Learning a new language is a skill that you can master, according to Lýdia Machová, a self-taught polyglot who speaks eight languages fluently. After talking to other polyglots, Machová discovered that each of them had a particular way of learning foreign languages. She also found out that they failed miserably at foreign language subjects at school before mastering their unique way of learning new languages.
What can we learn from polyglots to find our personalized language learning process?
Machová stressed that polyglots consistently set time aside to learn, use their preferred learning method for a long time, and are patient to their own learning pace. However, the most critical aspect is that they enjoyed the process of language learning.
Here we suggest five strategies to polish your French, and we hope you will find a fun method that suits you:
1. Watch your favourite movies and series in French
Pick your beloved movie or series, and watch them in French. Use the French subtitles to connect the grammar and vocabulary to what the film dialogues. Your feel-good film eases your mind into the new language as you are not worried to miss the plot. Adding French subtitles to your Saturday Netflix binge is just two extra clicks that make the next hour(s) more educational. Concordia Library also has an incredible online video database with all sorts of francophone film in genres including classics, adventure, action films and documentaries.
2. Bring French to your daily life
Introduce small activities into your routine, like following the news with a combination of reading online information and tunning to Quebec radio programs. Listen to Quebec music to further immerse yourself into the local culture.
Join a francophone book club to read and talk about the book content with other members. Use meet-up online service and search for “Club de Lecture Francophone” to find online French book clubs. Start your book club with friends and cohort, but make sure you have an equal proportion of French native speakers and eager French learners to promote French conversation. The Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales du Québec blog has a monthly newsletter with reading suggestions, and you can borrow ebooks from Montreal public library.
3. Find French conversation groups
GradProSkills offers French conversation workshops in partnership with the Department of French Studies. Concordia’s Student Success Centre provides free Beginners and Intermediate Jazz-on conversation sessions via zoom twice a week.
Mundo Lingo hosts online events, and you can contact a team in your city and check what is going on.
4.Take a French course at Concordia
Graduate students can take French courses at the Département d'études Françaises paying Quebec tuition rates. If you are a complete beginner inform the department, and you can register to an introductory French course (FRAN211). If you have some French knowledge, then you are required to take an assessment test before register to a class. Check the step by step to register here.
5. Free online courses
The Francisation en ligne (FEL) courses are free and offered by the Quebec government to all levels of French. You need to hold a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) number to register and take an assessment test. You can study French at full time, part-time, self-study or with the support of a French tutor.
Regardless of the learning method chosen, it would be best if you dedicated time and effort in enjoyable activities. Maybe you will find even other unusual ways to learn French while you are working from home.