In this blog, we will be discussing ‘How To Learn French In France At Aged 50+’.
Studies show that learning a second language has proven benefits in intelligence, memory, concentration, and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. It can be difficult to learn French in France, but it is fun and makes France trips more enjoyable. Here are my 50-year-old French lessons:
Today, I will share my experiences teaching French to students with memory problems. I will also tell you my method and what my approach was.
Many people reach out to me to ask: “I’m 65 years old: can it be too late to learn French in France?”, or “I have memory issues: how can I learn French in France?”, or “I won’t remember all the French verb conjugations!”
I have a simple answer: Don’t lose heart in your desire to learn French in France. Even if your memory isn’t as sharp, anyone can learn French In France. You must find the best method to learn French effectively and set realistic goals.
Let us first tell you how it all began:
1 . A Senior Student Who Is Willing to Learn French In France
I actually developed my A Moi Paris French learning system for a senior student that I taught in Boston 20 years ago.
Anna was a Russian scientist. She was a young woman who had been tortured in Russia as a child and fled to the USA. She would still have nightmares and suffer from severe sleep deprivation.
After she hadn’t slept for several nights, her memory stopped working. She didn’t recall any lessons we taught and had to start all over again with the French book that I was using at the time. It was difficult for her to pronounce French, so we had to keep repeating it. She would not be able to read French or learn French in France as the same way she would in Russian.
It was a shame that this brilliant mind had to be so embarrassed by having to go over the conjugation of etre in the present tense repeatedly. It was pointless.
My job as a teacher was to help my student learn French In France. I tried many books but nothing worked. She would forget the logic and words no matter how clear I tried to explain them.
I wrote a simple story for her. I used the verb avoir repeatedly but in the context of a true story. It was recorded on a cassette !!). I hoped that she would learn the pronunciation and that we would enjoy reading the French story together several times.
Surprisingly, the results were encouraging. The story was a familiar one, and she could recall the entire sentence. She began to learn French In France every week.
Although she is not the best French speaker, it’s hard to argue with her. There were many mistakes she made when she spoke. She had fun learning and was able to communicate in everyday situations. Anna achieved her dream when she was able to communicate in French with her husband.
2. Establish a strong Foundation
To get started, you will need to have some basic knowledge such as the basics of grammar and pronunciation. You can find a beginner’s class online, at your local college, or at your community center. You can start by building this foundation.
3. Talk Talk Talk
It’s fascinating to speak French to people in their native language. The best way to learn French in France is to speak it. Who wants to speak to someone who can’t string three words together?
Answer: Another newbie. A language partner.
You should find someone who is at the same level as you. The other person will have the same difficulties as you, so they can be patient with you as you struggle with French. They are your helper and you are theirs. Skype calls, once or twice per week, really help you to learn French In France. They last about an hour each, with the first half being in French and the other in English.
Pro tip: Video calls can be better than voice especially if you need to pantomime, which you will.
4. Listen, Too
If you want to learn French In France for the first time, it can be difficult to understand what they are saying. To be able to distinguish individual words, you need to “tune” your ears. Listening to lots of music is the best way to achieve this.
There are podcasts in French on almost any topic. Do you like cooking, history, sports? Podcasts are for you.
These podcasts can be listened to while you are walking the dog or working in the garden. It will initially be blurred, but your brain will eventually adapt and you will be able to hear the different words. This is a huge step towards learning French.
You don’t have to be perfect.
People don’t like making mistakes so it is natural to avoid speaking until you get really good. This creates a Catch-22 situation, as you must talk to be really good. Learn to laugh at yourself instead of worrying.
It is appreciated by people when you try to learn French In France. French people are always encouraging and smiling when you want to learn French In France. This shows respect for their culture. It shows respect for their culture.
Sometimes, a mistake can lead to a hilarious story.
French and English have many words in common, such as nation and pause. Sometimes I use a French accent to pretend I know the French word for a word I don’t understand. This works most of the time, but it can fail sometimes.
One time, I served French friends a cheese that had edible ash. It was a slice of cheese with ash, I said in French. My friends were shocked and explained that it meant hashish. Oops.
Expect some ups and downs. Language learning can be a strange thing. It happens in spurts. Sometimes you seem to be making little progress, but then suddenly, your progress is huge. Don’t let it discourage you if you feel you are not making any progress. Enjoy the leaps that you make.
Have fun! It will take some time and you should have fun with it. Find ways to have fun learning the language. To practice your new skills, take a trip to France. Watch French movies. Chat with waiters at a French restaurant.
Subscribe to both a French and US newspaper. You can read both the French and American newspapers for stories. It can be interesting to compare two perspectives on the same topic.
This approach has allowed me to have meaningful conversations in my second tongue. I’ve made friends with French people and have even read French books. This still amazes me, as I was terrible at languages as a child.
5. Don’t Worry Too Much About the French Tenses
French people will understand you better if you speak only in the present tense. You do know what I mean, don’t ya? Do you not think it is more important to enjoy your trip to France and to share your excitement than to master all the verb tenses? We’re not talking about passing a French written exam, but having conversations.
French verb conjugations can be a pain. There is so much to remember: the French verb forms, the correct pronunciation, and the logic of when to use each tense. It can all be overwhelming, especially if your memory isn’t at its best.
You need to make decisions: Prioritize what you actually need to know. My priority in communicating in French should not be learning the French subjunctive. Focus on learning French verbs in the present tense. Start with the “je”, “vous” forms. These are the most useful forms of conversation.
You might also want to learn the passe-compose and imparfait – as long as you know when you use them. French’s most popular tenses are present indicative, passe-compose and imparfait.
6. Be kind to yourself
It takes time to learn French in France. I have lived in the USA for 16 years and consider myself fluently proficient in English. Yesterday we received visitors from England. It was really difficult for me to understand what one of them was trying to say. I could not speak, either.
Senior citizens learn French in France for pleasure. Have fun and don’t get too hard on yourself. You will learn everything you learn. There will be days with and without. C’est la vie!