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Rootalky Challenge 2022

@Rootalky_Challenge

Powered by Rootalky_Challenge

Remember last year’s 21 day challenge? 

Remember all the new words you acquired?

Remember all the various topics you dove into? 

This year, we’ve got a new challenge for you. 

Same principle, new and improved concept. 

We call it PROJECT 21.

@Rootalky_Challenge 21

Project 21 is still based on the sense of urgency we get from the 01/01 on our screens on new year’s day. The list of resolutions we write down for the upcoming months, weeks or days … We want you to join us for the challenge of the year to get one step closer to achieving your language goals. 

Instead of limiting the challenge to a fit schedule, this year we’re focusing on the tasks themselves, giving you the freedom to check them off your list whenever you see fit but don’t forget the main rule

you miss a day, you restart your countdown 

So what is project 21 you say? 

Step 1 Step 2Step 3 
Select an article of choice and read it allHighlight three new words and add them to your list Summarize the article in ONE sentence

By the end of the 21 days, you would have read 21 articles, written 21 new sentences and learned 3X21 NEW words! That’s right, 63 new words! 

Just one more thing: you need to document all this, mention us and tag #project_21 to be featured for a chance to win a prize!

Keep an eye out for the announcement on IG: @hi_rootalky

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21 day challenge: Join the Rootalky language challenge for 2021

Like every end of year, most people prepare a list of resolutions for the new one. New year’s resolutions have been a long standing tradition that different cultures share to find the motivation in achieving their future goals. These resolutions vary from personal to professional. Be it losing weight, finding a job or mastering a skill. It is the primacy effect, that 01/01 on the screen board, that notion that you are on the first page of the first chapter of yet another book. 

This year, Rootalky decided to hop on the resolution train and help its followers with a new year challenge, a 21 day challenge:the 21-day Rootalky language challenge. No matter your level, your schedule or your resources, this challenge is for you!

Are you excited to know what it is?

  1. Every morning for 21 CONSECUTIVE days: Listen to French radio

The task:

Listen to French radio for 5-10 minutes. You have the choice of the channel as long as it is not just music. Pick a channel with a program, any program as long as there are people talking

The exercise:

While you’re listening, look for a sentence that you like: Whether it is the sound of it, the meaning of it, the difficulty of it. Any sentence that captures your attention and record yourself saying it!

  1. Every afternoon for 21 CONSECUTIVE days: Listen to a French song.

The task: 

Listen to a French song. Only 1. While I would recommend old 80’s and 90’s songs for their accurate grammar and slow rhythm, the choice remains yours. 

The exercise:

For this task, I am asking you to simply write down the title of the song you listened to. You can add the name of the singer if you’d like. But let’s focus on the title for now. 

  1. Every night for 21 CONSECUTIVE days: Pick a book.

The task:

Pick a book. Any book. It can be a children’s book, a recipe book, a novel, a personal development book etc. The only important thing is that the language is French. Now take that book every night for 21 consecutive days and read 1 page. 1 page ONLY. Of course you can add more if you think the story is interesting but remember, we’re looking at the long term here. So if you want to read more than 1 page, you can’t skip the next day!

The exercise:

Depending on where you’re reading your book, I want you to choose 3 words, preferably new or maybe even difficult, and note them down somewhere. Don’t just highlight them on the book. I want you to physically write these words, whether on your notepad, your notebook, your phone or even a post-it note that you stick on the cover. 

Then what? 

Before we discuss the results, I want you all to (virtually) promise me one thing. That if you skip one day, you start all over! But we don’t want to do that do we? This is a challenge for the Rootalky family. We’re going to take part together, all of us. Posting daily steps, discussing results, embracing the challenge and seeing the progress.

21 days, that’s over 3 and a half hours of spoken French, 21 new songs to your playlist and 63 new spelled words added to your vocabulary. In just three weeks! So let’s start 2021 improving together, learning together and French-talking together! Just one more thing, keep a daily log so we celebrate the success of each day together and see how far we’ve come at the end of the 21 days.

