3 Keys to Always Have Time for Language Learning

⌚️ 18 French learning activities and the time they take 📖

I wish I could, but I don’t have time.

When it comes to language learning, how often have you thought “I don’t have time”. How often have you heard someone say they don’t have time to learn a language?

Seriously, saying “I don’t have time” has pretty much become the automatic answer to explain why you are not doing something. Heck, even I catch myself thinking “I don’t have time” - and I really shouldn’t because if I need time to learn a language, I know how and where to find it.

I made a video to share with you my three keys to always have time to learn a language: If you prefer reading, the main points of the video are summed up below.

Main points of the video:

Key #1 Adopt the polyglot mindset:

  • We interact with at least one language all the time.

  • It is possible to include more than one language in our daily life, to support our language study.

  • Want to know how to do it? Take this free course.

 

Key #2 It doesn’t take a lot of time

  • Don’t think of the years you might need to learn a language from zero to fluency.

  • Focus only on finding 10-20 minutes to study today.

  • Finding a little time everyday is the key to success in the long run.

  • My most intensive coaching program, The Fast lane to Fluency requires only 3,5 hours of study per week, and I specifically recommend to first time students *not* to book long study sessions, because it tends to be non-efficient.

  • Curious to know what you can possibly do to learn a language in a few minutes? Download this list of 18 French learning activities and the time they take.

⌚️ 18 French learning activities and the time they take 📖

 

Key #3 Enjoy it

  • You are more likely to find time for an activity you enjoy

  • You are also more likely to remember well if you are relaxing and enjoying the moment, rather than if you’re stressed out and bored.

  • Don’t force yourself to do anything because you think you “have to”. Study a language on your own terms.

 

Announcement: My new e-course, let’s find time for language learning, will be available soon.

In this course, I walk you through the exact step by step process which I use to find time for language learning, even when my schedule is busy. You can learn more about it, and download a free blueprint of this process here.

38 Awesome Channels to Learn French while Watching YouTube

📺 Download the ebook to discover 25 more French channels you’ll love. 📖

I keep recommending YouTube to all my students. It is a priceless - and free! - tool for learning languages.  Watching videos on youtube is the best way to relax *and* learn at the same time. Truly a bonus for your language skills and your stress level.

There’s only one downside: finding channels which you will like in a new language can be a challenge sometimes. To make up for this, here is my selection of the best French speaking youtube channels. A new channel is added every Friday, so you know what to watch to practice your French in the weekend. ;)

Note: this list was getting really long, so I have organized the first 25 channels into an ebook. They are categorized, to help you find topics that you will enjoy really fast. I have also added indicators of the speed and level of French language, so you know what to expect: the more emoticons you find next to a channel, the harder it will be. 😎

26. 750 Grammes

To a French ear, the name 750 grammes would automatically sound like part of a cooking recipe, and that’s what this channel is all about. It is connected with the website 750g. Both the channel and the website feature countless cooking recipes in French: it’s great to boost both your cooking skills and your French language. There are playlists for nearly everything edible, ranging from Fish to Chocolate and cheese of course. How about some Delicacies in a glass? Yes, it’s a thing, and it’s super popular in France. Way to impress your guests next weekend. ;-) Are you afraid you’ll never be able to cook like a pro? Fear no more, they also have a bunch of helpful tutorials. Will you dare cooking a French dessert for Christmas? Here is a playlist with 31 options.

27. Madmoizelle

As the name lets you guess, this channel is somewhat oriented towards women. This channel is connected with the website madmoizelle.com which defines itself as a webzine for young women. It features 2000 videos, including everything you can expect in a magazine for ladies, neatly organized in playlists around each topic: street-style fashion, beauty tutorials, hairdos but also a lot of other topics such as books, cooking recipes or even video games.

Let’s not forget the funny adventures of Mad Gyver, a real life young woman and the hilarious Berengère Krief (whom you might already have seen in the series Bref).

In short, a very varied channel where you can spend a lot of time and learn a lot about French culture,  regardless of your gender.

28. NaRt

NaRt is the perfect channel to learn about art. The owner has a preference for contemporary art, but many videos also deal with other styles. The channel features several types of videos, organized in playlists : short videos introducing the style of a painter in three minutes and three key elementspresentation of artistsWork of art analysesseries in several episodes studying topics more in depth such as contemporary art, or female artists, and much more. 

The owner of the channel tends to speak quite fast and deals with complex topics. I would only recommend this channel if you are very familiar with the topic of art - or if your French is already very advanced - level C1 unless you are very good at art.

