Wanna Learn French? Here Are Some Useful Tips From My Experience

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image: Expatica.com

I started my French learning journey in 2009. I am currently at the upper end of the intermediate level. I can read and understand everyday french writings. I listen to a french radio (now, almost) daily and I understand a considerable amount of what is being said, plus the radio is Parisian radio with native french speakers. I can speak and write to get by but with lots of grammar and vocabulary errors. I also did and passed the DELF B1 French exam in 2011.

Here is a chronological list of all I did:
  1. 2009, September. I started my French learning journey after being inspired by a friend who was self-studying French.
  2. 2009. I bought French to English Dictionary. It was a small size pocket dictionary and I was reading it in a cover to cover fashion. I lost it that same 2009 (I think).
  3. 2010. I bought secondary school french learning books -- On y va. I also bought another dictionary, Geddes & Grosset French-English English-French Dictionary with over 30,000 headwords, vocabulary, phrases, irregular verbs, cultural + travel information and conjugation.
  4. 2010. I bought a more advanced french dictionary -- Larousse's French-English English-French Dictionary with over 50,000 vocabulary entries. I also bought the number one rated verb conjugation book -- Le Nouveau Bescherelle 1. L'Art De Conjuger Dictionnaire De 12000 Verbs.
  5. 2010. I hired myself a french teacher. Was having a two hour class twice a week. We used the secondary school books I bought for curriculum, majorly. I think this lasted 4 months.
  6. 2011. I enrolled at Alliance Francaise, Ikeja. Did two months. I did and passed the DELF B1 exam with 75.4% score. Then work transferred me to Abuja, so I continued in Abuja but at Centre Culturel Francais. Did one month there before work transferred me to Port Harcourt/Delta/Benue.
  7. 2011. I lost the job that was transferring me around. I then went to Cotonou, Republique du Benin. Did one month immersion, enrolled in a college that gave me a personal teacher to take me for that one month. I also had friends who tried to help me. I was forced to speak all the french in my head and learn how to listen + comprehend. I got another job and had to come back to Lagos after one month. 
  8. 2012. I started using more of online learning materials. I bought all the Harry Porter series in french and a couple other french novels. Read very few of them. And maybe only one or two completely.
  9. 2013. I started losing interest as I wasn't happy with my progress.
  10. 2014. I bought Rosetta Stone, one of the most highly rated and most expensive french learning software that uses an immersion approach. It takes about two years of consistent weekly learning to complete it. That discouraged me. I tried but couldn't keep with the weekly schedule that is recommended. I also bought french movies.
  11. 2015. I started considering giving up. 6 years and nothing significant to show for all the efforts and expenses. I shifted strategy and hired an online native french teacher but it was too much stress/work for me. I quit class in the second month and even forfeited my unused money/payment.
  12. 2016. I gave up. Then suddenly in September I restarted and surprisingly I started noticing remarkable progress. I listen more to radio and read French-English novels.
My recommendation is that you'll have to try everything and not give up as you won't know what will work for you and when you will start seeing significant progress.

Bonne chance!

1 comment:

  1. That was very realistic. I also started learning French, but I stopped and I haven't gone back since. I commend you... You were on it for 6 years
    This has inspired me!
    Going back to learning french will be one of my targets in the new year.


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