"By the way, the secret of speaking French is confidence. Whether you are right or wrong, you don't hesitate." -Joseph Epstein 

Spanish. Italian. German. Russian. Portuguese. French. The beauty of foreign languages is irrefutable and oh so unique to first-time learners. Nevertheless, although we don't want to burst your bubble, it is essential to mention that it doesn't matter if you've got the wealth of a prince and the intelligence of Einstein, you will inevitably struggle at times to learn a foreign tongue.

Ah man!

It may not come as a surprise for most. Still, the struggles of examining basic things such as speaking, reading, writing, and comprehension in a non-native language such as French, are experienced by people all over the world no matter what their skill set is!

So, you shouldn't feel that bad if pronouncing French words like ecureuil, grenouille, and fourrure are proving to be more difficult than anticipated. 

But how does one take into consideration the valuable advice from experts and native speakers to accurately pronounce French words and speak with fluency and confidence? Have no fear, Superprof is here to save the day! In today's article, we shall discuss some tips and tricks to improve French-speaking fluency like a boss.

Immerse Yourself Completely

Of all the things you can do to become fluent in a foreign language, the best thing to do is immerse yourself completely. By diving deep into the culture, traditions, and foods of the people who speak French, your skills will go from zero to 100 in no time.

The most significant aspect of language learning that is heightened after immersion is speaking skills. Why's that? By spending a lot of time submerged in the French culture with native speakers, the eccentricities, the accents, the expressions, and the modulation of a learner increases rapidly and is a much better learner experience than reviewing textbooks and repeating sentences on a Rosetta Stone type programme.

Full immersion is brilliant and, take it from me as someone who moved to a Spanish speaking country in my early twenties with no previous exposure to the language. By being surrounded by Spanish speakers all day every day, I spent a lot of time listening to master the accent, and I think it immensely helped me become fluent in Spanish more quickly.

In all honesty, I only took a few languages classes to hone specific skills such as reading and pronunciation. Nonetheless, while it is true that not everyone can move to another land to acquire language skills due to budgetary restrictions, we highly recommend it to be completely immersed!

Listen to Podcasts

recording a podcast
Listening to podcasts in the French language can greatly improve understanding and speaking skills. (Source: Unsplash)

"There's millions and millions of people that listen and love podcasts that didn't in 2012." -John Lee Dumas

Podcasts have dominated the 2o10s. More and more people turn to podcasts to learn about popular topics such as real estate, maths, personality traits, business techniques, and of course, foreign languages.

There are currently a plethora of language learning podcasts that help interested students acquire the necessary skills of French such as pronunciation, grammar, verb tenses, and listening. 

Podcasts are a fantastic way to help learners acquire many abilities without too much effort. Also, since podcasts can be listened to on any electronic device, they are perfect for getting a load of when travelling on the tube to work.

While it is true that podcasts created to hone language skills are best, it is exceptionally suggested to spend time listening to podcasts about other subjects in the French language.

Use Online Resources

Since we're in the digital age with the internet providing information about practically everything, it is best to take advantage of all resources at your disposal to learn more about the beautiful French language. But, the question arises, what are the best online resources to hone a new tongue?

With some new sites popping up each day to help people acquire the skills of a foreign language, it may seem overwhelming to select the perfect online resource for you to undergo French courses and master pronunciation. Nonetheless, there are a few that we highly recommend. Such as? Continue reading to find out more!

Assimil

Founded in 1929 and based in Paris, France, Assimil is an industry mainstay that is frequently consulted by worldwide students to master speaking the French language with fluency. Also, due to a great demand of learners, Assmili has amplified to publish and teach courses programmes in other foreign tongues such as Spanish, Italian, Hebrew, and German. But how does it work?

The Assimil method is to have learners acquire French, or another language, by listening to records, tapes, and audio recordings that are both in your native tongue and the language you desire to learn. By learning full sentences gradually to create a more organic method of mastering grammar and by repeating the phrases in the recordings, students hone their pronunciation skills in no time!

Assimil has many different programmes offered to learn French, such as the following:

  • "Learn" series,
  • "With ease" series,
  • "Business" series,
  • "Slang" series,
  • Phrasebooks,
  • "Idioms" series.

Nonetheless, it is essential to state that although the previously mentioned series of language learning course is very different from one another, the structure is the same. How so? Well, for example, the beginning of each programme starts with a long passive phase of only reading and listening, and then gradually adding more active lessons is ultimately the same.

The majority of the programmes offered by Assimil contain about 100 lessons, and the active phase starts at around class 50 so that learners have had enough time listening before the speaking part begins. 

Fun fact: the name of the company "Assimil" comes from the word "Assimilate" which means to absorb information into the mind. 

All in all, we highly recommend checking out Assimil's website to learn more about their French language programmes. All courses feature great learning tools such as word puzzles, reasoning games, and translation activities that will help master fluency before your next trip to Paris!

Babbel

Known by people all around the world, Babbel has become a language learning beasts helping millions acquire fluency in tongues such as Spanish, French, Italian, German, Indonesian, Portuguese, and Chinese, to name a few.

Users can learn a lot about French pronunciation with Babbel, thanks to the award-winning French courses that are guaranteed to help students get results. How? There are various levels of study that suit the needs of each individual. French pronunciation is heightened with the integrated speech recognition tool that can test and practice pronunciation. Also, there are additional lessons that make French-learning fun, such as countries and traditions, specials, words and sentences, and refreshers.

If you do not want to learn Babbel on your browser, there is the option to download the iPhone app for Apple users and learn on the go! 

As a content user of Babbel who is currently learning Portuguese, I highly recommend the Babbel system and course structure to enhance fluency in a language such as French.

Record Yourself

registering your voice
By recording yourself speaking French and playing it back again, you can drastically improve your fluency. (Source: Unsplash)

There is no beating around the bush; French is notoriously recognised as a hard language to speak with mind-boggling pronunciation. As a French speaker myself, I can attest to the fact that French is not pronounced as it read and if it is not learnt from a young age, the throaty growl can take years to hone.

Nonetheless, a brilliant way that French fluency can be mastered is by recording yourself and, at a later time, iron out any pronunciation issues that you may face. Why is that effective? By registering yourself and sharing it with a French native, helpful feedback will be shared, and slight mistakes may be noticed that you had missed.

Do not be afraid to listen to yourself, even if you don't like your voice, it will most definitely help to improve your overall pronunciation! 

Hire a Tutor

talking to others
Online resources that specialise in language learning can greatly help. (Source: Unsplash)

One of the most obvious ways to improve pronunciation and quickly speak with fluency is by hiring a private tutor. Why though? Personal French educators are native speakers that you can mimic and ask questions without judgement. They will also pinpoint your mistakes and try to adjust your speaking skills to prevent any debilitating errors.

But where does one find a private French tutor? Look no further than Superprof! With over 12 million tutors teaching more than 1000 academic topics, Superprof is the best in the business, and there are hundreds of passionate French tutors available for online lessons in the United Kingdom.

By hiring a professional tutor, students are setting themselves up for success since they will receive vocal training and many tips that will drastically improve their fluency skills. 

In conclusion, we hope that the advice in our article was enough to convince you not to give up on French and that fluency is a viable possibility, bonne chance!

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Brentyn

Avid movie-goer, reader, skier and language learner. Passionate about life, food and travelling.