29. Primum non nocere

“Primum non nocere” (latin for “first, cause no harm”) is the famous first sentence of the Hippocratic Oath, which medical doctors must take at the beginning of their career. This channel is indeed about medicine. The owner creates in-depth videos (typically about 10 minutes long) about topics related to health, often taking a fun title, such as “the magic healing kiss” and making a serious informative video about it. I love watching this channel because it teaches me so much about how our body functions, such as why ears feel clogged in a plane or why our nose runs when it’s cold. Other videos are about specific drugs or medical techniques - it turns out that without the beatles, we might never have had scanners.

Check it out if you are good at French and interested in medicine - or if you have a very advanced knowledge of medicine and are looking to improve your French.

30. Miss Book

The channel Miss Book is owned by three women who speak about… books.

The three youtubers play the roles of many different characters, with different personalities and different ways of speaking French. It is perfect for you to learn about different styles of French and the kind of person they are associated with. This however, can make some characters harder than others to understand due to the use of slang or very advanced words.

Most of their videos are centered around one book, some of them world-wide famous such as Harry Potter or Le Petit Prince, and others more typically French and less famous.

If you are an avid reader with an advanced level of French, Miss Book must become your go-to place for French reading advice.

31. Le fossoyeur de film

“The movie gravedigger” - that’s how the name of his channel translates - speaks about science fiction movies. About one third of his videos are dedicated to “unearthing” old, often little known movies - that’s where the name of the channel comes from.

The other two thirds of the video, called “l’après-séance”, are his immediate impressions after he has been to the cinema to watch a recent movie.The videos are rather long, typically about twenty minutes, and the author speaks rather fast. I would recommend this channel to you if you love science fiction movies, and your French is already very advanced.

Side note: it’s better to have watched the movies before you see the corresponding videos. It will make it easier to understand what he refers to. Some videos (particularly those about older movies) also contain spoilers, which you might not want to see before you see the actual movie.

32. EnjoyPhoenix

 

EnjoyPhoenix is one of the most famous French woman on YouTube, with about 2.7 million subscribers - and counting.

Her channel centers around make up and hairdo tutorials. She also likes to share her tips on a variety of topics such as saving time or how to relax. She often shares her routine too.

Her followers are mostly women, so it will be easier to relate and even understand what she says if you are a woman yourself. To be honest, if you follow her a lot you will end up knowing a lot of French words which I don’t know myself about skin care, hair care, make up etc. Many videos are tutorials which means she describes what she’s doing. This means that even though she speaks quite fast, you’ll certainly understand a lot if you have some existing knowledge of those topics.

33. La statistique expliquée à mon chat

The title, which translates as “statistics as explained to my cat”, is self-explanatory: in this French-speaking Belgian channel, the author explains statistics to his cat, Albert.

Albert the cat is, just like us, very confused when it comes to understanding what statistics really means. For example, Albert really believes that chocolate makes you smarter and is also very confused about how the leaders of the world are elected and what each voting system really means.

34. Prendre sa vie en main

“Prendre sa vie en main” is a French expression which would translate as “take control of one’s life”. This personal development channel offers you to do just that. Most videos are book summaries, such as the seven habits of highly effective people, the compound effect, or this explanation of the cashflow quadrant. Recently, the author as taken the challenge to leave the “rat race” and become financially independant thanks to Multi-level-marketing, within two years. This playlist lets us follow his progress. Will he succeed? We can only know if we follow his work.

35. La minute science

Although the title of this channel would translate as “the science minute”, its videos are typically around 4-5 minutes long. They deal with a variety  of scientific topics, such as astronomy, sociology, or biology. I love this channel because every video teaches me something I had not expected, in great details. Have you ever wondered how fear happens in your brain? The tone of this channel is quite technical, so I recommend it to you if your French is already very good, or if you are familiar with scientific subjects. The topics covered differ a lot, so you may understand some videos much better than others. Just try it out!

36. Le joueur du grenier

He might be the most famous French gamer on Youtube, with over 2 Million subscribers. By the way, the title of his channel translates as “the gamer in the attic” - probably a reference to his numerous videos about retrogaming on his channel. If you watch his videos, you will hear about consoles you had forgotten about, and, more importantly, games you had never heard about. I’m stuned to find out how many games have existed, as varied as comic books, Star wars or even the Adams family. Don’t worry, he also speaks about less confidential topics such as the numerous PacMan games. His videos are typically around 15-20 minutes long. I’ll recommend them to you, if you are a big gaming fan and you have a good command of French already. You’ll be able to broaden your slang knowledge. Indeed, the gamer in the attic tends to speak like a regular French gamer would, meaning his language is not the most academic. Do you have what it takes to be his gaming buddy?

