I have some questions...
What is sloth in French? What is Elmo in French? (xD) And also... What is Willow in French? (That's all..) Please answer them, I would really like to know! Thx!
Elmo, the character from Sesame Street, is also called Elmo in the French version.
Is Willow a character too (since you capitalised it)? Like Willow in 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'. If so: same name, of course.
A sloth is 'un paresseux', indeed (both the animal and the pejorative term).
A willow is 'un saule", indeed, and a weeping willow is 'un saule pleureur'.
What exactly do you mean by the only language ''tolerated''? The only one that the people you live with speak, or are they anti non-English? My simplest answer: in monolingual countries it can be very hard and frustrating to learn languages, but the best you can do is immerse yourself whenever possible. When no one gives you opportunities, you have to create your own.
When I say tolerated I mean that I do not get out of my house very often, mostly because I am unable to. Inside my house, I have some family members who get upset over the fact of speaking outside the English language. I find it very hard to immerse myself with French because there is nothing with this language at my school and I can't seem to find anyone (other than this site) who is interested in the language or try to put forth time to work on it. I don't know how I can create my own opportunities in this situation.
How you can learn French? Duolingo is a great start. First goal: complete the tree. Take your time, but practice every day, at least 5 or 10 minutes (5 to revise a skill or two, 5 to learn a new lesson, for instance).
How to retain the information? By repeating the lessons over and over. Once you have completed the tree, revise your lessons until you reach level 25 (with 30,000 XP). It will not be unnecessary, because all that content must become automatic. This is not the same as being able to answer questions on the day of an exam, and forgetting everything thereafter. It needs to be totally assimilated.
Even in a house where no other language than English is spoken or 'tolerated', if you have access to the Internet, you can totally immerse yourself in another language.