French Input

French the natural way: le déclic

Coucou les French learners,

j’ai eu le déclic ! I clicked!

I love my journey acquiring German. I have finally found resources on and off line which I enjoy and which I understand. It is no longer a burden to get myself reading or listening to German, I ENJOY it!


“If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing” Coco Chanel.

Vous aimez ” l’aventure ” pour acquérir le Français ? Do you enjoy your journey acquiring French?

L’astuce

J’ai une confession, I have a confession: I don’t spend a lot of time on German each day. In fact I don’t count the time I spend, I count the videos I watch and the books I read.

C’est l’astuce ! This is the trick!

#inputaloneissufficient

At first, I was counting the minutes I was spending each day acquiring German but it depressed me. It was very tedious to record the time I was spending watching a video or reading a book and sometimes I was even forgetting about it. It was also depressing to see I was only spending 10 minutes a day on getting German input.

So I decided to change it and to record WHAT I was watching or reading. It changes everything! To me, it is MUCH more motivating to find out I have already read 5 German readers and I have watched all of Katrin Schechtman videos on YouTube.

I already mentioned in a previous newsletter that what matters is CONSISTENCY, not time. Of course, you need to find something that really interests you and which you can understand mostly (maybe not 100% but minimum 80%).

At first when you have not yet reached an intermediate level, best is to look for stories (fables, children books, tales, folktales). Our human brains are addicted to stories, everyone loves a good story.

Our brains store the new words effortlessly and permanently because they generate multiple connections. Therefore you become fluent without stress.


Les histoires de Petit Ours Brun

That is WHY my dear man and I launched the membership. BECAUSE we want YOU to have access to good comprehensible stories.

For as little as 4.75EUR/month, you have access to many interesting stories which you can read AND listen to. If you are dyslexic, there is a dyslexic mode which you can use to read the stories at ease. Have a look at all the NEW stories for this week:

When you are not sure what to look for, you have a plan for the week with one story a day. These are this week’s suggestions:

What are you waiting for?

Boost your French. Be part of the French learners community. JOIN now!

Le déclencheur

Le déclencheur, the trigger in my German journey has been the one to one Story Listening sessions with Kathrin Schechtam. Listening to Kathrin telling me wonderful stories in German gave me the confidence and inspiration I needed to keep up acquiring on my own on a daily basis. It is not over and we have started again our online tandem where I tell Kathrin a story in Spanish and she tells me a story in German (have a look at my blog series about #Agen2019. There are many useful takeaways, tips and free resources for YOU there).

Acquiring a journey is a lonely journey and sometimes you need a little push from someone else to help you move on. But above all #trusttheprocess

Whether you are a beginner OR not, le déclencheur may to watch my stories on YouTube. I have a new series starting soon!

It is about Marie, l’artiste et son chien Médor. Back in 2017, when we started making videos, we were complete beginners! The quality was not good enough. That is why we thought of making a new series with old & new adventures and MUCH better quality. We are also adding a cultural touch to the stories and you will learn interesting facts about Paris and about France.

I can’t wait for you to WATCH them!

In the meantime, watch or re-watch Marie te Médor avant Noël

The scripts (both in the present and in the past tenses) are available to purchase here OR to download FOR FREE when you become a member.

Happy French acquisition!


I love it so much, the time left…. I want to laugh, run, cry, speak, and see, and believe, dance, shout, eat, swim, jump, disobey, I haven’t finish, fly, sing, leave, leave again, suffer, love. I love it so much the time left.Serge Reggiani.

P.S. I have been working on an exciting project together with author of French readers, Theresa Marrama! Soon the audiobook of her cute reader Léo et Anton will be available on the membership. Purchase the book here.


French the natural way: le plan de la rentrée

Coucou les French learners,

C’est la rentrée des classes ! It is time to go back to school and for many to go back to work and to our everyday routine. It is a bit like starting the new year and I am sure many of you have new resolutions to achieve.

RememberThe journey is the reward“.


“Having an objective is not enough to travel, it is still necessary to set out on the road”, Florence Servan-Schreiber.

