Ultimate guide to help you speak French
- October 9, 2020
- Posted by: Myteacher
- Category: Blog
First question: are you prepared to pay for your learning solution?
If you want to learn how to speak French for free, then you’ll need to come back later for another post. Here, I want to assume that you are prepared to invest a little in your learning. Don’t forget that your time is your money as well. With some solutions, you will learn quicker than others. You might think it’s for free whereas if you spent a little bit you might get a lot further a lot quicker. Solutions that cost money are invariably delivered by professionals who have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in educational engineering order to have the best quality learning solution out there. For them, it’s all about ensuring results. Just like anything in this consumer world, people want results quickly, and paid learning language solutions are under pressure to deliver too.
There are in fact 6 different ways to learn French. And within those 6 ways are different “modules”. I’ll describe them below. The thing is, each module is designed to do different things and treat different skill sets that make up what’s known as language acquisition.
So here are some more detailed explanations of the types of learning available and what they are for.
Face-to-face training with a teacher
Individual or private courses are created around tailor made programs designed for intensive oral practice, guidance, explanations, corrections, and individual role-plays. Individual classes are well-adapted to specialised courses and for learners of French with special needs/constraints. They are often the most expensive type of training because you have to pay your teacher for each lesson.
These are short or even one-shot individual courses, focused on one specific French objective: for example, preparing a presentation or a written document. The coach helps with a specific topic or skill, often using individual role-plays. They really do require an expert trainer.
A « light » extensive course designed to accompany French learners who are following an e-learning (online learning) program. The tutor provides guidance, and corrections, and is required to master the technological resources.
For in-depth group role plays and simulation, and group oral practice, then workshops are the perfect solution. They are usually one or two day group trainings focussed on a particular theme and at least an intermediate level of French is required. They do require a skilled group facilitator.
Group French classes are extensive training courses that enable oral practice, explanations, corrections, and role-plays. Group training can be motivating and facilitates collaborative learning but they do tend to have a lot of absentee learners. They are usually the cheapest solution for face to face training.
Intensive immersions in France:
An intensive immersion in France is when you actually travel to France to a professional school to specifically learn French. Intensives help quickly develop fluency and oral comprehension. These courses are the most effective formula of face-to-face training. In France, there are lots and lots of immersion courses on offer in virtually every city and major town, and many in rural locations too. The best ones offer combinations of individual, group, intercultural and social situation training. Immersions are obviously the most expensive ways to learn how to speak French.
Individual Video training:
This is face-to-face training at distance by webcam, often via Skype, but there are now several online platforms that exist too specifically for French teachers. Video training can be used for individual courses, tutoring and coaching. Generally, classes include a virtual whiteboard. They are very useful for mobile learners or those working in isolated sites with no access to a local teacher. Seeing the trainer can enhance motivation, but technical problems are still frequent. They require a trainer specialised in the medium.
These are rarely used for the moment in language training, as technical problems are still rife but I think I have a promising future.
Individual telephone training:
This is a flexible and cost-effective type of training, when the trainer is usually based offshore. Telephone classes can be used for individual training or tutoring and are excellent for practising telephone communication, developing fluency and maintenance. They are more intensive than face-to-face training, but less adapted for coaching and specialised training. They are not advised for beginners.