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When it comes to languages, while English is still one of the most widely spoken in the world today, French is not far off. Did you know that French is spoken by about 274 million people and that it is actually the third most widely spoken language on the planet?
In South Africa, there are actually so many French-speaking people who have immigrated from North African countries, and while French is not one of the 11 official languages of the country it is very prevalent in the bigger cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Perhaps you want to learn French in South Africa to simply be able to converse with your neighbours and friends. Or perhaps you want to learn it so that you can travel or work more easily abroad. Either way, learning French is an excellent goal and there are plenty of French teachers in South Africa to help get you started.
Once you have decided to learn French, there are many ways you could go about it.
You could download an app onto your smartphone, search for free lessons on YouTube, or actually choose from French teachers who could give you structured lessons according to your current ability, knowledge and personal goals.
The advantages of opting for private French teachers are numerous.
Firstly, not only could you pick up your lessons at the level that you are at, but if you have opted for private, one-one-one tuition, then you and your French teacher could hone in on the aspects of the language where you are having difficulty.
For instance, you may have already had enough French lessons to know that every noun in French is masculine or feminine and would like to concentrate on your pronunciation or grasp how to conjugate verbs!
And while group classes are full of benefits when it comes to learning a new language, the reason why private French teachers are so advantageous, is that you get to spend more time focusing on your personal areas of difficulty instead of being in a class where the teacher moves through the syllabus before you have grasped a certain aspect of the language.
If the idea of discovering a plethora of private French teachers sounds appealing, there are dozens on Superprof - which offers the added bonus of listing the tutor’s location so that if geographical convenience is important to you, then you can actually find someone close to you.
Thanks to the way that technology has opened up the whole world, there is also the option to learn French online via Superprof too. You could even choose from French teachers that are overseas! All you would need is an internet connection and webcam.
If you are living in South Africa, it is highly likely that you already have a second language. You might even be bilingual in English and Afrikaans, or English and Zulu. The reality however, is that apart from English, none of South Africa’s other official languages are global, and the benefits of adding a second internationally-spoken language to your life skills, or curriculum vitae, are invaluable.
Apart from the fact that so many French-speaking people are living in South Africa today, native South Africans love to travel, move around the world and even immigrate. French-speaking destinations loved by South Africans for business, relocation and leisure include Mauritius, France, Madagascar, Canada, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Seychelles, Switzerland and so many others.
Truly, if you have made the decision to learn French, it is a lot like adding a metaphorical global visa to your life!
As we have already mentioned, the opportunities to learn French via online lessons, or with private French teachers, are easily available. However, in South Africa it is often possible to actually learn French at school!
You could learn French as a matric subject at Abbot’s College which has campuses in both Gauteng and the Western Cape. You could also learn French in Johannesburg at Africa House, Afrikaanse Hoёr Mersieskool in Pretoria, and many others.
If learning how to speak French during your school years is important to you, either make sure that you enrol in a school that teaches it as a subject, or consider taking it up as an extra-curricular course through the Alliances Françaises network of teaching schools, for example, which are based all over South Africa.
So with all these options to learn French available, you may have come to the decision to go ahead and find a private tutor. If this is you, there a few things to consider to help you to find just the right French teacher to suit you and ensure that you do not waste valuable time and money hopping from one French teacher to the next.
Before you commit to lessons, whether those are online or face-to-face, ask yourself what your personal goals are regarding learning how to speak French.
If you are simply needing to learn basic conversational French to make your holiday to France more enjoyable and fun, you do not need to look for highly qualified French teachers. However, you may be studying French at university and struggling through the nuances of 16th century French literature – if that is your issue, then obviously you need a French professor or highly advanced French teacher.
One of the great advantages of using a Superprof tutor is that many of them actually offer their first lesson as an introductory trial with no charge! Take this as an excellent opportunity to not only find out more about their academic background and teaching style, but to clearly communicate why you want to learn French. By doing this, you will easily be able to find out if you and the French teacher that you are considering, are aligned in terms of your reasons to learn French.
There’s no doubt, learning French from scratch, or improving on what you already know, opens up the world and provides incredible opportunities for life. As far as adding another language to your CV, French is one of the most practical and beneficial choices you could make!
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