1  a long-lasting first exposure to French language


Students come to me saying that what they need most is to learn how to communicate in French.

I then ask them if they're planning to go to a French speaking country or work for a French company in the near future?

If the answer is yes, I teach them how to interact with French speakers in a French environment and encourage them to take a Conversational French class. 

If the answer is no, which is the case most of the time, I try to convince them to attend a Reading class. Why?

To most students, a Conversation Class looks more attractive, more fun, more appropriate to their needs and easier because dealing with daily life language. If they are given the choice between a Conversation or a Reading course, they have little hesitation and very few will go for the Reading class. 

Why is that? 

The word itself  - Reading - sounds already BORING or even SCARY. Students tend to think that they don't need to reach "that level" of language; they just need to be able to have a conversation in French. 




Compare to ConversationReading is:

- easier because the focus is on one skill only, not on a complete set of skills (listening + reading + speaking + writing) - no emotional stress due to face to face interaction with a foreigner - no urge for on the spot answers but on the contrary plenty of time to think. 

 - a better and more sustainable long-term investment. You don't completely depend on a course to keep on improving your French. If the opportunities are not at hands for you to attend more classes, you still can work on your reading skill by yourself. On top of that Reading is a skill that will stay with you unlike Conversation skill that will run away from you as soon as you stop practicing.   

- immediately usable outside the classroom (Internet - newspapers - emails - karaoke...) If you learn to converse, who are you going to practice and use it with?

 - also usable in a French environment to read signs, directions, menus, forms, brochures, labels, TV programs, schedules, maps... 


If your goal is just survival, buy yourself a small phrasebook and learn how to use it. It is enough. Anyway, the urge to communicate once there will be such that it will change you into a fast learner...


If you need more than just survival, you will have to commit in the long term with great regularly otherwise as soon as you'll stop, you'll lose it all.

How disappointing do you think that is?


If you start learning how to communicate in French thinking that it's a good idea in case you need it in the future, then let me ask how sure are you that you will need it one day? And if you don't? You might end up working in Germany or start a family in Japan.  Is it really worth the time and the hard work?


Why not INSTEAD invest in a skill that is at your reach now, a skill that will stay with you in the long run, a skill you can maintain yourself anywhere and anytime, a skill that will be useful in or outside a French speaking environment and will be anyway a solid ground to build a good communication skill if needed? 

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