37. Dave Sheik

(previous title: Histoire brève)

This is another one of my favourite channels about history. Dave might the only youtuber who wears a plastic bow-tie on all of his videos, this gives you an idea of the tone of the channel: both serious and funny. He picks an episode of history, often unknown (such as 3 genocides nobody cares about - his words, not mine, I just translate) and explains it to us in a fun, relaxed manner. He has a predilection for quirky topic such as the shortest war ever or tea, as the master of the world. Many of his videos also deal with the topic of colonization, French or otherwize. The channel also includes three (so far) videos about the evolution of the French language. A fun tone also means a relaxed language and a lot of slang. This makes the channel potentially difficult for you. You should try listening to it nonetheless, you’ll learn a lot.

Side note: numerous youtubers I have quoted here before are featured in some of Dave Sheik’s videos. Can you spot them?

38. Les langues de Cha’

Charlotte (aka Cha’) is the owner of this channel about… languages - and specifically about linguistics. This channel is quite new but the twelve existing video are very professional and packed with super interesting infos. Is speaking over someone always rude, regardless of  the culture you’re in? Is is possible to forget one’s native language? What are the criteria to make a fictional language a real language? All those questions, and many more, are answered by Charlotte in a very scientific manner.
Also, as a student of French, this channel will provide you with numerous comparison between French cultures and other cultures, and might help you understand why the French are sometimes a bit weird.

Ready to find out why we say “Hello”?

 

📺 Download the ebook to discover 25 more French channels you’ll love. 📖
 
 

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Language learning goals March 2017 #clearthelist

#clearthelist is a blog linkup hosted by LindsayShannonAgnieszkaKris and myself ☺️. If you’d like to participate, see the rules below this post.

Hi everyone! New month, new language goals :)

As I expected, February was a month mostly full of paperwork and diverse compulsory things which aren’t exciting enough to be mentioned here. Good that I had quite a light list for February - which means that it is almost clear by now - yeah for setting reachable goals 🙂. Let’s move on to the:

February Review

🇪🇸🇵🇹 Spanish and Portuguese

At least one conversation in each language. - I had two conversations with my portuguese partner. Unfortunately my Spanish partner doesn’t have time for the exchange anymore and I’ll have to find another one.

🇩🇪 German

Deal with all the German paperwork. - I’d say it’s mostly dealt with, thanks to my wife who has been doing an awesome work and has helped me a lot with it.

🇬🇧 English

Keep reading. - I read those four books:

🇫🇷 French

Try and watch at least one movie in French with my wife. - We watched those two:

Thank you Shannon for the Asterix inspiration, my wife liked it a lot.

💡 Productivity and routine

Organize my life to be more travel friendly. Experiment with meditation and minimalism. - This is in progress. I have made a lot of progress in decluttering and living with less stuff around me. I still have a lot of stuff and I don’t think I’ll ever be a minimalist but I enjoy living in a space which is not crammed, even if it is very small.

Keep tweaking the routine to reach a consistently productive pace. - Also in progress. We have entirely reorganized our rooms and I now have a dedicated office space. It helps. I am not quite satisfied with my productivity level yet, but the morning routine and regular practice of yoga and meditation do help a lot.

Meditating almost daily helps me be more grounded and have more clarity. It’s a lot of impact for just about five minutes spent in meditation. Paradoxically it makes me feel less productive. I guess it’s because I’m less busy and I don’t yet fully understand the difference between busy and productive. I’m curious to see how this will evolve in the coming weeks.

 

Now, let’s set my

Goals for March 2017

In March, I have quite a lot on my plate again. I am preparing my first e-course, and although I wanted it to be very small, it is progressively turning into a monster - the more I work on it, the longer the to-do list gets. I hope to finish it in March nonetheless so this is going to be my number one priority.

Here are some language goals nonetheless, with a lower priority:

 

🇵🇹 Portuguese

Have at least one conversation with my language partner.

🇪🇸 Spanish

Ideally find a new partner, if possible.

🇫🇷 French

Try and watch at least one movie in French with my wife.

🇩🇪 German

Live in Germany?

I still want to make it to C1 by the end of the year but at the moment I can’t really focus on this kind of long term goal. If I find an activity that helps my German, I’ll grab it, but no pressure.

