How long is it supposed to take to learn French?

January 16, 2009 by admin 

every year i move to a different country. for now i've been in around 10 of 11 different schools. at every school there were diff. french teachers, teaching diff. things. i've been studying French for around 3 or 4 years. but i still can't speak properly. by now im supp. start speaking fluently. but i can't even make a normal sentence….how long is it supposed to take a person to learn French well?

Eskimo: Remplacez le "vous êtes " avec "je suis"…ainsi, votre réponse sera juste!

As curious la,la..already mentioned, there is no definitive time frame for language acquisition. There are numerous factors that can impact the rate at which one learns to communicate well or fluently in French: the duration and frequency of French instruction, the amount of exposure you have to the language outside the classroom, the amount of time you devote to the study and practice of the language on your own, and of course your ability to pick up languages in general.

And I agree that with the inconsistency you are experiencing through all the moves, it is hard to get into a "rhythm" or experience a natural progression in your learning. My advice, try to find a French speaking "e-pal" and correspond with each other on a regular basis…no matter where you are, you will be able to have this correspondance as a constant. If you join Skype, you can perhaps enhance the experience…again, can be accessed from anywhere. Also, you can try some programs like Rosetta Stone or online French courses which might give you more structured learning. As well, you can investigate the Alliance Française which is an international French school with a broad global network. The programs and the teaching methods are pretty much the same for every country so again you could get a more consistent program via this route.

In any case, I wouldn't focus so much on how long it takes you to learn French…everyone learns at their own pace really – besides, French is not an easy language to learn so it is important to take your time. And on a personal note…it took me about 10 years (combination of regular 20min French periods, immersion, and extracurricular activities in French) to really feel comfortable in the language.

Courage! Je te souhaite beaucoup de succès :)

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Comments

3 Responses to “How long is it supposed to take to learn French?”

  1. EskiMO on January 16th, 2009 2:37 am

    vous êtes aussi utile qu'un frein à main sur un canoe…
    References :

  2. curious_lalalala on January 16th, 2009 3:11 am

    In my opinion, it primarily depends on YOU and your ability to learn a foreign language. Learning languages and being fluent in them requires raw talent that no teacher/professor or whatever courses will teach you.

    Back to your problem, French is certainly not an easy language and surely it does not help that you're constantly going from one school to another. At least you're getting used to different accents and different ways to approach the language. In your situation, I would try to put some efforts into your learning on my own, back home; listening to French radio/watching Fench TV online, buy some easy French books and see what you can and can't understand.

    After 3/4 years, I wouldn't say you should be fluent (it takes a while to be completely fluent) but yes you should have a good grasp of proper grammar and good vocabulary, though then again some learn faster than others, and it also depends on how good your teachers were (let's face it, some are pretty horrible).

    Basically, there is no definite duration as to how long a person should need to learn French well, but it takes a while, since is not an easy language (especially grammar-wise).

    Bonne chance!
    References :
    Native French-speaker.

  3. LAJOIE2007 on January 16th, 2009 3:42 am

    Eskimo: Remplacez le "vous êtes " avec "je suis"…ainsi, votre réponse sera juste!

    As curious la,la..already mentioned, there is no definitive time frame for language acquisition. There are numerous factors that can impact the rate at which one learns to communicate well or fluently in French: the duration and frequency of French instruction, the amount of exposure you have to the language outside the classroom, the amount of time you devote to the study and practice of the language on your own, and of course your ability to pick up languages in general.

    And I agree that with the inconsistency you are experiencing through all the moves, it is hard to get into a "rhythm" or experience a natural progression in your learning. My advice, try to find a French speaking "e-pal" and correspond with each other on a regular basis…no matter where you are, you will be able to have this correspondance as a constant. If you join Skype, you can perhaps enhance the experience…again, can be accessed from anywhere. Also, you can try some programs like Rosetta Stone or online French courses which might give you more structured learning. As well, you can investigate the Alliance Française which is an international French school with a broad global network. The programs and the teaching methods are pretty much the same for every country so again you could get a more consistent program via this route.

    In any case, I wouldn't focus so much on how long it takes you to learn French…everyone learns at their own pace really – besides, French is not an easy language to learn so it is important to take your time. And on a personal note…it took me about 10 years (combination of regular 20min French periods, immersion, and extracurricular activities in French) to really feel comfortable in the language.

    Courage! Je te souhaite beaucoup de succès :)
    References :
    French teacher, former translator.

    Potentially useful sites:
    http://www.europa-pages.com/penpal_form.html (Pen pal)
    http://www.alliancefr.org/ (Alliance Française)
    http://www.skype.com/intl/en/ (Skype)
    http://www.radio-canada.ca/index.shtml (French news and radio site from Canada)
    http://www.radio-canada.ca/jeunesse/ (for Youth).
    http://www.rfi.fr/lfen/statiques/accueil.asp (Radio France Internationale – supports French learners)
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/french/index.shtml?survey=no&url=www.bbc.co.uk/languages/french/index.shtml&site=languagesfrench&js=yes (BBC online French course).

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