We all have good and bad habits.
Brushing your teeth every morning? Good. Scrolling aimlessly through your phone in bed every night while insomnia kicks in? Bad.
The trick is to make more time for the good habits.
So why not pick one habit you’re not so proud of, and replace it with a new French practice habit?
We’ll make it easy.
In this article, we’ll give you 10 simple ways to improve French every day, without adding to your schedule or overloading your brain.
You’ll be surprised at how quickly your French speaking and comprehension skills improve just by adding these quick, simple habits to your day.
How to Make French Improvement a Daily Practice
Anything you practice daily and effectively is sure to improve. So make French practice a natural part of each day.
Start off slow with short bursts (five to 10 minutes) at a time to incorporate this new practice into your schedule. Set daily alarms as reminders until this new behavior becomes second nature.
You can decide what time of day works best for French practice, but many people have success by incorporating it into their morning routine.
To keep yourself motivated, give yourself a 21-day challenge. This is the perfect push to get you committed to daily French improvement. At the end of the 21 days, then you win a prize!
You decide what prize you receive, so go ahead and treat yourself!
Now, what activities can you do to improve your French every day? Here are some ideas.
10 Fun, Simple Daily Habits to Improve French Skills
1. Daily Affirmations in French
Affirmations are positive statements to boost your confidence and self-worth. They help you identify your goals and believe that you’ll achieve them, even if at the current moment you can’t. This is a daily regimen for many successful people.
Reciting affirmations in French has two important benefits. First, if you focus on your goal of improving French, the affirmations will help you believe in yourself as a future French speaker. Second, if you actually recite them in French, you’re getting some valuable French speaking practice every day.
Here are some example French affirmations you can use:
- J’aime parler en français. (I love to speak in French.)
- Je m’améliore en français chaque jour. (I am improving in French every day.)
- Je vais parler français couramment. (I am going to speak French fluently.)
2. Write Your Gratitude in French
Another daily practice of positive and highly successful people is recording things they’re most thankful for on any given day. The benefits of writing a daily gratitude list are touted by Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, for helping to lower stress levels, cultivating calm, boosting self-awareness and revealing life priorities in order to build a happier life.
When you French-ify this practice, you’ll get all those benefits plus practice writing in French. Further, you’ll naturally learn new French vocabulary words to describe some of the things mentioned in your gratitude list—just be sure to keep a dictionary by your side whenever you need to look up a new word.
Here are some ideas for your gratitude list in French:
- Je suis reconnaissant pour aujourd’hui. (I am grateful for today.)
- Je suis reconnaissant pour ma famille/mes amis. (I am thankful for my family/my friends.)
- Je suis reconnaissant pour cette bonne tasse de café. (I am thankful for this good cup of coffee.)
3. Drill Daily French Flashcards
Flashcards are a tried and true memorization tool for any language learner. They’re highly customizable—you can focus on general French vocabulary improvement, or drill specific vocabulary topics like verbs, food words, idioms, etc.
To get started, check out these helpful French flashcard apps that you can carry anywhere without clutter.
Not particularly inspired by traditional flashcards? That’s fine! FluentU puts a totally unique spin on French flashcards that’ll help you learn French the way native speakers actually use it.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Every video comes with tailor-made, multimedia flashcards to teach you the vocabulary in the video. You’ll review them alongside fun quizzes after watching a video, plus you can organize them into personalized categories to review later.
FluentU videos also come with clickable subtitles to teach you while you watch. Just click any word you don’t recognize and FluentU will show you the definition, grammar info and a memorable picture. Best of all, you can squeeze FluentU practice into your day at any point thanks to the iOS and Android mobile apps.
4. Chat with Your French Pen Pal
Without actually getting out there and speaking, you can only improve your French so much. A real-life French conversation will help you improve your speaking skills by leaps and bounds, and with online language exchanges, you don’t even need to leave your bed to have one.
If it’s possible to find time for even a 10-minute conversation every day, do that! Try to have one of these conversations at least on a weekly basis.