#Rootalky_Challenge

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Juggling Excitement and Uncertainty in Learning a New Language

We always hear the expression balance is key. Whether it is a balance between professional life and personal life. Balance between your healthy diet and your cheat meals. Just like any process in life, learning a new language also has a balance. The balance between excitement and uncertainty. So how do we find that balance? How do we juggle between feeling excited with our new endeavor and having doubts on our abilities to reach our goals?

When you decide to learn a new language, you are excited and determined: If you are old school, you rush to buy that motivating notebook and your favorite pencil. If you are more tech savvy, you download the latest app to take notes, create that inspired folder and get ready to start learning. These preparations come natural to us as we embark on a new chapter. But then soon enough we encounter our first obstacle and that’s where uncertainty kicks in and the challenge to stay as motivated as day one arises. If that’s where you’re at in this moment in time, here are a few tips that could help.

French language exchange
  1. 1. New techniques:

If you feel that what you are doing is not working out for you, change it! There is not one single method for learning a language, there are plenty. So pick one, for each day or maybe each week. Change when you feel tired of one or alternate to feel fresh. Whichever pattern you follow, there’s always another one waiting. As they say: If plan A doesn’t work, there are 25 other letters in the alphabet”. You can check the various techniques available in the other articles but just remember that there will always be more: some french radio in the morning, a french playlist for the workout session, a french production for movie night. How about language exchange? Polyglot chats or even good old repetition? The list goes on …

French learning – French bedtime reading
  1. Discipline 

No pain, no gain. As they say in the fitness world. In the language world, I want to say that practice makes perfect. Repeat after me, practice makes perfect. But remember that perfect is personal. I mean, it’s your own kind of perfect. Set up a morning routine with a french program, choose french for your bedtime reading, chat with your french coworker at lunch or get some grammar done on the commute. See? The list still goes on …

Ask for help to French language teacher !
  1. Ask for help

There is always a way. And if you can’t find one yourself, ask for help. Try your friends, or a language learning group on social media. Why not even get a tutor or a french teacher. 1-1 or in a group if you feel shy and in need of classmates to motivate you. Whatever you choose, know that every language learner juggles excitement and uncertainty. On most days, you find excitement in a correct answer to a game show or a line in a movie, on others you make a grammar mistake or a spelling error and you start to doubt again. It’s natural, all you have to do is look ahead at your objectives, keep going with discipline, change it up with new techniques and when in need ask a fellow language learner or a professional language teacher.

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Read to Write, Listen to Speak

Read to Write, Listen to Speak

Skill order for better learning

Keywords < language skills – reading – writing – speaking – listening >

Learn French – Skill order for better learning

Learning a language can be seen as a challenge from the outside. Have you ever asked yourself: Why are there so many words? What about this grammatical rule? Do I have to learn this tense? The answer is simple: it depends on your goal.

When you decide to learn a language, you generally have a goal in mind. Your why if you may. So how do you determine your why? Simple, ask yourself why am I learning this language? How much time do I have? And what is the ultimate result I am looking for at this end of this time period? Is it purely a grammatical test or is “une production orale/écrite”

If you have a grammar test to enter a certain course, then you can focus on your grammatical skills. The way to do this is a clear schedule of the grammar lessons you may encounter in the test and as many practice exercises you can find: these can be online, from a language learning book, ask a native friend or better yet, get yourself a teacher to help you out. 

Your language goals need to be reasonable to your time frame.

Now remember that these goals need to be realistic! While high expectations can be a good fuel for your motivation, you need to keep it grounded which means your language goals need to be reasonable to your time frame. You cannot just say “I want to be a native in French in a week”! Remember that EVEN native speakers have been studying that language since the first day of school and they STILL are. Language learning is a work in progress. You always learn, you continue to grow, to improve and enlarge your knowledge skills, be it in vocabulary, culture or other domains. 

So what’s the main rule? How do I approach my language goals? 

Answer: Step by step. To make it easier, there is a rule of thumb in terms of the language skills you want to work on and that is: If you want to improve your writing, read more and if your focus is speaking then listen more. You have “une production écrite” coming soon? Read everything and anything that comes in your way. Choosing topics similar to your theme is preferable and beneficial as you will learn more vocabulary. You also get to familiarize yourself with the structure of the writing, the spelling of the words and much more etc.

