Transcript: Video 1 How did you make time for studying French? Do you have any advice for this?
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How did you make time for studying French? Do you have any advice for this?
I would say that sometimes, no matter how much passion you have for a language, it can be really difficult when it comes to finding or setting aside time to actually study it. Because of course, there are aspects of studying a language that you will not like, or that appear unfavourable to you. However, it’s really important that you manage your time. It could be an hour every day, just to make sure that you’re studying the language. Sometimes you might be put off by studying a specific unit as a beginner, or studying a specific topic. But as long as you make sure that you’re studying something every single day, it could be that one day you simply listen to French music or French podcasts – that is still a form of studying. But it’s really important that in terms of studying the French module, you dedicate a certain amount of time for this. So, I would say for me, what works best is planning my week, so I set hours for when my study times would be, and that really helps me to make sure that I stay on top of studying the language.
I think it can be really hard to find time to study French. I was lucky that I wasn’t working when I studied French again in my 50s, but I still needed to be really disciplined. I found that my brain seemed to work best in the mornings, so I set aside some regular time to study in the morning. And then in the evening I watched French films, or French television programmes. And I think that was really helpful, in that I was hearing and listening to French and picking up more than I realised, without having my head stuck in a grammar book when I was tired.
If you’re thinking about learning French as a beginner, my advice would be to make sure that you set aside some time each week – or even better, each day – to devote to learning French. Even if it’s only 10 or 20 minutes a day, try to make space for yourself to have that time to learn French.
End transcript: Video 1 How did you make time for studying French? Do you have any advice for this?
Transcript: Video 2 What did you achieve by studying French?
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What did you achieve by studying French?
I would say that I achieved quite a lot of things by studying French. First and foremost, I had severe speaking anxiety prior to studying the language, and I was not comfortable speaking at all. So, not only has it helped me improve my speaking skills in general, it’s also helped me learn to accept the fact that I might not always be perfect at speaking the language, but the most important thing is that I speak it, and that I can do so in public, to a stranger, to whoever it may be. I’ve also achieved the important skill of accepting cultural differences.
Studying French has helped me achieve so much. Ultimately, I was able to finish my degree. I’d started and dropped out of doing a French degree more than 30 years ago, and through studying with the Open University I rediscovered my love of the language, and the culture, and the country of France. But aside from that, I also made loads of new friends among my fellow students. I became a buddy to help other language learners. And I’ve gained a valuable skill that helps me talk to my Bed & Breakfast guests.
If you’re unsure whether you should learn French, then obviously I think it’s a great idea, but if you’ve got any interest at all in France, or any other French-speaking country, then your understanding and enjoyment of the country can only be improved by learning the language and the culture.
End transcript: Video 2 What did you achieve by studying French?