language learning for adults

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Dear Dr Greenspun

I am a very busy working anesthesiologist like your brother.
Reading from your personal website I have learned that you know many
languages well (French being one of many). I would like to learn
French on my spare time (I work usually 65-75 hours per week) so I
can serve with Doctors Without Borders. (If you don't know what
they do or who they are check out their website please). Any good
advice on how to learn French quickly for working adults like me?
(I am highly highly motivated.)

thank you for your comments and suggestions.

Dr. Fu Li Chao (and please call me doctor I am saving lives every
day! just joking)

-- fu li chao, February 10, 2006


Noticed this question and thought I'd throw in my two cents...

There are some really nice "home study" courses for learning French. The best one that I've seen is French in Action often they play the series on PBS. You can also buy the series on DVD or watch a streaming version of the courses at the above link. You can find a good description of the course and suggestions how to use it at Note that that page also has more suggestions of French learning resources.

A series of audio lessons that is really good for learning French and other languages is the Pimsleur program. For the most popular languages they have three levels with each level containing 30 lessons. I've linked to the French I page.

Although my French is suffering from a lack of practice (I'm trying to find a way to get myself "stranded" in France for a while to practice) I was in a French Immersion program throughout elementary school and high school. It seems to me that both these courses are pretty good and will give you a good start on learning the language.

-- Robert Ezman, February 10, 2006