How To Deal With Setbacks When Learning French


How To Deal With Setbacks When Learning French

By Geralde Vincent-Bancroft

Have you ever felt overwhelmed or defeated when learning a new language? As an aspiring French speaker, we understand that your journey is full of obstacles and can sometimes feel intimidating. However, it doesn’t have to be this way!

Learning a new language can be challenging, and there will inevitably be setbacks along the way. This is especially true when learning French, which has a number of grammatical features that can be difficult for English speakers to master.

In this blog article, we’re discussing how to turn adversity into opportunities when learning a foreign language like French and the importance of leveraging failure as a path for success. So if you’re ready to keep practicing despite inevitable setbacks along your journey with the language – let’s dig in!

hands on a fence and overlaid hoe to deal with setbacks when learning French

Here are some common setbacks that French language learners might encounter:


 French pronunciation  can be difficult for English speakers, especially the nasal vowels and the uvular fricative.


French grammar is more complex than English grammar, with a number of grammatical features that do not exist in English.


 French has a large vocabulary, with many words that are cognates of English words but have different meanings.

Lack of opportunities to practice: 

If you do not live in a French-speaking country, it can be difficult to find opportunities to practice speaking and listening to French.

Culture shock: 

If you travel to a French-speaking country, you may experience culture shock, which can make it difficult to learn the language.

See setbacks as opportunities

If you experience a setback, don’t let it discourage you. Instead, use it as an opportunity to learn and grow. Here are a few tips for dealing with setbacks when learning French:

Understanding the importance of having a positive attitude when learning French

Have the right mindset.

There’s something truly special about learning a new language, especially one as beautiful and complex as French. But let’s be real, it can also be quite challenging at times. That’s why having a positive attitude is absolutely crucial if you really want to master this language.

 Trust me, I’ve been there. When I first started learning German, I was getting frustrated because I often couldn’t understand certain words or phrases. But once I shifted my mindset and started approaching each lesson with a fresh, positive attitude, things began to click. 

Suddenly, those same words and phrases that were confounding me before, started to make sense. 

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed or discouraged in your French language studies, take a deep breath, reset your mindset, and remember that positivity can work wonders.

 It’s important to remember that setbacks are normal and everyone experiences them. The key is to not let them derail your progress. Instead, view them as challenges that you can overcome.

Developing resilience when facing up to challenges and obstacles

Developing resilience is key to overcoming challenges and obstacles in life. It’s all about being able to bounce back and keep moving forward when faced with difficulties. 

Everyone faces hurdles at some point, but those who develop resilience  are the ones who thrive in the face of adversity. The great thing about resilience is that it’s a skill that can be learned and cultivated.

 By focusing on your strengths and building a support system, you can develop the inner strength and confidence needed to face any challenge head-on. Whenever life throws you a curveball, remember that you have what it takes to overcome it and come out even stronger on the other side.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from setbacks. When you experience a setback, don’t give up. Take some time to process what happened, and then come up with a plan to move forward. It is certainly not different in language learning. 

Be persistent. 

Learning a new language takes time and effort. Don’t expect to become fluent overnight. Just keep practicing, and you will eventually reach your goals.

Practicing constantly to stay motivated and build a strong foundation in French

Learning a new language is an exciting adventure that requires dedication and consistency. If you want to build a strong foundation in French and stay motivated, practicing constantly is the way to go. 

Believe it or not, a daily dose of French can do wonders for your language skills. Whether you dedicate 30 minutes or 2 hours, every little bit counts and will eventually pay off. 

Try to make language learning a fun and interactive activity by exploring new resources, playing games, or watching French movies  or TV shows.

 Remember to take every opportunity to practice speaking, reading, and writing French. The more you practice, the more you’ll be able to communicate confidently and effectively in French.

 So, what are you waiting for? Start your language learning journey today! Bonne chance!

Here are some additional tips that can help you deal with setbacks:

Finding extra support from experienced teachers or native speakers 

As language learners, we all know how important practice and exposure is in mastering a new language. That’s where finding extra support from  experienced teachers  or native speakers becomes invaluable. Not only are they able to provide guidance and feedback on your language skills, but they also bring a wealth of cultural knowledge and insight to the table. 

Whether it’s through language exchange programs, online resources, or local meetups, connecting with others who share your passion for language learning can be a game-changer. Having people to talk to who are also learning French can be a great source of encouragement

Don’t be afraid to seek out support and additional resources – it’s a small investment that can pay off in a big way.


Setting realistic goals. 

Don’t try to learn too much too soon. Set small, achievable goals for yourself, and celebrate your successes along the way.

Keeping track of your progress to measure your successes and failures

Keeping track of your progress is a vital habit to develop if you want to achieve success in any area of your life. By measuring your successes and failures, you’ll have a clearer understanding of where you stand and what you need to do to accomplish your goals. 

It’s an incredibly powerful way to stay motivated and focused on what really matters. Whether you’re trying to improve your health, build a successful business, or learn a new skill, tracking your progress will help you identify areas where you’re excelling and areas where you need to work harder. 

It’s a personal journey, and no two paths will look the same, but the rewards are well worth the effort! So start tracking your progress today. Keep a language journal  and see where your journey takes you.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. 

Everyone makes mistakes when they’re learning a new language. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes and keep moving forward.

Remember, learning a new language is a journey, not a destination. There will be setbacks along the way, but if you stay positive and keep practicing, you will eventually reach your goals.


Learning a foreign language can be incredibly fulfilling and challenging. Keeping mindset and attitude in check is key when dealing with learning setbacks. Aim for resilience by setting realistic goals, knowing that failure and success go hand in hand on the path to mastery of French. 

Building up a strong foundation through consistent practice, utilizing effective search strategies, and finding outsourced support will give you strong momentum when learning French. 

Focusing on process over product helps to keep your motivation high and takes away much of the pressure of making mistakes. 

Learning French can be a rewarding experience. It can open up new opportunities for travel, work, and friendships. Don’t let setbacks discourage you. Just keep practicing, and you will eventually reach your goals.

Lastly, celebrate successes (both small and big) while reflecting on where you have room for improvement – these are essential to improving as a  language learner! 

Have patience, persist with passion, and persevere despite challenges – you can do it! Don’t give up!

Download My Language Journal to help you on your journey.

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