Help with getting started.
Hello! I'm new to language learning but I've wanted to do it for a while. Does anyone have any suggestions for how I can branch out and learn more when I'm not practising with Duolingo? I'm having some trouble getting my bearings with the new language thing and figuring out what other tools I can use to help me learn. My current goal is to be able to sing along to one of my favourite french songs but I don't know if I can get to that point using only duo. Any advice would be helpful! Merci!
There's a great podcast called Coffee Break French. It covers French since the beginning. It also covers others languages, like German and Spanish. Check it out.
Getting used to the sound of the language is also important, so I recommend you to dig in its culture. Go after more bands, movies, shows... anything you can find.
You will definetly be able to sing along, just like your brain can memorise lyrics in English it can do the same in other languages, however duolingo might not be able to specifically help you with that. Look up the lyrics to the song and try sing a long with correct pronunciation. Some other ways to fit language into your life: follow some influencers on instagram or twitter (or whatever) that speak the language you want to learn, you can try and translate what they are typing in your head and then you can just view the translation, this will help especially if they post regulary. You could also watch french tv shows, with french subtitles (however you can start out with english if your reading skills aren't brilliant yet). You could read news articles in French or little short childrens stories. And just remember to keep using your language in daily life, try even talking to yourself or recording yourself speak in different languages. Those are just some free ways to improve your language along side Duolingo. Of course you could hire a tutor or pay for an online course but if you don't want to do that (like me) these ways are great as well!
Advise: You could maybe learn only a couple words a day and include them in some of your conversations.
You could also have a group chat in the language you are learning on another app.
A good way to retain a new language is to use it in everyday life. For example, while cooking you could say all of the ingredients in the language you're learning. You could point to things and be like "that's _". I know that that is really improving my Spanish speaking skills! Linguascope is a good website for languages, too, so you could try that out. Perhaps find a French-speaking friend and have conversations with them in French? Also, watching a tv show/movie that's in French with subtitles might help you a lot, too!
I recommend websites like Quizlet and Memrise. You can find more specific topics/courses on these two websites. Hope this helps!
Go slowly in Duolingo.
Practice, don't just count XPs. Practicing older lessons gets XPs also.
Remember to go online to see Tips and Notes before you study the lessons.
Write down new words and special phrases.
See if you can recall sentences or words.
Find that favorite song on YouTube, or your favorite music app.
Practice saying the words out loud. Practice. Practice.
If you have a library (card), check out movies and recordings.
Find French news online and listen to their webcasts.
Practice, Practice, and take a break now and again.
You can also memorize French one word a day to increase your vocabulary. If you start with a list of the most common words the words that you memorize will be useful soon. A site like this http://french.languagedaily.com/wordsandphrases/most-common-words/ is a good source.
DuoLingo is a great start. Work it each day.
Sit down in front of a browser and search "Learning French". Just start going down the list and bookmarking stuff that is interesting. Try other searches. E.g., "Basic French exercises". Bookmark the things that look interesting. Every now and then take time to examine the bookmarks in more depth and move the interesting stuff to the top of the bookmark list. The good stuff, at the correct learning level for you at the moment, will bubble to the top because you find it interesting.