Le mois de septembre


In September, the lazybones can go hang themselves!

This saying refers to the harvest and particularly the grape harvest happening in September. It is a busy month for the farmers and it is also a busy month for us! Have a look at all the sayings relating to September, some are funny ones!

The French say Au revoir to summer (although it is not the end of summer yet), as well as the lazy days on the beach. Gilbert Bécaud, a French singer from Toulon, in the South of France wrote and sang a beautiful chanson : C’est en septembre. Follow the poetic song’s lyrics in the description below the video.

This weekend I also shared on my Facebook page, this fantastic website to listen to French songs by level (from beginner to advanced), by vocabulary and even by grammar structures!

This month also marks the end of the video series #auportugal. In my last video, I go through the main reasons why I love Portugal. My family and I moved there six months ago, so it is quite recent but so far it has been a positive and enriching experience for us. This last video also recalls the videos from the series. Watch a total of 18 videos aimed at intermediate/advanced level about different topics: food, sights, towns, nature…

The script is available when you become a member! Watch the video and read the script or read the script and watch the video.

I also plan to publish an eBook soon which will include all this series video scripts, AS WELL AS other stories and interesting facts about Portugal AND the dyslexic version (of course all of this will be available on the membership for as little as 4.75 month per month!).

Watch out for this space!

For now, I am taking a break from the videos BUT will be back with new adventures of Marie et son chien Médor à Paris !!!

De bonnes raisons

Now, time to MAKE A PLAN! September means new beginnings so let’s start new with language acquisition rebirth!

Recently, I watched Lydia Machova‘s presentation at the Polyglot Conference about finding a system to learn a language if you are undisciplined (just like me!).

Even if I don’t agree with all the points Lydia mentioned (in particular about how important it is to practice speaking?!), Lydia Machova speaks 7 languages and has worked as an interpreter so I trust her when it comes to sticking to a plan.

To see results fast, Lydia recommends having a daily routine. She says it is better to have contact with the language daily than spending two or three hours per week or every two weeks at it. That is also what I recommended in my last newsletter: best is to try to get French input everyday or almost everyday even if it is “just” reading and listening to one story on my site, which takes 5 minutes. It is better to be consistent and regular.

You also need to find something you enjoy doing. If you like cooking, find French input about cooking.

Lydia says “fluency is only achievable if you have a pretty good reason to learn.” Think about why you are learning French? Is it because you a trip coming to France soon? Is it because your daughter in law is French and you to communicate with her in her mother tongue?…

My objective is to acquire two languages: Portuguese and German. I have pretty good reasons: I live in Portugal and want to a social life! I lived in Germany for ten years. I will for sure return to Germany.

What are you pretty good reasons?

Le plan

My daily plan is simple: listen to the Portuguese radio and podcasts every day when I am cooking, ironing or cleaning. Watch one story a day in German on Kathrin Shechtman’s YouTube channel. Next step will be the Goldlist method to record new vocabulary. More about that soon!

What is your daily plan?

You have it easy when you join the membership: Follow my the weekly suggestions.

Read and listen to one different story each day. If you have more time, read and listen to the “Other related stories” at the bottom of the story you are reading and listening to. I also add videos to watch and video scripts to read which are ALL included in the membership.
You should understand the story, NOT every detail of the story. Just like when you were a child and you would listen to story but you would not understand some of the words in the story. When you understand the story, your brain is acquiring French, YOUPI !
#inputaloneissufficient
Take your French to the next level.

Be part of the French learners community.

#trusttheprocess

Happy French acquisition!

P.S. The eBook (pdf) about the adventures of Marie et Médor avant Noël is now available: 24 scripts in the present and in the past tense, and there is an eBook for dyslexic learners too.

For as little as 4.75EUR/month, you can download all the eBooks AND you have access to many other French stories, biographies, poems and articles (with a Dyslexic mode) as well as the audio files. JOIN NOW!


French the natural way : simplifier

Coucou les French learners,

Le quinze aôut est déjà passé ! 15th August is gone already!


