1. My journey
Let me tell you about my journey of learning French. It all started in the summer of 2019, when I decided to take a French course. I had signed up for the course five months before my trip to France, hoping to prepare myself for the adventure. The course was intense, mainly focusing on grammar and vocabulary.
On the first day of class, I was greeted by my French teacher, who spoke so quickly that we were all taken aback. She explained that French-speaking people tend to speak very fast, and we should learn to cope with this before attempting to learn the language.
After five months of hard work, I was able to understand basic conversations. I was even granted a one-year visa to study French in France. I arrived in Angers which, is a city in western France, in March 2020, just as Covid-19 was starting to spread around the world. Unfortunately, I only had two weeks of in-person French classes before the rest of the semester was moved online.
Angers, my city where I live in France
2. What I did
Although I was initially frustrated by this turn of events, I soon realized that I could learn everything I needed to on my own. I listened to French podcasts, watched French films, and read French newspapers. Every day, I tried to learn ten new words and practiced them with my professors and classmates.
We even had a WhatsApp group where we could chat in French. I found that my French level progressed quickly as I practiced regularly. I also kept a notebook to write down new expressions and words.
For speaking practice, I filmed myself speaking in French, even if it was just nonsense. I found that speaking out loud helped me to improve my pronunciation and confidence. In fact, during my last semester of learning French, I decided to learn Spanish as well. I was motivated by a Venezuelan girl I had met, who had encouraged me to learn the language.
Currently, and I have been living in France for almost three years. Although I still struggle to understand French people sometimes, especially when they use a lot of slang, I keep learning every day. I have come a long way from that first day of French class, and I am proud of my progress.
Also interesting: 21 must-learn French slang terms in 2023