French listening – Setting Calm app in French. calm.com
French listening – Setting Calm app in French. calm.com

“I have to speak!” then listen in the language you’re learning. TV, radio, music, conversations etc. You name it and it’s there. It’s 2020 which means that technology has left us no room for excuses. My favorite trick is listen to the radio in the language you want to improve for 20 minutes first thing in the morning. Be creative, you can choose the channel, the country, the accent but keep the time and your routine. Having the language on the background as you wake up, brush your teeth, make your coffee and dress up HELPS A LOT!

Improving the habit : The 3 boost-strides

If you’ve read the earlier post, then you know by now the 3 starter-steps of creating or better yet, building a habit for your language learning lifestyle. Lifestyle you ask?

Well yes, because in this article we’re going to see how we can improve that habit we built. We are not talking about a one time thing here. This is not a todo list task that you check off your list once and never look back. 

This is a routine, a habit, a good habit that will keep improving as we move forward. One that becomes a lifestyle and if you stick with it long enough, will pay off. Just like the 3 starter steps, we’ll see the 3 boost strides. That’s right, strides as in: long, decisive and in a specified direction. 

Now 10 minutes of habit ! @Pixabay
  1. Double down 

Remember the start with five from our building the habit tips? This time you’re going to double it. We’re going 10 minutes this time. You can split them or keep them together but always double down. Don’t add one more minute, that’s 60 seconds, ALWAYS DOUBLE! And as soon as you feel that 10 minutes is easy, DOUBLE AGAIN. But let’s first improve with 10 and stay there for a while…

  1. Expand 

Expansion is a term usually used in construction right? That’s why we said building a habit. We’re constructing something to stay for the long run, it’s not papier-macher, it’s not a cardboard box, it’s bricks and cement, it’s robust and solid and lasts an eternity. That’s the aim! Now how does expansion work with our language learning habits? See that radio program you started listening to? Instead of “les infos de 20h” which lasts about 5 minutes, expand to a literature program, or interviews? Maybe your famous “le pourquoi du comment” – shoutout to france-culture for that one – bit longer and more general knowledge, a bit of history and a hint of fancy vocabulary 

Meet again a native french speaker, catch up for coffee, have a quick online chat, text on the regular… @Pixabay
  1. Follow up

Follow up is more about the human side of language learning. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a fellow french language learner or a native french speaker and FOLLOW UP on that meeting. Meet again, catch up for coffee, have a quick online chat, text on the regular … The list is never ending. 

There you go, we built the habit, now we improved it: we doubled down, we expanded and followed up with our network! What’s next, well that’s for another day! For now, focus on the 3 boost strides. Remember, long, decisive and in a specific direction!

L’art à la française : France, French and Art

Le musée du Louvre in Paris @Pixabay

Le musée du Louvre, le musée d’Orsay, le Grand Palais, le Palais des beaux-arts, le Musée de Grenoble, le Musée Eugène Delacroix, are only a few from a long list of museums and places to visit in France for art amateurs. As a matter of fact, some people decide to learn French for the beauty of it, some to be able to study abroad, and some others to explore the artistic side of it. Art remains a seducing factor for language learning, especially for French learners. 

Generally, the word art refers to different domains. We can mention the art of music, danse, cinema, literature, architecture, etc. In this context and while speaking of french culture, we can classify the different art by numbers as follows :

  • Le premier art : architecture 
  • Le deuxième art : sculpture 
  • Le troisième art : painting 
  • Le quatrième art : engraving 
  • Le cinquième art : drawing 
  • Le sixième art : photography 
  • Le septième art : cinema 
  • Le huitième art : television 
  • Le neuvième art : comic 

In the present article, we are going to focus on the primary traditional forms of art in France. 

  1. Architecture 
Maisons à Colombage of France @Pixabay

Maisons à Colombage (half-timbered houses) are found mainly in northern France and particularly in Normandy, Champagne and Alsace (where the French architecture style is German influenced). 

The longère is found mainly in Brittany and Normandy though they were also built in Limousin and parts of west France. The name gives a clue to the style: longère translates as long house. A longère is a long one-storey rectangular house, orientated so the  back is to the prevailing winds. Built of local stone, and of granite in Brittany, they have slate or sometimes thatched  roofs. Many of them today have first-floor rooms converted from old attics, and a few still retain the outside stairs to the attics. Most of them were originally built as small farmhouses.

