Let me preface this by saying no one learns a language using passive techniques only, apart from maybe babies! For the rest of us, active learning and lessons or tuition are most definitely required, however, there are fun, passive ways you can get more language learning out of your free time.
We’re going to run through five easy ways to get more French language into your life, helping you along your language-learning journey.
Listen to French Music
French music can be great! There’s plenty of it to be found on Spotify and Apple Music, so instead of listening to the same old music in your native tongue, switch over to some French pop, or whatever your chosen genre is!
Set Your Gadgets to French
This can be a bit of a baptism by fire but setting your phone or other gadgets to French can be a challenging but fun way to make sure you’re having to engage with the French names for different things. Having to repeatedly use new words can help cement them in your memory, but be aware, it can be tricky trying to find all the different tabs and pages you’re looking for in a whole new language, so make sure you know what you’re doing.
Films and Television
With French cinema being spectacular and plenty of great French TV shows out there, watching this kind of content can offer a really enjoyable approach to immersing yourself in your new language. You can even moderate the difficulty by choosing to watch things in your native language with French subtitles, watch in French with subtitles in English or just fully watch in French with no subtitles. This can make it a useful tool for settling into your language learning, as well as getting to enjoy a whole new culture of great films and TV.
Podcasts and Radio
Listening to real French conversation can give you a real edge when it comes to getting used to the speed and rhythm of the language, allowing you to listen to native speakers chat naturally. Podcasts and radio can be a great choice when you’ve got some menial tasks to get on with, like washing up or tidying!
Read a French Book
Lastly, we’ve got reading French books. This is definitely a lot less passive than the other options on the list, and absolutely requires you to be much further along in your language-learning journey. However, once you’re up to it, you’re in for a world of amazing literature. Here’s the New York Times top ten French novels to get your teeth into. There are even graded difficulty books out there for when you’re getting started, so there’s no need to jump straight into the difficult stuff.
When it comes to passive learning, it’s important to remember that it’s just an accompaniment to active learning and tuition or lessons. It’s important to get your active practice in as well, but a little passive learning can really help speed things along when used in conjunction with great tuition and regular practice.