11 Summary of Week 1
Building your language skills happens little by little and it’s very important for you to keep returning to vocabulary and structures you’ve been learning, as well as adding new ones.
Without checking back, can you remember a formal and an informal way to say ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’? What is the difference between ‘tu’ and ‘vous’?
You may have answered these questions with ease, but how quickly will you remember the answers in two or three weeks’ time? Now is the time to get organised and start formalising the way you develop your language skills.
Building a language notebook
This is something you can develop week by week, which is entirely personal to you. You may find that you want to change the way you go about it as the weeks progress; don’t worry if that happens. The important thing is that you find a way to note down, each week, new vocabulary and expressions, and also tips about pronunciation, grammar, culture and communication in general that will support you as you start to learn French.
How will you do this? Whether you keep your notes on paper or digitally, it’s important to get organised, so here is an idea that may help, based on your Week 1 studies:
Table 1 Language notebook
What would you write into each box, if anything? Would you add more boxes?
Here’s a suggestion for how you could fill in your boxes:
Table 2 Example of a completed language notebook for Week 1
Salut (can be hello or goodbye)
Bonne journée = have a good day
A tout à l’heure = see you soon/later
As in ‘salut/bonjour’
Use ‘monsieur/madame’ in all sorts of situations, including shops
‘mademoiselle’ not used so much these days
Shake hands – normal
Kiss – depends
Tu/vous: informal/formal address
Tu/vous: both mean ‘you.’
You may have filled the boxes in differently, or you may have a different idea about how to build on what you’re learning. Your learning journey is personal, so you need to keep notes in a way that is appropriate to you.
Take some time now to establish your own personal language notebook.
Practising and consolidating
The best way to remember new vocabulary and key phrases is to practise. What did you find difficult? How could you manage better next time?
In Week 1, you were introduced to an important point of pronunciation which should help with your listening and speaking skills. Did you practise the different sounds ‘u’ and ‘ou’?
Why not return to that section and practise again. If you would like further practice, watch this screencast:
Now you’ve reached the end of Week 1, reflect a little on what you’ve been learning. In the box below, note down what you’ve found easy, useful or fun, and what was more difficult.
You have come to the end of Week 1. Next week you’ll be learning how to introduce yourself and say your nationality, and you’ll be able to work further on your pronunciation and listening skills.