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How to improve one’s French vocabulary on Skype?

Updated: Feb 21

You are learning French and your level is already fairly good, but in conversation you often can’t find your words. You always use the same vocabulary and what you write in French is weak in expressions. There is no alternative, you have to ENRICH your vocabulary in French. But how can this be done?

First of all, you can take French lessons on Skype where you will be offered a large amount of exercises:

  1. You will read and discuss short texts in French (articles, commentaries, etc.) with your teacher (What is the text about? How to reformulate your ideas? What do you think of this idea? For what reason?) – this technique enables you to reuse the vocabulary used in the text and thus memorise it faster.

  2. Your teacher asks you to explain the meaning of certain words in French (ex.: what does gagner mean? It means to win the first prize) or to invent a new sentence for these words – this technique is also helpful to commit the words quickly to memory and develop your vocabulary in French.

  3. You are encouraged to provide synonyms for certain words – this exercise enriches your vocabulary and prevents you from always repeating the same words in your conversations in French.

  4. During the lesson your teacher types the words that are new for you on the Skype message board - the result: at the end of the lesson you have a complete list of the French vocabulary, that you have only to revise later on.

  5. You will also receive sentences and texts in English for you to translate into French – this exercise is mainly to enable you to discover the English and French words that are similar but which have a completely different meaning (ex.: attendre in French doesn’t mean the same thing as attend in English) (another example! Beginners often translate I am eating by je suis manger, though the present perfect tense doesn’t exist in this form in French).

Here are some other ideas for improving your vocabulary in French:

  • Read as much as possible in French! Advice: set up a detailed plan, reading an article a day or ten pages a week, for example.

  • Is there a French word that you read or heard that you don’t understand? Write down the words during the week and check their meaning when it is over.

  • Use a French monolingual dictionary! Il will enable you to learn synonyms and get to know more useful words! Advice +: if you are looking for the meaning of a French word on the internet, type the word + “definition” and you’ll discover the best French monolingual dictionaries available on line!

  • Give yourself a simple objective: learning five new French words a week… that’s not much, but you must really learn them well and try to use them in different situations when you are speaking French (at work, with friends, during a lesson on Skype, etc.).

  • Use “yellow stickies” everywhere at home with the French words that you want to memorise… stick them onto the mirror, the fridge, the doors, and read them each time you pass by… with time this exercise will become automatic without you even realising it!

  • Start writing! Don’t you keep a diary? Or a blog? Start writing one in French! Write how you spent your day, what you thought about! If you are a beginner you should concentrate on actions, whereas if you have a good level you can enter into details and describe each situation of your life.

  • Register for an online dictionary to receive the “word of the day” by email. Each day you will receive a word in French for which you can check the origin, meaning and usage. Very helpful!

A piece of good news to end with: 1 word learnt = 10 words understood, for a word learnt enables you to form a noun, an adjective, a verb, etc.

 

frenchfromanywhere.com was created to help you to speak, understand and write French fluently. Discover our communicative method on Skype and book your free trial lesson! Learn French with us on Skype!

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You have questions about French lessons on Skype. You need more information about the lessons, the method or the teachers. Contact us: info@frenchfromanywhere.com


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