Hey guys… as I mentioned in one of my monthly review, I started learning French via Alliance Francaise Lagos and I had a blast..… You would have guessed that I don’t have a regular 9-5 anymore if you have been reading my monthly reviews, Thanks to this, I have been working on multiple interesting projects and loving it.
I had some spare time in between projects and decided to maximize it by learning a new language.. .. I picked French.
I cleared my morning schedule and I signed up at Alliance Francaise Yaba for French A1 lessons and my experience was great.. I had a schedule and set class timings. I picked the intensive classes which take place every week day, for 6 weeks, from 9am to 1:40 PM.
About Alliance Francaise:
- They are a French cultural center in Nigeria..
- The teachers are actually legit and good.
- Cost is quite affordable but the price increases every year so the earlier you enroll, the better.
- They have morning, evening and weekend classes.
- Youth Corpers (NYSC) get a discount which is almost half price off.. If you are a corper… Take good advantage of this discount.
- French learning is divided into 6 levels.. A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2… A is beginner, B is intermediary, C is advanced. Full time classes run for 6 weeks per level.
- AF has branches round Nigeria and other countries.
I am done with my A1 classes and I plan to start A2 classes very soon. I took a break in between both levels to have time for my Udacity Scholarships and Job applications which is now a full time Job.
Apart from AF (Alliance Francais) which is great for classes,… I couldn’t depend on classes alone to learn a new language. Learning a new language is hard and I recommend a combination of various learning methods to master it.
Based on my research, Here are other ways I am learning French.. I also recommend this to anyone who is interested in learning a new language..
- Have a goal: My goal is to be able to speak and Understand Conversational French, nothing too serious. I want to travel comfortably to French speaking countries especially those in west Africa which a lot of Nigerians don’t explore because of the language barrier… I really think being multilingual is priceless so here is step 1.
- Mindset: adjust your mindset… I was taught French for 6 years in Secondary School (I even had to write it for WAEC) and I never learnt it cos “It was too difficult” and “I am a slow learner” and “Its just not for me” . Complete BS.. I met a secondary school mate of mine who can speak French based on a combination of what we were taught in Secondary school and personal practice and I got motivated… You can learn anything if you set your mind to it. If you really want it.. You will get it..
- Apps: I love learning via apps and I should do an individual review of my best apps but here are apps you could start with… Google translate, Babbel, memsrise, Le conjuger,
- Learn Grammar: This is quite difficult and I am still trying to grasp the concept but if you get this then your work is half done in the language learning process..
- Knowing similar languages: especially similar romance languages like Spanish to learn French. Languages are kinda grouped in families. similar languages have similar sounding words and accents hence its easier to learn one when you know the other.
- Practice: Write, Read, Listen, Speak… A lot of what I speak is still gibberish but its fine.. As long as I am practicing.. It stops me from forgetting.
- Music: is everything!!!! Search for French songs… apparently some people take it upon themselves to translate English songs to other languages.. Even Nigerian songs in our native language.s like Igbo and Yourba are translated… This even helps more cos with popular songs you can easily figure out the translations.
- Cartoons: I love learning via cartoons.. They use the concept of music and childlike learning to teach you.. I think its the easiest way to learn a foreign language. Cartoons use words that children can easily pick up. Just go on YouTube and search for French cartoons, Nursery rhymes etc..
- Travel: Travel is really trendy now. We all might as well take advantage of it to learn something new.. My trip to cotonou really motivated me to learn French.. I was able to pick up some words by interacting with the locals and I would like to go back there and interact without an interpreter or sign languages… I mean… the distance from Lagos to Cotonou is 4 hours… Its a shorter distance than from Lagos to Abuja which some people do weekly.
- Watch Other people speak and mimic them.. This is a method of learning people dont really know about but is super effective... Mimicking locals will help to master accents and mannerisms. Click To Tweet
I honestly haven’t gotten a hang of mimicking yet cos it feels weird but I have seen it work.
- YouTube videos: You can get everything online nowadays. Including lessons if you cant go to a class… Just search..
- Get a pen pal or learn with a friend of Significant Other: I have a WhatsApp French buddy and chatting with him helps me practice..
- Classes: It doesn’t have to be Alliance Francaise.. You can attend online classes or find other language schools close to you… Classes give you access to a skilled instructor who can guide you on the right path and also students who you can practice with.
- Visit websites, forums, Quora, etc, and take tips from other learners there..
- Follow french speaking people on Instagram: I advise you interact with the bilingual people and influencers if you are still a beginner. Reply their posts and Inststories with French and see if they reply. People will probably still understand you even if you mix words up or get tenses wrong…
- Don’t rush.. It is a gradual process… I have an Issue with this as im not the most patient person in the world.. It can take you a while to make progress but trying something new every day helps.. Don’t also compare your progress with that of another person.. .. Some people are super-fast learners and some are not… Thats just life.
Just do it:…
I have compiled a list of Useful links, websites, materials, and YouTube channels that have been super helpful… Subscribe to the blog to get it.. 🙂
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Have you tried to learn another language like French, spanish or even Yoruba from where you are?
What was your experience like? what do you think about these tips?
Please let me know in the comment section below.