Learn French

Learning French can be a fun and rewarding experience, as it can open up new doors and opportunities both personally and professionally. In this article, we will explore why you should learn French, the benefits of learning the language, how to learn French, how to stay motivated while learning, how to measure your French level, how to pick a good French course, and why going abroad is the best way to learn French.

Learn French with EF

Article overview

Want to learn French?

Here's why you should choose EF for your French course abroad.

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Learn French in France

Why learn French

Learning French can provide numerous benefits, such as improving your communication skills, enhancing your cultural understanding, and expanding your professional opportunities. French is a widely spoken language with over 300 million speakers across the globe. It is also the official language of 29 countries, including France, Canada, Switzerland, and Belgium, which have a rich cultural heritage and artistic traditions. By learning French, you can broaden your cultural horizons and gain a deeper appreciation of French-speaking cultures, from the world-famous cuisine of France to the literature of Victor Hugo and Albert Camus. In short, learning French can provide a window into a world of art, literature, and culture that would otherwise be inaccessible.

5 benefits of learning French

  1. Speaking French can connect you with people from diverse cultural backgrounds, whether you're traveling abroad, socializing in your community, or networking in a professional setting.
  2. Speaking French can make your travels to French-speaking countries more enjoyable, as you'll be able to navigate the language and culture more effectively, and communicate with locals more easily.
  3. French fluency can boost your career as bilingual candidates can work effectively with clients and colleagues from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds in various industries, such as hospitality and fashion, and international relations.
  4. Learning a second language has been shown to improve cognitive function and increase memory retention, especially as we age.
  5. Learning French can provide opportunities for personal growth and development, allowing you to gain a deeper understanding of the world and develop greater empathy and cultural awareness.

How to learn French

There are several methods to learn French, including taking classes at a language school, hiring a private tutor, or using online resources like language learning apps. It's important to find a learning method that suits your learning style and goals, whether it's through immersion, self-study, or a combination of both.

One of the most effective ways to learn French quickly is to immerse yourself in the language. Ideally, you would be surrounded by French 24/7, and the most practical way to achieve this is by traveling to a French-speaking country. However, if travel isn't an option, you can still create a French immersion environment at home.

Here are three concrete tips on how to incorporate French into your daily routine:

  1. Create a French-language playlist for your workout or commute: Choose some of your favorite songs and find the French-language versions or search for popular French songs on music streaming platforms. Listen to these songs during your workout or during your daily commute to get used to the language.
  2. Use language learning apps during your downtime: Download a language learning app to your phone or tablet and use it during your downtime. You can practice your French while waiting in line, taking a break at work, or before bed.
  3. Watch French TV shows or movies with subtitles: Find a French TV show or movie that interests you and watch it with subtitles in your native language or in French. This can help you improve your listening skills and expand your vocabulary, and you might even discover a new favorite show or movie.

You can repeat this process and add French to different parts of your day. If you read books, switch to French literature. If you watch sports, watch a match on a French TV station. If you take a walk, listen to a French-language podcast. If you play a musical instrument, learn French songs. You can do everything you're already doing in French!

Challenges of learning French

Learning French can be both exciting and challenging, and there are various obstacles that students may encounter on their language-learning journey. Some of the main difficulties that learners of French face include:

  1. Pronunciation: The French language has many unique sounds that can be challenging to replicate, especially for non-native speakers. The use of nasal vowels and silent letters, for instance, can prove to be a struggle.
  2. Grammar: French grammar is known to be complex, with various verb tenses and noun declensions that can be difficult to master. It can also be challenging for learners to understand the rules for agreement and gender.
  3. Vocabulary: While the French language is rich in vocabulary, it can be overwhelming for learners to memorize new words and expressions, especially those with multiple meanings or idiomatic expressions.
  4. Regional accents: There are many regional accents and dialects in France, and these can differ significantly from standard French. For learners who are not familiar with these variations, it can pose a challenge to their language comprehension.
  5. Spoken French: Spoken French can differ greatly from written French, and learners may find it challenging to keep up with the rapid pace of conversational French. The use of colloquial expressions can also pose a challenge.

Although mastering the French language can be challenging, the sense of achievement and satisfaction you gain from it makes it a truly worthwhile experience. With dedication and practice, students can overcome these obstacles and gain fluency in the language. Resources such as textbooks, language apps, and language exchange programs can be beneficial in supplementing classroom instruction and improving language proficiency. By immersing themselves in the French culture and language, learners can develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of French culture and language.

