Ten Ways to Maximize Your French Skills


Here are 10 ways to maximize the time you spend improving your French.Learn French While Cooking

1) Behind the wheel: Practice your pronunciation and intonation while driving in the car. What better place to work on rolling your Rs than in a car by yourself? So what if the guy stopped next to you at the stoplight looks at you funny. Try The Good Pronunciation Guide.

2) In the kitchen: Making dinner just got interesting. Listen to an audio learning guide as you chop, stir and sample. Who knows? You may get inspired to make a tarte tatin! Try Bon appétit! and La cuisine française.

3) Walking the dog: Put the leash on Fido and an audio learning guide on your MP3 player. Did you know that in French a Walkman is called un baladeur, which comes from the verb se balader, meaning to take a walk? Try Dialogues pour tous les jours.

4) In the waiting room: No one likes being sick. But there can be a silver lining around the cloud of waiting at the doctor’s office. Take an audio learning guide with you and follow along with the booklet while you wait. And remember – being polite can go a long way with the nurses! Try La Politesse (also available as a digital download).

5) At the gym: Work out your body and your left inferior parietal cortex at the same time. Warm-up with what you already know and then learn new words and structures. Stretch yourself as you strengthen your skills. Try Master French Numbers (also available as a digital download).

6) On the plane: Buff and polish those language skills between take-off and landing. You’ll be more confident speaking French and adapting to the culture when it’s fresh in your mind. Try Authentically French (also available as a digital download) and Être invité.

7) One word: les grèves: When the strikes come to town, it’s best to be prepared. And that means having something productive to occupy your time when the inevitable delays come. Try Les Mots Croisés (booklet).

8) At home and in the garden: Multi-tasking multi-lingually. Listen to an audio learning guide as you clean the house or work in the garden. This is a good time to dig a little deeper and learn about the culture and understand the way of life and relationships. Try Conversations entre amis (available as a digital download) and French Expressions.

9) In bed: What better way to ensure you have sweet dreams than mastering the language you’ll need the next morning for asking directions to the best boulangerie in the area and then ordering the perfect pain au chocolat. Try Comment se renseigner.

10) On the commute: Take a mental escape from the world of mass-transit. You’re no longer stuck in a crowded subway or bus, but you’re enjoying an apéritif with friends on a terrace. Listen to an audio learning guide on your commute as a way to relax at the end of the day. Try C’est la Vie…en France! and Social Conversations.


One comment

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    James Anderson

    Great advice – I’ve been using my MP3 player to learn French whilst commuting too and from work. I get some very funny looks from people muttering French to myself on the bus! Thanks for the tips.


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