Speaking Tips

French speaking tips
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Astuces pour parler français

Of the four language skills, many people find that speaking is the most difficult, partly because it requires more knowledge than the passive exercises (reading, listening) and partly because it’s "live," in contrast to writing which gives you time to consider what you want to say and what you’ve said. But not to worry, I have tips and resources to help you overcome these obstacles in order to practice French as much as you like.

Don’t be shy

The number one mistake that French students make when speaking French is … not speaking. While it can be easier said than done (and believe me, I know – I’m shy too), the best thing you can do for your French speaking skills is just get over it. Push your shyness to the side and don’t worry about making mistakes or looking foolish: just speak.

Plan ahead

Read about current events and your favorite sports/hobbies so that you have the vocabulary you need to talk about them in social situations. And think ahead to shopping and errands you need to do – study food vocabulary and travel phrases to make those tasks easier.

Don’t worry about mistakes

Unless you happen upon some real jerks, no one is going to make fun of you for misconjugating a verb or using the wrong gender. They might correct you (though probably not), and if your French is really garbled they’ll ask you to repeat yourself, but so what? If you worry so much about mistakes that you spend ages trying to formulate the perfect sentence before you say anything, you’ll not only miss your chance to speak but also lose track of where the conversation goes next. Whereas if you just say your piece, warts and all, you’ll contribute to the conversation and get vital practice. Eventually you’ll learn from your mistakes and you will get better, I promise.

Work on your French

Lack of confidence is usually due to lack of skill, so work on your French. The links below offer tons of ideas and resources to help you improve every aspect of your French.

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French speaking tips

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