Stay motivated while learning French

There are many ways to stay motivated while learning French. Here are a few tips:

  1. Set manageable goals: Break down your French learning journey into manageable steps and set realistic goals for each one. This could be something like learning 10 new French words every day or mastering a specific grammar rule in a week. Celebrate each small accomplishment and keep working towards your larger objectives.
  2. Practice regularly: Consistency is key when it comes to learning French. Make sure to practice speaking, listening, reading, and writing in French regularly. This could mean setting aside a specific time each day to study French or incorporating French into your daily routine, such as listening to French music or podcasts during your commute.
  3. Immerse yourself in the language: The more you expose yourself to French, the more motivated you'll be to keep learning. Try switching your phone, computer, or social media accounts to French, or watching French films or TV shows with subtitles. You can also find French language groups or events in your community and practice speaking French with native speakers.
  4. Find a language partner: Learning French with a partner or group can help keep you motivated and accountable. Look for a language exchange program in your area, or find a language partner online. Practice speaking French together and give each other feedback and encouragement.
  5. Take breaks and have fun: Learning French can be challenging, so it's important to take breaks and enjoy the journey. Reward yourself for reaching your goals, or take a break from studying to do something you enjoy in French, such as cooking French cuisine or reading a French novel. Remember, learning French is a process, so make sure to enjoy it!

How to measure your French level

If you're learning French, it can be helpful to measure your language level in order to set achievable goals and track your progress over time. There are several standardized French proficiency exams you can take to determine your level, such as the DELF and DALF exams, as well as the TCF and TEF exams. These tests are designed to assess your reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in French.

In addition to these standardized tests, you can also take our free French proficiency test to assess your current level. Our test evaluates your reading and listening comprehension skills in French and provides you with a score between 0 and 100 for both skills, as well as an overall score. These scores are based on the six levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), from A1 to C2. This means you can use your score to compare your French language proficiency with other language learners around the world.

Taking a French proficiency test is a great way to gauge your language level and set goals for improvement. Whether you're learning French for personal or professional reasons, understanding your level can help you make progress in your language learning journey. So, take our free French proficiency test today and see how your French language skills stack up!

Test your French

How to pick a good French course

Selecting a French course requires careful consideration of various factors, including the course structure, the credentials of the instructors, and the teaching approach. It's vital to choose a course that matches your learning objectives and interests. Here are some well-known methods to take into account:

  1. Language courses: Abroad courses are considered the most effective method for learning French, as they provide a comprehensive and immersive language learning experience. With qualified instructors and a diverse range of resources and materials, language courses can offer well-organized and structured approaches to learning French. Intensive courses, part-time classes, or online programs may also be considered as options for learning French.
  2. Private lessons: Hiring a private tutor can be an effective way to learn French, as it provides you with personalized attention and tailored lessons that cater to your specific needs and goals. Whether you prefer in-person lessons or online tutoring, a private tutor can help you focus on your weaknesses and accelerate your learning progress.
  3. Language learning apps: If you're looking for flexibility and convenience, language learning apps can be an excellent choice. These apps offer gamified lessons, quizzes, and audio exercises that can make learning French interactive and enjoyable. With the ability to learn on-the-go, you can improve your French skills at your own pace and track your progress.
  4. Immersion: Immersing yourself in French is one of the most effective methods of learning the language, as it offers the chance to use the language in real-life situations and develop your conversational skills. To immerse yourself in French, you can travel to a French-speaking country, live with a host family, or participate in a language exchange program.
  5. Independent study: Independent study is a flexible and cost-effective way to learn French that lets you set your own learning pace and focus on the topics that interest you the most. You can improve your French listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills by using French language textbooks, online resources, and media like TV shows, movies, and podcasts.
  6. Group classes: If you're looking for a fun and social way to practice your French skills and meet new people, joining a group class is a great option. You can sign up for a group course at a language school, attend a local French conversation group, or even participate in a language exchange program to practice speaking with native French speakers and other language learners. This approach offers the opportunity to share your learning experience with others and gain confidence in your French communication skills.

Regardless of the method you choose, it's essential to establish achievable goals, maintain a consistent practice schedule, and seek support and feedback from instructors, tutors, or language exchange partners. By implementing a variety of learning methods and techniques, you can develop your French language abilities and accomplish your language learning objectives.

Studying French with EF was an incredible experience. With the help of expert teachers and an immersive environment, I improved quickly and feel much more confident in my language abilities. I'm excited to continue on my journey towards fluency.

Michael, EF Paris

Learn French with EF

At EF, we believe that learning French should be a fun and engaging experience. Our experienced French teachers are passionate about teaching and are dedicated to creating an immersive and interactive learning environment that caters to your individual needs and learning style. With a wide range of abroad French courses to choose from, including intensive classes, group travel, and immersive language programs, we can help you achieve your language goals and gain a deeper understanding of the French-speaking world.

If you're ready to take your French skills to the next level, get in touch with us to learn more about our French courses and start your language learning journey today.

Learn French in France

Explore our destinations, duration options and course types to learn French on a language course abroad.

Learn French in Paris

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Learn French in Nice

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