8 Get ready
You can prepare for learning French in so many fun and creative ways. Make a miniature French-language area at home and fill it with all things francophone. Try a recipe from a French-speaking country at home and invite your friends and relatives. Find some French language music or watch a film in French (in the original version with subtitles if you can), or browse French newspapers and magazines.
Think about the topics that are personally relevant to you – it’s a good idea to expand your knowledge independently in these areas. If you’re taking up French for professional reasons, you may be more interested in studying the economies of the French-speaking countries you might do business with, or their behaviour expectations in the workplace. If you’re a sports fan, you might want to find out more about French-speaking teams in the sport you follow, or learn about other popular sports in French-speaking countries. If you’re a musician, you could get acquainted with the French-speaking music scene.
There are plenty of resources you can use to familiarise yourself with just about any aspect of French-speaking culture. As a starting point, you could try some of the following French publications:
- courrierinternational.com (news)
- parismatch.com (news and celebrities)
- elle.fr (fashion and entertainment)
- lesinrocks.com (rock/pop music and culture)
- sciencesetavenir.fr (science)
- lequipe.fr (sport)
- lire.fr (reading and literature)
- avivremagazine.fr (architecture and design)
The following are French radio stations:
For French TV and radio news, try:
These suggestions are limited to French media, but with some quick research you will easily find more from other French-speaking countries.
Browse a few pages or listen for a few minutes. See what you recognise – can you guess the meaning of any news headlines, or interpret the chorus of a song, or just follow a conversation? Surround yourself in the sound of the French language, be curious, and have a go at noticing.
If you are more confident and extroverted, you will probably enjoy ‘having a go’ and want to practise repeating the sounds, words or phrases you pick up. If you are more quiet and shy, you might find it more enjoyable to read written material and look up the new words. We’re all different, and we all bring our own strengths and preferences to the table when we’re learning. There is something for everyone to enjoy in learning French.
Now, for the final activity this week, you’ll think of a few things you can start doing right now to get you started on your learning.
Activity 7 Start your learning!
Think back to all the activities you’ve been doing over the last eight weeks, and write down three concrete actions you can take to kick off your French learning journey.
Perhaps you could seek out and watch a French film each week, or start buying a French newspaper. You could look at your work/life schedule and make some practical decisions about how you’ll fit in your French learning. You could look at the courses and resources available and decide which would suit you best. Or – if you’re feeling very brave – just book a holiday in Montreal!