I'm trying to memorize my French verbs and figure out how to apply them correctly. To complicate things, my teacher talks in French 85% of the time, and I am a person who learns by hearing. Do you have any advice to help me learn it?

C'est bon! It's great that you're learning a foreign language! Society is becoming more international, and knowing even just a few words of another language can be an asset. To learn (and truly appreciate) French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, or any foreign language, immerse yourself in the culture:
  • Listen to language and music tapes or CDs. Even if you don't understand the words right away, you can develop a keen sense of the language's rhythm and pronunciation. Play them over and over, and you'll find yourself retaining words and phrases.
  • Watch foreign films (rent videos or CDs) with English subtitles. You can see facial expressions, pick up idioms, and get to know the culture.
  • Check out a CD-ROM course from the library. Take your time listening to pronunciations, see correct spellings, and record your own voice (if your PC is equipped to do so).
  • Talk it up. Converse with people who know the language — neighbors, relatives, and store employees are a good place to start.
  • Read foreign-language newspapers or magazines. Get these from the library, from someone who is traveling internationally, or by subscription. Try reading it cover to cover (even the advertisements!). Seeing words in print and how they appear in a sentence can help you visualize the language as you hear it spoken.
  • Explore the Internet. Discover for yourself a country's identity — whether it's food, politics, entertainment, business, education, or more. When you're exposed to the various facets of a new culture, you broaden your understanding (and vocabulary) of the language.