Language learning is not just about learning the nuances of grammar and vocabulary under the guidance of a tutor. There are many other intricacies associated with language development which can be understood only if you start exploring on your own and meet and interact with native people from the country whose language you are learning.
Many students who become proficient in the language they are learning have taken an extra effort to stay ahead of their peers. Fluency can be attained through a number of activities and events while you learn the language in a classroom. Living in New York, you have tremendous opportunities for learning the French language and understanding the rich culture and wonderful traditions of this country.
1. Explore French Films While Learning French
One of the best ways to be entertained while you learn French is to watch as many French films as possible with your friends and fellow students. Watching films will help you improve your skills in listening and spoken dialogue. Combined together, this will give you a good grounding of the French language and culture. Events that you can be a part of, either as a volunteer or as a visitor, include the New York Film Festival, the French Film Festival of Greenwich and the French Film Festival at the Alliance Francaise.
2. The Importance of Language Meetup Groups
No language can be learnt without practising speaking. No language can be learnt effectively without having some kind of conversation with a national of that country. This is where a language meetup group can be beneficial. A meetup group offers the perfect setting for interacting with French nationals and students from other language centres. You can exchange notes, talk, have fun and develop general camaraderie while you are practising, listening, talking and becoming fluent even without your knowledge. Explore these meetup groups if you are interested:
The New York French Language Meetup Group
The New York French Social Meetup Group
The Ithaca French Language Meetup Group
French New York Meetup
NYC French Expats
3. Restaurants- a Great Way to Explore
French restaurants are places where you can meet people and put your language skills to good use. Restaurants also introduce you to French cuisine and the people. In a restaurant you can watch people talk in French, listen to their interesting conversation and also join in if you are confident enough. Restaurants also help you to become acquainted with French expatriates and develop friendships.
4. Celebrate Bastille Day with the French
This annual festival which celebrates French culture is a great place for interaction and all-round fun for the entire family. Bastille Day is known to be the biggest public celebration in New York to celebrate the friendship between France and New York. Celebrated on the day of French independence, 60th Street in New York comes alive with wine, drinks, art, crafts and many other things displayed in the array of stalls set up there.
Jancy James is passionate about languages and is currently working for Cactus Language Training. Cactus offers a range of language courses in several locations round the globe. Please visit the Cactus website for course listings and to test your language level.