Coucou les French learners,
As a French teacher, I often hear from my eager French learners who are determined to speak the language. They’re excited to start having conversations in French, but they quickly run into a problem: they struggle to maintain a conversation, they freeze.
I have the exact same problem when I want to have in conversation in Portuguese, I struggle! I think I understand enough but in fact, I still have to listen to more input to understand better. I know the process: when I listen to more and more input, I understand better. When I understand better, I can speak better.
What you don’t always realize is that in order to speak French, you first need to understand it. Listening is a crucial part of language aqcuisition, yet it’s often overlooked in favor of speaking and writing practice.
Today, I want to share some tips on how to improve your listening skills so you can start speaking with confidence. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced learner, this post is for you. So let’s dive in and discover how to become a better listener in French!
Focus on the speaker and give them your undivided attention. Eliminate distractions such as your phone, television, or anything else that might interfere with your concentration.
When you start to listen to one of my stories, find a quiet and cosy place. Practice mindfulness: be present in the moment and focus on the story or the conversation at hand.
My breathing sessions help you start each French session focused and relaxed. When you are relaxed, your brain is opened to new language. It can understand new words and subsconsciouly absorb them.
Even if you are alone in the room watching a video, demonstrate interest in what the speaker is saying by nodding or giving other nonverbal cues. Maintain eye contact. This will help you stay focused.
Prime your attention to the speaker’s facial expression and gestures. When you look at face and body movements, it leads to better comprehension and connection in general.
Next time you listen to my stories, put the focus on my face. Look at how my eyebrows move. Look at my eyes: are they angry or happy? Look at my mouth and hands.
Try this out with the first session of the Infant Stage. It is a fun story about a witch in the forest. You will understand and therefore acquire – avoir besoin de quelque chose –
All these movements help you understand the story better. They also help your mind to mimic these ways of behaving. Subcousciously, when you start to speak French, you will also behave like a French person!
Look for context clues
Try to understand the message by looking for context clues in the conversation. The speaker may have used other words or phrases that provide clues to the meaning of the message.
Remember, it is OK not to understand every word. Your goal is to understand the message in order to acquire the language subconsciously.
When you are talking to someone and you don’t understand a word, consider what the speaker may have meant based on the context of the conversation. Use your knowledge of the subject matter and your intuition to infer the meaning of the message.
You can then paraphrase. Repeat the message in your own words to confirm that you understand the main point. If you are not able to ask for clarification, paraphrasing can help you to confirm that you have understood the message correctly.
By following these strategies, you can improve your ability to stay focused when listening to someone and become a better communicator. Try to understand the message to the best of your ability.
When you join us, we help you understand French to then speak spontaneously. Just sit back, relax, and listen to our compelling French stories.
With our step-by-step approach, you understand more and more French and you make steady progress towards fluency.
Join our community of passionate language acquirers today and start enjoying the ride towards French language fluency.
Review of the week
I can’t believe how much better it is to learn it this way than memorise long lists of vocabulary out of context, it makes so much more sense that you have just to be exposed to a lot of input before you can really even consider starting to speak just like un bébé, I’ve honestly learned more French watching 12 of her stories than 10 years of on and off Duolingo. It’s mental.
What are you waiting for? Join us now and make real progress in French! You will gain:
CLARITY: progress step by step through stages and make French become clear to you.
COMMUNITY: meet weekly and keep yourself accountable through the most caring and invested community.
TRANSFORMATION: feel empowered. Be fluent in French. Transform yourself and get a new soul.