I know a bit more than 'une baguette' by this stage..just finished week 5 of my learning French challenge, but still writing a blogpost about week 4. My only excuse is that...I’ve been learning French plus doing the Vicky’s Secret challenge. So no sitting around for sure!
Week four was when I had my first 1:1 lessons and that gave me a massive boost of confidence when it comes to actually speaking the language! You can learn from books, internet or listen to tapes / apps / youtube clips all you want, but until you use French in a real life situation, you just don’t know what you’ve got.
I actually have two tutors and do private lessons twice a week now. They two ladies are VERY different. I have Pauline, she’s from Toulouse and currently doing an internship at a human rights organisation based in London. She speaks French super quickly (so I really have to concentrate) but she’s great at creating these life-like scenarios where I have to use whatever Tarzan French I’ve got to survive. For example, we’ve gone through several restaurant scenes where she played the very unhappy and complaining friend who doesn’t obviously doesn’t speak French…so I was the one forced to translate all her wishes to the waiter. Uff…
The other teacher, Claire, lets me talk a bit more while throwing new words and phrases at me to expand my limited vocabulary. She’s also good at explaining the grammar stuff when needed. Again, we just talked for the whole hour about everything: food (as I was having breakfast in the café that day), travel, my work and my hobbies.
I do my 1:1s ALL in French, even if I struggle sometimes. That’s the best way I think. Talk, talk, talk, I like to memorize the words or phrases at home, even learn whole scripts, but then it’s vital to put everything into practise.