How do conversational classes help your French language knowledge?
Updated: Feb 22
Listening to, reading, and writing in French is a good way to learn. However, when developing our native language, we learn to speak before writing and using grammar at school. French speaking courses often adopt a question-and-answer approach which rarely reflects the spontaneity of a natural conversation.
In comparison, conversation French lessons offer a hands-on approach with French conversation practice for linguistic and communicative competence. It helps the student learn through integrating language knowledge with cognitive skills. With French speaking classes, students will improve their self-confidence and combat language anxiety, allowing them to freely converse in French.
If you want to learn how to speak French fluently, we’ll discuss how conversational French lessons will quickly develop your competence.
What level of French knowledge do you need to attend conversation lessons?
Before we look into why prior French knowledge is not necessary to attend conversational French classes, here is an overview of how much French knowledge is acquired at each level of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for languages. The CEFR is an international scale to measure different language learning abilities. It was developed to categorize a student’s level to help with teaching and testing, and it’s split into the following six subcategories.
What are the levels of French language skills?
A1 – Basic User (Beginner)
As a beginner, you’ll understand how to use the basic and familiar vocabulary required to satisfy essential needs such as ordering a coffee. You’ll also know how to answer simple questions such as: What is your name?
This level would suffice when visiting France on holiday, but would be insufficient to live and work there.
A2 – Basic User (Elementary)
Here you’ll acquire enough French vocabulary to complete simple tasks. You’ll recognize common sentences and have enough knowledge to converse on a basic level. Many students in the U.K. leave school with an A2 level in French.
B1 – Independent User (Intermediate)
According to the CEFR standard, you’re considered an “independent speaker” at this level. Your syntax will be imperfect but compatible with holding a French-speaking job with relatively low requirements. Light conversation about your interests with another French speaker or listening to tour guides should be easy and enjoyable.
B2 – Independent User (Upper Intermediate)
At this level, you’ll be able to comprehend the entire content of practical or complex conversations. You’ll feel comfortable with spontaneous communication. You’ll have the knowledge to express yourself in detail on various subjects without hiccups. Although you may lack some vocabulary in specialized areas, spoken and written communication and surfing the French web should be easier. This level is recommended for most academic professions.
C1 – Proficient User (Advanced)
At the “Proficient User” level, you’ll be able to comprehend implicit meanings and long, complex texts. Your application of French knowledge will be proficient and adaptable in your social, academic, and professional life. You’ll have exceptional control over organizing and articulating your speech, and you can apply for work as a native French speaker.
C2 – Proficient User (Mastery)
Here you’ll have the ability to summarize information from various written and spoken sources to reconstruct arguments in a coherent presentation. Your speech will be fluent and precise.
What knowledge is required before attending conversation French lessons?
Attendance at preparation lessons is not necessary before taking online French conversation classes. Typically, you’ll be taught how to develop your French knowledge with or without having any prior knowledge.
What topics do the courses cover?
French speaking lessons usually involve universal conversation starters to develop French conversational skills. Here are some of the most common questions used on a conversation French course:
What is your favorite food, and why?
How do you enjoy spending your day?
What music do you like?
Where is the best place to shop for clothes?
What do you like to do in your free time?
What do you do for a living?
How many siblings do you have?
What is your favorite book, and why?
What was your favorite holiday, and why?
What is your favorite type of movie, and why?
When starting a conversation in business, you should address the individual as Monsieur or Madame, plus their title or last name. During early small talk, avoid personal questions and politics. Questions on culture and history are better ways to begin. Lastly, the French do not appreciate a “salesy” approach. It could negatively impact their respect and trust for you. Therefore, avoid it at all costs.
How do conversation French lessons improve your speaking and listening skills?
A French speaking course and French speaking practice are perfect ways to develop French conversational skills and build your confidence.
Learn by doing
The saying “practice makes perfect” certainly applies when learning to speak a new language. Fluency in French requires a hands-on approach. You simultaneously activate various cognitive skills and all linguistic elements of grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary whenever you practice French conversation.
Expands your vocabulary
The more traditional French speaking classes involve French dialogue practice in repeating targeted vocabulary. This is quite a controlled approach to learning French. It offers little scope for the learner to be creative and vary their language choice. Natural French conversation practice not only expands your vocabulary, it significantly improves your overall speech fluidity and variation, listening comprehension, and correct use of grammar.
Conversational French lessons are the only way to practice French pronunciation. If you learn incorrect pronunciation, it may become difficult to unlearn. If no one can understand you due to faulty pronunciation, it defeats the purpose of learning French in the first place.
Increase your confidence
A common concern for beginners is a fear of not knowing what to say during a French conversation. Students are anxious about freezing and not finding the correct words to express themselves. These concerns can be alleviated with confidence through practice. Speaking in French as early and as often as possible will help combat language anxiety. After a few conversations, the anxiety will disappear and you’ll become more confident speaking French with other people.
Conversation lessons are the best way to practice with someone
Conversational French lessons offer you the best access to French conversation practice with a native French speaker. Listening during a two-way conversation in French is another crucial component of learning. In the same way, listening to a native French speaker respond to what you’ve said is excellent feedback. It will help you learn more about timing, for example, when to pause, when to emphasize, when to change inflection, etc. Such details go a long way to developing your skills and being understood.
Is it possible to have effective conversation French lessons online?
Yes, it is possible to have effective French speaking practice online. Nowadays, more people than ever are engaging in online tutoring through virtual learning programs. One of the main reasons for their popularity is that they’re more budget-friendly than conventional in-person classes.
Let’s take a look at some of the other benefits of online French conversation classes:
You can learn conversational French anytime, anywhere. Online courses offer flexibility without the requirement to travel. This means you can be taught effectively by a native French tutor from the comfort of your own home.
Due to the rapid and continuing growth of video conferencing apps, French speaking lessons are more easily accessible. To sign up for an e-learning class, you’ll just need a strong internet connection, webcam, and/or headphones.
Online language classes also increased in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic.
Learning online enables easier interaction with fellow French students. If you join a group chat, you’ll quickly improve your language skills.
Improve your French conversation skills personalized on Your needs
Learning to speak French online continues to grow in popularity. Conversational French lessons are essential to gain confidence and develop mastery of the French language. Working with a native French speaking teacher from the beginning of the learning process trains your brain to get used to thinking on the spot and helps develop different cognitive processes.
At French From Anywhere, we help people learn or improve their French via Skype. We offer personalized lessons across all CEFR levels and for all ages to help you achieve your learning goals. To develop your French vocabulary quickly, you’ll be taught French in French by native and experienced French teachers.
To register for a free trial lesson or for more information, visit our official website.