I have a lot of time on my hands so Iâ€™m learning French. My goal is to learn how to read French so I can read French books. Iâ€™m not studying pronunciation or developing listening skills. For now, Iâ€™m just studying grammar and building my vocabulary. I have a lot of French language textbooks and audio tapes (actually CDs) but Iâ€™m not interested in conversational French so instead Iâ€™ve read numerous books that concentrate more on grammar and vocabulary. So far, I have read the following books:
- McGraw-Hill French Rencontres (old high school textbook)
- The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Learning French
- French For Dummies
- Essential French Grammar
Currently Iâ€™m reading Teach Yourself French In 24 Hours. This book is really filling in a lot of details on French grammar that were not covered in the other books. I should finish reading this book in a week. When I am done reading this book I should know everything you need to know about French grammar. I have not memorized anything but at least Iâ€™ve been exposed to every aspect of the language. Memorization is only really necessary to pass tests. In the real world, I prefer to get repetition by reading multiple books on a subject that interests me.
I have created a help file to organize my notes on French. I currently have 127 pages in this help file. A few audio files are built into the help file to help me with pronunciation, but most of it is notes on French grammar and vocabulary lists.
After I finish Teach Yourself French In 24 Hours, I will read three French textbooks published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; Nouveaux copains, Nous, les jeunes, and Notre monde. These textbooks were published in the early 1990s. Most of the text is in French which is why I saved these for later. They should give me a lot of practice in reading simple French. I may also use the workbooks Cahier dâ€™Exercices which are available for each book, although I only have two. I also have the Nouveaux Copains Teacher’s Edition with all the answers to the exercises.
After I read those three books, Iâ€™ll move on to Skills and Techniques for Reading French by Louise C. Seibert and Lester G. Crocker. This book is specifically designed to help you learn how to read French.
I expect to be able to read French fairly well after that, but I still have many more French textbooks that I could read to reinforce the material. At the moment, I can sort of half read the news on French web sites.