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#25 If you’re learning French to be able to speak it well, don’t obsess about learning to spell it.

Don't obsess to spell FrenchThis is for you auditory and kinesthetic learners out there, for whom French spelling is likely to be baffling. If your purpose in learning French is to speak it, and you really won’t be spending a lot of time sending letters or writing papers in your new language, don’t worry so much about your spelling. Note that I didn’t say “Don’t worry about reading.” I still believe` that every student of French should be able to read signs, newspapers, menus, and the like. But don’t feel your spelling needs to be as good as your conversational skills. Now, for you visual learners – you’ll probably just pick up the spelling from reading; if you do, be kind and don’t boast to your auditory and kinesthetic friends!

#26 Watch French movies (no subtitles, please)!

No matter where you live, there’s an easy way to hear French spoken in the comfort of your own home — French movies! You can order these through services such as Netflix or download them from the Internet. You may want to begin with movies whose plots you basically already know – for example, Jean Cocteau’s 1946 La Belle et La Bête (Beauty and the Beast). You can also get American movies and TV shows dubbed in French, like The Simpsons, CSI and NCIS.

Make sure that, if there are English subtitles, they can be turned off; seeing the words in English defeats the challenge of following the story in French. You may also be able to acquire episodes of French television series, which will give you a more contemporary and streetwise French than you’d get from your formal lessons.

You’ll gradually find yourself becoming more and more comfortable listening to French, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly your auditory comprehension grows!

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