If you want to study French, then you’ve probably looked for a French study guide on the web. Chances are that you’ve come up empty handed, underwhelmed or overwhelmed. There’s a good reason for this, though. If you want to know how to study French effectively, the truth is that you’ve got to build your own French study guide.
Before you lose heart, though, hear us out. Different people have different reasons for learning French, and not everyone has the same goals in terms of what they want to learn. Some might want to focus on vocabulary, while others might be interested in phrases. Then, too, different people learn in different ways. Some people might be really interested in French grammar, while others might just want to dive into speaking.
OptiLingo’s free online French course provides a lot of lessons that are designed to help you learn French. That said, one of the best ways to take full advantage of our free French resources is to study on your own using your own French study guide.
With that in mind, here’s a quick set of tips to help you build your own French study guide:
Are you struggling with French grammar? Are you looking to expand your vocabulary? Maybe you want to practice your accent. The first step in building your French study guide is to decide what you’re trying to learn; otherwise, you’re just taking a shotgun approach, and that’s not very effective.
Are you a visual learner? Do you like to pick and chose across different formats? Do you like to use smartphone apps? If you use off-line materials, do you prefer notebooks, flash cards or sticky notes all around your house? Everyone is different, and you need to decide what will help you to study French the best.
Depending on your preferred studying method, your concept map might look like hub and spoke, with one concept in the middle and related concepts around it. Alternatively, you might chose to study French using a simple outline. Either way, if you want to know how to study French, you’ve got to organize the content you want to learn before you can study it.
Set a schedule, but be flexible. It’s tempting to say that you plan to study French every day for an hour at a certain time, but you may not always be free at that time, and you may not always have an hour. We suggest starting off modestly… say, fifteen minutes per day, and finding time whenever is most convenient, even if it varies from one day to the next.
A lot of people are eager to just get their hands on a French study guide and dive in. The truth is that developing your own guide is one of the best ways to study French. By taking the time to think through what you want to learn and organizing it, you’ll be halfway there to mastering French.
It might be tempting to binge study when you first start out, but it’s not sustainable. Moreover, cramming is not an effective way to learn anything, especially French. While we strongly suggest starting out with fifteen minutes per day to study French, we would caution anyone with studying for more than an hour. The worst part of overdoing it is not that it’s inefficient, but that it’s a fast way to burn out and lose motivation.