15th August is a day off. “And we work?”, “Like a normal Sunday”

To find out more about why the 15th August is such an important day off, read my newsletter from two years ago. There are lots of interesting French articles in there. For example did you know le 15 août was in fact la fête nationale until the Revolution changed the day to le 14 juillet.

However, it is still celebrated in l’Acadie, a region on the East coast of Canada. Read about the tragic story of the Acadians in Kimberley R. Anderson’s book Au revoir l’Acadie. I did a review about this excellent French reader here.

Les vacanciers se préparent à retourner travailler !! The holidaymakers are getting ready to go back to work!!

I must say I am so happy not to be working in a school anymore, especially not be working in a school in Germany. To me, it seemed always so bizarre to go back to work in the middle of August. Being French, August is LE mois des vacances, the month for holidays! If you are a French teacher going back to school now, have a look at my blog series about #Agen2019. There are many useful takeaways, tips and free resources for YOU there.

Well I have actually been working a lot this month BUT from home, c’est la GRANDE différence, the big difference! And the sunny weather feels like holidays anyway. J’adore ça ! I love it!

Time to ENJOY & SIMPLIFY!

SIMPLIFIE l’acquisition du Français

Since launching the membership, I have had questions from members about how to use the stories available on the site.

KEEP IT SIMPLE & ENJOY


” Men should put as much zeal to simplify their lives as they put into complicating them. ” Henri Bergson, philosophe français.

One particular question by a new member was: “What is your suggestion about how much time each day to listen and read to acquire French? Should I listen and read the same story repeatedly? How many times?

Here is my answer:

How much time you dedicate to French depends very much on you and your schedule. Best is to try to get French input everyday or almost everyday even if it is “just” reading and listening to one story on my site, which takes 5 minutes. It is better to be consistent and regular than to (for example) spend 2 hours every week on it.
Your brain needs to absorb comprehensible input in order to process it and then to start outputting.
It also needs to be an enjoyable activity in order for you to keep at it everyday. So listen to many different stories instead of repeating the same story which might be boring. If you enjoyed a particular story and you want to listen to it again and again, then do so too!
The vocabulary and structures come back from story to story so you don’t need to repeat the same story for your brain to memorize the vocabulary. Your brain is acquiring the new language subconsciously, without you noticing it.
Therefore, have a daily routine AND ENJOY!
 
If you are busy, “just” read and listen to the story of the day.
If you have more time, read and listen to the “Other related stories” at the bottom of the story you are reading and listening to.
#inputaloneissufficient

SAVOURE le Français

It is difficult to translate “enjoy” in French. There is no exact equivalent to me as what it means in English, but I find the verb savourer to be a good mix between profiter, aimer and se délecter. All of these verbs mean “to enjoy” in English but in different ways and savourer is also used for food. Hence I like it: savourer le Français like you enjoy a particular meal or dish!

This is exactly why the motto on my site is the Czech proverb “Learn a new language and get a new soul”! Because some words and feelings are not translatable. You have to understand the culture and the way of thinking of the people who speak the language: a language is a TOOL to communicate.

Like this Portuguese word “Saudade” which has no translation in any other languages. I try to explain it here.

The script is available when you become a member! Watch the video and read the script or read the script and watch the video.

For as little as 4.75EUR/month, you have access to many comprehensible and compelling stories, as well as all the eBooks. You can NOW download the dyslexic version of the 30 scripts of the season #1 videos. When you become a member, you get it for FREE!

Take your French to the next level.

Be part of the French learners community.

#trusttheprocess

Join now!

Happy French acquisition!

P.S. Did you watch my last video about the pretty town of Ponte Da Barca, in the North of Portugal? This afternoon, I will record the podcast with my eldest son about cars and drifting. It will be available on the membership along with the script!

P.P.S. The eBook (pdf) about the adventures of Marie et Médor avant Noël are being proofread! 24 scripts in the present and in the past tense to be dowloaded SOON! And for FREE when you become a member of the French Learners Community 🙂


French the natural way: comment écouter ?

Coucou les French learners,

Le mois d’août est déjà là ! The mont of August is already here!


