There are mistakes that we all make when learning a new language and that block our progress.
Today, we are going to see together 7 things that you may be doing, even certainly, and that are blocking your progress in French.
Of course, for each of these things that are blocking your progress, I'll give you some advice or solutions.
You'll see, mistake number 7, it's very important.
Almost all of you do it, and I myself, it is this thing that is blocking my progress in Italian and English.
Let's start right away with the first thing that blocks your progress.
It is to put the subtitles in your language or in English when you watch a video in French.
A video on YouTube, a movie or a series.
You think it helps you understand better and it does because in reality you can't even hear French.
You just read the subtitles.
As a result, you don't learn any new words. You don't test your French skills at all and that's a shame.
I really advise you to put the subtitles always in French.
Of course, there are words you won't understand, but there are also many words you will learn and understand through context.
And those words, I promise you, you're going to remember them for a lot longer because you learned them in a situation.
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If there are words that you don't understand at all when you watch a video in French, I advise you to write them down and check their meanings later, when you finish your movie or series.
You'll see, it will really help you get back into the context and memorize those new words.
Second mistake far too often and you do it constantly and it's not your fault.
That's because that's how you learn a foreign language in school.
It is to study lists and vocabulary lists in French without any context.
You may learn a lot of vocabulary in the short term, but in the long term, you will remember very few of those words.
On top of that, when you want to use them in a sentence, you'll get stuck because you don't always know how to properly use these words in a sentence, for example with which preposition or if it's a verb, how to conjugate it correctly?
Again, I recommend that you learn words in context, through movies, books or dialogues, for example.
Speaking of dialogues, I know that you love to learn new words, that you love to practice your French with authentic conversations.
I have therefore decided to exceptionally open up to you, to offer you a dialogue that is normally reserved for the students of my school online on my site.
This is an authentic conversation with my brother where we talk about movies, the movies he went to see recently in the theater. And you have a vocabulary sheet to help you, as well as a transcript.
To access this content, simply click on the link in the description of this video and you will receive it by email.
Third thing you do that blocks your progress.
You don't listen to the same content several times and you don't practice spaced repetition.
We all have a short-term memory and a long-term memory. When you study vocabulary, you feel like you've got it all down very quickly and you think, okay, you know these words.
Yet they are only in your short-term memory. If you really want to retain them for a long time, to get them into your long-term memory, you have to revise them.
To do this, you must review the same content many times.
Of course, choose videos or content that interest you so you don't get bored.
You will watch a video and learn vocabulary. That's fine. Three days later, you should watch that video again or test yourself on that vocabulary to see if you still have it in your head.
Maybe it will still be fresh in your mind and that's fine.
You should then test yourself about ten days later to see what words you still know and really anchor what you have somewhat forgotten in your long-term memory.
Then you can do the exercise again, for example two weeks later and then a month later.
That's really how you're going to get all that vocabulary, all those expressions into your long-term memory and know them forever.
Fourth mistake that we all do and again, it's not your fault and I'll tell you a personal story.
It is not to learn French or a foreign language with interesting contents for us.
For example, when I was in school and I was learning English, they made me read books that I didn't like, for example science fiction books and I'm not interested at all.
For a long time, I thought I hated reading in English, but in fact, it wasn't that I didn't like reading in English, it was that I didn't like the content that my English teachers made me read.
It is therefore essential, in order not to be disgusted with your learning of French, to choose only content that interests you.
For example, if you are a history buff, choose videos about history.
If you like news, you can watch news channels in French.
If you like to cook, again, instead of looking at recipes in your language, look at them in French.
Fifth mistake and here I don't want any excuses from you.
I know you are very busy, but this mistake is not practicing French every day.
I'm going to give you some ideas on how you can find time to practice it, even if you're really busy in your day.
As you know, and as everyone says, you have to practice at least a little bit every day to learn French progressively.
It is better to do 15 minutes of French once a day than four hours once a month or two hours every two weeks.
It won't work and you'll be a little disgusted because you'll spend a lot of time trying to learn French and you'll make very little progress.
Every day you have to do some French, but how do you find the time?
It is very simple.
For example, every day you probably drive to work or take public transportation.
Every day you brush your teeth.
Every day, you cook the meal.
Well, all these moments are moments when you are available, when your brain is available to listen to French.
For example, while you are cooking, you can put on a podcast in French. While you are brushing your teeth, you can put a YouTube video in French in the background.
You have to take advantage of all those little moments when you are physically busy, but your brain is totally available.
Another good time to practice French is at the gym.
When I ride my bike, I like to put videos, series for example, in English with English subtitles.
It allows me to make double use of my time, both by doing sports and by improving my English.
Sixth mistake you makeIf you're not sure what to say, you're probably not practicing your speaking skills enough.
You don't speak enough French and this is essential to be proactive in your learning.
I know that's the most complicated thing to set up because you have to find someone to talk to.
You may already know this, but I offer private online conversation classes and I try to open up as many slots as possible, so feel free to check out my website if you want to book a slot.
But if you prefer to talk with other people, if you are looking for people to talk to in French in your city, there may be an Alliance Française that organizes events.
And I know that there are also online language exchange sites that allow you to find pen pals who speak French.
And finally, one last thing that you are most certainly doing and that is blocking your progress, and I told you, this is something I do too, you are not being kind enough to yourself.
And I'm not being kind enough to myself in my learning of other languages.
We never take the time to congratulate ourselves on what we have already learned, on the progress we have already made in the language.
Very often, we only see what we have to learn.
There is an expression in French that is "voir le verre à moitié vide".
It means that you only see the negative aspects, you only see what you have to do and not what you have already done.
You need to change your mindset and see the glass as half full.
You have to congratulate yourself, say "Bravo! I've already learned a lot. I still have a lot to learn, but I'm already proud of my progress."
And you'll see, it will give you more confidence and it will really help you to progress.
Having self-confidence is really key to dare to speak in another language, to dare to speak in French and not to block.
You should be proud of what you have already learned.
You should be proud of your current French.
For example, sometimes when you're talking to someone, you're so stressed about doing it wrong, making mistakes, that you'll answer very briefly.
You will just answer "yes", "no".
You have to try to change that.
Try to force yourself to make a complete sentence.
For example, if someone asks you "How are you doing?" don't just say "I'm doing fine."
Try to develop a little.
For example, you might say, "Yes, it's okay, because it's a beautiful day today, the sunshine puts me in a good mood."
The video is finished.
I hope you enjoyed it.
It was a little bit different from what I usually do.
Don't hesitate to tell me in comments if you want more tips, more videos like this one to help you learn French.
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And don't forget to click on the link in the description to receive a dialogue by email and practice your French with an authentic conversation.
See you soon.