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So, after having the guts to pack up and move to France for an extended period of time, one goal you might want to set for yourself during this time is to actually gain better command of the language. Whether you’ve studied French since you were 10 years old, or have never even said bonjour, there are a million and one ways to ensure that you receive the practice you need.
As mentioned in an earlier post, I am fortunate enough to be able to practice speaking each day. This is just one of the many perks one gets from living with not one, but two, French roommates! (But, I won’t brag.) Because, in reality, the majority of my peers reside with French families, and also receive more than adequate practice.
In my opinion, the best way to learn French to follow this one simple piece of advice:
Keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself! It’s better to put yourself out and there and learn something from the experience, rather than remaining in your own little bubble and learning nothing.
One of the best things about being willing to really try is that the majority of French people (at least those who I’ve encountered), recognize that you are making an attempt and genuinely appreciate it. (Plus, if you end up struggling too much, at least 85% of the French population speaks some English.) But the more you make an attempt to speak the language, the better you will become, I promise!
One of the most rewarding moments of my experience occurred the other day when I was in the kitchen cooking and chatting with my French flat mate Chloe. We were talking about our plans for the weekend, when she said, in French, “You are really progressing with your French.” That kept a smile on my face for the rest of the day.
Check out what advice other students from my school (IAU College, an American University) have provided below. Keep in mind that everyone learns a little differently. So chances are pretty good that one of them will provide some insight that works especially well for you.