Whether you’re just starting to learn French or are getting back to it after several years, here are three recommendations that will make your task easier:
1. LEARN THE BASICS OF FRENCH PRONUNCIATION
You need to understand the different sounds and how they are spelled, silent letters (mostly at the end of words), and the very easy stress pattern of French – unlike English, which has word stress and sentence stress.
2. GET LOTS OF INPUT
Specifically, interesting comprehensible input (see Krashen’s theory of second language acquisition). Choose materials that are at your level, so that you can guess the meaning of the words you don’t know from the context. This goes for listening as well as reading. If listening, it’s helpful to have the transcription along with the audio or video file. Here are a couple good websites for listening and reading.
3. LISTEN TO SONGS
Who doesn’t like music? Discover a new world by listening to music in your new language! Your ears will get used to the sounds of French, and finding new music that you like will help you stay motivated to learn French. There are many ways to work with songs, so even if you don’t understand the meaning of all the words, you can still greatly improve your listening skills, as well as your subconscious knowledge of grammar and pronunciation. There are many listening exercises online.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me!