#1 - What is grammar?
The first step to mastering French grammar is to first ask yourself what grammar is. What is grammar?
Grammar exists in all languages and is what gives order and structure to language. Understanding what elements are part of grammar will help you to better master French grammar and even the grammar of other languages.
Often grammar has a certain logic, not always, it's true. Especially in French, there are many exceptions. But, in general, there is a logic.
I often tell my students, but the best way to master French grammar is not to learn it by heart, no. It's to understand the logic and the meaning of it. It's to understand the logic and the functioning behind the rules of grammar.
This is something you can do in your native language. And even understanding grammar in your native language will help you considerably in learning other languages.
#2 - Listen, read, write and speak!
The second step you need to take to master French grammar is to practice the language as much as possible in writing and speaking.
First of all, it's very important that you listen to a lot of French content. This is really the basis for mastering French. Listening to French content will help you considerably in mastering French grammar.
As you listen to sentence structures, your brain will register how these sentences are formed and will then help you reproduce the same structures.
Of course, this is a long-term process. It is not by listening to 5 minutes of French that you will magically master French grammar. It takes a little time.
To continue to master French grammar, it is imperative that you practice speaking. This is often difficult, but your brain needs this step to verify that you have mastered French grammar. Without practice, how can you know if you have mastered this or that grammar point?
Also, if you listen to a lot of French content, it will be easier for you to pick up on sentence structures you've heard.
You can also read French content and write in French. Especially if you have a visual memory, it will help you.
#3 - My SECRET method
So, now focus on what I'm about to tell you, because I'm going to share with you my secret method for mastering any grammar point in French. The Ohlala Method!
This is the method I use during my French classes. I have created and still create my course materials using this method.
I find it to be the most logical and effective method to master a point of French grammar.
The first step is to discover the grammar point. Now, this doesn't mean that you start with the theory.
No, in fact, I invite you to discover a video, an article, a text where this grammar point is used.
If you don't know this tense, you can observe how this tense is used at first.
It's really important to see a grammar point in context, whether you know it or not. This first approach is important to assimilate each rule of French grammar.
The second step is to understand. Understand the content you are discovering. Not the grammar point, not yet.
It's important that you understand the article, the video, the text, etc. that you have just discovered. This will allow you to better understand the context in which you can use the grammar point you are about to see.
A grammar point has two aspects: its construction and its use.
Thanks to these first two steps, you will become familiar with the construction and the use of the grammar point.
It's time to get to the heart of the matter! We're going to go deeper. At this stage you need to dive into the theory.
So start slowly, you don't need to know the theory by heart. Remember, understanding the logic of a grammar point is much more useful and effective.
At some point, yes, you may learn two or three things by heart, such as exceptions.
To master a grammar point in French, understand the construction and use of a grammar point.
Once you've understood the theory, construction and use of a grammar point, it's time to see if you've got it right by doing some exercises.
You can do several French grammar exercises to practice and check your understanding of the point. This allows you to be sure that you have understood the point.
There are plenty of grammar exercises on the Internet, it's quite easy to find.
The fifth step is to practice. So, practice yes, but strategically. To master and assimilate a point of French grammar, it's important to reuse this point of grammar by making personal examples.
When you reuse the grammar point, it must be related to your life. You have to make personal examples.
Take that grammar point and make it your own. This is the best way to master a French grammar point.
You practice it in a context related to your personal life.
Practice / Reuse
The last step, but not the least: practice, reuse this grammar point.
I warn you right away, you don't just have to reuse, practice a grammar point once. You have to do it frequently.
To practice it, you can make oral or written expressions related to the grammar point and always in context. Or you can practice your French in conversations. By talking about various topics, you will inevitably practice your grammar and consequently master this grammar point.
In summary, to master French grammar:
- Be interested in what grammar is
- Listen, read, write and speak a lot!
- Use the Ohlala method to master all the grammar points: Discover - Understand - Deepen - Assimilate - Practice / Reuse
This is an effective method to master any language, I use it to improve my English and I use this method with my students.
Soon, you will be able to join my new program to improve all your French skills. I use everything I just told you in this program. If you want to know when this program will be launched, you can subscribe to my French newsletter.
I send out weekly emails with tips on how to improve your French and you'll have access to all the latest news and exclusives from Ohlala French Course.
See you soon for new adventures in French of course! 🇫🇷