"French is the language that turns dirt into romance." -Stephen King
Does the sound of the words croissant, coeur, amour, or the phrase je t'aime beaucoup, make your heart sing? If so, you're among millions of people worldwide who find the French language breathtaking and enchanting.
Nonetheless, is simple admiration of a foreign tongue enough to encourage a person to go through the process of becoming fluent? While some might say no, the experts at Superprof say yes! You don't need a structured reason to acquire a foreign tongue these days and, in all honesty, the benefits always outweigh any of the struggles faced.
So, dear readers, take the plunge and start learning more about French today! With hard work, determination, and a strong desire, the aspects of speaking, writing, reading, and understanding the French language can be mastered in no time.
Without further ado, in today's article, we shall examine how French language learners can earn more writing practice to hone their skills and work towards fluency. So, are you ready to be equipped with the writing abilities of Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, and Marcel Proust? We sure hope so!
Keep a Daily Journal
Aren't journals or diaries for 10 year old girls who write about the boy they are crushing on?
While some have been using diaries for years to record bedtime thoughts and deep secrets, a log can serve many excellent purposes. Such as? The following are some brilliant ways to utilise a journal fully:
- Stress reliever,
- Recording ideas on the go,
- Creativity booster,
- Memory aid,
- Way to improve writing.
All of the previously mentioned reasons to take full advantage of a diary are fantastic, yet when learning a new language such as French, there is one point that proves exceptionally beneficial. Which one is that? A perfect way to improve writing skills.
With the majority of experts backing the claims that journals help to improve writing, why not start your journal today to better the necessary French writing skills you already possess? An advanced student I regularly teach English to recently told me that since he began to learn English, five years ago, he has written a diary entry about simple things every single day. Did it help? He stated that he had seen remarkable progress when he looks back and considers the whole picture.
Not only is a journal a great way to learn how to express yourself in another tongue but it is also a brilliant way to record past thoughts and reflect on the impressive progress you have made throughout the past weeks, months, or years; extraordinary!
All in all, before concluding this section, it is safe to suggest that you should go out, buy yourself a new blank notebook, and write as you've never written before! Don't worry about the grammar mistakes; they will improve over time because the more you write, the more your writing improves.
Translate Your Favourite Songs
Do you like Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Adele, The Weeknd, Harry Styles, and Justin Timberlake? Do you continuously listen to their music like it's going out of style? Singing along to the tunes of your favourite artist is a joyous experience that stirs up emotions. We might know the lyrics so well that we could perform the song along with the singer!
But what about using your favourite songs to learn a new language? Suggested by many language pros, translating your favourite songs' lyrics from English to French is a great way to practice writing skills and learn new words. We suggest finding the lyrics of the pieces in English and then carefully translating them into French. And if you don't know the translation of the word, consider reputable translation resources such as Google Translate.
Also, did you know? It doesn't hurt to listen to a bit of French music to hone understanding skills and be inspired to write some short stories down in French. Some great French artists include Carla Bruni, Edith Piaf, Johnny Hallyday, and Stromae.
Listen to Your Favourite TV Shows in French
To become a better writer in any language, you need to become thoroughly acquainted with grammar rules, possess an extensive vocabulary, and know-how to organise/structure a piece of writing; French is no exception!
Therefore to become a better writer of the French language, another brilliant technique is listening to television shows based in France with their subtitles.
By paying close attention to the subtitles, practically reading them, French learners can see the nuances of conversation between characters, learn how words are written, improve one's vocabulary, acquire typically used expressions, and determine the correct verb tenses.
Subitles greatly help French beginners see what is being said and how it can be used in writing.
While watching your favourite TV show dubbed and featuring French subtitles is a great idea, it is best to find a "real" French shows with actors that natively speak the language you are trying to learn. The following are some fantastic television programmes on Netflix that are great for beginners:
- Dix Pour Cent,
- Plan Coeur,
- Les Grandes Grandes Vacances.
If the previously mentioned options are not available on Netflix in your region, try using am different streaming service.
Also, for those who want to learn Quebec, or Canadian, French, shows such as Tout le monde en parle and Les Parent are great options to attune your ear to the accent. You will notice that the writing style and expressions of Quebec French are slightly different from the French spoken in France.
Find a French Writing Partner
Fancy a penpal from Paris? While it may sound slightly childish, penpals are friends who, at the same time, help you improve your foreign language skills. And actually, little do many people know that the majority of people who regularly write to each other via postal mail are adults and not young children.
But will a writing partner help you to facilitate your French writing? Absolutely! The following are some indispensable ways in which penpals can help correct your writing mistakes:
- An impartial person who can correct your grammar mistakes,
- Honest feedback about your overall tone, structure, and use of expressions,
- The opportunity to break out the old letter writing set and practice your calligraphy!
Also, we recommend trying to connect yourself with a penpal who is French-speaking and wants to learn English. Why? Well, by having someone respond to your French letter in English, and vice versa, you will develop an impressive vocabulary and improve your comprehension abilities. Make sure that you correct their English mistakes, and they revise your French writing errors; a match made in heaven!
Nonetheless, although penpals sound like a cute innocent idea, if you are a minor, we remarkably suggest only choosing penpals that are your age and from reputable sites. Although the internet has made it more convenient to find penpals, there are more dangers than ever before, so be careful, take the necessary precautions, and you'll have a wonderful time!
Sites such as Snail Mail Penpals and Global Penfriends are safe options that have been used by hundreds of thousands of worldwide users.
Take Full Advantage of Online Resources
Because the internet.
There is no doubting the fact, the internet has taken over, and sometimes it feels as if we are living realities that only seemed possible in science fiction novels such as 1984! Though robots have not yet taken over, the internet is viewed by all as a necessity and not supplemental commodity.
We use the internet to check emails, finish work assignments, attend online classes, and learn new languages; and even more so due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Therefore, when acquiring essential language skills to become fluent in French, it is best to take advantage of the brilliant online resources that the worldwide web has to offer! Such as? Language learning resources such as phone apps, internet blogs, and online dictionaries such as the following can be used by all types of French learners to improve their writing:
- Linguee: more than just a traditional online dictionary, Linguee does more than translate words from French to English, or vice versa, but rather provides context that is necessary to become a better writer. For instance, if you insert an English word that you want translated to be included in your French writing, it will give you two columns. The first column contains a list of full-length English sentences that include the word you've wanted to translate. And, the second column features the equivalent French sentences that prove extremely valuable when honing writing skills.
- Antidote: produced by the mighty French Canadians across the pond, Antidote is loved by English language learners who want to improve their writing skills. Antidote features tools such as a dictionary with context, translations, a conjugation tool and helpful writing guides for additional references, plus it lets you know when your writing is a little awkward. Although a little bit pricier than other learning apps, Antidote can be downloaded on your PC or Mac.
- Tandem: a language exchange app available for Apple and Android that has been making waves for the past few years in the education industry, Tandem is an excellent online resource that merits special attention when mastering French writing abilities. By chatting with real people and exchanging your services, you develop writing skills with expressions that are used by everyday folks.
While we could go on and on about the online resources available to master the French tongue, the previously mentioned three options are lovely.
In conclusion, we highly recommend hiring a private tutor to receive personalised guidance and assistance when acquiring the basics of writing in French. Just remember to trust the Superprofs, and you'll be golden!