💡 Productivity and routine

Keep experimenting and tweaking the routine.

🇬🇧 English

Keep reading.

 

That’s it for this month.

I wish you a good March full of language learning. What are your goals?

 
       
Would you like to join #ClearTheList? Click here to learn more.

  1. Share your goal post whether it includes your aspirations for the month or year. Submissions unrelated to the theme or links to your homepage will be deleted.
  2. Link back to this post. You can use our button code below if you wish.
  3. Follow the hosts: Lindsay from Lindsay Does Languages, Shannon from Eurolinguiste, Kris from Actual Fluency and Angel from French Lover.
  4. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE: Please visit the site of the person who linked up immediately before you and leave them an encouraging comment! By hosting this linkup, we’re hoping to create a positive community where we can all share our goals. If you do not do this, you will be removed from the linkup.
  5. Share on social media using #ClearTheList.
Set your language learning goals as a part of the Clear the List Link Up hosted by Shannon Kennedy of Eurolinguiste, Lindsay Dow of Lindsay Does Languages, Angel Pretot of French Lover, and Kris Broholm of Actual Fluency #clearthelist
<div align="center"><a href="https://frenchlover.org/blog/?category=clearthelist" title="Set your language learning goals as a part of the Clear the List Link Up hosted by Shannon Kennedy of Eurolinguiste, Lindsay Dow of Lindsay Does Languages, Angel Pretot of French Lover, and Kris Broholm of Actual Fluency"><img src="https://frenchlover.org/assets/img/ctl.jpg" alt="Set your language learning goals as a part of the Clear the List Link Up hosted by Shannon Kennedy of Eurolinguiste, Lindsay Dow of Lindsay Does Languages, Angel Pretot of French Lover, and Kris Broholm of Actual Fluency" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

The ONE thing you need for a successful language study

I recently wrote articles about how to stay motivated and how to stay consistent, because both are so important to learn a language successfully. There is, however, one thing which will help you be both motivated and consistent.

This is the topic of my latest video, to be found on my youtube channel, or right below. In case you prefer reading to watching, I’ll also recap the main points in writing below the video. 

📝 Download this awesome motivational list template 🇫🇷

Main ideas of the video:

The history bit:

In 1941, the Defense Language institute was created with the mission to teach Japanese to members of the US army before they go to war in the Pacific theatre.

Scientists were charged with creating a new method for them to learn fast and efficiently.

The new scientific method was called audio-lingual method and nicknamed “army method”.

It was very successful. 6000 graduates served in the Pacific theatre and later during the occupation of Japan.

After this massive success, schools around the world proceeded to implement the new method. Some of this method still survives nowadays, and you might have come across two main elements: drills and the language lab.

Drills are a kind of grammar exercises. Their goal is to make a language pattern automatic in your brain. It’s basically filling in the blanks and repeating phrases over and over again until it has become second nature.

The language lab is this weird room where you can record yourself and listen again or hand the tape over to the teacher.

School officials around the world were persuaded that language learning has now become very easy thanks to science, and that every student would soon become bilingual.

Unfortunately, we both know that it did not happen.

As it turns out, if your life might depend on your Japanese speaking ability, your brain makes it high priority to learn Japanese. The method has little to do with it.

Key take away:

The most important is to know why you learn. It makes you go on when you feel like quitting.

My students have the best results when they are in one of these two situations:

  • They live in a French speaking country and they need to learn French to find a job.
  • They have to pass a French exam.

If your reasons to learn French are not as strong as those, it is possible to cultivate them.

You can cultivate them by enjoying the language and the culture: watch movies (even with subtitles), read books (even in translation), travel to French speaking countries (even if you can’t speak much yet).

Last tip: Download the template below, print it, and write the reasons why you learn French on it. Then pin it somewhere where you can see it often. When you feel a drop in your motivation, read it over again. Remembering why you started will make your motivation rise again.

📝 Download this awesome motivational list template 🇫🇷

Thanks for reading. 🙂

Language learning goals February 2017 #ClearTheList

#clearthelist is a blog linkup hosted by Lindsay, Shannon, Agnieszka, Kris and myself ☺️. If you’d like to participate, see the rules below this post.

Woop! That was one intense month. I think January 2017 is the perfect example of how life can seriously get in the way of language learning, even with the best events.

First, this happened:

widewedding.jpg

That’s right, I got married 💍💑! I’m super happy about that, of course. And also I’m happy because this ends a six-month marathon to gather the necessary papers and finally get the paperwork to accurately reflect our lives. Or course now we have to do a lot more paperwork to inform everyone and everything that we are married, so this is going to be my German language goal for February.

