4 mistakes not to make when learning French

Common mistakes that hinder your progress in French

Learning French is within everyone's reach, at any age and whatever your starting level. However, many people feel stucked when learning French, either due to nerves or bad habits that hinder progress. To remove the obstacles to language learning and reach the level you dream of, here are 4 mistakes not to make when learning French!

1. Seeing learning French as a chore

This is a stigma from school that many still carry with them into adulthood. Grammar-focused lessons, endless vocabulary lists, and exercises with no real connection to actual language practice are all unpleasant experiences that can stay with us and dissuade us from learning French as adults. In reality, learning French is not hard work. With the right method, the right guidance, and by working at your own pace, improving your French is a breeze.

2. Neglecting oral French

Grammar is an essential aspect of the language, but it should be used to consolidate and refine what you have learned through listening and speaking. When you learned your native language, you did not start by studying syntax before making sentences! The same is true for French. The key to fast and natural progress is to listen, again and again, repeat, practice, and, only later, make the connection between what you've learned and grammatical theory. In this way, theoretical notions of the language will make sense to you when you learn them, and you will retain them more easily.

3. Wanting to understand everything from the start

Language acquisition is a gradual process! It is normal not to understand everything you hear in the first days of your course, or when you start listening to podcasts and watching movies in French. This should not discourage you. By persevering, you will quickly realize that you will understand more and more of what you hear. The most effective tip? Watch movies in the original version, with French subtitles! This way, you will naturally make the connection between the pronunciation of words and their written form, and you will remember expressions and grammatical structures more easily.

4. Not daring to express yourself in French

Fear of speaking in French is a common barrier cited by students. At Swiss French School, all classes are held in small groups of equal level so that everyone feels confident to speak French. Making mistakes when speaking a language you are learning is the most normal thing in the world. Making mistakes is an integral part of learning. Moreover, you only have to look around you to forget your worries! When a foreigner makes the effort to speak your language, do you find them ridiculous when they make a few grammar mistakes or mispronounce a word? Besides, everyone makes mistakes, even in their native language. Feel ready to speak French, whatever your level. Practicing the language is the most effective way to progress, and you will never be able to correct your mistakes if you don't make them at least once!

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