  1. Sculpture 
Penseur (Thinker) by Auguste Rodin @Pixabay

Famous French sculptors were crucial for the experimentation with the traditional art materials, such as clay, marble, and bronze. Along with the famous Italian masters, these French artists are at the center of sculpture production and are responsible for the most thought-provoking and revolutionary ideas regarding three-dimensional creativity. Some of these sculptures are : Jean-Antoine Houdon, Clodion (The Love of Small Scale and Terracotta) and Auguste Rodin (The New Face of Sculpture). 

Sing your way to French : Edith Piaf – Icône de la chanson française

Non, je ne regrette rien

Edith Piaf: French Music Icon @Pixabay

Édith Giovanna Gassion, the most iconic female singer in France, had a short, intense, agitated life full of love and desolation. A life that was not necessarily reflected and portrayed through her songs. With a thin body, clenched hands, a little black dress and a cross necklace she stood graciously on stage and sang with a unique voice, an inimitable “r” that was never equaled. “Non, je ne regrette rien”, “La foule”, “La vie en rose”, “Hymne à l’amour” are only some of her famous and remarkable songs. But who is the person behind these awe-inspiring lyrics ? 

House of Edith Piaf @Dreamstime

Born in a poor family in 1915, Edith Piaf grew up neglected by her parents. Water and hygiene were foreigners to her. After following her father for a few years in traveling circuses, she fled the family home at the age of 15 and began to sing in the street, then in musette balls. She ended up being spotted by Louis Leplée, who introduces her to the world of cabarets, where she is immediately acclaimed and appreciated by le Tout-Paris : Thus was the birth of the “Môme Piaf”. From a music hall star adored by the public, she quickly rose to the rank of international stars. 

Edith Piaf’s cemetery in Paris, Père Lachaise Cemetery (20th arrondissement) @Pixabay

Whether she is Edith or Piaf, battered by life, shattered by fate, between success and despair, the child without childhood has taken her revenge by leaving as a legacy cult songs that have given her immortality. To list a few: 

Non, je ne regrette rien : a song composed in 1956 by Charles Dumont, with lyrics written by Michel Vaucaire. Édith Piaf recorded it on November 10, 1960. She performed it for the first time in the program “Cinq Columns à la Une“, the day before her singing tour at the Olympia. When interviewed about the song Edith Piaf explains that she draws her courage from faith : “faith in everything”, her faith in life, “I believe, quite simply. I believe that things happen if we want them to. I believe that we can get out of any bad situation.” She confides that even when she is sick, she always manages to overcome hardships, “it is not possible! I can and will do it!” 

Pierre Desgraupes emphasizes that his song Non, je ne regrette rien, although written by Charles Dumont, corresponds to Piaf in every way. She herself confirms: “It’s true, I have no regrets and if I had the choice, I would choose the exact same life over and over again. When asked what she expected from love she simply answered “Whatever it gives me… the wonderful, the sad, the tragic, the extraordinary. I’ve never been disappointed.”

Hymne à l’amour : Ode to love 

La foule : The crowd 

La vie en rose : Life in Pink 

Building the habit : The 3 starter steps

Routines are very important to our daily lives. They keep us grounded, sometimes even sane. They protect us from missing important tasks on the regular and most importantly, they make us human.

Now, we have previously talked about the importance of discipline, the desire to improve and several business notions applied to learning a language – all of which you can find in earlier articles – don’t forget to check them out. 

To be able to build a habit in your french learning journey, you can take these three steps. 

Look for something you love for the French language @Canva
  1. Look for something you love. 

Now we know you fell in love with the French language, the distinguished accent of the word “Bonjour”, the smell of croissants and freshly baked baguettes on the side of the road, the selfies near “la tour Eiffel”. The next step is to combine this love of learning to any of the many techniques we have talked about in the past – again, check out our previous articles 😉 The point is merging those two things you love will make the whole process feel like playing a game! 

