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10 easy ways to teach yourself French

Lesson Dec 30, 2022

Do you dream of learning French but can't do so within a classroom?

Have you considered teaching yourself French but don't know if it is possible or productive?

The good news is: it is not only possible to teach yourself French but extremely productive and rewarding.

Follow these ten steps to make your dreams of speaking French a reality.

1. Find a guide.

Since you are learning French on your own, your guide could be a textbook, audio book, video lesson or a combination of two or more of these.

In textbooks, for example, you will find an outline of important lessons to help you grow. These lessons are usually structured from the easiest to grasp points to more complex lessons. All these provide a guide for you and help point you in the right direction.

Combining two or more is better as you need to be able to read and hear the words as you learn.

2. Start from the basics.

When learning French or any new language, it is best to start from the simplest things. Strict grammar rules and complex grammatical structures should be avoided at the beginning. They make French appear difficult and unattainable. This could cause you to lose interest fast.

Focus instead on simple vocabulary, French pronunciation and dialogue. There is room for growth once you become familiar with the basics.

3. Employ the use of exercise as a learning tool.

Text yourself using various exercises with every new topic you learn. These exercises reinforce your previous knowledge. They also help you come to terms with areas that are still difficult for you. This way, you are able to work on understanding them.

4. Show commitment

Dedicate time to learning French daily and commit to it as much as possible.

Precision, strictness and work for some but it's not for everybody.

Some of us need to set aside time(E.g 30m,), at a particular time each day (E.g 1 pm to 2 pm) for us to be committed.

For others, such strict rules quickly become boring and intruding and don't work. For people like this it is better to spend 30 or 1 hour each day learning French but do it at any time of the day.

There is no hard and fast rule, it is better to go with what works for you that seek to conform to popular belief.

5. Know what works for you.

Anytime I start learning a new language, I almost always go through the grammar section First. If I am able to grasp basic grammar rules, I gain confidence to explore other areas of the Language.

I understand that not everyone works this way. While some prefer to deal with French grammar first, others prefer French vocabulary, while others French conversation.

There is no rule about where you have to start from. Make yours following what works best for you.

6. Focus on your interests and make learning fun.

One 'not so good aspect of learning on your own is how easy it can be to quit. You may feel like quitting because you feel frustrated, find the Language difficult or because you are bored.

One way to beat this tendency and stay on track is to keep your Focus on things that interest you (at the beginning at least).

Telling yourself you need to learn French and starting the journey might not be enough. You need to focus, keep yourself interested and motivated enough to build a routine. This won't happen if your attention is constantly straying because to boredom.

It is also important to strike a balance between hard work and fun learning. Fun games, videos, etc are all ways to keep French lessons fun for you.

7. Focus on the essentials.

This point is similar to the one above. Concentrate on areas that are essential for you. Why do you want to learn French? For travel, business, to make new friends, for fun etc? The answer to this will help you focus your attention on what is essential for you.

If you are learning French because you want to take a vacation to France, it is unnecessary to spend ages learning French grammar. French vocabulary, a conversation guide and lots of audio materials might be all you need.

Of course, you don't have to stop there, you can always build on this foundation.

8. Read, Write and Speak in French.

Reading French books, writing in French and speaking French can all help to improve your Language skills.

Read books and magazines written in French. Write in French by keeping a diary or journal and speak French every chance you get. Even if the only person close to you is you.

9. Listen to lots of French audios and watch French videos.

You can never watch too many French videos or listen to too many audio materials in French. Doing this sharpens your listening skills, improves your comprehension of French and exposes you to French culture.

Listening to French music and videos is also a great way to learn while having fun.

10. Think in French.

A lot of long-term French language learners still think first in English before translating to French. So the ability to think in French is a mark of true Language success.

Learning early to think in French will help you become one with the Language. It will immerse you in French as nothing else can.

This ability also helps to eliminate common mistakes people make when translating English to French before speaking.


Convinced you can learn French on your own and have a blast?



I write about English and French, how to apply them professionally and in social encounters.