10 great reasons for learning French and why you should learn it at City Lit

10 great reasons for learning French and why you should learn it at City Lit

17 September 2021
Posted in: Courses

Et voilà ! Here we go again, another academic year is starting, and it is not just any academic year. Many people have been through a tough time lately. Activities and ambitions have been put on hold for so many of us. If you’re anything like me, you must feel like you miss learning new things and engaging in new challenging activities that expand your mind, increase your well-being, and help you explore new horizons.

Well, learning a new language is a fantastic way to achieve this. Particularly if you are thirsty for new travelling experiences when this mad time is over. And no need to think further, French is the one you want to learn!

So, why learn French? If we've piqued your curiosity, read on and you will learn 10 good reasons why learning French at City Lit is a smart choice.

We offer a variety of Fench languages courses ranging from beginners to advanced courses.

1. Learning a new language is simply good for your brain

Research shows that learning a second language has incredible cognitive benefits for the brain and mental ability which can often begin to decline as we age.

Bilingualism boosts the brain’s grey matter density leading to significant improvements in mental agility and a healthier brain. Related article: Can learning a new language improve your mental health?

2. The French language is challenging but oh, so beautiful!

Yes, French is challenging and yes, it will take work, but it is such a joy on the tongue. They say French is the language of love and that’s only thanks to its famous poets or its famous love songs, but it is also because French is a melodic colourful language, with abundant imagery that reveals a lot about its culture.

In French, there are so many sayings that involve food and art, like “se sentir comme un concombre dans un champ de pastèques” (literally, feeling like a cucumber in a watermelon field, but meaning feeling like a fish out of water) or “faire des ronds de jambe” (which literally means doing a dance step, but metaphorically depicting someone who is excessively polite just to flatter someone else).

I could go on and on about the beauty of the French language but that would have to be the topic of an entirely separate article. I guess you will just have to try it to see what I mean…

Related article: Can learning a new language improve your mental health?

3. French is spoken all around the world

When we talk about the French culture and the French language, we are referring to the Francophone culture.

France’s regrettable colonial past has led to many places in the world still using French as an official or co-official language - these include countries that are no longer French, such as Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast or Djibouti, Haiti, Canada (and many others), or overseas regions that are still French (called the DROM-COM), such as Guadeloupe, French Guyana, French Polynesia, etc. – or where French is still used by more than 20% of the population (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritius, Lebanon, Mauritania and Andorra).

Of course, there, the language has evolved and some of it may be a bit different, but you will still be able to use French when travelling there, as well as discover the rich culture of these places.

Proportion of French speakers by country in 2014 (0-50% gradation)

Proportion of French speakers by country in 2014 - Underlying lk, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

4. France is right there!

France is England’s closest overseas relative. It’s just next door — a stone's throw away! In fact, Calais is significantly closer to London in miles (107.5 miles) than Wales, Scotland, Ireland or even Manchester and Liverpool at around 200 miles.

Learning French will enable you to visit and explore France freely and confidently. It’s so easy too! Just hop on the Eurostar and spend the day in Paris or take the ferry to the French Atlantic coast for a mini get-away.

You will be able to practice your skills while ordering delicious pastries, sampling some of France’s numerous cheeses (between 1200 and 1500), sipping exquisite wines on a picturesque terrasse and be back home on time for Monday.

Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom

See page for author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

5. The ties between Britain and France go back a long time!

Great Britain and France have historical ties that you simply cannot deny. We may call them ‘froggies’ and they may call us ‘roast beefs’, but let’s be honest, these two Countries are best frenemies.

You need only look at the front page of your passport to know that I am telling the truth. Yes, go ahead, look at it! There, written in gold letters between the lion and the unicorn:

Dieu et mon droit

Honi soit qui mal y pense

I will let you find the translation online; or you can ask your teacher in class…

This is just one example. The English language uses many French phrases, some of which date back from the time when French was spoken at the English court, and I am sure you would enjoy understanding where they came from. Even coffee shops use French names. Have you grabbed something in Pret-à-manger or Le Pain Quotidien, lately? Ever wondered what it meant?

6. The culture à la française is one of a kind

France has an extremely rich creative and artistic legacy consisting of poetry, plays, prose, music, films and much more. Learning French opens you to a treasure trove of new creative inspiration and expansion.

By learning French, you will find yourself able to read Les misérables, watch Call my agent! and listen to Edith Piaf as it was intended, able to fully appreciate the richness of meaning that is so often lost in translation without having to rely on imperfect translations.

Furthermore, some aspects of French culture and rituals are recognised and celebrated around the world. For example, in 2010, the French gastronomical meal was added to the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and many places in France are on the UNESCO’s World heritage list (Nice has entered the list in 2021).

7. You will add an important skill to your CV

City Lit prides itself on assisting its students to develop their skills, enhance their employability and discover their full potential. By learning French, you will ensure that you add one more string to your bow, which in our troubled times is essential.

Moreover, despite Brexit, it has never been more important for British business and commerce to maintain strong trading partnership ties with its European neighbours. Learning French will assist you in ensuring there are no lost opportunities for expansion with our closest neighbour.

8. French at City Lit is a social activity!

At City Lit we teach languages through what is called the Communicative Approach. As you learn the languages, the main objective is to understand and be

understood, far away from what you remember from reciting conjugation tables in your school years.

We learn through interaction and speaking with each other. Your contributions will be welcomed and encouraged, and you will be alongside plenty of others like yourself who love learning and discovering new things.

Even learning French with online classes is a fantastic way to ease back into social interactions after an isolating pandemic period, as you will make new friends who you can stay in touch and meet up with when you feel safe to do so again

Try a French course for beginners. Start learning French from expert tutors this September.

9. The City Lit French teaching team is fantastic

What can I say? I’m part of it!

Joking aside, having worked in various institutions since the beginning of my career, I can honestly say that you will be in very good hands with the City Lit language team. The teachers as well as the admin staff are diverse and have a wealth of experience when it comes to imparting everything the French language has to offer.

Besides, at City Lit, personal teaching style is nurtured so that each teacher can use their individual flare to bring forth the passionate student of language lurking within you!

10. City Lit’s offering of French courses is varied and safe

We’ve worked very hard since the beginning of the pandemic to maintain our high teaching standards and go the extra mile to minimise the impact of the lockdowns on you. In fact, it's even been beneficial in a way. As many students who would not have been able to attend City Lit’s courses pre-pandemic were able to do so since it was offered online.

Since adding online courses to our catalogue, I have tutored students from all over the UK. I even had one who was in the USA. It’s been such a joy to be able to bring a bit of solace to my students, if only in providing a semblance of routine and excitement amidst the inherent uncertainty and monotony of lockdown life.

À bientôt !

Join us!

So, are you ready? Book your place online and join the global French speaking community!