In the previous article called “We learn what we believe is necessary – Part 1“, we explained that when we first start learning a language, the quantity of information we come across is huge. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. At the beginning, every word sounds unfamiliar. Today, we’ll explore more approaches to progressively make the language more practical and useful.

What does life want you to learn?

We all have to deal with a wide variety of situations on a daily basis. Sometimes we know how to deal with them and sometimes we don’t. What happens when we don’t? We try to find a way to overcome this situation, by learning, by seeking assistance, by asking our peers…

A good way to define what you need is to observe yourself while you practice your target language: are there situations you didn’t feel comfortable in because you didn’t know how to talk about it? Are you constantly confronted to these situations? Are you likely to have these conversations again in the future?

If the question to any of these questions is yes, you should definitely consider working on these particular aspects of the language.

Why not walk around with a dedicated note in your smartphone or a notebook for those who prefer hand-writing, in order to write down any new language skill you should work on?

Set up a learning plan that’s related to your own needs

Once you’re aware of your goals learning French, you can start identifying the relevant skills you should work on to reach them.

Oftentimes, we seek help from a language school or teacher saying we want to learn a language. But we don’t always know precisely what aspects of the language we want to learn. Some teachers are extremely good at helping you define your needs in a clear way while others won’t bother and will make you learn what they’re interested in, or follow any textbook that’s only superficially related to your needs. 

To make sure what you learn is actually related to your needs, make a list of the situations you’d like to be able to cope in and only focus on the learning material that will help you acquire them. A good way to do so is to use the phrase : “I’d like to be able to…” 

For example : 

“I’d like to be able to introduce the services of my company, in French, to a group of potential clients”.

Make this list as personal as possible. A teacher can help you translate your needs into learning goals, but none can know better than you what you need.

Defining precise learning goals to work on is the key to the success of your language learning experience. 

What about you, what goals would you like to reach? What situations are you most likely to experience when you live on the French Riviera? Please share your comments. 

Expatlang’s experts have a strong experience with efficient and tailor-made teaching strategies. You’re welcome to book a trial session during which your teacher will discuss your motivations to learn French and will will help you define a clear and measurable learning plan. Contact us for more details.