Websites like MyLanguageExchange.com and Global Penfriends will pair you up with individuals from all over the world who are looking for a language exchange. Search for a native French speaker who’s learning your native language, so you can help each other improve.
5. Chat with French Chatbots
French chatbots are an alternative to actual pen pals. They engage and respond to you in French, which allows you to practice thinking and speaking/writing in French.
The benefit here is that you don’t need to spend any of your language practice time speaking or thinking in your native language, since this isn’t a language exchange. Plus, many French chatbots are specifically designed to improve your French, like the ones offered on Duolingo.
The trade-off is that the conversations tend to be less spontaneous and you’ll get less exposure to slang or cultural tidbits than you would with a real person.
6. Jam Out to French Songs
Music helps us with memorization. You probably learned your ABCs through a song, right? Listening to a French song every day is a great way to reinforce vocabulary, pronunciation and sentence structure in your memory.
Many of today’s popular English-language songs are available online in French, often with subtitles. Starting with songs that you already know can help you get comfortable with French music. Just go to YouTube, type a song you love and add “version française” or “French version.”
When you’re ready for some authentically French music, check out this list of classic songs.
7. Plan a French Speaking “Power Hour”
What a daunting challenge this appears to be! But think of the triumph and sense of accomplishment you’ll feel having spent an hour speaking solely in French. This is one of the best ways to create an immersive French environment no matter where you live.
During your “power hour,” every statement must be uttered in French. You can do this alone simply by verbalizing your internal monologue in French. It may be a bit more awkward if you live in a non-French-speaking household, so I suggest you interact with others in your native language first and then translate to French (or vice versa). If your family is anything like mine, they’ll end up encouraging you to say everything in French with sharp reprimands if you forget!
8. Listen to French Podcasts and Audiobooks on Your Commute
Our daily commute to and from work or school takes up a substantial amount of time. You can capitalize on these hours in transit by listening to audiobooks or podcasts in French. This is a simple and entertaining way to improve your French listening comprehension every day.
Add these awesome French podcasts to your commute and stimulate your French learning while in transit! Here are some great French audiobooks for longer listens.
9. Write Nightly Journal Entries in French
A nightly journal entry is a great way to unpack your mind before bed. It allows you to recap all the day’s happenings (whether good or bad) and to literally get things off your mind so that you aren’t ruminating about the day’s events while you struggle to sleep.
You can use your journal specifically to record your French improvement efforts, or write about your day in general. Both have advantages, but the second option is more likely to broaden your French vocabulary simply by requiring you to look up more general, everyday words.
Depending on your language level, you can write the journal in your native language first and then translate it to French, or write it in French from the start. Either way, try to use a diverse vocabulary and mix up your sentence structures. The idea is to improve your writing actively, not fall into the same old patterns you already know. After you’re done writing, use a French grammar checker to find and correct your mistakes so you don’t make them again the next night.
Similar to the practice of creating affirmations or gratitude lists, when you write your journal entry in French it makes the language learning process more organic and personal to you.
10. Join a French Book Club
Book clubs are the perfect place to find people of like minds and of similar interests. These groups promote open discussion. It’s a great, friendly environment to practice your speaking skills while also boosting your comprehension by learning how others interpreted the book you read.
- Readers’ Circle offers a search feature that allows you to search for book clubs by country.
Facebook is another resource to find book clubs and connect with French readers. Try following your favorite French author’s public pages. They periodically offer book clubs, promote book launches or post about other books of interest. Even if they don’t tip you off to a nearby in-person event, you can participate in the Facebook comments.
Many great new friendships are formed while discussing a good book!
Incorporating French into everyday life is much easier than you may think. Look at how many creative ways you can start immediately immersing yourself in French listening and speaking practice daily. There are even sneaky ways you can improve French as well. Don’t let your French learning become stagnant or get boring—try one of this article’s creative suggestions and watch how fast your French improves!
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