  1. Make it easy

Don’t assume it needs to be complicated because the word “learning” is in it. Learning should be fun, interactive and varied. It’s no longer a tedious task, it’s what we aim to do on a daily basis. Make your learning fun, make your learning something you look forward to, integrate your learning to your hobbies and favorite activities and you’ll see a big change in the progress.

  1. Start with five

Five minutes, that’s all we’re asking here. Do you want to know how short five minutes are? It’s the amount of time it takes you to read some news online, to check an email out, to return a phone call or listen to a voicemail. That’s how quick 5 minutes can pass. That’s how short 5 minutes are. That’s what you can start with! 

What do you think? Worth building a quick and easy habit with something you love? It sure does! The progress will thank you later, what are you waiting for? Start now!

“À vous les experts !” : 5 classic books in French

Honoré de Balzac’s masterpiece : La peau de chagrin @Pixabay
  1.  La peau de chagrin: Honoré de Balzac (1831)

‘’La peau de chagrin‘’: an unmissable classic, a Balzacian masterpiece. It is the story of Raphael de Valentiny, a young Marquis ruined and lonely. He was blind to a talism “the skin of sorrow” that fulfills his desires. But on the other hand, with every wish made, this skin shrinks and Raphael loses his youth little by little. If you own me, you will own everything, but your life will belong to me,” Raphael said with her skin of sorrow.
Raphael finds himself in an immense dilemma through which Balzac questions many things: is wealth the source of happiness? Or can we buy love?

Notre-Dame de Paris of Victor Hugo is also in musical performance. @Pixabay
  1.  Notre – Dame de Paris : Victor Hugo (1831)

‘Notre – Dame de Paris’  is a novel that opens a portal on Paris, at the end of the Middle Ages, with characters of all colors: Esmeralda, a beautiful young gypsy with an astonishing beauty and Quasimodo, half-man half-gargoyle, who’s not accepted in the court of men observing the injustice and disorder of the world. 

In his time, Victor Hugo was the first to speak of disgraced beings, rejected and banished by society making them heroes at the end. 

A historical, fantastic and romantic novel revealing the cruelty of this world with all beauty, deserves to be read.

  1.  Madame Bovary : Gustave Flaubert (1857) 

Until today, “Madame Bovary” remains one of the most read and studied novels. It is a love novel that follows Emma’s daily life.
Emma, who is Madame Bovary, is a peasant’s daughter. She is beautiful. She dreams of bliss, passion and drunkenness.
She always aims for the best with dreams too high. This is where she gets lost in romantic adventures. So, while trying to get closer to her ideal, will Emma manage achieving that without getting her wings steeled?

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo is a timeless masterpiece @Pixabay
  1. Les Misérables : Victor Hugo (1862)

‘’Les misérables‘’:  another classic of the French language and a timeless masterpiece written by Victor Hugo. He points his finger at the misery, breaks it down and explains it with a sophisticated language. Victor Hugo gives his voice to the people to write a multi-faceted novel with mythical and immortal characters found in real life. There is all literature, all humanity and all life in ‘’ Les misérable‘’.

  1. L’étranger : Albert Camus (1942)

‘’L’étranger‘’ is Albert Camus’ first novel. It is the story of an atypical character and indifferent to everything around him; a naive person ignoring all social conventions. It is a beautiful, timeless, work whose humanist message has a lasting impact on the unconscious. Besides, to read the foreigner is to take a step towards the other.

“Qui dit langue française, ne dit pas forcément la France” : French around the world

Did you know that French is in fact one of the most spoken and fast growing languages in the world ? It is the 5th spoken language in the world. But now that you have read this information, does it still seem that all french speakers live in France ? As a matter of fact, not really. About half french speakers live in Africa. “What.. ?” could be a legitimate reaction. But let us discover the true place and usage of the French language. 

French is a global language that over 275 million people speak @Canva

Over 275 million people around the world speak French. And when we talk about these people, there is one key word that you might (or not) have heard before but should, which is La francophonie. It refers to all the people and institutions that use French as the primary language to socialization, to use as administrative language and/or language of instruction. In this context, the French language today is a global language whose center of gravity is in Africa. Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, has become the first French-speaking city in the world. 