In the month of August, it does good to go look for a lettuce in the garden.

I had such a wonderful in Agen! Being a Latin learner in the morning with amazing Justin Soclum Bailey was an eye-opening experience. As a learner, I felt the need for repetition, clarity of speech and also interesting, compelling input. When Magister Justin told the class the true story of this Roman poetess, all in Latin, I was in awe! I could understand the story with ease and I was not thinking about the language nor about the fact, it was in Latin! C’était magique ! It was like Magic!


Ma présentation à #Agen2019 sur comment faire des vidéos.

I also learned a lot from all the presentations I attended (despite la canicule, the heat wave!). One which really got me thinking was about Very Narrow Listening by Judith Dubois (who also happens to run the conference).

L’écoute sélective

I think that is how I would translate Narrow Listening in French but I am not too sure?!

#inputaloneissufficient

Listening is KEY to acquire another language. That is why I really liked Judith’s presentation (read Judith’s detailed blog post about how she uses Very Narrow Listening with her English learners). The focus was on how to train learners’ ears to listen and understand the message.

The idea of Narrow Listening is to get used to listen to native people speaking at normal speed. One of the biggest struggle language learners have.

Alina Kuimova, Founder and CEO of LinguaPath wrote an informative post on How to fix your “I don’t understand natives” problem.

In her post, Alina Kuimova explains that Dr Krashen invented this particular technique when he was travelling to Mexico. She says: “After a number of uncontrolled conversations with Mexicans, Krashen realized that he needed to change his approach. Instead of letting natives expand on topics he knew little about, he began questioning them about something very specific and well-known to him: the story of Hernando Cortes. He already read this story in English. This background knowledge helped him to keep on track with what they were saying even if he failed to understand certain words.

She continues: “After this experience, Krashen developed the narrow listening technique further, to the extent where he would actually record several natives speakers talking about the same topic for 2-3 minutes. Later then, he would repeatedly listen to these recordings until he felt confident enough to move on to the next topic.”

Ecouter de manière répétitive

How to apply Narrow Listening to your French acquisition?

If you are a French teacher (or not!), read about I would apply it in my lessons. You will also get the chance to download two free readings and listening podcasts, otherwise available on the membership area.

When you become a member,  you get access to stories about a similar topic and/or from different points of views.

Each week, Les suggestions de la semaine encourage you to read and listen to one story a day and a bonus reading/audio for the weekend. As the week goes by, the language in the text becomes more advanced. You also have access to the audio playlist so you can listen to comprehensible French from anywhere!

This week’s stories are nearly all about pets, and all of them start by describing the charcater(s) in the story. So the vocabulary is specific and you get to listen to the same vocabulary several times in different ways. That way you don’t get bored!

Today’s story is about the perfect woman who happens to be Parisian ( C’est clair ! ). Read it here and listen to it here (or here if you can’t see it appearing):

AND I am super excited to announce there is a dyslexic mode & font available now to read the stories on the site! How good is that? For as little as 4.75EUR/month, YOUPI !

Qu’est-ce que tu attends ? What are you waiting for ?

Take your French to the next level.

Be part of the French learners community.

#trusttheprocess

Les vidéos à écouter

You also have access to all my videos FOR FREE! To apply Narrow Listening, have a look at my playlists and select one which interests you.

Alina Kuimova gives step by step instructions on how to use Narrow Listening on YouTube.

If you like to bake OR if you like food, you will ENJOY my new video about la tarte au citron rustique.

The script is available when you become a member! Watch the video and read the script or read the script and watch the video.

I can’t believe it is already the 14th video about Portugal! I plan to add more to this playlist until the end of the month. And in September, I will launch a new series for beginners about Marie et Médor. Stay tuned!

Olesya recently commented on one of my videos: “This is my third story, I am making a huge progress but I didn’t realize my 3 year old is picking up on it, too! I was trying to pronounce words and he came up to me and said: Did you say Je suis un beau garson? That was funny. I don’t think he knows what un beau garson is but the timing was absolutely perfect :-)))

Keep commenting! I love hearing from you <3

Happy French acquisition!

