[:en]Waaaow! Time flies! September is already around the corner. Can we start summer again? I wasn’t ready! Some of you are probably still enjoying a nice glass of rosé with a beautiful view of the beach while listening to the “criquets”. Summer is (supposedly) about recovering from last winter, enjoying friends and family, traveling to new places, discovering new things and maybe thinking about new projects and challenges for the coming fall and winter seasons.
What’s your next challenge? If you’re reading this article, I assume taking or retaking French classes might be one of them. Don’t worry if you haven’t made a firm decision – but maybe you are about to, and this is amazing! Take some time to think about the following questions: When was the last time you learned French (if you ever did)? Why are you considering learning French? What are your goals by studying French? If you have learned French in the past, why did you stop?
As an adult, it is so easy to postpone the challenges we don’t want to face including: learning a language, going on a diet, taking up a sport, being more social… At school our teachers hold us accountable however, once we are adults, we replace our childhood teacher and the blame is entirely within ourselves for procrastinating over new projects. Sometimes this results in feelings of guilt.
Surprisingly, there is a positive in these feelings of guilt towards putting off learning a new language – it means that you are seriously considering adding a new language in your life. Actually, it’s fantastic news! Learning French is secretly seen in your mind as a target, in other words as an award! Yes, learning French is an award, as it opens many doors to new cultures and the world.
Now, the next step to reach this ‘I speak French’ award is to be honest with yourself and to evaluate what kind of studies will work for you: Intensive course, private classes, volunteering, babysitting, working as an au pair, dating a native, working for a French company… There are so many ways to learn French and improve your skills. Personal aspects such as location, free time, family will need to be taken into account… One kind of French course will suit you more than others, and attending any type of French course will definitely help you reach the trophy, but choosing the right course is crucial for your success.
Before choosing the best French course for you, here are some honest facts about attending any French courses and learning French :
1. Attending a course without studying on your own during and after the course: For some people (lucky ones), simply attending a course is enough to progress. I have been teaching French for more than 10 years and I’ve only met two students like this. Don’t worry if it doesn’t work for you. I speak 5 languages and unfortunately, like some of you, I still need to study on a frequent basis to progress.
2. Setting yourself impossible objectives such as: Studying French and becoming fluent in one month. Many schools are not sincere about the objectives you will reach. Whatever the kind of course you attend, the level you reach will depend entirely on the content of the course and also on you, and the time you can dedicate to your studies. You can be fluent in a month, if you work everyday. You can also be fluent in a year, it will be less stressful and the journey to your goal will probably be more enjoyable than an intensive course, there is no doubt about it.
3. Your personal life: Kids and family, work and social life should all be taken into consideration while learning French. The challenge for some of you won’t be studying the language itself but most probably to allocate time to it. Keep in mind that if you can spend 15 minutes a day on social media, you can easily find time to study your French
4. It’s not a race : Learning French does take time especially because you are adding a new structure to your brain. At the beginning, your brain will resist adding this new roommate especially if it is the first time you study a second language. It is exactly the same as running. The first time you run, it will be a little bit painful but once you establish a routine you will enjoy running more and more. Learning French is the same.
It is now time to evaluate and to start learning French (again). Once a week, twice a month, everyday, whatever is more suitable for you. With a private French teacher, with a French group, using free resources online … In September, all you need is French.