🇺🇸 How to Leap to the Next Language Level (Wherever You’re Starting From)

Asking the internet about language learning is a dangerous thing. Paced repetition. Flashcards. YouTube. Sitcoms. Speaking partners. Post-it notes in your refrigerator. We could go on. Each of these is helpful in its own right, but humans like us (even ambitious ones) need to prioritize.

Being rather passionate about this topic, we’ve taken on the task of synthesizing the wild jungle of advice about language learning. We think you’ll find that it mirrors the Staircase program itself: curated, practical, and unabashedly entertaining.

This is not a set-it-and-leave-it kind of resource either – it’s alive! Stay tuned as we develop topics more and more deeply based on questions and feedback from language enthusiasts like you. Don’t believe me? Try to leave a comment down below and see how long it takes before your question becomes an article all its own.

Without further ado, here are the three starting points we recommend for every level.

Beginner (taking your first steps in French)

  1. Focus on becoming confident with 📍seven simple sentences. This will help you build that vocabulary starter pack, while building confidence in your pronunciation and grammar.
  2. Did we mention confidence? While long-term goals matter, short-term goals are just as important. Set out to achieve a milestone that you know is in reach.
  3. Seek out mentoring or instruction from someone(s) uniquely qualified to teach someone like you. They should be supportive and enthusiastic about your learning goals!

Intermediate (knowing enough to keep the conversation going)

  1. Expand your vocabulary from concrete subjects (like directions and introductions) to topics that people around you find engaging. The goal here is to get free practice by making others want to speak at length!
  2. Show that you care about French culture. Strike up friendships with people who don’t speak your language very well. Pay attention to social cues and culture insights.
  3. Be humble about pronunciation. While a some students are really natural, they’re few and far between. Ask others specific questions about best to improve your accent.

Advanced (moving from communication to expression)

  1. Shift your mindset from thinking about yourself as an advanced student of French to an everyday user of the language. This raises the bar so that you don’t plateau.
  2. Compare your proudest examples of writing or speaking in your own language and compare them to your proudest examples in French. Look for stylistic differences.
  3. Make French immersion a part of your everyday experience. Remember, you’re not a student anymore. It’s time to live French, breathe French, and watch French, and so on.

As you dig deeper into these resources, we would be remiss not to mention that the Staircase method, as our American readers might say, ‘eats its own dog food.’ Everything that we preach, we also incorporate into the Staircase. Why not head on over and give it a try?

Written with my friend and fellow teacher, Eric from the Global School of English.

Author Léa Tirard-Hersant

Host of the Staircase

More posts by Léa Tirard-Hersant

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