How do you practice speaking in French? I’ll show you how to use any foreign-language task as speaking practice in this article.
Speaking practice: learn to communicate
Chatting to oneself counts as practice even if you don’t have a discussion partner. The majority of language students want to be able to talk in a foreign language in everyday situations.
They typically devote the majority of their study time to grammar and translation, with little to no speaking experience.
Speaking is usually the most neglected skill in their study schedule. It could be due to a lack of time or finances, or it could be due to a fear that it is “too early to speak with people before I study up to a certain degree,” or both. Use this study planner to organize your Italian studies as efficiently as possible given your time and cost constraints.
Too early to practice speaking?
According to polyglots, speaking should be practiced straight away. This is what distinguishes successful students from unsuccessful ones. You must begin chatting right now. You can’t wait to be “ready” since that day will never come.
Traditionally, we imagine learning a language for years until we are “ready” after learning a large number of words and customs. That will never happen. Instead, speaking is a skill that must be practiced.
It also helps with the development of other important skills such as reading, writing, and listening.
If you’ve been studying a language for more than a year and haven’t had the opportunity to speak with a native speaker yet, I strongly advise you to take the small step required to make it happen (due to fear, insecurity, shyness, or something else).
You should base your study schedule around speaking, just as you would eating plenty of vegetables as part of a healthy diet.
Speaking practice? Can’t I just read and listen silently?
I told you I was translating. Because I translate documents, I don’t typically remember new words I come across. Instead of memorizing them, I save them in the term base of the translation tool I use. That is because I am not reading them aloud and they are extremely dull texts.
Reading aloud activates your brain in ways that silent reading does not, as well as requiring more work. Similarly, practicing speaking fluency is far more beneficial than passive activities such as listening or observing. I always read aloud when learning a language, even if it is not required for the task or setting.
It is preferable to speak with someone else. Go pester someone with your new words to get some speaking practice! As a result, you should always study in areas where you are permitted to interact.
That is why I would never study a language at a public library or a school’s communal study room. For the same reason, I rarely watch movies or listen to music to learn a language unless I can repeat what I hear.
Okay, but whom should I practice speaking with?
If no native speakers of your target language are accessible in your area, you can utilize Skype to communicate with one from the comfort of your own home. French, or any other language, maybe learned completely online using Skype.
That’s how I usually work. Italki provided me with access to the largest pool of teachers, and the vast majority of my classes were with instructors I met through the site. All of the major languages have a large number of teachers and exchange partners, but other smaller languages only have a handful.
Paid lessons or language tandem?
If you have the funds, enroll in professional, paid Skype classes. As an alternative, you can tutor each other over Skype with a fluent speaker of the language you’re learning and someone learning your mother tongue. In either case, it’s good practice for public speaking.
Italki is the finest place to find tutors and native speakers. Italki is an online language learning service that connects teachers and students via video chat. Teachers can use the website to find work as freelance tutors, while students can use it to find online tutors for one-on-one tutoring.
Italki connects over 2 million language students and teachers worldwide for 1-on-1 classes in any language, at any time, and from any location. Italki, which has over 1000 academics and 2000 community tutors teaching over 75 languages, including Italian, makes learning any language simple, pleasant, and personalized.
Once you’ve found those people to practice and study with over Skype, you’ll have no reason not to make as much progress as possible, with your speed determined by how many spoken sessions you have and how intensively you learn. There are other online language schools like Bric. I prefer people who specialize in a particular language.
You will need the following resources to participate in a live online lesson:
- A high-quality webcam
- Noise-canceling headphones
You will need the following to maintain your focus and motivation:
- A mug
- A tee shirt
How can I practice speaking if I’m alone?
Even if you don’t have a tutor or a discussion partner, I recommend that you devote practically all of your study time to speaking practice. For example, you might read aloud whatever you hear, read, or write.
from reading to speaking.
Reading. Read everything out loud, whether it’s an internet article, a book, a textbook, or your coursework.
Some language-learning apps, such as Babbel or Duolingo, display sample sentences without requiring you to read them out. As a result, people complete the drills quietly before complaining that they forgot everything.
The issue is the misuse of the learning resource rather than the resource itself. Make your writing into a speaking opportunity.
Writing. Writing short essays and sentences in your target language is an excellent way to apply your newly gained vocabulary and grammar to reflect on the language as a whole. To get the most out of it, read everything aloud as you write it and after you finish it. If you have the opportunity, read aloud the amended version of your coursework.
