Tips to speaking French

I am new to France and have been studying French at home as we plan to live here permanently but every time I try to speak in a real environment I get nervous and stutter and eventually revert to English. Do you have any tips?

It is normal that you get nervous when trying to speak French in a real environment – you need more real practice not just theory. One idea is to see if there are French conversation classes for non-French speakers in your area? Sessions with a tutor, perhaps by Skype, is another possibility – do a search for cours particuliers français langue étrangère.

Look for social groups aimed at expats such as a British association, or an alliance Franco-Britannique – see the Com­munity section of Some organise events where French and English speakers meet to practise their language skills.

If in doubt, make your point simply, rather than trying to be clever or witty. If you tend to stumble on certain sounds, spend time practising them.

You can find tips like this and much more in our Moving to France guide, on sale here.

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