It is overwhelming.
There are tons of resources out there to learn a language. What I’ve been doing is getting organized and selecting the resources that best fit my needs and level and selecting the tools to get going. My primary source is definitely Laura Lawless, the French Language Guide at About.com.
She has great tips and suggestions for all level learners. I took the 50 question beginner’s level and got 86% correct. Pas mal (not bad). I can probably start at intermediate and challenge myself, but I think it’s best I do a overview of everything I’ve already learned. Today I reviewed Introductions, Articles, Definitive Article (the).
Laura suggests doing as much immersion with daily routines as possible, such as writing “to-do” lists in French, using a French internet browser as a homepage (I use Yahoo France!), and practicing what you know with your family and friends. All types of materials are important for variation in learning a language. So I think a workbook is essential to practice grammar – I am starting working with Grammaire Progressive du Francaise, Niveau Intermediare which I ordered from Amazon.com. A good dictionary is tres important l to learn vocabulary and help translate books. I am using two – the first is LeRobert Micro, a must have for serious language learners. I also have the Collins French/English Concise Dictionary – for those moments when all else fails.
I know I’m probably overdoing it a bit but I need variety in order to not get bored – so I am also going to attempt to read books in French. I am starting with a children’s book “Je T’aimerai Toujours” (I Will Love You Forever). I used to read this to my children when they were young, now I get to learn it in French…maybe to read to my grandchildren some day!
Lastly, I am subscribed to the French channel, TV5Monde and hope to catch some movies, news and children’s programs on Saturday mornings – can’t wait to tell you all about it!
À demain! (until tomorrow!)