Convert your listening into speaking
Listening. When you hear Italian music or news or watch a documentary or a movie, repeat after the speaker and possibly take notes to assist new words to stick in your memory. Take your time and pause the music, video, and audio if necessary. Don’t let such statements reach merely one ear.
My Korean acquaintance would listen to an English-language radio station while doing housework. She hasn’t made any progress, and I’ve never heard her say anything in English. That is something I have personally tested.
Invest your whole study time in speaking activities. And you should be able to understand the majority of what you read or hear. I used to drive throughout Italy listening to a CD of Chinese children’s songs I had purchased in Taiwan.
That did nothing for my Chinese because I couldn’t understand most of it. The melody is remembered, but not the lyrics.
To eventually learn and remember the lyrics, I had to read them, comprehend them, and sing along with them. This is because honing your speaking abilities, even by yourself, activates more brain regions than passive reading or viewing.
Enjoy your audio or visual entertainment, but if the songs or scripts are to stick with you, try to understand the majority of what is spoken and sing or speak along with the music.
The incorporation of speech into all study tasks (reading, writing, and listening) helps the other skills involved, such as assisting with new terminology memorization. This is because speaking provides your brain with a deeper impulse.
Can I seriously improve my speaking skills with no guidance?
Even if you’re alone, you can get help with speaking practice! In truth, you can improve your public speaking skills by enrolling in one of the many audio courses available. Ripeti Con Me (the best! ), Pimsleur, and Glossika are three systems that stress speaking practice and instruction through hearing and repeating example sentences.
The core of all of these courses is spaced repetition, which encourages you to hear and repeat specific words and patterns at regular intervals.
They all appear to be quite natural and almost too simple to be true; they teach you how to express yourself. Linguists refer to this as “comprehensible input.”
All you need is comprehensible input
Monkey Island, a 1990s computer game, is a humorous example of learning through understandable information. At one point throughout the game, the main character, a young pirate, engages in single combat with numerous seasoned pirates.
Instead of fencing, employ witty insults and even brilliant retorts to those insults to defeat your opponent. You simply lack the vocabulary to explain yourself at first, and you easily lose the first conflicts.
However, if you overhear a funny remark, you can use it against your next opponent. Even if he gets it right, you still lose, but at least you’ll know what to do next time.
This allows you to rapidly vary your toolkit until you can outwit every opponent. You can make a game to learn Italian or any other language by replacing insults with common terms and pirates with native speakers.
Be crazy, talk to yourself
Finally, when we broaden the definition of “speaking practice” from “conversation with someone” to “just stating something in the target language,” we discover that there are several opportunities to practice speaking. So, don’t worry about what other people think when you’re conversing with yourself in your room, on the street, or on the train.
The only time you’re insane is when it comes to languages. If you want to improve your brain ability, I can recommend the best nootropics for language acquisition.
What is language immersion?
Language immersion in the classroom is a type of bilingual language training that uses two languages to teach a variety of subjects such as math, physics, and social sciences.
Language immersion programs view the second language as a tool that may be used to thoroughly immerse the learner in the subject, as opposed to traditional language teaching approaches, which view the language as merely a subject to be taught.
In the real world, you conduct all of your daily activities in your native language; in the virtual world, you conduct your routine activities in a foreign language (not necessarily in another location, though it is preferable). Take the train, go to the gym, have coffee with pals, then rent a dive in the city.
The business downstairs also sells food and toilet paper. The only difference is that you must complete everything in a foreign language (Italian, for example). It is critical to note that language immersion does not simply imply passive exposure to it.
Something can be all around you without you even noticing it. You wouldn’t learn anything if you listened to an audio language lesson while sleeping. You might sit for hours watching television or listening to radio programs you don’t understand and never learn anything.
Both long-term living and travel require time to pay off. I know several ex-pats who have spent years living overseas without learning the local language. Being present alone does not constitute immersion.
Benefits of language immersion for speaking practice
Here are some of the educational advantages of language immersion:
- Immersion programs are an excellent way for students to learn a new language since they allow them to achieve high levels of speaking and literacy.
- In the classroom, students are immersed in both language and culture, which helps them gain a deeper knowledge of various customs and points of view.
