to Find and Make the Most of a Language Partner

7. Carve out time to study every day

Even when you’re not in the mood, find time every day to engage with French. Whether that means five minutes in a language app during your commute or falling asleep to a French language podcast, building a habit will transform your studies from a chore to something more automatic.

Do only what you find fun and engaging. If looking over conjugation tables or flipping through a flashcard deck makes you want to cry, don’t force yourself to do it. You definitely won’t build a habit doing something you hate. The key to improving fast is getting excited about learning French and committing to it daily!

The easiest way to learn French is whatever way makes you most excited to pick up your materials and dive in.

Best programs to learn French abroad for supercharged learning

If we’ve convinced you to follow the science (and our personal experience!) and you are ready to take the leap into an immersive French language program abroad, here are some of our top-rated options to explore.

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You can learn French fast!

If you’re motivated and committed to learning French, it’s possible to learn quickly. By following our tips, and considering joining a French language program abroad, you’ll be well on your way to speaking French like a pro!

Read more about learning a language overseas: