Thursday, February 13, 2014


As soon as our family thought we even might be going to France we all decided we must learn to actually speak French before we go. We have 6-8 weeks - plenty of time right?

(to read all of my posts on France click the French Relocation button at the top of the page)

I have been to France three times.

The first was in high school a very, very long time ago. Our French class traveled there my Senior year. Four or five days we each stayed with a French host family. Supposedly we would use those days to become immersed in the language. However my family quickly grew tired of listening to my horrible accent and they insisted we speak English for the duration.  Fine with me!

The second trip was in 1990. Myself and six friends traveled to France for a week to ski. We also were able to take in a hockey game at the winter Olympics. Fun times had by all. For this trip I really studied hard. I was able to use a little bit of what I knew, but most of our arrangements were made by our U.S. friend who was living and working near Paris at the time.

The third trip was for my brother-in-law's wedding. He was marrying a woman from France and the wedding was held there. Our entire family traveled to France for a week to attend the wedding - including my then 10 month old daughter. Again I really studied hard. Tried a few phrases out while there and decided I should once again stick to English.

However - I was slowly increasing my vocabulary. I was just not learning important things like future tense. Each time I studied for a trip I started at the beginning.

So - this time I will be there for 18 months. Time to buckle down and study "for real" this time.

All three of us in our family started with a free app called DuoLingo.  I have to say I'm really impressed for a free app. It is very thorough and I like the way it teaches.

You take one lesson or module at a time and learn a few new words in each one. Your perform a mix of the following tasks:

  • You are shown a phrase in English and a bunch of words in French. You select and arrange the French words to make the phrase you are given. Extra words are thrown in.
  • You are shown a phrase in English and must type it in French with no prompts.
  • You are shown a phrase in French and type it in English
  • A French phrase is spoken and you type what you hear.
  • A French phrase is spoken and you speak what you hear.
There is quite a bit of repetition with the words for that module, but they are mixed up and used in different ways. Without explaining you are learning structure, feminine/masculine uses, and a large vocabulary. 

5 stars from me!

I also purchase as grammar book. It is hard to just sit down and try to study a book on grammar.  But it comes with a CD of exercises you can do along with each chapter and I think that will help. I'll review that later.

I also just loaded a set of DVD's by FLUENZ I think I'm going to like this VERY comprehensive approach, but I'm once again starting at the very beginning. Hopefully I will move through the things that are review very quickly and start learning more difficult things soon. I'll let you know how this one goes too.!

Thanks for reading! If you learned a foreign language feel free to comment and share the things you found most useful.  

1 comment:

Brenda S said...

Good luck with the language lessons. I took a year and a half of French in Jr High School. I still remember the monologue we had to learn and a Christmas song. We were at SeaWorld over the Christmas/New Year holiday weeks and I heard the song playing. My granddaughters were impressed that I knew it.

Have a great time on your French adventure.

Brenda Schiesser