French is the official language in 29 countries. Thus, it is the second-most used official language behind English. These countrie are (in alphabetical order): Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, the Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, France, Haiti, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Monaco, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Switzerland, Togo and Vanuatu. 

French is also a present language, without official status, in 7 other countries, where it is spoken by more than 20% of the population. In : 

  • The Maghreb: Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia
  • Africa: Mauritania
  • The Middle East: Lebanon
  • The Indian Ocean: Mauritius
  • Europe: Andorra.

The French-speaking linguistic space therefore includes 36 countries in total. 

French is the official and working language at several organizations @Canva

In addition to what have been said above, French is the official and working language at the United Nations (UN) and in its agencies such as UNESCO, WHO, FAO, ILO, UNDP, UNICEF…; to the African Union; Organization of American States; the Association of Caribbean States; the Organization of the Islamic Conference; the Council of Europe; the OECD; NATO; the International Court of Justice and in the international sports movement, the International Olympic Committee and FIFA.

Eclectic is the way to go : How mixed methods lead to better results

You ask a hundred L2 speakers how they picked up a language and you will get one hundred different answers. Well probably not a hundred but you get the point. 

From the books that I read on language learning, language teaching to the podcasts, the youtube videos and even my own personal experience, it is not a one size fits all. 

Mixing methods have several benefits. Some are related to the learning process, others help you develop personally. Additional benefits would be to keep things interesting! 

Varying the situations and the media in your learning process @Canva
  • The learning process

When you use your native language you use it for different purposes, in different contexts and with different targets in mind. The same should be applied to the second language you decide to learn. This means that by varying the situations and the media in your learning process, you create a second world in which you can equally: call customer service, greet the postman, engage in an intellectual conversation and watch a cartoon with your niece or nephew. Knowing one should not invalidate the other. In fact, knowing one should help you create paths that lead to ideas to improve the other.

Let’s say for instance, you watched a show with your friends or cousins and in that show the character is introducing himself to the class for the first time, well now you know what you’ll be saying the next time you meet someone new! What about a TV program where they call people on the phone? Well now you’ve learned the ABCs of a telephone conversation or at least the start and the finish. The choices are limitless and so are the benefits…

  • Personal development

Having an eclectic way of learning a language means you are curious in knowing more about it. This curiosity will lead you to overcome several obstacles you might have had in the past. These can be (and are not limited to): public speaking, human interaction, presentation, teamwork and much more! This is due to the variety of objectives that certain tasks may have. For example introducing yourself to the class, expressing your point of view and even talking about your country! The more enthusiastic you are about conveying the message, the more forgetful you become of the obstacle of fear. Remember to focus on your path and what you want to accomplish. This will always help.

Being interested in learning is important @Canva
  • Keep it interesting

Eclectic means interesting, it means you won’t get bored because of the amount of choices you have within and across skills. For instance, for speaking skills, you get to use a dialogue, a monologue, a song, a movie scene, a stand-up joke, a weather forecast … The list goes on and on and that is only for one of the four skills. 

‘Take the stairs’ to proficiency

You ever hear of the phrase ‘There is no elevator to success, You have to take the stairs.’ Look it up, it’s a thing. Well, actually it is a famous quote in the sales business but it is usually used in motivational speeches as well. 

What does this have to do with learning French you ask? 

The work should be consistent. @Canva

Well, the same principle applies. You’re not a native speaker after one online class or will you learn the lyrics if you just heard the song once. You have to put in the work and that work should be consistent. Just like taking the stairs: step by step, you will be practicing over and over.

Another reason why the analogy of taking the stairs is quite relevant in language learning: It’s the ability to go levels! That’s right. When you take the stairs, it is not about the repetitive motion that you do with your legs to cross one step after the other, it is the big picture of when you finish those motions, you will arrive at your destination and then you can take it from there. Whether it is a big meeting, a doctor’s appointment or even the gym, take the stairs. Especially when it comes to learning a language, always choose the stairs. 

What is meant by taking the stairs with language learning?

Well it means doing the small repetitive actions that will lead to big results. Like mirroring your favourite actor in a scene of a movie or a show; repeating that verse from the lyrics until you get them exactly like your favourite singer or even that talk show that you watch so much, press pause and make that joke the one thing you master today! 