- On standardized tests, students who have received an immersion education outperform their non-immersion peers.
Here are a few cognitive advantages of linguistic immersion:
- Immersion programs help students build more adaptive brain processes and improved problem-solving abilities. When a problem emerges, they can come up with many solutions. Students who receive immersion education become more marketable to potential employers when they enter the workforce.
- Students’ executive function (cognitive control) increases as a result of the mental challenge they face in an immersion classroom, allowing them to concentrate better, manage multiple tasks, and adapt to changing situations.
- Bilinguals are better at evaluating their language ability. They discover that there are at least two ways to say the same thing (how many different ways can you say “please” in Italian?) as well as the relationship between words and their semantic meaning. When there is distracting information present, they are better able to focus on meaning and only evaluate relevant information.
- Bilingual students can converse more effectively. They are better at identifying and meeting the needs of others. Exposure to cultural differences may improve communication with a wide range of people and teach them to value others’ differences and cultures.
- Because of their superior mental flexibility, bilinguals outperform monolinguals in mental manipulation tests. They are more vocally expressive, have higher nonverbal intelligence, and answer open-ended inquiries more freely than monolinguals.
Language immersion: online and offline, at home and abroad
Anyone can study French or any other language without leaving the country. Because of the internet, there are different ways to become acquainted with it.
Inadequate defenses include a lack of cash or travel time. It makes sense, though, to “live” in that language while going overseas.
Virtual immersion makes social contact easier, safer, and more practical. If you chose, you could wear pajamas and speak a foreign language in bed. You can also communicate with other speakers from around the world. You can choose the country where you want to meet people.
Immersion online is also more private. A chat session and a Skype contact can both be deleted at any time. Do you want to learn a language only to communicate on the Internet? Being surrounded by native speakers offers you substantially less control in the actual world.
You’ll encounter different people in different places, and if things go wrong, you won’t be able to just cancel a discussion session.
Furthermore, putting yourself out there in the real world is far more difficult than it is online. When conversing online, you may be confident that the other person is also learning the language and will be kind and patient with you if you make mistakes.
In reality, that is not a given. There is no way to know whether the other person will be patient or open before you begin a conversation.
Virtual immersion has fewer advantages because it is safer and more controllable. Yes, you practice conversing with a real person one-on-one, but you don’t develop the cultural awareness or bond that comes with face-to-face contact.
Your desire to make friends and engage in real-world interactions with people from all over the world is most likely your primary motivation for learning a language. Do you want to learn Italian, or any other language, only to be able to connect with people on the Internet?
Language immersion: the earlier, the merrier?
In general, it is better to begin learning a language (such as French) in its native context as soon as feasible. Consider babies. Total immersion from the start. That’s a lot of speaking practice! However, if you are still at an elementary level, the native environment can be problematic.
Locals may be hesitant to speak with you, especially if you are visiting an English-speaking country or if they appear uninterested in you, your home, or your culture. I had celebrity-like encounters while living in the Far East.
I was the center of attention at foreign parties, and I always left the party speaking more fluently than when I came.
But even after only two months of studying German in Berlin, I couldn’t hold a meaningful conversation because being Italian in Germany is neither exotic nor unusual. That discouraged me, and I eventually gave up on German.
Don’t use your native language
Language immersion is defined as using your target language (in this example, Italian) as much as possible. On the other hand, you should aim to keep your native speech to a minimum.
I try not to use my mother tongue. Taking notes and reading the news are two examples. Because I am a label reader, I carefully check the ingredient list on every product, cosmetic, and prescription I use.
I always read the label in a foreign language if it is accessible in more than one language. If I don’t understand and don’t want to die, I just read the drug label in French.
Each language-learning program was set up by me (computer, phone, etc.). When I don’t know what to do, I tend to click at random.
Learn every day, and not alone
Learning French, or any other language requires the same perseverance. Make time (30-60 minutes per day) to learn that language instead of resting for six days, getting up on Sunday with a desire to learn new terms, and studying all day.
Never forget to use that vocabulary. I try to spend more than half of my study time talking to other individuals, either for information exchange or for lectures.
Language immersion works under the right conditions
It all comes down to what you require to learn a language. Are you striving towards fluency or content with being functional? Do you have a regular job or do you travel the world? When it comes to learning a language, everyone has different needs and goals. So, find a strategy to merge the offline and online worlds that works for you.