Currently, French is spoken by around 75 million people as their first language; hence, 3.6% of the world speaks it. On the other hand, reports state that by 2050, approximately 750 million people will be conversing in the language.

It is also the third most studied language after English and Spanish. So if you're wondering whether learning French is beneficial or not, you will be surprised to know that it is the 2nd most valued language worldwide for business.

Natixis, an investment bank, has predicted that within the next 30 years, the most spoken language in the world could be French, leaving English and Mandarin behind.

A group discussion happening before the lecture begins
Teaching high school French is not a walk in the park as the communication barrier, in the beginning, is a huge problem. However, a discussion before the class is always a good idea - it lets the students know what they will be learning and what relevance that lecture holds (Source: Unsplash)
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Why Study French

French is a fast-growing language. As a result, most people want to learn it but resist because they believe it is too complex to wrap their heads around.

However, that is somewhat true, French can be a bit challenging to learn as its complicated grammar, and several linguistic tones are not found in languages like English.

Also, the process is more complex if you have never spoken a European language before. But it is definitely worth the effort.

To support that statement, here are opinions from reliable sources forecasting the benefits of learning a new language:

  • New research by New York Times claims that bilingualism makes you smarter. BBC also reports that bilingualism is a way to protect the brain from age-related deterioration
  • French is amongst the top ten most valuable majors, as science claims and Newsweek reports
  • If you plan to apply for assistant professorships at colleges and universities in French departments, your French language skills will be tested. You won't be considered for the position if your proficiency is not up to the mark
  • There is a high demand for French speakers across Peace Corps project divisions (education, environment, health, agriculture, community, business, and youth development). French is reflected as a "scarce skill" there
  • Across all five continents, 221 million people speak French
  • Over 76.5 million people visit France every year. It is the world's top tourist attraction. If you plan on seeing it too, learn the language. The communication barrier will no longer be a problem, and you will enjoy the trip even more

And to sum up the benefits of learning a second language, Kalamazoo College suggests that it enhances proficiency in the native language. Along with that, your problem-solving skills and critical thinking skills are also boosted.

French Taught In The U.S.

Out of 194 countries, French is the second most popular language of study in 77 countries.

French is the second most foreign language taught in America, after Spanish. 17% of the U.S.'s population speaks in French. Schools offer French as a second language to learn.

The U.S. higher education system is flexible, and it provides the number and diversity of institutes offering students options to specialize in various academic disciplines.

There is a French curriculum for high school followed by the institutes in America. However, France and American grading, cycles, and classes are different; hence the schools' in the U.S. adopt a separate program for French courses.

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Practice French Outside Classroom

When you communicate in a specific language, you get the hang of it quicker. Children usually gravitate towards the language they are spoken to in. Therefore, to learn French quickly, keep practicing it even outside the school premises.

Even if you have no one to talk to in French, you can always look to assistive technology or make a group with classmates and test your French skills there.

Students remember 37% of what they learn in the class, and 95% of the lecture is forgotten within 3 days. So if you think only taking high school French class would do, you are sadly mistaken.

To keep the language on the tip of your tongue, you have to do more than attend classes. Here are several ways to keep practicing your French:

Online Courses

There are many high school, French online classes; enroll in one. You will get a recap of what you learned previously. Other than that, you might just learn something new in a much easier way.

Subscribing to a newsletter is also an excellent way to study the language conveniently.

Listen To French Radio or Podcasts

At times you need to listen to see if you can understand what is being said. There are many apps available related to French radio that you can install on your phone.

Undoubtedly, the experience is worthwhile as it exposes you to different Francophone accents and cultures. Moreover, you can stream online for podcasts, and you will be blown away by the number of French podcasts you find.

Mobile Apps

Everyone owns a mobile, and you certainly have one too, so practice French on the go by installing gamified mobile applications. Another plus point to these is that most of them are free of cost!

Additionally, these apps are available for both Android and iOS.

Do Online Searches In French

What better way to practice the language? First, browse the web in French. You will be surprised by how much you learn via this technique. To do this, start by using Google.fr to surf the web in French.

The settings can always be changed, so do not worry about your website always being in French. There is Google translate too, cannot figure out what a word is called in French? Google translate it!

Music

Switch your playlist for a while to French music or make a separate playlist for the French genre and make sure you listen to it daily.

It is easy to find French music; there are multiple options:

  • Spotify
  • YouTube
  • Apple Radio
  • Pandora

Apple Radio has an additional benefit in that it provides you with lyrics so you can sing along. Hitting two birds with one stone; is fun and helpful.

Listen to the songs several times, and you will be surprised how much repetition helps you learn a new language. You will pick up tunes and sing songs like a pro in no time, and you understand what the track is about.

