Integrate French into your daily life!
The first step to becoming fluent in French is very important: you must integrate French into your daily life.
French must be a part of your life as much as possible.
It's good to spend 10 minutes a day on something specific in French. For example, doing a pronunciation exercise for 10 minutes. But you have to go further!
You can, for example, take habits that you have and transform them into French.
listening to podcasts in your native language, listen to podcasts in French.
reading the news in your native language, read the news in French.
making your grocery list in your native language, make your grocery list in French.
reading a book in your language, read a book in French.
These are all simple little things to do, but they will help you achieve your goal of speaking fluent French.
The more you are immersed, surrounded by the French language, the faster you will progress.
That's also why I speak to you in French in my YouTube videos. Instead of watching French lessons in your native language or in English, watch them in French. French lessons that are not in French are more for beginners.
But if you want to speak and think in French, you have to immerse your brain in the French language. It may be more difficult, but it will help you make progress.
The second very important thing to speak fluent French is regularity. Be regular!
You need your daily dose of French! Even if it's just a little bit! It's like with exercise, it's better to train a little bit than not at all.
Before, I absolutely wanted to do 1 hour of exercise per day. But, I realized that it was very difficult to organize in my schedule. And often, I didn't have time, so I didn't exercise at all. As a result, I felt guilty for not exercising.
Then, upon reflection, I thought to myself, that's a bit silly. If, in the end, I plan to do 30 minutes of exercise per day instead of 1 hour, it's easier to plan that into my schedule. And now, I'm able to meet my goals.
I plan to do a little less, but I'm consistent and therefore I reach my goals more easily and see progress.
It's exactly the same for learning French. If you don't have a lot of time, it's better to plan less, but be consistent. If you try to do too much in French, you'll quickly become discouraged and give up and feel guilty.
Plan less, but do it regularly!
And even if you don't have any time at all, just listening to at least one French song or watching a short video in French is already great!
Don't waste time on small details!
The third step is to not waste time on small details. Be efficient!
It's true, the French language is difficult, there are plenty of exceptions and it's sometimes long to learn the difference between this thing and that thing. But sometimes it's not at all useful to focus on these details.
To speak French fluently, you need to be efficient, communicate in an efficient way. Don't waste time on small details of the French language!
I'll take the example of verbs: "se rappeler" something and "se souvenir de" something.
Sometimes I see my students getting hung up on knowing the difference between these two words, using one correctly or the other. So, in reality, it's a waste of time!
Yes, there is a subtle difference between the verbs "se rappeler" and "se souvenir". But who cares!
Yes, who cares, because in our daily lives, we use them as synonyms! No French person will notice if you use "se rappeler" instead of "se souvenir" because I'm sure they themselves don't know the difference between these two words.
We use these two words as synonyms 99% of the time. So, why spend two hours trying to understand the difference between the two.
You need to be efficient! The French language is difficult enough as it is. It's better to spend two hours doing effective pronunciation exercises like shadowing or having a conversation in French rather than getting caught up in insignificant details like that.
You should know that no one masters their mother tongue 100% because there are so many grammatical and even regional subtleties. It's pointless to waste time on that.
Vary your activities!
The fourth step to speaking French fluently is to vary your activities.
So, you might be thinking, it's not very logical, to speak French fluently, you have to speak French. No, not only that.
Each skill: speaking, writing, listening, and reading are complementary. Working on one of these activities will indirectly help you with the other skills.
For example, you can't speak French well without listening to a lot of French content. It's even essential.
Listening to a lot of French content will help you with sentence structure, pronunciation, and vocabulary. It will help you speak French.
Reading, especially reading aloud! It's a great exercise for working on your pronunciation and oral expression.
In addition, I strongly advise you not to neglect any of these skills. I have many students who, from the beginning of their learning, have focused on only one or two skills and find themselves, for example, with an advanced level in writing but not in speaking.
You need to find a balance between all these skills.
For example, I like doing dictations in English. This helps me with my writing skills and listening comprehension. After the dictation, I work on my pronunciation by reading the text and listening again to the native speaker. With this exercise, I work on all four skills in less than 30 minutes.
Practice as much as possible
The last step, but not the least: practice as much as possible!
I cannot stress enough the importance of practicing a lot to speak French fluently.
And I especially recommend trying to practice as much as possible orally. This is often a skill that we neglect because it's difficult or we don't know who to practice our French with. But it's the best way to reach a very good level in French.
And for that, to practice as much as possible orally and in French even if you don't live in France. I recommend this video: How to speak French fluently when you don't live in France?
I give you several exercises and ways to practice your French orally in an effective and regular way.
See you soon for new adventures, in French of course! 🇫🇷