How To Learn French On Your Own – 7 Simple Steps
Wondering how to learn French on your own and not sure where to begin? We’ve put together 7 simple steps to get you started on your solo learning journey.
Ready to discover how to learn French by yourself in 7 quick and simple steps?
Learn By Watching French Content
Starting off with something we all spend a good part of our days doing: watching TV. It’s the most passive, but one of the most effective ways to learn French on your own. Choose a French film or TV series and watch it with English subtitles the first time around. Next, rewatch the movie or move onto the next episode but this time without the subtitles. The more you go on like this, you’ll end up barely needing the subtitles at all! What can also help is watching your favourite series or films dubbed in French. Since you’ll already be familiar with the story, you can focus on the French instead.
Learn By Listening to French Content
This is also a really easy method to incorporate into your routine if you’re learning French on your own.
To begin with, podcasts are a great resource when it comes to audio learning. For example, there are some tailored specifically to teaching you the language such as Coffee Break French and Je French. Then there are podcasts such as News in Slow French and One Thing in a French Day that simply allow you to listen to French being spoken natively. There are many different options out there, so there’s definitely something for everyone!
Listening to French radio stations can also be of immense help. You get to hear the language being spoken natively in different accents, hear the news and the occasional French song. There are a range of websites and platforms out there that offer live streams of French radio stations. Streema is one of them, hosting a variety of French radio station streams available free of charge.
Speaking of music, another fun way to incorporate your learning into your everyday routine is through listening to French songs. It can be great way to familiarise yourself with vocabulary and to test your understanding of the language. Whilst you’re listening, grab a pen and paper and jot down everything you hear. Any word or sentence will do, don’t worry about spelling. Then have a quick search for the song’s lyrics and compare them with what you heard! And if you’re stuck not understanding what any of the lyrics mean, have a look at LyricsTranslate for the English translation of any French song.
Learn By Reading French Content
Excluding strictly educational books, one thing which can help you to learn French on your own is literature. If you’re a total beginner, you can start off with French children’s books that teach you basic vocabulary and sentence structures. If you’re at an intermediate level don’t hesitate to try reading more advanced level books, even if it’s still school-level French. You could even find the French edition of a book you love and have read more than once, that way you already know the story and can focus on the vocabulary instead.
Reading the news in French can also prove to be very helpful. There are great resources to do this such as Mon Quotidien; perfect for beginner learners as it offers online news in an easy-to-understand format. Another one is Mary Glasgow which is also aimed at those who have a basic understanding in French, and is an online magazine offering 4 ever-changing articles to read free of charge. You can find additional resources on these websites too, such as French discussion practice and exercises. And for those who are more advanced, Le Monde and Le Parisien offer everyday news stories in much harder French.
The video below is a great way to begin learning French on your own:
Learn French With Social Media
Let’s face it, we all spend way longer than we should on our phones scrolling through social media. The good news is that you can put that time to use to learn French without much effort! For starters, you can change the language of whichever social media apps you use the most. We know it sounds daunting, but it’ll really help to improve your vocabulary and to familiarise yourself with the language. If you’re into watching Youtube videos, you’ll find that there are many channels dedicated solely to the teaching of the French language. Some of the most popular ones are Learn French with Alexa, Learn French with Pascal and FrenchPod101. Have a browse through all the different options Youtube has to offer, and you’re bound to find a teaching method that suits you best! Otherwise, you can always search through various tags on Instagram or Twitter to find French accounts to follow, or have a scroll through Topito (France’s equivalent of Buzzfeed) to while away some time all whilst learning French!
Learn French By Interacting With the Community
There are countless people out there learning French every day and this community should not be overlooked! Whether it’s in subreddits, message boards, forums or even French language discords there are plenty of learners who frequent these spaces. And if you’re going to be learning French on your own, it’d be a shame to not make the most of these communities. Besides getting to know fellow students, there is always a great deal you can learn from others. If you happen to be stuck on a concept you just can’t seem to understand, you have access to a group of people willing to help you out. You might even get the chance to put your own knowledge to the test by explaining something to somebody else too!
Interacting with natives is also just as important, but unfortunately it’s not a possibility for everyone. Luckily there are other ways to go about this! For example, finding yourself a language exchange partner or pen pal is a great alternative. A quick Google search will show you the various websites offering you the opportunity to try this method out. And if you’re able to travel to a French speaking country, be sure to completely immerse yourself in the language and chat to as many natives as you can.
Alternatively, if you’re keen on having someone look over any of your written work, Lang-8 is a great option. It allows you to submit a piece of your writing and have it corrected and proof-read by native speakers.
Learn French With the Help of Your Hobbies
Are you into cooking, arts and crafts or maybe even DIY? Any hobby can actually be of huge help if you’re learning French on your own. If you enjoy cooking or baking in your free time, why not search for a French cooking video? Watch it as many times as you like, taking great care to write down any unfamiliar words of vocabulary. Then you can try making the dish, reciting the steps in French as you go. And voila! A (hopefully) tasty dish created thanks to your French knowledge! And the best part is that this can work with practically any hobby, so you’re guaranteed to have fun whilst learning.
Learn French With the Help of Educational Resources
If you’re learning French on your own, it’s good to know which educational resources are the best to use. Textbooks such as McGraw Practice Makes Perfect , Berlitz , Bonjour de France or Une fois pour toutes are good starting points, and offer corrections to all their exercises as well as all the learning content you need. Online resources can also be of great help. Have a look at BBC Bitesize for short and simple explanations on almost anything in French. Similarly, there is also a large number of language learning apps at your disposal which some of you might prefer over educational websites, as apps tend to put more of a fun twist on the content which can make concepts easier to learn.
And there you have it; how to learn French on your own in 7 quick and simple steps. Remember to only use what works best for you and no one else. And if you ever find yourself needing a hand with anything, our French tutors are at your disposal and ready to help.
See you next time!