top of page

Title: "Unleashing the Power of Creativity: A Fresh Approach to Learning French"

If you've found your way to this article, chances are you're either diving into the world of French language learning or contemplating taking the plunge. So, let me ask you: How's it going? Are you hitting the books, pouring over textbooks, or maybe tapping away on language apps like Duolingo? But here's the real question: Does it feel right? Are you truly enjoying the journey? Does French feel alive and vibrant to you, or more like a chore?

Before we dive any deeper, let's talk about something fundamental: the difference between "learning" a language and "acquiring" it. Learning is all about hitting the books, studying grammar rules, and memorizing vocabulary lists. But acquisition? That's a whole different ball game. It's about soaking up the language like a sponge, immersing yourself in it, and letting it seep into your subconscious in a natural, unstructured way. And that is where the magic happens. Think back to your French lessons—whether in school or wherever you're learning now. How did they make you feel? Did you spend hours poring over grammar rules and vocabulary lists, only to freeze up when it came time to speak to the locals? Trust me, you're not alone.

Well, allow me to let you into a little secret. The most effective way to speak French isn't to learn it, but to acquire it. Or acquire it first, then learn it.

You see, traditional teaching of French does so the wrong way round and this is what makes French feel so difficult.

Let me explain.

Let's go back to when you learnt your mother tongue, most likely English (American, Irish, Scottish, Asutralian...). Was there a grammar book in sight? Could you translate? Nope! When your mother said "this is a chair", it's to sit on", you took the word and accepted it. You had NO idea on tenses, structure. You started off with the odd word and built from it. Incidentally, did you know that I had ZERO idea of tenses in English? It was only when started as a language trainer that I learnt about the different tenses and HOW to use them. We go through life using English not knowing ANYTHING about its grammar and yet when comes to learning French we get hung up on the whole grammar thing first, before we have even spoken.

Yes the brain does acquire a mother tongue differently to a second language, but there are also elements of that intitial language acquisition, as well as the brain structure that can truly help you with French and feel more confident with it.

Now, I'm going to talk very simplistically for a moment. Let's look a the left and right brain.

We know that the brain doesn't work quite so distinctly as left and right brain, but most people understand this way, that the left brain is logic, analysis, thinking, and the right is feeling, creativity, emotion. People who live in their head are ruled by their left brain, thinking everything through, need logic and explanation, whereas those who come from the heart, are in flow with their right brain, creative, in the flow and intuitive.

When we learn our mother tongue, whether it's English, French, or any other language, we don't start with grammar books or verb conjugations. No, we start with the basics—we hear the sounds, the words, the rhythms of speech. We learn through play, through exploration, through immersion in the language. And guess what? We do it all without even thinking about grammar or structure. But when it comes to learning a second language—French, for example—we often throw all that out the window. We dive straight into the nitty-gritty of grammar and syntax, trying to make sense of it all before we've even had a chance to get comfortable with the language. And guess what? It doesn't work. No wonder French feels so daunting!. Yes second language learning isn't quite same process and invloves different parts of the brain when we look in detail, BUT we can still help the brain to more in the flow; Ask any mutlilinguist how they picked up so many languages, it wasn't by learning grammar first.

This is where creativity comes in. 

Creativity is a right brained activity and so in bringing in a creative element to languages, it stimulates the right brain, awakening it to a more natural acquistion, putting it on familiar territory. for language learning. It's also of course an excellent activity to bring in some fun and take the emphasis away from you in a group situation. We have been so shut down to our creativity, that to awaken that creative state brings more harmony into the body, allows our brain to absorb the language in a more global sense away from direct analysis and break down of the words. You see, creativity stimulates the right side of your brain—the side that's all about intuition, emotion, and imagination. It's the side that's perfectly suited to language acquisition, to absorbing the language in a natural, intuitive way. So why not harness that power in your French language journey? And let's face it, doing something creative whilst speaking French brings in so much more fun, it opens up a whole new avenue of vocabulary and topics for discussion and if doing something creative makes you happy then that is the perfect place to be. If we feel happy, then we are more open to receiving a language.

Instead of drilling grammar rules or memorizing vocabulary lists, why not try something different? Colour in a colouring book while listening to a French podcast. Knit a scarf while watching a French film. Write a story in French, even if your grammar isn't perfect. The key is to let go of your inhibitions, to embrace the joy of expression, and to let your creativity lead the way.

And if you're looking for more structured ways to incorporate creativity into your French learning, why not join one of my workshops or courses? From creative expression workshops to art journaling in French, there's something for everyone. And who knows? You might just discover a whole new side of yourself in the process.

Above all do something that you love doing, that brings you pleasure, and combine with French!

Let me know how you liked this article, and what you would love to do creatively with your French

A bientôt!


bottom of page