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

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Week 6: Exploring cultures in the French-speaking world

Introduction

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Figure 1 Exploring cultures

Welcome to Week 6! This week you will imagine yourself – as a budding French speaker – trying out your skills in the real world. You’ll think about how you might put your growing confidence into action, interacting with people from French-speaking countries and learning about their cultures.

At the start of this course, you considered your personal goals in learning French. Keep those in mind as you now begin a virtual trip around the French-speaking world. Whatever context you might use your French skills in – holidaying in France or another French-speaking country; studying abroad; travelling for business – just imagine how useful speaking and understanding the language will be. Even if it crosses your mind to think ‘well, everyone speaks English anyway’, remember that you’ll make a strong impression if you have some French at your disposal, if just to break the conversational ice. Perhaps you’ve heard the expression that ‘you buy in your own language and sell in the other person’s’ – speaking to somebody in their language rather than yours can entirely shift the tone of the conversation.

The focus this week will not be on learning words, grammar or sounds, but rather investigating new environments and ways of life, and the history, art, customs or traditions shared among diverse communities. Through this week’s activities you will get a flavour of the richness of the worlds you will delve into as a learner of French. All of this makes the language learning journey so much more exciting.

So, where would you go in the French-speaking world? You have your passport and you want to speak French – it’s time to set off. First stop: France!