As you’re on the brink of embarking on your journey to live in France, picture this: the enchanting landscapes, the allure of new adventures, and the promise of charming encounters.
However, as you step into the vibrant tapestry of French life, a cloud of uncertainty descends. With your limited French proficiency, you find yourself struggling to connect with the locals, even in the simplest of conversations.
Each attempt to strike up a chat at a cafe or join a casual gathering is met with challenges. As days turn into weeks, you realise that the language barrier is impacting not just your ability to communicate, but also your opportunity to forge meaningful connections.
The once-inviting smiles seem distant, and the warmth of potential friendships remains out of reach. In the midst of this, the beauty of your surroundings feels overshadowed by a sense of isolation.
This experience underscores the profound impact of language on human connections, showcasing how arriving in France with a low level of French proficiency can lead to feeling out of place and struggling to navigate everyday situations, even affecting the formation of friendships.
An Efficient Language-learning Method
Do you ever wonder whether there’s an efficient language-learning method that can truly transform your experience in France and supercharge your personal growth?
This method exists, and I am thrilled to share it with you. My approach is focused on learning through a language exchange. This means learning French through real conversations with a native speaker.
Let me guide you through this incredible linguistic and human adventure, tailored specifically for future expats or travellers.
Learn to Build Relationships with a French Native Speaker
How to find a language partner
You might be wondering, “How can I find a French person to exchange languages with?” Well, don’t worry, you’ve got options! You can take the plunge on your own, or find success with a little help from me and the FluentExpat community I’m building.
If you decide to go solo, start by writing a short message about yourself and your interests. Take your time to share your passions, personality, and what makes you unique. The people who read it should quickly know whether they want to talk to you or not. Having shared interests increases the chances of a successful language partnership.
Once you have your message, share it on dedicated language exchange platforms like Tandem or Hellotalk, or use social media (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) to reach out.
Oh, and don’t forget to talk to people in person too, like colleagues, family, friends, your hairdresser, your baker, anyone! They might know a French person who’d be interested.
Now, if you’d rather connect with a French person trained in the FluentExpat method, making your search easier and ensuring you don’t waste your time with someone who’s a bad fit or someone not seriously committed to learning, I can introduce you to your future partner. That’s one of the perks of being one of my coaching clients and being part of my community.
My first match between Gwladys, my French client, and Ellane, my Australian language partner, went really well. And I can attest to Ellane’s amazing improvement.
The Power of a Language Partner
Having a language partner can help you to embrace accountability. Imagine meeting with your language partner every Saturday evening at 6 pm, for example. Sometimes you may be tired or have other commitments during that time slot, but you show up anyway.
Why Show Up Every Saturday?
There are many reasons to show up every Saturday, such as:
- To enhance your French
- To share experiences
- To satisfy your curiosity
- To enjoy your talks
- To cherish your friendship
- To help your partner with English
- To maintain your partnership
The Benefits of Accountability
When you experience temporary drops in motivation, your language partner can be your source of support. Even if you feel demotivated, the social connection means you won’t cancel your language session. Embracing accountability helps you stay on track even on low-motivation days.
Thanks to the FluentExpat community, you can meet language partners who are dedicated and fulfill their commitments. Consistency is the key to learning success.
Choose Topics That Interest You
You’re the boss of your learning, and you get to decide what you want to talk about.
Whether it’s sharing the plot of your favorite TV series or discussing your plans for moving to France, it’s your call.
If you want to reinforce a new expression you learned, make a note of it and use it when the time is right.
This self-directed approach requires a change in mindset if you’ve experienced traditional schooling in the classic system; part of the guidance I offer to clients who enroll in the FluentExpat program is showing them how to take charge of their own learning.
Build Strong Human Connections
Immerse yourself in a human adventure that is as rewarding as it is exciting.
Even though your main goal is to improve your French, keep in mind that it’s a golden opportunity to meet people you probably wouldn’t have met otherwise.
I have been getting to know Ellane, my Australian partner for the past six months, and we’re discovering that we have plenty of common interests.
In the growing FluentExpat community, you are going to meet French native speakers who are going through the same stage of life: moving abroad.
It’s a good way to create exciting and useful contacts for the rest of your adventures.
Is My French Good Enough to Be a Language Partner?
Now, you might be unsure about speaking French with a native, but trust me, you can do it! Empower yourself to take charge despite fear.
If you only know thirty French words, well, yeah, it might be tough. But if you’re planning to move to France, I’m assuming you can already say a few key phrases and understand a few basic sentences.
If your ability to express yourself in French is the only thing holding you back from finding a language partner, why not schedule a call with me?
How to Make the Most of Your Language Exchanges
Speaking French with a native is a great way to improve your skills, but to really level up, it’s all about giving and receiving constructive feedback.
Keep the Conversation Flowing
To make the most of your language exchanges, it’s important to keep the conversation flowing. Wait until the end of your chat to give feedback to your partner.
To give accurate feedback to your language partner, take notes to remember the errors. This will help you provide detailed feedback that will be more helpful in their language learning journey.
After 25 minutes of chatting in one language, switch to the other language and repeat the process. This will give you practice in both languages and help you improve your pronunciation, grammar, conjugation, and vocabulary.
The FluentExpat Coaching Program
The FluentExpat coaching program teaches you how to provide quality feedback to your partner so that they can make progress and invest in your relationship. Your partner is also trained to provide you with the best possible feedback, and both of you learn how to reuse this feedback to extract the maximum benefits from it. With this program, you’ll be on your way to mastering a new language in no time!
My language journey
Three years ago, I made the decision to become fluent in English. However, I couldn’t afford a teacher. That’s when the idea of exchanging languages with a native English speaker who wanted to improve their French came to me.
I have developed my own method, drawing upon my background in neuroscience, with language partners as the cornerstone of its effectiveness. All the experiences I had were very positive except for one person with whom I had nothing in common.
Not only did I improve my English, but I also got to explore American, Canadian, and Australian culture, and I even made some friends along the way. If you want me to guide you in mastering French and ensuring your success, consider joining my programme.
What I Can Offer
- Be your language partner for 10 weeks
- Teach you how to learn French with language partners
- Teach you how to create an immersive French environment at home
- Connect you with French speakers trained in my method to speed up your journey to success
Revolutionize your French language learning. You’ll get to fully enjoy your time in France!
Lead photo credit : (c) Adobe Express
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