Television And Movies

Another easy way is to watch French shows. Even better is if you turn the subtitles on, you can switch them on in French or even in English if your French is still not that good and you need help understanding what is being said.

There are comprehensive programs available on YouTube, Amazon Prime, and Netflix. Pick a show, and the hack here is either watch a French show or a show in English but with French subtitles on.

If you think you cannot even do that, pick a show you have seen before. For example, choose an episode whose lines you remember vividly, such as an episode of Friends. But here is the twist: it should be dubbed in French and turn the subtitles on in French.

As you keep repeating this practice, you will witness a noticeable improvement in your French-speaking and understanding skills.

Stack of books kept on the table
High school French classes certainly help in learning the language, but a bit of practice on your own is also necessary. Read French books, magazines, blogs, etc., to polish your French-speaking and understanding skills (Source: Unsplash)

Read

You can also choose from plenty of magazine, book, and comic options to help you practice the language you want to learn.

Beginners are advised to read magazines or bandes dessinee (comic books) as they offer limited text with illustrations, making it easier to understand what is being said.

Don't know where to find these books or don't want to spend money on them? Go to a library or visit online magazines. The options are limitless.

Join Conversation Groups

A conversation group will help you immensely. Some of those wanting to learn French are looking for others going through the same journey. Find such groups and be a part of them.

And since everyone around you will be of a similar skill level, you will be less self-conscious about mispronouncing words. Furthermore, you get to learn from others' struggles.

These conversation groups become a support system when you are trying to learn something new. Therefore, this can be your little French community.

Teaching French

Teaching high school French can be tedious; however, it is gratifying to hear their students converse in the language they taught them from scratch.

However, there are a couple of pointers even instructors need to keep in mind when teaching a class:

Speak In French

The rule of the classroom should be to talk in French. No matter how poor one's French-speaking skills are, it should be mandatory to communicate in the language being taught.

This rule applies to the instructor too. Under no circumstances (only in the first-class during introductions can you speak in English) should any other language be spoken.

It helps the pupils speak the language naturally once they see that everyone is talking in it.

The teacher is explaining an activity to the students
The crucial key for teaching high school French is to make the students want to learn it. They should not attend this class because they have to; instead, they should want to be there. The lecture should not feel like a burden to them (Source: Unsplash)

Students Want To Have Fun

Indeed, class is a place to learn, but who says the learning process has to be boring? Play with the language. Get the student's attention and make them look forward to the lesson.

Additionally, try to teach them something new that isn't from their textbook. For example:

  • Teach them a fun slang expression
  • Play games
  • Make them listen to French music

As an instructor, you should achieve the purpose of the class in the most fun way possible. Therefore, activities should be exciting and engaging and not a hassle for anyone.

Students are there to learn "real" French; teach them that. Hence, do not make the class monotonous. On the contrary, after every session, pupils should be leaving having learned something new.

They Are Scared To Make Mistakes

Everyone is scared to get caught making a mistake; it is human nature. And the same goes for students, especially the older the pupils - they put more pressure on themselves to always be right.

Start the initial classes with a group discussion, and for the rest of the session, have students talk in small groups. This little 5-10 minute conversation will help them ease this fear. There is a myriad of things you can do to diversify your sessions.

Additionally, do not overcorrect them when they try speaking French, let them make mistakes, and later address them in a way that does not embarrass them. Otherwise, they will feel even more conscious about making mistakes hence won't even try.

As a teacher, it is your job to build your confidence.

It Is Intimidating For The Pupils

Students in the class will be new to this language; hence, they shouldn't be expected to be fluent in it. So naturally, they will get awkward at first.

To overcome that awkwardness, it is your responsibility to encourage them to have fun, be silly, mess up, and try again. Once they realize it is okay to mess up, you will witness their confidence growing.

Children Want To Know More Than Just The Language

Opening children up to new cultures will help them grow to become more tolerant individuals. Let them see the language they are learning, its roots, and how it is similar or different from their backgrounds.

Not only will it pique their interest, but they will want to learn more eagerly. And you can do this by:

  • Showing them French movies
  • Bringing Authentic French dishes to class
  • Have a culture day where they dress up and behave accurately to the new traditions they are learning

Culture connects to the language, and that is what you need to do, show them the connection.

Speak Fluent French

Now that you know the importance of practicing outside the classroom, as a teacher and a student, you should look to get expert help. Let Superprof instructors teach you how to learn French as they let you know the benefits of learning a second language.

Superprof offers teachers and students a platform to find each other. This helps students find reasonably priced academic help and give teachers a platform to advertise their skills without necessarily partnering with an organization.

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