Beginner level in French (A0/A1) :
You are a complete beginner or just a beginner in French. First of all, congratulations, if you watch my video, because it's very courageous to watch a video 100% in French when you are a beginner. But, it's the best way to progress.
The first thing to do when you are a beginner is to learn the basics of French.
It's not the most fun part, but it would be VERY helpful for you to understand how grammar works. You don't have to understand how French grammar works from the beginning. But you do have to understand how grammar in general works.
Yes, in almost every language, the same grammatical elements can be found:
- A noun
- A verb
- An adjective
- An article
- A subject
- A conjugation
- A pronoun
It's not that complicated, I assure you! When I was a kid, I hated grammar, but now I teach it and I love it. If I could do it, you can do it!
After that, you can start to understand how a sentence in French is structured and what a sentence is made of:
In French : subject + verb + complement
It is the same structure as in English and Spanish!
Once you have a good understanding of French grammar and sentence structure, you can focus on the basics of French pronunciation.
Learn the French alphabet, the different sounds that exist in French.
Repeat simple sentences in French by listening to a native speaker and then pronouncing it right after.
After that, you can start to see some basic vocabulary in French: vocabulary for introducing yourself, for everyday life, for the house, etc.
And it's also important to learn your first French conjugations. Start learning the present tense, the passé composé and the futur simple.
How can you learn the basics of French?
→ The best way and especially the fastest way to learn the basics of French is to call on a FLE teacher, French as a foreign language. This is a teacher who specializes in learning French for foreigners.
You can start with him or her with 2 to 3 lessons per week. He or she will know exactly what to do so that you have your first basics in French.
→ The second option is to learn French on your own. It's more difficult and time consuming, but maybe you like a challenge! You can help yourself with specialized books for learning French or also with content offered on the internet. It requires you to be well organized and motivated to do it yourself. By studying for 30 minutes to 1 hour a day, you will get very good results.
In summary, for beginners who want to learn French in 2023:
- Understand what grammar is
- Understand the structure of a French sentence
- Learn the basics of French grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary.
Learn the first tenses and conjugations in French: le présent de l’indicatif, le passé composé et le futur simple.
Intermediate level in French (A2/B1):
How to learn French in 2023 when you have an intermediate level, a level A2/B1 in French?
To do this, start immersing yourself in the French language!
At the intermediate level, you are quite capable of doing many things in French, so take advantage of it!
The basis: watch movies and series in French! It is, I think, one of the best ways to learn French. It's not always easy, that's true, so I advise you to put the subtitles in your mother tongue. You put the sound in French, but the subtitles in your native language. And if you don't mind, you can watch series that are dubbed. You can watch a foreign series and put the sound in French. I don't know how often you watch series, but I think one episode in French per day is not bad!
At the intermediate level, IF YOU LIKE IT, you can start listening to simple podcasts in French. I say simple podcasts, because sometimes listening to a podcast in a foreign language can be a little difficult. For example, my podcast, Ohlala French Podcast, would be perfect for you if you have an intermediate level.
And at this level, you can watch simple YouTube videos with subtitles in French or in another language if available. You can read simple articles or books that you like. And of course you can listen to songs in French.
Observe your mistakes in French:
At the intermediate level, it is important that you begin to observe your mistakes, difficulties and weaknesses. It's not the most pleasant thing to do, because we don't like to make mistakes. But, take a step back. We all make mistakes, it's perfectly normal.
Making a mistake is a perfect indicator. When you make a mistake in French, it shows you several things: what you need to learn and practice in French, that you are practicing the language and living it, where you are and how far you have come. Mistakes are a great learning opportunity.
Sometimes you notice the mistakes you make, sometimes you don't. It helps to have a teacher to help you in this case. Because when you know the mistakes you make, you can then focus on why you are making that mistake and learn not to make it again.
For example, for students in my French conversation group, I always have a document with a "Sentence to Improve" section and this is where I will write down the sentences they need to improve when I listen to them in their conversations.
For example, I have a student who had said "Fêter
le Noël." This is a common mistake. But, you don't put an article "le", "la", "l'" or "les" before a proper noun in French. Now that the student knows this, he or she should remember it.
My advice is to make personal sentences with this rule in French. For example:
Je ne fêterai pas Noël cette année.
J’ai regardé un film d’horreur à Halloween.
Hier, je n’avais plus Internet sur mon téléphone.
Je ne sais pas encore ce que je vais faire à Pâques.
Repeat these sentences, as many times as possible and in context, to memorize this rule in French. This method obviously works for other rules in French.
First conversations in French :
At the intermediate level, you MUST start speaking French.
You can start speaking on your own or join a French conversation group and find a native speaker. Even doing these three things.
Here is an article where I suggest you 4 steps to start speaking French even if you don't live in France.
In summary, for intermediates who want to learn French in 2023:
- Start immersing yourself in the French language: series, movies, podcasts, YouTube videos, music, books, etc.
- Observe your mistakes and focus on that.
- Start speaking French.
Advanced level in French (B2 and +) :
How to learn French in 2023 when you have an advanced level, B2 and + in French?
Living the French language:
Live the French language! You have to do EVERYTHING in French.
You need to cook with a recipe, look it up in French and cook in French!
You need a YouTube tutorial to do something, look it up in French!
You continue to watch series and movies in French with French subtitles or without subtitles.
You can start listening to podcasts in authentic French. There are plenty of them and on all subjects.
I want you to BREATHE French every day!
Target your communication objectives:
What you can do in addition to what you are already doing is to target your communication goals.
For example, you would like to be able to give your opinion in French about something. Ask yourself what you need to do that!
You will need to use expressions like "I think that", "In my opinion", "According to me", etc. You'll probably need the subjunctive as well to make a personal judgment.
Depending on the topic you are giving your opinion on, you will need specific vocabulary. For example, if you are giving your opinion about the ecological situation in your country, you will need to know the lexicon of ecology.
At the advanced level, you need to improve your skills. Normally, at this level you have mastered almost all the grammar, you have a rich vocabulary and a good pronunciation. But, you need to target the little mistakes you can make or your gaps and improve that.
That's the same advice I gave to intermediates, actually. You really need to take a step back and look at what you need to improve. You know best. Because, you know yourself, normally, you know your goals and you know, at least, you feel your little weaknesses.
And don't see this as something negative, on the contrary, see it as a learning opportunity. By focusing on this, you can improve yourself and your level in French.
Get out of your comfort zone:
And at the advanced level, you can really step out of your comfort zone. Set yourself little challenges, like making phone calls in French, communicating with native speakers, giving a presentation or speech in French.
These are really things that will help you progress and gain confidence! It's not easy to get started, but once you've done it, you'll be very proud of yourself, you'll see! 😉
In summary, for advanced learners of French in 2023:
- Live the French language 100%.
- Target your communication goals and focus on them.
- Improve yourself by observing your mistakes and shortcomings.
- And get out of your comfort zone.
I'll see you soon for new adventures, in French of course! 🇫🇷