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Learning to Speak French by Listening

Learning to Speak French by Listening
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Listening to language is the first requirement if you want to learn it

. While many books are on the market that promise that you can learn a language by reading it, this is one of the most difficult things in the world to do. There is a huge difference between the way English speakers read French and how the French speak it. When English speakers read French they tend to read French words as if they were written with the English alphabet sounds, which is not the case at all.

Online French courses sometimes offer nothing more than a phrase book with a few bells and whistles. While these can be helpful, in some cases, it takes much longer to memorize a word if you've never heard it. Because English speakers will not be reading a French word the same way a francophone would be, they'll tend to memorize those words incorrectly, which creates problems later on. By hearing before speaking, you get use to the rhythmus and subtleties of the language. Where French is concerned, rhythm and subtlety are both very important.

The French language has a lot of unique features. When people speak French, they tend to leave off the last consonant of a word and to slide into the next with little separation. Contrast this with English, where letters are only left unpronounced in very specific cases. As you can see, if you start by reading, you'll likely end up teaching yourself something that's spelled like French but that sounds nothing like the way people actually speak French. Language learning is as much about listening as it is about speaking; more so, according to some linguists and language teachers.

When people learn to speak French by living in a French speaking country, they're learning by listening. Most often, such people even have the experience of understanding the language fluently before they're able to construct a simple sentence with confidence. English-speaking Americans sometimes learn a bit of Spanish by listening to Mexican music and television, as well. When you hear a language spoken, you experience it in the most fundamental way. No one would expect an infant to start learning English by reading a novel and learning to speak French is no easier for an adult when they start reading before listening, which is why programs built around listening work.
Learning to Speak French by Listening
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Learning to Speak French by Listening

By: Dr. Dennis Dunham About the Author Dr.Dennis Dunham has over 25 years in international education experience and is a co-creator of LanguageandLyrics.com, a website designed to help you learn French the right way. If you've tried every language product out there and haven't made progress, visit LanguageandLyrics.com to see how learning French can be easy and fun. (ArticlesBase SC #2903994)


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