So you’ve reached level B2 French and think you can’t progress further or attend any new courses?
This is absolutely false! There are many ways to improve and maintain your French skills even if you have reached the upper intermediate or advanced level. When I finish a course with a student, in addition to having my heart broken by saying goodbye, I give tons of resources to help them continue improving their skills, even without attending private French classes.
The real challenge once we’ve reached either level B2 French or level C1 French is to continue learning and practising without a formal frame. Many students are left without any solid tips towards practising and maintaining their level.
Some reasons why it can be difficult to continue practising French after reaching level B2 French:
- Working in an international environment where French is not mandatory
- Not being located in a francophone country
- You don’t need to speak French in general
- Partner doesn’t want to talk to you in French
- You don’t have friends who speak French
If the above description rings a bell, I want you to know that you are not alone; there are many students in the same situation. I also find myself in the same situation because when I reach a certain level in my language study, the question of what to do next is a constant challenge. Like you, I feel so satisfied with myself for reaching the level B2 but then what? What’s next?
I couldn’t believe that after group or private French classes there were no solid ways to continue improving our skills. I had to find a solution, first for my students because I want them to continue their progress, but also for myself because I of course wanted to improve my other languages skills, as well.
My secret tips to learning French
The fact that I’ve studied 7 languages improves my expertise in teaching French as a second language, it helps me truly understand my students. I know what I’m talking about! As a very friendly French teacher, I’m going to share all my secrets tips to help you improve your French in ways that will never bore you, even with a B2 level. These secrets work so well, I can guarantee this as I’ve used them myself to improve my Portuguese, Dutch, English and Spanish. These secrets are also helpful for students who haven’t studied or spoken French for a long time and simply need a refresher.
Before giving you my secret tips. I would like to share a thought with you. Some of my students with B2 or C1 think their French is not good enough to work in a French speaking environment. If you think the same, let me tell you that it’s absolutely false. I’m always surprised to see how some people diminish their talents and great skills in speaking French.
Once you reach a B2 level, you CAN work in a French speaking environment. Yes, yes, yes! It probably won’t be smooth or easy for the first few weeks, but your brain is a fantastic machine and you’ll progress faster than you think. If you start at a new company with B2 level French, and you have to work in French, within a few months you’ll naturally reach level C1 French.
I assure you that if you’re at B2 level French you’ve conquered the most difficult part of learning French. Don’t be intimidated by native speakers. Express your weaknesses out loud and they’ll be gone. If you still get remarks judging you by your unique and original accent, please keep in mind that the « problem » isn’t you but them, and you’d better run away.
So now that you can stress less about your fabulous skills in French, here are my super tips that you can implement in your life to change and improve your French skills:
- You can attend a group class a few times a week. Many language schools offer group classes but… but… after the B2 level, students tend to not be as numerous. You might find yourself enjoying a smaller group class than you possibly did for previous levels.
- Attend a private French class once or twice a month. Implementing a course routine every two or four weeks can help you maintain your French skills. Choose a face-to-face or online class with a teacher you like and continue implementing French at your own rhythm.
- Activities in French if you are in a French speaking country: Crossfit, yoga, meditation, cooking class, …
- Find some online courses about topics you like, in French! : Fun mooc – edX
- Attend (online) conferences about a topic you are interested in: Webikeo – Plateforme de webinar
- Subscribe to newsletters: Le monde
- Find French speaker influencers to follow on social media ( Instagram, YouTube, …. )
- Do some volunteering in French
- Listen to podcasts in French. There are so many podcasts available and free.
- Date a French speaker. I can assure you that dating a French speaker – (who doesn’t speak foreign languages) is an amazing way to improve your French.
- Stay informed in French: RFI – France24
- Watch movies/ series in French or French movies
- Watch documentaries in French: my favorite channel is Arte. The content is totally free and it’s probably the best resources to watch documentaries in French.
- Read books in French: Start with a book you enjoyed in your native language or challenge yourself and read one by a French author. Here a few names of author I like: Frederic Begbeider, Amélie Nothomb, Fatouma Dialo, Leila Slimani…
You see, there are so many great ways to implement French in your daily life! You can improve your skills, even if you have a great level and even if you’re not based in a French speaking country.
And you? What advice would you give someone who wants to improve their level of French?