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Many people think that you need to go abroad in order to become fluent in another language. While this is definitely beneficial, it’s not entirely true. Your language acquisition skills vastly improve in your target country because you are surrounding by the language you’re learning.
What if you could create that same environment before you traveled in your home country? A blog called All Japanese All The Time (AJATT) talks about a college student who learned fluent Japanese in 18 months while living in the US. By the time he arrived in Japan, he could speak, read, and write fluently, and he even found himself a job right away.
How Can You Become Fluent?
As stated above, you can become fluent without the need to travel to your target country. The trick is creating the same environment or one that’s even better that you’d get by traveling there. After becoming fluent in Chinese from my travels in Taiwan, I realized that even though I was surrounded by native Mandarin speakers, it wasn’t ideal because I forced myself to speak before listening.
The way babies learn is key. They are in what is called an “incubation period,” surrounded by constant input for hours on-end. Don’t you find it strange that after a few years of not being able to speak that children can almost instantaneously produce phrases and sentences that are almost perfect and grammatically correct?
AJATT states that if you can get up to 10,000 hours of input, when you try and speak your speech will be almost identical to that of native speakers. This is because by constantly listening to native speakers in your target language, your brain will have absorbed only what is natural and grammatically correct in that language. It will have no choice but to reproduce what is accurately correct when speaking that language.
We’re not asking you to listen to 10,000 hours of any language (although it would be ideal), but if you could get a lot of listening input by the time you do speak, you will be shocked at how fluent your language skills have become.
While my Mandarin did improve greatly during my stay in Taiwan, my grammar and fluidity would be much better had I spent more time listening to native speakers. Now that we have this covered out of the way, we’re going to focus on you French learners out there.
There’s a few resources on the web in which you can obtain for free by using the right tricks in order to help you become fluent or pretty close. We’re going to discuss them more in detail below. If you want to learn more in detail about language learning, I highly recommend reading the AJATT blog.
Just keep in mind that it is possible and you can do it. With these two thoughts in mind, learning French will be a breeze. You’ve just got to believe and have confidence in yourself.
Sign-Up For OpenLanguage
OpenLanguage is an online learning platform that hosts podcasts for those interested in learning different languages. A few examples of languages that they offer are Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese, and Arabic.
The great thing about these podcasts is that French is spoken from native speakers from France, meaning your brain will absorb the pronunciation, grammar, and fluidity. Their podcasts are great and go into great detail, but come at a cost of nearly $29 dollars per month. So how can we get them for free?
Follow these steps below to find out how you can get a discount.
1. Register. You can register for the OpenLanguage website by clicking this link here. Click on the “Sign-up” button and enter in your email, name, and create a password. From there you will select your target language. In this case, French.
2. Select a plan. In the upper-right-hand corner of the page, you’re going to want to click on the tab that says “Plans & Pricing.” Select the $30/month plan (but we’re not going to pay $30).
3. Enter in a promotional code. When you go to the payment page, enter in the promo code greatstart to get $29 dollars off your order, making your total only $1. Go ahead and make your payment.
4. Get a friend to sign-up. The promo code you entered above is only valid for a 1-month subscription. Therefore, you should get a friend or family member to sign-up for you when your first month is over with. Do not forget to cancel your membership before your month is up, or else you will be charged $30 for each reoccurring month.
We do realize that you could simply use another email and create a new account, but here on FFL we do not want to promote dishonesty. I do not encourage this behavior at all. That’s why we highly recommend you convince your friends and family to learn a bit of French while having them share your account with them. You can even learn together!
There’s no need to spend money on books, grammar lessons, or anything else when you have OpenLanguage. They are an all-inclusive resource that can help you with almost any aspect of the language. Even if you have questions on a specific lesson, you can leave comments and they’ll usually respond very quickly.
If you’re interested in other ways to save some money on courses, we recommend the following articles:
- Learn Chinese For $1/Month Using ChinesPod
- Pay Off Student Debt By Teaching In Taiwan
- Top 20 MOOCs – Get A Free University Education Online
If you have any questions about registration or what OpenLanguage has to offer, leave them down below. I’m currently on the elementary level in my French course, so I’d be more than happy to help. Thanks for reading and good luck on your frugal journey!