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Get ready for beginners’ French
Get ready for beginners’ French

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5 Have a go: learning and memorising words

Now you will have a go at the kind of activity that will help you to acquire and consolidate knowledge. This is a good way for a French learner to learn new words and memorise them.

Activity 3 Learning vocabulary: colours

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

This is an example of the type of interactive activity you will engage with if you take a beginners’ French course with an online element.

Learn the vocabulary by matching the English words to the French, and checking your answers. If drag-and-drop functionality is difficult with the hardware/software you’re using, you can click for a more accessible version of the task below. Make guesses where you need – you can have as many tries as you like. Then try to memorise the words and their meaning.

Choose the correct English translation for each of the following French words.

Using the following two lists, match each numbered item with the correct letter.

  1. bleu

  2. rouge

  3. vert

  4. jaune

  5. blanc

  6. noir

  • a.This is a green block. green

  • b.This is a white block. white

  • c.This is a blue block. blue

  • d.This is a black block. black

  • e.This is a yellow block. yellow

  • f.This is a red block. red

The correct answers are:
  • 1 = c
  • 2 = f
  • 3 = a
  • 4 = e
  • 5 = b
  • 6 = d

Here are two strategies you can use to learn, memorise or revise vocabulary in your studies. Strategy A can be used for any vocabulary topic, but strategy B as described here is intended for learning colours specifically. You may find ways to modify or develop other strategies that suit you best.

Two vocabulary strategies

Strategy A:

  • Write the French words for each colour (or vocabulary for any other topic) on flash cards, using one card for each word, with a translation in your first language at the back.
  • To practise the meaning of the words, go through the stack of cards looking at the French side, and try to recall the corresponding translation for each word.
  • To practice the French words, go through the stack of cards looking at the translated side, and try to recall the French equivalent for each word.
  • Repeat the activity a few times a day, which will help you to become familiar with all the words.
  • If you prefer, there are free online tools to create online flash cards that you could use instead of paper cards.
Described image
Figure 7 Strategy A in action

Strategy B:

  • Write the French word for each colour on a sticky note, and position each sticky note on an object of that colour somewhere in your home.

  • Pay attention to the notes when you are in that room. Read them often.

  • Practise in another location (without any sticky notes) by trying to name the French colour for objects that you can see.

Described image
Figure 8 Strategy B in action