With a wonderfully diverse population, South Auckland might just be the perfect place for you to find French lessons from native-speaking French teachers. So, how will you embrace your language learning journey?
Although you do have French classes all over Auckland, living in South Auckland, you could probably get to Hamilton faster than you would a French class over on the North Shore. Thankfully, there are options to find French lessons for beginners from Māngere to Manurewa, or from Airport Oaks to Otara. You can also look at how to learn French online and supplement your learning with an in-person French teacher.
Some French Words You Already Know Before You Start A French Lesson
One of the benefits of knowing English is that you already know so many other languages, particularly French. English is well known for ‘stealing’ words and incorporating them, so what French do you probably already know?
Do you know what “apostrophe” is in French? Hopefully, you won’t be too surprised to know in French it’s also apostrophe.
Then there’s “detour” to describe taking an alternative route, which in French changes dramatically to detour. We can even look at the English word “route” for describing the way taken in getting from one point to another – which in French is also “route”.
So, while sometimes the French can be a little more tricky, like table becoming tableau, often if you ignore the grammar, which can get very confusing for English speakers, understanding French doesn’t need to be impossible.
Learning French With Alliance Française French Teachers
Alliance Française is a worldwide organisation with the goal of spreading the French language and culture everywhere. The organisation has different groups in cities everywhere, and each branch is a separate organisation with slightly different French classes, French resources, and cultural events.
Whether you attend a French for beginners’ class with AF or not, it can be well worth joining the organisation regardless. They have a wealth of French movies, audio, and books of all topics which are loaned to members. Members also get to attend a range of events. From regular book clubs, science clubs, crêpes evenings or breakfast mornings, all events are a supportive environment to practice speaking and listening in French.
Generally, most attendees will also speak English, but occasionally you will encounter travellers who have little or no English, which can provide a really exciting opportunity to truly be forced to practice your French.
French Lesson At Alliance Française
If learning French in South Auckland leads you to AF you can start with a complete beginner course, look at French classes for children (including preschoolers), or specialist French classes and workshops that focus on areas like travel, grammar or exams.
Learning French Grammar and Pronunciation
Gendered words are something many English speakers struggle with. Discovering that ‘conjugation’ is now something that you will not only need to understand but also learn can be terrifying.
But we really don’t need to worry; yes, it can be hard to get your head around, but with the right French tutor, it can all become clear. Just remember, you’ve already learnt to conjugate in English, without even knowing you were doing it!
|je suis||I am||j'étais||I was||je serai||I will be|
|tu es||You are||tu étais||you were||tu seras||you will be|
|il/elle est||He/She is||il/elle était||he / she was||il/elle sera||he / she will be|
|nous sommes||We are||nous étions||we were||nous serons||we will be|
|vous êtes||They are (formal)||vous étiez||you were||vous serez||you will be|
|ils/elles sont||They are (informal)||ils/elles étaient||they were||ils/elles seront||they will be|
Alliance Française Auckland runs a grammar and pronunciation workshop for French students who are at an A2 level or higher. So not for complete French beginners, but you can join in relatively early in your studies.
There are also frequent workshops that focus on pronunciation once you have reached a B1 level of speaking French. Pronunciation workshops help you link words together and to create the right flow. For example, combining peut and être could either be “perhaps” or “maybe”, depending on the emphasis and flow. There aren’t many words in French that change meaning based on pronunciation, thankfully.
Get speaking faster with private French teachers
There are many different options for finding a teacher outside of a classroom. From asking for a French teacher via Facebook to asking high school students to provide extra French lessons for beginners.
However, one of the best options is to look for an experienced teacher who is a native French speaker. Remember that just because someone can speak your target language does not mean they can teach it. Language learners do tend to ask about the rules, and a good French teacher will be able to explain how to pronounce a word as well as why specific pronunciation happens.
While there are a number of different ways to find a qualified and experienced tutor, have a look at Superprof. Being able to rate and review tutors makes this an excellent platform to start your language journey. Most will offer your first lesson free to ensure that you have a good fit, and while many will travel to your location, you can also look at creating a French course online, meeting in a neutral space such as a café or public library.
When you are looking for French teachers, bear in mind that they will likely cost more than a group French class. However, getting the right teacher will speed your language learning and provide a personalised experience that ensures you are learning exactly what you need to learn in order to meet your goals.
Some of the things to think about when hiring a French teacher include:
- How long are the lessons?
- Have they taught French before?
- Where did they learn French (remembering that France is not the only French-speaking country, and French in Canada is quite different to French in the rest of the world)?
- Do they have specific knowledge that would fit your needs (e.g. medical or business language)?
- Will they travel to you or meet in a location of your choosing?
- Do they have support or backup if they are sick and unable to make a lesson?
- Do they recommend specific texts or learning material?
- Do they provide worksheets or other learning material?
Self-Directed French Lessons at South Auckland Libraries
Do not forget about the free (or cheap) resources available at through the branches of the South Auckland libraries. The library regularly updates French learning resources, with books for kids and adults, as well as audio books and language learning tapes, all available with your library card.
The library is also supporting online language learning through their website, so you can look through their website or go into the branch and talk to a librarian who is happy to help.
Learning French as a self-directed exercise can be difficult, but with resources like those available at any of the South Auckland branches, including libraries at Botany, Mangere, Papatoetoe, andWaiuku, it can be a more accessible journey. Particularly if you use these resources to supplement your learning with a French tutor.
Some French Words Will Trick You
If you decide that teaching French yourself is the way to go, it is still a good idea to build a support network of people who speak, read, and write French to help you. While many of the words you will encounter are the same in French and English, there are few that are called “false friends”. These are words that look like a word in English but actually mean something very different. False friends can cause new learners all sorts of problems, but a good French teacher will point out tricks to help you remember the difference when you encounter them.
While in English you are traveling if you are going on a journey, in French Journée is daytime and une journée is a day. Bonne journée is the same as ‘have a nice day.’
Another example of a “faux amis” is if you are heading to a librairie in France. Walking out with books at une librairie will likely get you into trouble if you haven’t bought them. A “librairie” is a bookshop. The French word you would use if you are trying to find a library is “une bibliotheque”.
Your reason to Learn French
Are you planning on travelling to a French-speaking country? How about being able to use your language skills to work online and increase your employability?
While some people will need to obtain specific qualifications such as DELF/DALF most people use these only as a way to gauge their learning.
Talk to your French teacher, whether private or through a class, about what your goals are and if you should be aiming to sit an exam.
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