- Read in French: start with children books, move on to blogs, magazines, comics, non-fictions, novels, poetry, etc. Whatever sparks your interest! Look up some key words in a dictionary but if you understand the general meaning, keep on reading. You can always go back later and check for a definition.
- Watch a movie in French – without the distracting English subtitles. Instead, some DVDs offer French captions for the hearing impaired, try it, it will dramatically improve your French movie experience. Beware though, the captions aren't usually a true transcript of what is being said on screen, but it definitely helps keeping track of what's going on.
- Watch the news in French. The website www.euronews.net lets you watch the news and read the transcripts at the same time, in the language of your choice. www.tv5.org is another great resource to watch the news and other programs in French.
- Listen to French music and podcasts. Check www.listenlive.eu for a list of French radios streaming online.
- Go to a French meet-up group. Speaking with others who are also learning the language can help you shed that fear of making mistakes. Once you realize you can communicate, your confidence will take a boost, and so will your progress. Check out http://portland.sudre.fr/portland-french-groups for a list of French meet-ups in the Portland metro area.
- Find a French or French-speaking pen-pal. It is a great way to practice your French written skills and meet new people. Check out www.polyglot-learn-language.com
When I was teaching adult beginner and intermediate levels, students always came to me to seek advice on how they could extend the classroom experience and practice on their own. Here are six easy tips to practice reading, writing, oral and listening skills at home, whether you've started taking French lessons, picked-up French again or just want to keep up your skills. The best part: you might actually enjoy it!