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Learning French in France Will Help You Learn Spanish

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Learning French in France Will Help You Learn Spanish

Spanish is probably the most obvious next step for those who are interested in learning a language where they can utilise what they have learnt on their French immersion course in France. I have been learning French in Montpellier at the EasyFrench language school for almost 5 months now and I am currently at the C1 level on the intensive French immersion course for adults. I recently started experimenting with Spanish language apps as a little side project. Nothing too intense just a couple of apps to flick through when I’m waiting for a tram or for a friend to meet me at a café.

I had never learnt a foreign language before coming to learn French in Montpellier and sometimes I don’t even feel like I know English that well. No more so than when I have learnt the technical underpinnings of French as all of the mechanisms, formulas and irregulars made me aware that I don’t know a lot of the theory behind English, I just use it. This has meant that my progress in French has often been sluggish. I have spent lots of time researching the definitions of grammatical concepts I wasn’t aware of in English first before being able to move on to tackle the grammar in my French lessons. It was super interesting as I was deepening my understanding of my own language as well as learning French which is a very productive feeling. It was however a bit of a time consumer, and when I observed the Spanish students in my class naturally picking things up I assumed it was because they had more natural talent for languages.

After dipping my toe in a bit of Spanish however I have come to think differently. I have been really pleasantly surprised by how natural the process seems this time. Certain practices or concepts that would have required me to pass a significant amount of time trying wrap my head around just gets absorbed naturally in a light and easy way.

What are the Benefits of a French Immersion Stay for Learning Spanish?

As you probably know French and Spanish are both Romance languages and share a common Latin origin. What does that mean for people who are learning French in France and considering learning a bit of Spanish afterwards? One of the first things to consider is vocabulary. French and Spanish share a lot of identical words and if you add on the words that are very similar you have a huge pool of vocabulary to work from. Vocabulary is one of the key things that separate the French immersion technique utilised at the EasyFrench School in Montpellier as for students learning alone trying to figure out what vocabulary they should learn is a little tricky. In my French immersion classes through a combination of systematic topics, casual conversation about day-to-day life and exploratory conversations you learn vocabulary that is going to be relevant, useful and broad. This strong focus on vocabulary and the sibling like nature of the languages means that after an intensive French immersion course learning Spanish words will come particularly naturally to you.

Other things like the gendering of words is a huge help. This was completely alien to me and took some getting used to; it even poses problems for people who have been speaking French for a long time. Now though, having battled my way through for French genders this is an effortless accommodation to make. This is the same for loads of things like syntax, sentence structure, expressions and adverbs. It’s like if you were an excellent swimmer and then you went on to play water polo, you have already mastered so many of the skills necessary to be proficient and just learning a slightly different style and a new set of rules and bam; your there!

One thing I have found particularly challenging but also very interesting about learning French in France is getting used to the silent letters in words. There are a lot and this raises a challenge when connecting written and spoken French but it’s easy to get used to with time and well worth the effort, now I barely notice the difference as we scan through reading exercises on my intensive French course for adults in the south of France. After mastering this; the phonetic nature of Spanish will seem like child’s play.

This is another reason why doing a French language stay in France is so beneficial it will unlock your capacities to learn other languages easily especially Spanish.