How can I improve my fluency in French?

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Learning French at school can seem repetitive and overly focused on reading and writing. To become more fluent in French - to be able to speak and understand the language more naturally and spontaneously - it's important to move away from grammar books and vocabulary lists, to practise listening and speaking the language. There are many ways you can do this, and it doesn't have to be boring or intimidating! Here are some examples:

1. Listen to French radio. Just having it on in the background will help to familiarise you with the sounds of the French language - you don't have to understand everything they're saying! You can access many French radio stations online; I like French Radio London.

2. Find a French exchange partner. There are plenty of websites which host language exchanges via Skype and other video platforms (although it's important to be careful about who you're talking to online). Speaking French for just half an hour a week can make a major difference to your language skills.

3. Read French books. If that sounds too difficult, choose your favourite English book and try to find a French translation, or pick comics such as Astérix or Les Aventures de Tintin.

Of course, there are hundreds of other ways to improve your fluency in French, from attending a language event in your local town to going on holiday to France. The important thing is to dive in, and not to be scared to give it a go!

Jessica W. GCSE French tutor, A Level French tutor, IB French tutor

About the author

is an online GCSE French tutor with MyTutor studying at Oxford, Lincoln College University

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