Isabelle B who teaches French in Paris, shares the best materials you can use to get ready for your language exam. With years of experience in preparing her students for French proficiency exams, Isabelle will surely be able to help you.

‘Tips from our teachers’ is a regular series we run on our blog where we ask our teachers to shares tips and advice on improving their language skills.

French is a rich language that is very beneficial to know

French is a beautiful language. It is also a very precise language, which is why it remains the language of international diplomacy.

The French-speaking world is vast, and learning the French language allows to access it.

To keep learning, here are some interesting facts about French.

Keep your motivation up through curiosity

Learning a new language is an immense pleasure, but doing so also demands motivation and perseverance. One must also be open-minded and curious about the civilization, the culture, the countries in which the language is spoken and the people who speak it. It certainly isn’t easy to enter into this new mindset, and it takes a lot of time and intellectual availability to become familiar with the new language. All of this requires a high level of personal commitment.

There’s a lot you can do to improve outside of lessons

The best thing is to listen to the radio (Groupe Radio France), to watch television, to watch French films with French subtitles and to read easy French books. I have a large collection of books and DVDs that I can lend to my students.

I also advise students to participate in events at cafés, cinemas, activity centers and also at recreation centers where public lectures take place. There are a lot of these types of activities in Paris. One has only to go to the local town hall or look on the internet to find events in one’s neighborhood.

Some resources are better than others

I recommend the website CIEP to my students as they prepare for the DELF and DALF exams or to test their level.

I recommend Les exercices de grammaire (Hachette), which exist for all different levels.

For English speaking students with a smartphone, I suggest the Larousse application, and for intermediate and upper levels I suggest the Robert Mobile (the best French-French dictionary available). Students can use these tools to find accurate definitions of words (with a lot of examples), synonyms, antonyms and conjugations. As far as smartphones go, I recommend the Larousse dictionaries for other languages, too.

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