Le monde francophone

Did you know that spreading the French language is a priority of French National foreign policy? Part of this strategy is to subsidise lessons through the Alliance Française and other cultural events. Another good point is that wanting to improve your French language skills is an aid to getting residency. Although, one has to prove proficiency by passing the DELF(Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française) level B2 examination as a requirement for French citizenship, unless you can pull off citizenship through a parent.

Another nice thing is that there are loads of resources for learning French online. While you can teach yourself French, I would strongly suggest having the help of someone who is proficient in the language help you. Especially since the DELF exams test not only your reading comprehension, but your ability to write and converse. That is your ability to use the language. It’s easy to read and listen, but a different thing altogether to speak and write.

Toss in that it is true that learning French is pretty much a lifelong process.

Technically, I am at an advanced level with my French skills, which makes sense since I have been pretty much speaking it since I was a child (same for German). My conversational skills suffer without using these languages on a regular basis. Things like Duolinguo, Kwiziq, and Frantastique are nice refreshers, but they don’t seem that practical on a long term basis. Frantastique is probably the best of the lot. It’s relatively painless to get started as they put you through a 14 “lesson” test period to find your level of skill. The lessons are cute, which probably makes them effective.

Kwiziq is a runner up. I started using it because it was good for grammar, but the problem with Kwiziq is that it is like a school that wants to push you to the next grade whether you are ready for the lessons or not. By that I mean there are a few questions on a subject. It never seems to me that you do enough of a drill to see if you truly understand the material. Of course, there are chatrooms and discussions for all three of these, which the developers say are what you should be using to get the result I hope to see.

Duolinguo determined that I was fluent after I passed its level 6 without even an understanding of the Passé antérieur. It has since added on quite a few more levels, but I’m not very impressed. Especially since it translated “Alle menschen Brueders sein” as “all people will be brothers”. They should have gone on to say “all people will be siblings” if they are going to trod that path (yes, I was marked wrong for my translation of the convention “all men will be brothers”). meanwhile the Gymglish German language program, Wunderbla said I was at the advanced intermediate level.

Anyway, there are more than enough French sites which teach French as well. I have a thing for Le Nouvel Observateur’s site: https://la-conjugaison.nouvelobs.com/.

The bottom line is that there are a lot of really great sites for learning French out there. Even better, you can improve your French in France.

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