P.S. Got friends, family, colleagues or clients who want to become fluent in French? Share this with them, they’ll thank you for it!

P.P.S. The eBook (pdf) about the adventures of Marie et Médor avant Noël is on its way! 24 scripts in the present and in the past tense to be dowloaded SOON!


French the natural way: Input Optimal

Coucou les French learners,

As I am getting ready to travel to Agen, I have come to realize I am on a MISSION!

Whilst preparing the presentation I will give there about making videos on YouTube (have a sneak peek here!), it came to me that my mission is to give you, French learners, CONTENT.

But not any kind of content… Optimal content.

To deliver Optimal French Input!


I love this new meme by SpanishPlans.org who explains in her blog post: “Our children who speak the language as toddlers don’t learn mechanics of the language first. That comes in time. Is their language perfect? No. Is it understood? Certainly. Does it get refined over time? Yes. Maybe that’s why they have bumper cars.

C’est quoi l’Input Optimal ?

Dr Krashen and Dr Mason explain Optimal Input this way: The best form of input, Optimal Input, is not only comprehensible, but also rich, compelling, and presented with little or no accountability. Optimal Input is best provided through rich stories first. Later, students can quickly reach high intermediate to advanced levels through large amounts of Guided Self-Selected Reading and then Self-Selected Reading.


I am on THIS mission!

Access French content which is not only comprehensible but also rich and compelling so that YOU quickly reach an intermediate level of comprehension.

Remember: Speaking is the RESULT of comprehension so you FIRST need large amounts of INPUT through listening & reading.

My Dear Man and I are working hard to build a database of Optimal French resources. By resources, I mean stories, tales, fables, biographies, articles, poems and video scripts presented with NO accountability. No questions, no vocabulary tests, no grammar practice.

Your “job” is to read and/or listen with the INTENT to understand the content (not the form). ENJOY!

For as little as 4.75EUR/month, read and listen to Optimal French Input.

Each week, MORE NEW resources are added to the site! So you have access to a wide range of readings with audio.

Les suggestions de la semaine encourage you to read and listen to one story a day and a bonus reading/audio for the weekend. As the week goes by, the language in the text becomes more advanced. You also have access to the audio playlist so you can listen to comprehensible French from anywhere!

Have a peak at this week’s suggestions.

We have improved the site with the help of our new members. You can now cancel the membership anytime on your Profile page. You can go back to the previous week suggestions in case you missed it or you want to listen to it again and again! And you can of course comment every story, ask me questions or rate the story. You get to motivate yourself & others!

Take your French to the next level.

Be part of the French learners community.

Become a member. Join here.

#trusttheprocess

Encore plus d’Input Optimal

Have access to MORE Optimal Input for free!

As always, I keep posting one new video each Saturday on YouTube. My goal for the summer series about Portugal is to deliver richer and interesting French input for optimal language acquisition. I plan to continue the series for the whole month of August. So more Franco-Portuguese goodness coming your way!

Last video is about the extraordinary life of Saint Jacques and how centuries later, sa tombe, his tumb was rediscovered and gave birth to the most popular pilgrimage in EuropeAll delivered to you in Optimal French!

The script is available when you become a member! Watch the video and read the script or read the script and watch the video.

João just commented on one of my videos: “I’m loving your content! I’m beginning to understand the context of the stories, and I feel that I am already getting familiar with these words and phrases. Thank you!

Keep commenting! I love hearing from you <3

Another WONDERFUL news I am exciting to share with you today is that you can now read books for free on the Great Reading Story Project. Claire Walter has so generously devoted her time to write simplified yet rich versions of classical works. I helped her to edit some of the books like Alice au Pays des Merveilles by Lewis Carroll. I am so happy and proud of the result.

Qu’est-ce que tu attends ? What are you waiting for? Lis et écoute ! read and listen!

#inputaloneissufficient

I’ll see you back in August,

Happy French acquisition!

P.S. Got friends, family, colleagues or clients who want to become fluent in French? Share this with them, they’ll thank you for it!


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