Today I would like to talk about one of the main excuses I hear all the time from language learners... the excuse to why they are not speaking French yet, and this excuse is the following :
I have 1000 things on my plate and I just don't have time needed to learn French ...
These students are on and off in their language learning, they got excited and motivated to speak another language, buy all the books they can have their hands on, sign up for language classes, make friends, and then ... quit because the routine took over ... Does this sound familiar?
Unconsistency is the road that leads to nowhere. If you don't plant, there is nothing to harvest, as simple as that. I personally don't believe in having no time for something, I think it is more "A nice thing to have, but it is not that important to me at this time" otherwise you would find time ... To me, the question should be - what opportunities pass by me if I don't do it now?
To get started and to keep going any reason will do, more employment or business opportunities, research, romance, fascination with a culture and so forth. Here are three questions you may want to answer if you want to boost your motivation:
- What friendships and opportunities have passed you by because you don't speak French?
- What doors would open if you speak French right now?
- What could you accomplish in the future, if you speak French?
It is only by practicing and using your French that you will be able to retain what you’ ve learned and, eventually develop fluency. In addition to the obvious ways to practice such speaking French with your friends and colleagues occasionnaly, reading books, summarizing what you have read there are other ways that you can incorporate French into your daily life. You need to develop a habit of speaking and living in French. This is the most difficult thing to do, but once practicing French daily will become a habit, you will have no problem with lack of time.
#1 Make friends
practice, practice, practice! If you know other people who speak French, practice with them whenever you can. Don’t let speaking anxiety hold you back. Attend meet ups and conversational clubs, go to French restaurants and order in French and read labels and recipes in the supermarkets. Ask your French speaking friends to speak French only in your presence.
#2 Make shopping & to do lists in French
Need to make a list? Do it in French - you can write your shopping lists and to-do lists in French. If the other people you live with speak French, write notes to them in French as well.
#3 Replace English words with French words
Keep a notebook handy so that you can write down new words and keep track of ones that you need to look up. This can also be part of a French journal or language scrapbook. A great tip to learn new words is to use them right away in your conversation by replacing English words with French words. For example, you just learned how to say aujourd’hui [oh.joohr.dwee], which means today, so you can now say: Aujourd’hui, I was late at work. What did you do aujourd’hui?
#4 Listen to French in your car
I bet you travel a lot, so don't use this time wisely. There are many many free resources. Download podcasts and listen, listen, listen.
These are just a few tips, if you would like to share yours, just put them in the comment section below.
I believe in your success!
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