Immersing yourself in a language (and a culture!) is probably one of the best ways to progress in its acquisition. Here are five easy things you can do to immerse yourself in a foreign language (French, of course, but you can use these tips with any language).
1 – Switch your smartphone/iPad/computer to French
Although the vocabulary is usually very limited on our devices, it’s a good idea to use them in the target language. You may get some new words, but the main advantage is that you get used to the language every time you check your device.
BONUS: Talk to your assistant (Siri for example) in the lingo, and listen to his answers. It may struggle to understand you at the beginning, but it’s a good way to practice speaking and listening.
2 – Eat French Food
Whilst you enjoy one of the most renowned cuisines in the world, you’ll get used to the sound of French (and grab some extra words). Try to pronounce the name of each meal, name ingredients, and read out loud the text on the package of that nice blue cheese.
BONUS: Invite some French speakers to your degustation, and speak French. Or, even better, invite French people and cook French food together whilst speaking their native language. In that way you would learn both culture and language. That’s what we call ‘Allier l’utile à l’agréable’.
3 – Write your shopping list … in French!
And also your Post-its, and various notes and reminders in the house/at work/at school. You’ll probably have to get some new words from the dictionary, and you’ll spend more time writing them, but it’s a very efficient way to use the target language in your daily life. Plus, you may memorize the new vocabulary more easily as you get a huge stimulus doing so. Have a try!
4 – Think in French
It’s probably not the easiest thing, but it actually helps a lot. Try to think in French, at least for easy things like holidays, or daydream. Little by little, you may be able to have more complex thoughts in French. And, guess what? Thinking in a foreign language makes decisions more rational.
5 – Ask other people to speak French with you
Somebody in your family, friends, acquaintances, may speak some French. Even if s/he’s not a total bilingual, it will force your brain to switch to French, which is great to improve your fluency. More practice = more improvements.
BONUS: You can also use some apps to have a language exchange with foreign strangers, such as Tandem on iPhone or Android.
What is your strategy to immerse yourself in the French language?
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