There are more than 300 million French-speakers across the globe, and French is the official language of around 30 countries. Whether for personal or professional reasons, French is an ever-popular language to learn. It can open doors to a new career, as well as rich cultural and travel opportunities.
If you are considering learning French or want to improve your knowledge, here’s 5 great benefits:
Being multilingual can be a big advantage when it comes to securing a job, particularly on the international job market. Many employers will look favourably on candidates who can speak English and French, and for some companies it could be a desired or even required skill. Having a knowledge of French presents plenty of opportunities at French companies, French-speaking places around the world, and a means to communicate with international customers, partners, and stakeholders.
France is rich with history and cultural significance, from the film, theatre, arts, and fashion, to the architecture, literature, and cooking. You can truly immerse yourself in French culture and everything it has to offer when you understand the language. Being able to see, hear or read something in its intended language can help you uncover greater meaning and appreciation.
France attracts roughly 200 million international visitors each year, with many flocking there for the food, art, and scenery. By speaking the language, you can go beyond being a tourist and experience an even more rewarding and authentic trip. It will be easier to converse with locals, ask for recommendations, and uncover new things to enhance your travel experience. This isn’t limited to France either - speaking the language will help when travelling to other French-speaking parts of the world.
Whether you want to study abroad or enhance your education experience at home, speaking French creates many different opportunities. It can open doors to several European universities and courses, with many of Europe's most distinguished universities located in France. And given that French is a Romance language and important in the modern cultural canon, understanding French can greatly benefit the study of things literature, philosophy, aesthetics, and linguistics, to name a few.
French is a great foundational language, particularly for learning other Romance languages like Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, and even understanding Latin. Once you have a knowledge of French, you can easily transfer this to the Romance languages, as they share many similarities in cognates, vocabulary, and sentence structures. It can also give you greater insight when learning or studying English and linguistics, as a significant percentage of English vocabulary derives from French.
There are many different methods for learning a new language, but for most people there are a few key ways that their learning is best supported:
While you are learning French (or any language), it helps to immerse yourself in the culture by reading and hearing the spoken language in use. Watch French films or TV shows, read French magazines or books, listen to French music; it’s all part of developing your skills, training your ear and improving your accent.
French worksheets and interactive activities such as those provided in Bien-dire can assist you in breaking down the nuances of the language and test your knowledge as your skills develop. They are a great way to practise and build on your learning gradually, and are most effective when done consistently. Dictation, grammar and verb conjugation exercises, and French pronunciation worksheets, are all beneficial ways to assist in your learning.
Along with worksheets, audiobooks and other audio or video learning tools are ideal for learning spoken French. Many people say that written French and spoken French are almost two different languages, so it’s important to combine both written and spoken learning tools when developing and honing your French. Look for interactive videos and audio that allow you to test your skills and practise at your own pace.
Without practice, what you are learning will easily be forgotten. Make sure you practise often and in many different ways. One of the best ways to practise is to have conversations with French speakers. This can help you put your learning into practice without the pressure of an educational setting, and it can also help you better understand modern spoken French.
The Bien-dire range is produced specifically for English-speaking learners of French. The learning tools can help you improve your French and make learning fun, with engaging and relevant articles on French culture, including current affairs, history, literature, food and travel, as well as direct linguistics lessons.
There are a range of exercises within each volume, with things like multiple-choice questionnaires, true-or-false quizzes, pairing and ranking exercises, videos and transcripts, and dictations to create an engaging and varied learning experience.
If you want to learn more about Bien-dire or are interested in finding this French-published resource in Australia, take a look at Bien-dire products here.
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