I’ve found 3 ingredients that have helped me make painless progress in French: focus, fun and feedback.
1. Focus in the morning
After a coffee, I feel fresh and ready to do some focused French training.
This could be active copying on Monday, speedwriting on Tuesday, reviewing vocabulary on Wednesday, doing a grammar exercise (ugh) Thursday and then back to active copying on Friday and speedwriting again on Saturday.
I train for 15-20 minutes most days, but spending just 5 minutes going over irregular verbs already counts.
2. Fun in the evening
It’s been a long day and now I want to relax in French.
I might flick through a magazine, listen to a podcast, play solo Scrabble, watch a TV show, read a book and chat with a friend on FaceTime.
And if a word I don’t know comes up, I’m happy to ignore it.
Unless it keeps coming up and seems useful, then I jot it down.
I spend about half an hour several evenings a week having fun in French.
3. Feedback as often as possible
Whenever I’m active copying, reading or listening, I try to notice what’s different to how I would’ve said it. Stuff like common expressions, pesky prepositions and pronunciation.
If I don’t understand why a tense or phrase is different, then I’ll make a note to ask my French coach.
As well, getting corrected by my friends during our conversations is hugely helpful.
I believe feedback is key to speeding up progress.
And a mixture of focus, fun and feedback maintains momentum in my language learning.
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© Christina Wielgolawski