Language is oftentimes taught via various immersion programs. The reason that these programs are effective is that they force the listener to begin making sense of what they’re hearing, without any assistance in the form of subtitles or translations. If you think about it, this is exactly how infants learn languages. Of course, only very young children have the sort of brains that can absorb information at the rate they’re famous for, but anyone can learn a language through constant exposure. The best way to learn a language in this fashion is oftentimes to heat it used in real-world situations.
Learning from a book or a traditional language course can be effective, but the language is only understood academically in those situations. Hearing people use the French language on audio materials is the best way to understand how people actually speak the language in practical situations. Oftentimes, the way people speak in real-life situations is much different than they do when they’re explaining the meaning of a word or phrase to a student. Words tend to bleed into one another-especially in French-and colloquial expressions are interjected at random. Audio of actual French speakers can prepare homeschool students for how French actually sounds when it’s spoken by native speakers.
The French language is one of the most subtle of Indo-European tongues. Many of the words only differ from one another in the slightest sense and many of the letters in words aren’t even pronounced. Learning to speak French from audio recordings allows the student to hear these characteristics of the language as they exist in practice, as opposed to only reading about how they’re used. French also uses different pronunciations for each letter of the alphabet and communicating the particulars of those pronunciations is much easier when it’s done from audio.
If you want to learn French from audio recordings, you can either use the classic materials that repeat a phrase in French and then in English or you can opt for materials that use narrative techniques to teach the language. In many cases, students have an easier time with the latter. Because what’s being said in a story actually has a context, it’s easier for students to lock on to phrases and words and to determine what they might mean given the situation. This is a huge part of how we all learn our native tongues.
About the Author
Dr.Dennis Dunham has over 25 years in international education experience and is a co-creator of LanguageandLyrics.com, a website designed to help you learn French the right way. If you’ve tried every language product out there and haven’t made progress, visit LanguageandLyrics.com to see how learning French can be easy and fun.