Great question, Emilie! The first thing I do with my students is to discuss what TYPE of learning works best for them. Once you know that, you will know better how to ATTACK whatever it is you wish to learn. There are essentially 3 types of learners, but many people are a combination of 2 or the 3 types.
1. VISUAL LEARNER: If you learn best by visual means, you need to SEE what you want to learn. Color code what is difficult for you to learn with the bilious yellow, orange, lime green, etc. and that helps SET it in your mind's eye. For example, the endings that are difficult for you.
2. AURAL LEARNER: Great if you can learn merely if you HEAR what you want to learn. I had my students put whatever they wanted to hearn on a hand-held tape recorder (cassette). For example, sounding out a verb in its conjugation, BUT leaving a SPACE after each verb form. Later, while listening to the tape, they would hear the verb form and then in that space, repeat it. Repetition is one KEY to learning. Still later they could supply an English meaning and in the space get the French out before it was repeated. After the space, it is important to again repeat the French for verification (to know INSTANTLY if you were right or wrong.) Another thing to do with a tape is to SAY it 3 times, listen to it only and then in a space say it. This all depends upon how difficult learning is for you.
3. KINESTHETIC LEARNER: That happens to be how I learn. It means you have to PHYSICALLY be involved. Some students wrote the forms on "footstep" pieces of paper, stepped on one as they said it. Tracing it is another way.
What is BEST for learning? HEAR it (most important to HEAR it before you SEE it), SEE it, TRACE or WRITE it. Those are the actual steps to learn, if you watch a small child learning its native language.
We played a dice game whereby groups of 2 or 4, whatever was convenient, would shake a styrofoam cub containing die (at least 1" square) and each dice had: an infinitive, subject pronoun on each facet of the dice to see how fast they could come up with the correct answer. I had on girl that was "letter perfect" in a week. I asked her to tell us her secret. She said she wrote out verbs on paper, laminated them, stuck them on her shower wall. Every morning, when she took her shower, she practiced the verbs! You see, you never REALLY know how you learn best until you try everything you can think of.
Some of the students made up "songs" or "chants" = just get creative! When it becomes FUN rather than WORK, it's easier!
Let's take 3 regular pattern verbs. That will be an -er, -ir, -re. Most textbooks have regular verbs (and irregular) in an Appendix in the back of the book. There are paperback books titled (I forget the number) 250 French verbs and 500 French verbs. Note the endings and I'll use Capital letters for those:
parlER = to speak, talk (infinitive)
je parlE = I speak, I DO speak, I AM speakING (3 possible English translations for practically each verb form)
tu parlES = you speak, DO speak, ARE speaking (you, singular, familiar)
il/elle/on parlE = he, she, one (etc.)
nous parlONS = we (hope you can do the rest)
vous parlEZ = you, singular, formal and plural
ils/elles parlENT = they (people or things)
finIR = to finish
répondRE = to answer/respond
Get the idea? When you are ready for irregular verbs, you an try them and I'll check them, or ask for them, and I'll do them for you, similar to above.
être = to be
So for each type of pattern verb, focus on the SUBJECT PRONOUN and the MARKER (or ending) for it.
Please feel free to ask any questions you might have and I hope this will help you.
BONNE CHANCE, Sra (aka Mme)
P.S. Don't forget to check the "Related Questions" where you can find similar questions (or the same) with prior answers.
Sra (aka Mme)
Thanks so much SraJMcGin for all those notes, even my teacher didn't provide us with such good notes like you did:)
Thanks so much:)<3<3<3<3<3<3<3
Where do I check the related questions?
Cast your eyes downward 'til you find the words:
That should be just below "Post Answer" and this box where I'm writing to you. You can see that even what YOU wrote to ME is there!
Always check there because often the very same question you ask, or something similar has already been asked and answered. For example, "French for Aubrey" is one I answered from January 2007!
Sra (aka Mme)