How do I learn French - all over again?
August 7, 2010 4:30 AM Subscribe
How does a once confident French speaker re-learn the language after six years of not using it?
posted by schmoo to Writing & Language (11 answers total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
In September I'm going back to university to train to be a primary school teacher (ages 5-11). I've chosen languages as my specialist area, and as part of the course In February I'm required to spend five weeks in France teaching the French primary curriculum in French.
I love languages and think I'm quite good at learning them. I studied French from the age of 11 to 18, and got great results at GCSE and A Level. By the time I finished my A Levels I would say my level of French was very good - I had an extensive vocabulary and was a confident speaker.
However this was six years ago, and as my degree was in English and my job since then unrelated to languages, I have barely used my French since then. I have lost so much of the vocabulary I once knew - I find myself being unable to recall really simple words and phrases, and my confidence in speaking and listening to the language has diminished considerably. My profeciency has decreased to the point that at the moment I don't think I'd be able to conduct more than the most basic conversation in French.
Now that I know I'll be teaching in France in five months' time I really need to brush up on my French, and hopefully reach the same level (or better) as I had before.
I still have a few books that I studied for A Levels, and I'm going to look into the possibility of doing some conversation practice with French students at my university, but I'm wondering if anyone has any speciifc advice for relearning the language. As I'll be teaching myself this time I don't really know where to start, and I don't really know what areas need improving so I feel like I need a plan of action. If you have any tips on assessing what level I'm at now, how to relearn a language that you were once quite good in but have lost much of, and how do do this most effeciently in five months, I'd be really grateful. I'm also looking for recommendations of books, websites and resources, although obviously I don't expect these to be targetted to my specific situation.
Bonus points for any advice relating to my upcoming placement in a French school, because the thought of having to teach children, with my currently very limited French, is making me slightly anxious! Super bonus points for any resources relating to teaching in French.
I've searched through the archives and found a few posts on how to learn French, but none that seemed to address my needs. Merci in advance.