|photo credit: Katie's Language Cafe|
I lived in Florida for several years back in the 90s. It is where I learned to speak some Spanish. A good friend of mine during those years was a native Spanish speaker who had learned English as an older student in school. He told me that watching English TV had really helped him to become more fluent. Likewise, a friend who was an English speaker, who had learned to become fluent in Spanish, told me the same thing with a small twist. She said what helped her gain the most ground in her journey to fluent Spanish was watching Spanish Soap Operas! When I followed her advice, in addition to my book study, my Spanish skills improved...by leaps and bounds.
Why is this?
Second languages are not learned in a vacuum. No matter how hard we study from a book, if we only engage in book study, we may become proficient French language readers, but not proficient speakers. French sounds very different from how it looks. Therefore, a student learning French must hear the language often in in order to become proficient. If you are not living in a francophone country or a bi-lingual home, one way you can increase the amount of the language that you hear in context in order to help you build proficiency is to use media~~ whether via, television, movies, or newscasts.
Being a fan of movies, I like to use this resource at least once a week to help build my "ear" for the language. There are two ways you can do this:
1. Watch your favorite English speaking movies in French. Most DVD's will give you the option to watch the movie in a foreign language (usually Spanish or French). Pop your favorite in the player in French. If it is a movie where you know alot of the lines by heart, all the better.
2. Watch French movies with English subtitles. Some of my favorites....Amelie, Joyeux Noel and Paris, Je T'aime .
A third option will help you with being more familiar with the written language...
3. Watch English movies in English with French subtitles.
If you are a French language learner, I encourage you to add this to your study of the language.
À la prochaine (until next time)