So, besides that, what happened to my language goals this month?

January 2017 Review

🇪🇸🇵🇹 Spanish and Portuguese

Find a new schedule which works for my language partners and myself to have at least one conversation every other week. - Not quite there yet. I had one Portuguese conversation and no Spanish conversation.

Try and find podcast and/or Youtube channels to listen to/watch. - Totally did not find time for that 😕.

🇩🇪 German 

Keep reading - I read official documents. I think that counts. Also I had a wedding ceremony in German, and that’s fancy. Even though I had to say only one word: “ja”.

Create a sustainable routine to study German consistently throughout the year and reach level C1. - Also not quite there yet, but I’m not giving up.

🇬🇧 English 

Keep reading :) - I read those three books:

I read Anything you want, because one of my students (Derek Sivers) wrote it. It’s a very good read, very insightful. I recommend it to anyone who would like to build a business.

🇫🇷 French 

Keep watching movies with my wife - we paused this. We got sucked up in the awesome series The good wife instead. It’s great for the “netflix and chill” breaks in between work sessions.

Across languages

Find podcasts in different languages to listen to while cooking.

- I stuck to English. I’m very ashamed but I’d like to blame it on Tim Ferriss and the Tim Ferriss show - There is a lot to learn in each episode and there are over 200 episodes and counting so I might keep listening to it for a while.

💡 Productivity 

Tweak my routine to reach a pace both sustainable and efficient and integrate all my goals in an harmonious manner. - I’m still tweaking. I have successfully experimented with a big habit tracker to track all the activities I complete (almost) daily. It helps a lot.

I also started practicing meditation, and even though it’s not really consistent so far, it does yield some results.

🇸🇪 New Language: Swedish 

Study Swedish for ten hours. I did probably six hours, before life got in the way big time and I had to prioritize other projects. I realized that just planning to study for ten hours and scheduling those is not efficient. For my next language I need to choose the ressources I want to use beforehands in order to have some tangible results. So I’m going to do this starting March, hoping that life will have got out of the way by then.

 

So, now, let’s make a list for February to keep the language learning up in the storm:

Language goals: February 2017

🇪🇸🇵🇹 Spanish and Portuguese:

Have at least one conversation with my language partners in the month.

🇩🇪 German:

Deal with all the German paperwork and get it out of the way.

🇬🇧🇫🇷 English / French:

Keep reading.

Try and watch at least one movie in French with my wife.

💡 Productivity and routine:

Organize my life to be more travel friendly. I’d like to spend some time out of Berlin in the next months.

Experiment with meditation and minimalism.

Keep tweaking the routine to reach a consistently productive pace.

No new language this month. Too much on my plate at the moment. So I made a less ambitious list this time. I’m sure the month of February will be full of surprises too.

And you, what have you been up to? Leave a comment to let me know.

See you soon. 😘

 
Would you like to join #ClearTheList? Click here to learn more.

  1. Share your goal post whether it includes your aspirations for the month or year. Submissions unrelated to the theme or links to your homepage will be deleted.
  2. Link back to this post. You can use our button code below if you wish.
  3. Follow the hosts: Lindsay from Lindsay Does Languages, Shannon from Eurolinguiste, Kris from Actual Fluency and Angel from French Lover.
  4. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE: Please visit the site of the person who linked up immediately before you and leave them an encouraging comment! By hosting this linkup, we’re hoping to create a positive community where we can all share our goals. If you do not do this, you will be removed from the linkup.
  5. Share on social media using #ClearTheList.
Set your language learning goals as a part of the Clear the List Link Up hosted by Shannon Kennedy of Eurolinguiste, Lindsay Dow of Lindsay Does Languages, Angel Pretot of French Lover, and Kris Broholm of Actual Fluency #clearthelist
<div align="center"><a href="https://frenchlover.org/blog/?category=clearthelist" title="Set your language learning goals as a part of the Clear the List Link Up hosted by Shannon Kennedy of Eurolinguiste, Lindsay Dow of Lindsay Does Languages, Angel Pretot of French Lover, and Kris Broholm of Actual Fluency"><img src="https://frenchlover.org/assets/img/ctl.jpg" alt="Set your language learning goals as a part of the Clear the List Link Up hosted by Shannon Kennedy of Eurolinguiste, Lindsay Dow of Lindsay Does Languages, Angel Pretot of French Lover, and Kris Broholm of Actual Fluency" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
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