back to learning french the essentials

Back to learning French, the essentials.

Un cahier, un portable, des écouteurs… What do I need for my French lessons? September is here and this is the perfect time of the year to join a new course, take up your one-to-one lessons and continue your journey to French fluency. 

There are a few tools you should use when studying a language. But undoubtedly, the first thing you need is motivation. Whether you are a complete beginner or an advanced student, motivation is the key to success in language learning. And don’t worry if it goes up and down, that’s perfectly normal. The important thing is to make sure it doesn’t disappear! 

But well, if you are reading this, I assume you are already motivated and need some inspiration to make your journey more productive and enjoyable, right?. On y va !

For stationery lovers, we would highly recommend keeping un cahier (notebook) handy at all times. You choose the size and material, but try to use it on a regular basis, so you can go back and forward, and check your progress from time to time. If you want to go further, a nice dossier (folder), some post-it notes and a good collection of des stylos (pens) and des surligneurs (highlighter pens) will make you a superstar!

As you might know, when it comes to learning a language, technology is one of your best allies. Here are a few simple techie tools we recommend all our clients to use:

  • Google Translate / Reverso: use these to quickly find the translation of a word. Not always 100% accurate, but they’ll do the trick when you are in a rush.
  • Larousse: the French Oxford Dictionary. If you don’t know how to pronounce a word, click on the speaker icon to hear its pronunciation. Try hurluberlu (such a funny word to pronounce!).
  • IT Vocabulary in French: change the language settings of your phone, tablet or laptop to French and learn without too much hassle.
  • Duolingo: great free French/English app to improve your grammar, vocabulary, and expressions. Practice everyday for 15 minutes in the morning or in the evening.
  • Zoom: Private lessons on Zoom (very similar to Skype, but more professional) is a great alternative for busy expats. Online learning offers more flexibility as well as the use of interesting interactive tools. You will make great progress at a much faster pace than in traditional group lessons. 

Great. Now you have a backpack full of lovely stationery and a bunch of apps that will help you study the French language with enthusiasm. What’s next? Well, this is probably one of the most important choices: What are the types of lessons that suit you best? You are the one who needs to answer this question. But we’ll give you some guidelines:

  • If you have a busy schedule and want personalized lessons that reflect exactly what your needs or priorities may be, we would recommend private French tuition.
  • In case you cannot commit or prefer to work on your own, have a look at these bespoke e-courses. You will definitely make great progress in French wherever and whenever you want!
  • And for those who love to interact and be in contact with other learners, our new VIP groups are the answer!

Super ! You are now ready for a fantastic and profitable academic year. Keep practicing et à très bientôt !

Sonia - Prêt à Parler team


Foreign languages have always been an important part of Sonia’s life. After getting her degree in Arts and Graphic Design and a Master’s Degree in Education, she moved from her country, Spain, to England where she has been living for the last ten years. She has worked in international schools and companies, and in 2013 she founded her own language school.

This journey has left her with countless life lessons that she feels privileged to have learned first hand. She truly believes that learning a language can change you in ways you probably don’t imagine, and she tries to transmit this message across Prêt à Parler social media by creating powerful images and meaningful content.

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