Taking the stairs doesn’t have to be boring and tiring, when you mix it with your favourites. Remember when you were a kid and had to eat your vegetables to get dessert? Well it’s the same thing! 

One step at a time to success in learning language @Canva

I invite you to take the stairs, one step at a time 

There is no elevator to language proficiency just like there is no elevator to success. It is the work you put in every single day, the time that you take to create the exposure that you may not have if you do not live in the country of your target language, it is also the time that you take to absorb that exporsure if you do. 

Why you shouldn’t just say goodbye

If you’re reading this, it means two things: one that you follow us and in that case we want to say thank you and the second is that you’re thinking of taking a break from your language learning journey. If the second applies to you, continue reading to know the top 3 reasons why you shouldn’t just say goodbye. 

Learning a language is a work in progress @Canva

Learning a language, like learning anything in life, is a work in progress. It doesn’t end, there’s no finish line. So you gotta keep pedalling! Now, a very recurring question we get is, I reached my goal, what now? And the answer is easy, aim for the next one!

  1. Find your next goal 

Again, just like life, you have to have your next goal lined up for when you reach your first one, you start working on the next one. Language learning is very similar. You might just have successfully passed the Delf A1, well there are 5 other De/alfs to prepare for! Once you have finished all levels of the proficiency test, you can get ready for the actual university work, or your new position and the vocabulary and dialogues you will use everyday! Not to forget, your daily grocery shopping, drycleaning runs and coffee breaks: “Un café crème et un croissant s’il vous plaît!”

  1. Avoiding going back to square 1

Remember when you just started, how hard you felt it was? Would you want to do it all over again? Probably not! It’s way easier moving forward than backwards. Well, remember all the grammar exercises you had to do to understand that one tense. How about that tape you listened to a million times to get to intonation right? And not to forget the list of vocabulary under your belt thanks to that regular practice. Would you want to do it all over again or take a step forward with new and exciting topics?

Keep on your practicing for learning language @Canva
  1. Practice, practice, practice.

This top 3 may be obvious but let me simplify it. You are young, you get a bike for your birthday but you don’t know how to ride it. Your parent, or sibling helps you. You keep trying over and over and over again until it becomes natural for you to ride your bike to the groceries or your friend’s house. Years later, you get a car, you don’t ride your bike for years and now you are an adult and you are visiting a city that promotes bike riding across its streets for better exposure. First thing that comes to mind? I should’ve kept at it, even once a week!

Don’t wish for it, plan your next objective and schedule your new lesson NOW!

A message from an avid learner

Dear Diary, 

It has now been a year as a language learner. I realise how far I’ve come but I understand that there’s a lot more to learn.

Experience of an avid learner @Canva

I started from scratch, I did not know a word of French. 

So I signed up for an online 1-1 language class and the journey began. 

At first, I was shy, I did not know what to expect or how this could be helpful. But it only took a few minutes until my teacher broke the ice and we started to laugh about anything and everything. We start with a free orientation which is basically an evaluation of my language level, and insight into my objective. What I did not know was that it was also a nice introduction to my professor. We talk about what we have in common, our likes, dislikes … no better way to break the ice than with common interests, and you are bound to find at least a few! 

Efforts for communication in French @Canva

Despite me not speaking a word of French, we managed to communicate smoothly. It’s a secret though, so you will have to try it to understand what I mean by that. Lesson by lesson, I felt more excited to learn how the french language is spoken, how I can make my own words, sentences and use the new vocabulary to SPEAK FRENCH. 

My main objective at first was to know a few words and be able to hold a basic conversation. Once that was achieved, my objectives kept moving higher and higher. I am now proudly preparing for a Delf B2 exam this November. I can’t believe I have come this far, and I am definitely not stopping here. 

It’s also a great feeling to think that someone from the other side of the globe, with different background, culture and language have a lot in common with you. And I think that brings us closer together. I now think of my professor as a friend who helps me with my language goal. A friend who lets me make mistakes, helps me to correct them and gives me tips as to how not to make them again. 

Cher journal, je voudrais remercier mon professeur. 

A Lundi

An avid french learner

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