French

This is the subject page for French. To get an overview of your child's overall home learning provision, please click here.

 

Bonjour à tous!

Textbooks, worksheets and translations have their place in the classroom but they aren’t much fun when you are all working from home and you can’t hear or speak any French which is a vital part of your language learning. With this in mind, DUOLINGO is the way forward in transforming you into real Francophiles!

Duolingo, (for those of you who don’t know it), is an engaging and fun site that will give you a range of blended experiences (listening, speaking, reading and writing), to both enhance and develop your language learning through meaningful interaction. It is incredibly user friendly and will be your simple go to resource for your French learning. You can spend 10 minutes a day to make up your 60 minutes of weekly French and work through a variety of topic areas at your own speed. Fantastique!

Setting Up an Account

  1. Sign up via Facebook or email. When you visit Duolingo's main page, you'll be asked to sign up in one of two ways.
    • If you choose to sign up via email, you can link your Facebook account to Duolingo later.
    • If you choose to sign up via Facebook, it'll be easier for you to invite friends later. You can also automatically share updates and progress on your Facebook timeline.
  2. Select a language. When you're creating a new account, you'll be asked to select the language you want to learn. For you this is French of course!
  3. Enter your account details. When you're first signing up, you'll only need to enter a username and password. If you'd like to add more to your profile, though, you can do so by clicking the gear icon in the upper-right corner and selecting Settings. You can add your:
    • Full name
    • Location
    • Short bio
    • Facebook account (as well as whether you'd like to automatically share progress on Facebook)
    • Twitter account
    • Profile picture
  4. Set up reminders. Duolingo works best when you practice every day, though it can be easy to forget. Set up daily nudges to drill your vocabulary to stay on track.
    • Go to notification settings: https://www.duolingo.com/settings/notifications
    • Check the box next to "Email me when..." and select a time. Try to choose an hour when you can be fully focused on learning the language. The end of the day (an hour before you go to bed) might be a good time to use at first--you can get the language into your memory right before you go to bed.

Learning a Language

1. Click Home to access your skill tree. The skill tree is where you'll do the majority of your learning. It's split into different units, and each unit contains multiple lessons. As you progress through the language, more units will be available to you (you'll be able to unlock them).

  • There are five levels per unit. Once you click on each lesson, you'll see what percentage of the way you are to the next level. You can level up either by finishing all required lessons in your level or taking the test.

2. Test out of what you already know (optional). If you already have a basic grasp of the language, you can test out of parts of the skill tree. Click the golden keyhole at the end of each section to take the test.

  • Since this is a test of your knowledge, you must make less than four mistakes in order to pass. That means, if you lose all three hearts, you'll still have one more chance, but if you make one more mistake after that, you won't test out. You can try again as many times as you'd like, though. If you test out, you'll be able to level up! You can continue to take these tests or complete the required lessons until you get to level 5.
  • If you are a beginner to your language or do not know the content in your skill very well, it is highly advisable that you start with the lessons until you know the content well. In order to gain greater comprehension of the language, take screenshots of the lesson content and write and/or speak using the words and/or sentences in Duolingo.
  • Once you get to level 5, you will see a "practice" button since you have completed all the lessons. Congrats! Continue to practice this skill so you don't lose it. You can choose to practice with or without a timer. If practicing with a timer, try to beat the clock if you can, but don't rush! You may make more mistakes if you rush. Take it slow and focus on learning.

3. Click on the first skill unit. It will probably be something like "Basics 1."

4. Click on a lesson. Within each skill unit, there are multiple lessons. Click the first one to get started. Unlike the tests, there is no limit on the number of questions you can get wrong, though you must get all of them correct in order to pass. Here are the different types of questions within a lesson:

  • Vocabulary: You'll see a picture of the item and be asked to name it in either your native or target language.
  • Translation: You'll be asked to translate a word or sentence out of English and into the other language, or vice versa.
  • Listening: You'll hear an audio clip of a word or sentence and be asked to type it in. You'll see "Type what you hear" above it. (Note that you won't be translating for these questions — for instance, if you hear the sentence in Spanish, type it in Spanish, not English.) To play the clip more slowly, click the smaller turtle icon beneath the main speaker button.
  • Speaking (optional): You'll be asked to repeat or translate sentences using the microphone on your computer or mobile device.
  • If you don't want to do the speaking questions, click the gear in the upper right corner, choose Settings, and switch the microphone option to off.

5. Hover over words for help. If you're not sure about a word, hover over it with your cursor. Duolingo will either provide the translation or give you a few options.

  • Note that as you get further along in your studies and your sentences become more complicated, this tool won't be as useful. Beware!
  • Duolingo will note that you peeked. However, you won't lose any points for this.frenc

6. Use keyboard commands. Navigating through Duolingo lessons using the keyboard is a lot faster and easier than clicking. (It will also come in handy when you're doing timed quizzes.) Here's what to do:

  • Enter: Submits an answer
  • 1, 2 or 3: Selects a multiple choice answer
  • Up and down arrows: Scrolls through choices in a drop menu
  • Ctrl + Space: Replay audio clip
  • Ctrl + Shift + Space: Replay audio clip more slowly.
  • Click the gear in the upper-right corner and select Help to see a visual table of keyboard commands.

7. Practice! The key to retaining your new language is drilling what you've learned. Stop and do a few practice rounds in between. If you only have five minutes to work on your language today, spend it on quizzing yourself. Duolingo offers a few different ways to test your skills:

  • Practice overall: Navigate to your skill tree, and click the blue button at the bottom of the page to practice. You'll be randomly quizzed on everything you've learned up to this point.
  • Practice individual skills. Learning a language takes practicing the skills little by little. Take the lessons in your skill tree (or attempt the tests if you know enough) until you get to level 5. Once you get to level 5, you can practice a skill either with Timed Practice or without a timer.