Simple tips to progress beyond Level B2 in French
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 French language skills.
The real challenge once we’ve reached either level B2 French or level C1 French is to continue learning and practising without a formal framework. 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 a 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.
The fact that I’ve studied 7 languages improves my expertise in teaching French as a second language as 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.
Let me assure you that by reaching B2 level French you’ve conquered the most difficult part of learning and speaking 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 you go with 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 compared to the other levels and therefore you might find yourself alone enjoying a smaller group class than you possibly did for previous levels.
- You can 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. This one is obvious and I can assure you that dating a French speaker – (who in addition doesn’t speak well foreign languages) is an amazing way to help you improve your French.
- Stay informed in French: RFI – France24
- Watch movies/ series in French or French movies.
- Watch documentaries in French: my favourite channel is Arte. The content is totally free and it’s probably the best resources to watch documentaries in French.
- Read books in French: you can start with a book you liked reading in your native language translated in French or challenge yourself and read a book by a French author. Here a few names of an 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 already have a great level and even if you are not based in a French-speaking country.
And you? What advice would you give someone who wants to improve their level of French?
Do you want to have access to free resources online to practice your French? Do you want to discuss it with other students and share your thoughts about it?
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