Money, money, money.
Learning a language is fun, learning French is fun but everybody needs a guide. Whatever if it’s a method or a tutor, we all need a help to improve. Anyone who wants to get better and have the best results needs to spend money. What should you spend your money on?
Methods are the most accessible tools to help you learning French. Not only they are tons of methods, with different styles, but also you can find many free resources online like videos, websites, and much more at the library. Very good textbooks are not that expensive, and you can get several good books for a total 100$. Other than books, you can choose a software like Rosetta (about 200$), a website or an app (babbel, duolingo…) to learn French. Those are usually subscription based around 9$ to 30$ per month. It can be very handy since you have all your courses in your pocket and most of the time you can study on the go. Recent apps are very entertaining and motivating, a good choice for those who are not patient enough.
2-Lessons? (group class, tutoring)
Taking lesson can be very motivating for beginners, and people wanting to learn actively. The fact that you can socialize is also a good point. About the lesson, you can attend group lessons in classrooms, any city has a language center that you can contact, and sometimes you have the famous Alliance Française. The second option is private tutoring which is different but can be complementary with group lessons. With a tutor, you can ask all your question without feeling like an idiot and you have also more chance to practice at your own pace. I think using both at the same time can be very efficient.
In the case of the trip to France or intensive immersion program to France it starts to cost a little bit more money. But it worth it. Usually students wants to learn French first so that they can be able to communicate with locals. Doing the opposite is a very good idea too! What about going to an immersion program in France? So that you can face reality sooner and get good habits very quickly. Immersion programs, intensive, semi-intensive allows you to have an insight of the French culture. Usually it gives you enough motivation to face the doubt of every learner!
4-What you should do.
Practice practice practice. You should give priority to practice. Even if it’s with language exchanges or studying with any method. Practicing out loud with a method (see the shadowing technique) is better than taking group lesson without speaking at all. Practice always makes the difference among people. Finally, even if someone is not really talented for languages, the one who succeeds is the one who will practice the most. It’s not only for languages. Taking action is always a good idea! See my article about active and passive learning. Practice is always worthier than studying by yourself. If you are taking wine courses, for example, you could read, watch, listen to everything about wine online or offline but if I don’t have the tasting practice it’s worthless… Instead, nothing has the same value as practice or visiting a vineyard…You must focus on what’s really worthy.
I once told you that the best investment is yourself. It can’t be more true, because many students buy tons of methods they don’t even open, take online classes irregularly or give up quickly. Why? Because it’s way more easy to spend money than to control oneself and stay motivated. Confucius said, “‘A man should demand much from himself, but little from others”. In all things, being demanding with oneself is always the best solution. And you will save a lot of money! 🙂