8 Bad Habits To Give Up To Learn French !

Paris Attitude
| | Read : 4 min

There are more than 50 million people currently studying the French language. Whether you’re a foreign student or someone seeking to live or work in France, if you want to learn French, there are some bad habits you’ll have to let go of in order to learn the language quickly and properly.

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If you are reading this article, you’ve probably decided that you want to learn French. Whatever your motives are, the fact remains, learning a new language can be a thrilling or frustrating experience. It all depends on finding and using the right tools, as well as adopting habits that will fuel your journey to success. In this article, we take a look at what habits tend to prevent language learners from achieving success so you can avoid them. You’ll also discover some of the most effective habits to implement in your life in order to enhance your learning experience.

8 Bad Habits to Give Up to Learn French (and what to do instead!)


Getting Tons of Learning Materials

A lot of people, once they’re bitten by the language learning bug, go out and purchase tons of books, apps, and various other learning tools and materials. It’s easy to fall prey to ‘shiny object syndrome’, where you feel you need every course you come across, but this often leads to learning paralysis from being overwhelmed.

What to do instead: 

If you want to learn French in the quickest and most effective way, you need to avoid getting tons of resources, most of which will remain unopened in your cupboards or on your phone. You only need one effective learning tool, whether it’s a pen and paper, an online course, an app, or a language learning textbook. Choose one and get started on your journey to success


Not Having an Efficient Learning Routine

If you don’t have a healthy learning routine, it will take a long time for you to see any noticeable improvement in your learning efforts. Also, some learners mistake a rut for a learning routine. They don’t know how to track their progress and continue to do the same things over and over, thinking they are being productive, all the while never moving forward in any significant way. 

What to do instead: 

It’s vital to have a good language learning routine if you’re going to succeed. The good news is that you don’t have to set aside a lot of time for learning French. Just a bit of effort, applied in a consistent way will net you the results you want. Discipline is the key. Just commit to doing a little bit each day. 


Not Speaking the Language

Most people trying to learn the French language make the mistake of continuing to use their mother tongue in most of their daily communication. They never hold conversations in the new language, or try to express new ideas, paraphrase, or describe things in French. This is a bad habit that can really slow your progress. 

What to do instead: 

There is a quick and easy way to break this habit. Simply start speaking in French every chance you get. If you’re short of a conversational partner, find online resources where you can get someone to practice with (there are plenty!) Practicing is the only way you’ll eventually be able to speak French well. 


Binge Learning 

Some people can get started learning French and focus their attention for hours! But then, since it took up so much of their time on that day, they give themselves permission to skip the next day (and maybe the next one after that…) After a few weeks, they binge-study for hours again. And the cycle repeats itself. Because they don’t see much improvement, and most are discouraged and even end up giving up. 

What to do instead: 

Discipline is essential for success in language learning. All you need is a little bit of time every day, but the key to success here is consistency. Once you can learn a little every day, things become easy as the habit becomes a part of your life. Without fail, you will find yourself on a steady track of improvement. 

Quitting Before Improvement Can Show Itself

If you’re an abject quitter, you’re likely to want to give up on learning the language if you don’t see improvement in a timeframe that pleases you. You may decide that learning a new language is hard, and that you’ll never be able to do it, 

What to do instead: 

There are so many different ways to learn a new language. However, one method that may work for some people might now work for you. Instead of declaring that you’re unable to learn French, maybe you just need a different approach (and maybe a little help or coaching from someone with more experience).


Not Reviewing What They Learned

One of the worst mistakes you can make as a language learner is to move on to new lessons before reviewing what you’ve already learned. If you don’t take the time to go over the stuff you learned previously, it becomes easy to forget - which means you’ve wasted all that time learning as you’ll eventually have to learn all that stuff again!

What to do instead: 

As a successful language learner, it’s vital to understand that what you don’t review, you will lose. Make it a habit, each time before you start on a new lesson, to review what you learned the last time so that you don’t regress. Studies have shown that activating your brain connections in this way is one of the most effective ways of learning. 


Not Making a Note of New Words or Phrases

When you learn a new language, there are obviously going to be plenty of times where you come across unknown words or phrases. Most French language learners make the mistake of not writing these down for review later. This is a serious mistake that you should avoid at all costs. 

What to do instead: 

You’ll never remember all the new words you come across unless you make a note of them. Keep a notepad handy while studying, or use your phone to record new words and phrases you hear when you’re out and about. This one simple habit will greatly accelerate your learning and bring your success that much closer. 

Learning Only From Audio

A lot of aspiring French speakers try to learn the language just from listening to audio. This doesn’t work effectively unless you’re also reading along. However, if audio lessons are all you have access to, it’s vital to find a way to complement those lessons so you can get the most out of them. 

What to do instead: 

Listening to audio is good, but without text to follow along, you’ll be missing out on a lot of potential learning, particularly the part concerned with learning connected speech. Get the audio transcribed. There are many online resources that can do this for you quickly and cheaply.

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