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Learning a language is a hugely rewarding experience and French is one of the best languages to learn. Whether you want to speak some French on your next holiday, go to university to get a job using French, or further your career by gaining some language skills, there's never been a better time to learn the language.
However, while there are plenty of benefits to learning French, there are also plenty of challenges that you'll have to overcome. Some of them you'll face if you study French at primary and secondary school (during GCSE, for example) and others will come later as you hone your foreign language skills.
Let's see what it's like learning French as a foreign language, the teaching at school, and how you can benefit from French lessons with a qualified and experienced private tutor.
Even though the popularity of French is declining in schools, it remains one of the most popular languages to study at GCSE. This fall in popularity isn't down to the French language, but rather that fact that a broader range of foreign languages like Spanish, German, and Chinese are now also more widely available at GCSE.
In the past, French was one of the only languages you could study at school and since France was our closest non-English-speaking neighbour, it was common sense that it'd be the language to learn at school. However, in an increasingly globalised world, there's been a shift to bigger European languages (like Spanish), languages spoken by European immigrants (like Polish), and non-European languages for commercial reasons (like Mandarin Chinese).
French, much like the other languages available at GCSE, has students learning to understand the language in its written and spoken forms as well as write in the language and speak it.
Of course, you won't be able to read, write, or speak French if you don't know how it works and students at GCSE will learn about nouns, articles, prepositions, adverbs, pronouns, and several tenses used to express the past, present, and future.
These grammatical elements are tied into topics such as family and relationships, technology, hobbies, food and eating in restaurants, French customs and festivals, shopping, and even global issues.
The GCSE provides a fine foundation for students looking to speak French and anyone still in school looking to continue studying French afterwards should consider taking their GCSE in it.
Studying French, like any other foreign language, comes with many benefits. Foreign language skills have been shown to improve how our mind works and improved memory and better empathy are just a couple of ways that learning a foreign language will improve your cognitive abilities.
Foreign language skills have also been shown to reduce the chance of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's in later life.
Furthermore, learning a foreign language such as French can also improve your understanding of English. For one, over half of all English vocabulary is of French or Latin origin so French and English have a lot of shared vocabulary and knowledge of French can improve your English vocabulary.
Studying a language teaches you more about how they work and this will also help you understand how English works. In school, we don't tend to study the English language in the same way we study foreign languages so by studying French, you can learn more about French and English!
Then there are the career benefits. The world is becoming increasingly globalised and many companies prefer applicants with foreign language skills. Even if you don't necessarily have to use your French skills for the job you're applying for, foreign language skills can show that you have a better understanding of different people and cultures than someone who only speaks their mother tongue.
Foreign language lessons are a way to experience another culture and every hour spent studying French with a private teacher, at school or university, or online, can help you learn more about the world.
Learning a foreign language isn't easy and while French is regularly considered one of the easiest languages for native English speakers to learn, it's still an entire language you have to master to communicate with the speakers of it.
You need a pretty high level before you can start having enjoyable and rewarding conversations in a language and while it's always nice to master ordering food or asking for directions in your new language, it can take years before you're chatting with people about all manner of topics without referring to your dictionary or your phone to look up words.
Of course, with immersion, the length of time it takes to learn a foreign language such as French can be dramatically reduced but if you're not able to just move to France, then you'll have to rely on studying the language for many years while practising as regularly as you can at home or with French-speaking friends or colleagues.
Then there's shyness. If you want to learn a foreign language, you'll need to get over being shy. Those who don't practise their new language rarely progress and speaking is one of the best ways to practise. Make sure you speak as much as you can in each lesson.
You will make mistakes and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. While some of these mistakes will be embarrassing (there are plenty of hilarious mistakes people have made when trying to speak a foreign language), you have to take the embarrassment on the chin, laugh it off, and learn from the mistake that you made.
That said, it's much better to make these mistakes in your lessons rather than outside. You'll soon learn that most people are happy that you're trying to speak their language and will forgive mistakes as just that.
As practice makes perfect, French private tutorials are often the best way you can get to regularly use your French and progress. Even at university, you might only be speaking French for a couple of hours a week.
A private tutor will tailor their French language lessons to you and what you want to learn. While those of us who are done with school might remember learning a whole heap of seemingly useless stuff, a tutor can focus on things that you'll use.
If you use French regularly for work, they can teach you the French you'll use in meetings or conversations with colleagues rather than the kind of French you'll need for travel and tourism.
Private tutoring adapts to the student and the kind of education they're after. Essentially, you're the boss!
To find some great private French tutors in Bristol, you just have to search on Superprof. Have a look at the profile of each teacher, the level they teach, their rates, how many years of experience they have, and, most importantly, see whether they offer free tuition for the first hour.
Use these free hours of tuition to try out several tutors and decide which one is right for you!
Can't find any you like or would prefer a native speaker? Check for French tutors online and you could learn French from someone born and raised in France.
In Bristol, the average cost of French lessons is £18.
Tutors rates will differ depending on:
97% of Superprof private teachers offer their 1st lesson free. Check out the prices of our French teachers in your region.
Learning to speak French fluently has a number of benefits. The ability to communicate in another language will open up many doors to you in terms of employment, travel, and culture. Other benefits of learning French include increased employability and improved listening skills.
On Superprof, we have a number of highly skilled French tutors available to give private tuition.
A French teacher can help you with many things:
You can decide with your tutor what you hope to achieve from your private French lessons.
Take French courses to learn more about the French language with a experienced private tutor. With the help of your tutor, now is the perfect occasion to master the French language more efficiently.
Connect with native French speakers online to master the language faster and to perfect your accent.
Many of our French tutors also offer private online tuition. In fact, about 80% of the private teachers across our platform offer French classes online.
To find the available online lessons, just enter your subject criteria into the search engine and select the webcam filter to see the available teachers who are currently offering online courses in your desired subject.
Online courses via webcam offer you more advantages. You can plan your classes to fit around your schedule and online lessons are often less expensive as the tutor does not need to travel.
There are currently 174 teachers are available to give French courses in Bristol and the surrounding areas.
You can refer to their personal cv and choose the French teacher that best suits your needs.
On Superprof, you can browse our range of teacher profiles to find the right solution for your French tuition.
Simply enter your requirements in the search bar to see the list of available teachers near you.
You can check out a tutor's individual tutoring advert and contact the French tutor that suits to your needs.
Once you have found a teacher you can get in touch with them via a messaging service on our platform to discuss the details of your course.
In Bristol and the suburban areas, 174 French tutors are available to offer private lessons.