Want to learn French but can’t bear the idea of sitting in a classroom? Whether you’re a beginner or an expert linguist, here are a few ideas to practise your French in Paris without it becoming a chore.
1. Attend a conversation class
Before you turn and run a mile, don’t worry! Conversation classes are much more relaxed than traditional French lessons, often meeting in bars and cafes to parler-français over a glass of wine. They are a fantastic way to improve your French, and often involve a language exchange, with half the time spent speaking French and the other speaking English.
We particularly recommend ‘franglish’, a speed-dating-style class meticulously organised with one-to-one conversations taking place for seven minutes in English and seven minutes in French. Classes are €12, or €8 for students, including a drink, and take place in various locations on Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday evenings. Sign up in advance on their website to guarantee a spot.
2. Watch French films with English subtitles
Sure, you already knew that you could do this at home, but did you know that you can do it at the cinema too? ‘Lost in Frenchlation’ puts on regular film nights where French films are screened with English subtitles. Go along at 7pm to meet some of Paris’s international community and have a drink before the film starts at 8pm. It’s a great way to improve your French while socialising. Tickets are €10, or €8 for students, and you can purchase them on their website.
3. Join a club
Joining a club in Paris can not only improve your French, but also help you get healthy, learn a new skill or make new friends. Join a local yoga class or cooking school, take part in a Park Run… anything that takes your fancy. All that matters is that you are surrounded by French speakers and enjoying yourself!
4. Make French friends
Speaking of surrounding yourself with French speakers, there really is no better way of learning to speak French than making friends with people who already can. Not only will your language skills improve when you can practice them in a relaxed and friendly environment, but it’s also handy to have someone to show you around Paris!
While the prospect of meeting new people with a language barrier between you may seem daunting at first, there are plenty of ways to go about it in a casual way. The website Meetup, for example, has hundreds of events in Paris allowing expats to socialise and build a network of French friends.
5. Get a part-time job
Maybe you’ve moved to Paris to start a job in a French speaking office anyway. If so, you’re already one step ahead. However for students and those with a bit more time on their hands, getting a part-time job can be a great way to put your French into practice while earning some extra cash.
6. Use your phone
This isn’t specific to Paris, and can be done wherever you are, but seeing as our lives often seem to revolve around our phones, it seems only right that we use them to our advantage. Change your phone language settings to French to help your brain learn new vocabulary without even thinking about it. You can also download apps such as Duolingo to help you practice a little every day.
There is no magic formula when it comes to learning a language; the key thing is to practice, practice, practice. It is crucial to integrate your learning into your daily life to stop it from becoming a time-consuming chore. With even one of these techniques, your French language is bound to improve. Good luck, and happy French learning!
Are you looking for an apartment in Paris?
Lodgis offers a fabulous selection of furnished apartments for rent. We offer over 7,500 properties, from studio to family apartments with period features, spacious dining and living areas, terraces, elevator access…and just about anything!