Being a francophile (or Franco Feels) is a mindset, an ecosystem to be worked on on an everyday basis.
Learning a language is a long and demanding process. It takes loads of efforts, repetition and commitment.Particularly for a challenging language such as French.
Working with a professional coach or tutor is not only useful but also essential to guiding you through the process. But do you know what the real key to success is? Well, we call it feeling!
So what does it mean to feel the French then?
It is first and foremost seeing the language as a tool for communication rather than a bunch of obscure grammar rules. Yes, there are complex and strict rules to follow with plenty of confounding exceptions but the ultimate goal is to be able to use the language spontaneously and naturally. It doesn’t matter if you make grammar mistakes as long as you are able to make yourself understood by a native speaker.
It’s getting to know and immersing one into Francophone cultural content. Listening to French music, watching Francophone movies and series on TV5Unis (a free platform) or Netflix, watching standup comedians such as Sugar Sammy, Paul Taylor or Sebastian Marx on Youtube, reading comics as Paul au parc, Astérix, Tintin ou Aya de Yopougon. As a bonus: you’ll get used to the music of the language and its idioms.
It’s getting informed in French : reading Radio Canada or Le Monde, listening to easy French journal on RFI, watching videos on the TV5Monde app « Apprendre », watching the (great) 24/7 news (streaming) channel France 24.
It is taking what you naturally like doing and doing it in French. How about a workout class? Trying out a new cooking recipe? Following a new Instagram accounts about interior design? Singing, dancing, doing yoga... Whatever you want as long soon as it is in French.
It’s taking advantage of any opportunity to use the French language.
Whether you’re at the grocery store, ordering a coffee, on the bus, reading signs in the streets, changing the settings on your phone or computer to French. In Montreal, getting by with English is easy so if you really want to learn French, you’ll need to get out of your comfort zone.
And, of course, it is working hand in hand with a professional teacher who helps you improve and learn based on your personal goals. a francophile (and Franco Feels) teacher, obviously.
Keep in mind that learning a language is comparable to building an ecosystem : a cultural, grammatical, informative and everyday life environment. A good teacher is definitely a keystone of this system but they can never make up for the whole ecosystem.
A plus !