French Language Blog

5 ways to make the most of a French tutor Posted by on Feb 17, 2022 in Language

If you’re learning French on your own, bravo! 🙌

As you progress, you’ll want to apply what you’re learning with a tutor. But working with a French tutor can be a big investment.

If you’re considering working with a tutor, Catherine from the Transparent Connect Tutoring team is here to share five ways to bien profiter de (make the most of) tutoring time!

  1. Self-teach before class so you can spend class time on things you can’t easily do tout seul (alone).

Let language apps do what they do best: drill vocabulary and grammar patterns. Spaced repetition algorithms make memorization as quick and personalized as possible, so I recommend doing it on your own.

  1. Apply what you’re learning with your tuteur (tutor).

Come to your sessions equipped with that vocab and grammar knowledge and put it to use in conversation! Rather than teaching you things from scratch, your tutor can then spend more time identifying and filling your gaps. I will pick up on the little things like pronunciation, so you’re not confusing embrasser (to kiss) with embraser (to light on fire). 😆

  1. Maximiser (maximize) speaking time.

Don’t be a passive participant. Spend as much time speaking as you do listening to your tutor. My students love when I play the student and they get to do the teaching. I’ll show a paragraph and they get to hunt for the errors, correct them, and explain the rule to me. Sometimes being the teacher is the best way to see how much you’ve learned—and it gets you speaking!

  1. Work with sources authentiques (authentic materials).

If you find a tutor you love, you probably don’t want to work with someone else. But you need exposure to different voices, speaking paces, accents, etc. that you’ll encounter in the French-speaking world. Using authentic resources (made by native speakers, for native speakers) will give you that exposure. I make sure to incorporate things like YouTube videos or podcast clips so you’re hearing different voices and also getting exposure to the culture and current events.

  1. Reviser (review) your sessions.

We all know we should review what we’ve learned. Ask your tutor to take notes during your sessions and give them to you at the end. It’s a great way to review your mistakes—and your progress. If I notice a student consistently struggles with le subjonctif, I will point that out in our session notes and also find ways to incorporate that more into our lessons so we can practice it more. If I notice they’re using it perfectly later on, I’ll point that out too. Little victories!

Haven’t found a tutor you love yet? Consider working with us! Sign up for a 2- or 8-session tutoring package and get a free session where we’ll do a skills assessment and create a custom learning plan to help you meet your French language goals.

Transparent Connect French Tutor Catherine Thille👋 Hi, I’m Catherine Tille! I am a native French speaker, born and raised in Paris by a French mother and an Italian father. I understand what it means to be a language learner—I’ve learned five languages myself: English, Italian German, Spanish, and Latin. After spending the first chapter of my career as an international marketing manager working with groups like Nestlé and Disney, I became a French Linguistic & Cultural Specialist and have been teaching students of all ages and levels for the past 15 years. I have expertise in teaching French to large multinational executives in International Business & Relations, Law and Medical fields, as well as to the US Government. In my spare time, I love playing the violin, cooking, or traveling.


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About the Author: Transparent Language

Transparent Language is a leading provider of best-practice language learning software for consumers, government agencies, educational institutions, and businesses. We want everyone to love learning language as much as we do, so we provide a large offering of free resources and social media communities to help you do just that!


  1. Jean Barrucand:

    i understand what you say very well.
    i, too, am a French native and i teach adults in Edmonton Canada.
    I have said to all my students the same things you have said in your text.
    learning a language is hard but it can be fun as well and should be fun.
    thank you.


    • Bridgette:

      @Jean Barrucand Absolutely, having fun is the most important part. Thanks for the comment, Jean!