French is no stranger to English speakers. The language is similar to English in many ways, and many students have learnt at least some at one year of school or another.

For those students who have learnt in private or taken lessons at university, the learning experience may have been different or more in-depth, but nevertheless, French will have come into your life as an English speaker at some point.

Given that French is also a highly global language, which can bring you into contact with a large portion of the world, there is a lot of online activity that you can partake in. So if you're in primary school, high school, university, or learning in private, there are lots of ways you can practice it without having to go to Europe.

Maybe try searching for French tutors Melbourne to find a native speaker to coach you.

There are many benefits to learning French
Allez! Start learning French today. | Source: Unsplash -Cecile Hournau

French in the secondary curriculum, in particular, will help you learn skills that can help improve your experience in subjects like English, maths, and biology too, as the way language makes you work and face new problems enhances your knowledge of life generally and is one of the best uses of time for more than just language students.

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Learning French throughout your studies

Many students in Australia will only have one hour or a few hours of French per week if they choose to take it at all.

Their face to face time with it might be limited, so they turn to using it online, but without the help of a teacher, this can be hard to improve.

Another problem for many students of French in Melbourne and Australia is that they don't get enough contact with their teacher directly when in class, meaning that teaching time is spent in a free-wheeling way, wherein a student might not do as well in their lesson, since they don't get the chance to actually apply the language skills they're supposed to be acquiring.

The grammar of French will inevitably present problems for English speakers, as without the guidance of a teacher to focus students during a large number of hours necessary to master the language, motivation will wane.

This phenomenon, combined with the fact that many students see French and language studies as very difficult, leads most high school student to preference other subjects and drop out of French altogether.

A way to avoid this well-known problem is through private tuition, with a mother tongue or nonnative speaker: having someone in Melbourne VIC to explain the fiddly grammar points to you, and give life to the language can offer a real sense of what the use of French is really like in France, and they can also recommend study tips to keep motivation strong when they can't get enough contact with their teacher at an educational institution.

How face to face or online French tutoring in Melbourne, VIC can help you improve

The general benefits of private tuition for all primary school, secondary school, or university subjects are plentiful.

Trying to face the challenge of acquiring a new language on your own, as well as trying to find out how to best apply this knowledge in your free time can be very difficult, so having a native or nonnative French helper can really make you improve your level.

There are many inexpensive French to English books
Start speaking like a native with a native French tutor

Because it's hard to find a benchmark in a foreign language, and we constantly compare it to English to help ourselves understand, someone who can explain when, why, and how to use grammar and vocabulary points will well and truly benefit your learning, and many a teacher will recommend the same.

The benefits you will see with your private tutor include: one on one attention that you may not get in class, an adapted learning experience for your style (which can also help you improve in other subjects), a positive learning environment, more self-esteem on your part and confidence to ask questions in classes, and the best study and language habits from a private tutor with teaching skills and experience themselves in the field.

There may be some differences between having a speaker from France, Belgium, or Canada, or a nonnative tutor as well. The plus side of a native tutor is they can make the time more efficient, making one hour seem like 5 hours when they give you effective knowledge and content in your classes.

They will also have the knowledge themselves of any grammar and vocabulary that you come into contact with, meaning you will not get any wrong or unsure answers from them. The private mother tongue tutor may also have teaching experience in France or Australia, and can thereby advise on what life is like as a student there, or how to adapt and improve this knowledge in Melbourne VIC.

The benefit of having a nonnative as your private French language tutor is that they will empathise much more with you - they will have the same experience in learning the language as you.

Whilst they might not know the answer to every question, they should be more well equipped with the linguistic acquisition as an English speaker, and as such, understand what you might be finding difficult yourself.

They've probably also had education in Australia too, meaning that they under the scholastic system here, and have done the work hour after hour to get their French to this level to be able to be your teacher. Their skills in the language should not be discounted either, as they need to be very high in order to take on students.

A nonnative private teacher finally also comes with the added bonus of having potentially spent an extended amount of time in France, which means that they understand what it's like to be an outsider there (like the student would be if they wanted to do an exchange or university there), and can offer insight into how the language is really used every day, and how to avoid problems.

The French curriculum in Melbourne VIC

As mentioned, French is quite common in Australian schools, so coming across it in the curriculum won't be difficult. As primary schools don't often let students have a say in their language choice, this section will focus primarily on high school studies.

Let's start first with schools where French is offered as part of the syllabus.

VCAA Frenchcurriculum
VCAA administers the French curriculum in Victoria for prep to year 12 | Source: https://victoriancurriculum.vcaa.vic.edu.au/

The French syllabus, like all other subjects for primary, secondary, and VCE, is administered by the VCAA body. They look after the whole curriculum for VIC, yet only require that a language be taught up to year 10, with some schools making it optional to drop a language from year 7 onwards.

If you feel motivated to continue with French, it gets quite intense, and there's a LOT of revision and independent improvement that needs to take place.

Nevertheless, as languages are deemed niche subjects, your teacher will give you a lot of attention if you show interest, and should most probably be highly skilled themselves as getting the qualification to teach French is complicated in itself.

In cases where French isn't offered at your school, there is always the option to do it by distance, which is available to all students in Victoria, and for which you'll be put in touch with a remote teacher, and can access materials on the Victorian Department of Education and Training website. 

If you're really wanting to get have in-person classes, or have lessons at school but want to complement your learning with more, a cultural body like the Alliance Française is a great place to look for more courses and engagement you can have with francophone activities.

Where French can take you and its benefits

Whilst English can get you most places in this world, French still holds very large power and appeal in international affairs, diplomacy and business. A tutor will set you more accurately on this path than education in the classroom alone would.

Australia and France also have very strong bilateral relations, meaning that if you wanted to study over there, this could be easily facilitated, especially if you have a good level of French. The French government is in fact seeking to reassert the position of the French in the world and has laid out a range of opportunities that may open up to you if you engage with the national tongue of La République.

Look for French cultural events to help boost your skills
It's not hard to come across French speakers throughout Melbourne | Source: Unsplash - Didier Provost

You might also be surprised to learn that Melbourne has a thriving French-speaking community too.

Given our proximity to New Caledonia, this is no surprise, but many individuals from the Caribbean and French-speaking Africa and Europe now call Australia home. So you'll have plenty of places to put your language skills to use, be it in person or online.

There are regular markets, cinema festivals, and even a French theatre company in Melbourne, so you're well placed for activities in this vein.

A French tutor can help you seek all these opportunities and more, all while helping you improve your marks and study skills and knowledge, so it's worth having a look for a French tutor Melbourne today!

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