French Input

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!


French the natural way: évidemment !

Coucou les French learners,

j’ai survécu à la canicule ! I survived the heat wave… Well, to be honest I did not have to survive it because where I live now there was no heat wave, pas de canicule ! J’ai de la chance ! I am lucky.


This is a play on words: It is really really ( = carrément ) hot. Un manchot is a penguin.

Qui est en vacances ? Who is on holidays? Pas moi, not me. If you have been following me, you may have noticed I was out and about filming a lot. I took a week off online teaching last week to have more time to do more videos for the series Au Portugal on my YouTube channel.

We are also working hard (with my Dear Man) to add many more interesting resources to the membership. Our goal is to build a big database of French stories, articles and podcasts to have access to.

Evidemment !

Do you know this popular song by French singer France Gall ?

The only way to acquire French naturally without stress is to listen, listen, listen and read, read, read. Olly Richards, another famous polyglot, posted an excellent article yesterday about reading versus reviewing. Evidemment, he cites Stephen Krashen who recommends large amounts of Self-Selected Reading!

When you read many different texts and books, you review the new words and structures unconsciously without effort, c’est magique !

When you become a memberLes 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.

Take your French to the next level. Become a member. Join here.

#inputaloneissufficient

FAQ : Foire aux questions

Thank you for all the great comments on my YouTube channel and on the membership. It is SO encouraging to have a community of motivated French teachers, MERCI <3

A number of good questions have been asked and I thought I would share some of them with you, as you might be interested as well.

Etudier les histoires ?

Felipe Silva asked me after watching the story La Rolls Royce et le chien rose:

Alice, how do you recommend that we study yours histories? Watch 2 times, writing the words that we don’t know? Do you have some example?

Here is my answer: “There is no need to “study” to acquire another language. When you were a little child, you didn’t study your own mother tongue (I guess Portuguese?), you acquired it naturally by listening to the people around you. Same here, your brain is wired to acquire any languages by just listening. When you understand what you hear, your brain processes the new language and remembers it without effort. So you can watch the stories just once or as many times as you want if you like a particular story. The same as when you were a child and you asked your mum or someone else to tell you a story you enjoyed time and time again. The more you listen to French, the more you will understand, the more you acquire new words.

Dictionnaire ou pas ?

This other question by recent member, Alister Thomson is a frequent and excellent one:

I just joined your community a couple of days ago and am having a great time. I have a question about the material. Since I am a beginner, how do I find definitions,or explanations, of words and phrases I don’t know?

Here is my advice: “I am so happy you are a member of the French the natural way community! I suggest you start with stories that are well below your fluent reading level. Don’t look up words in the dictionary. Skip over parts you don’t understand. Why? Because it helps you get used to reading in French; since you should know most of the words already, you hardly have to think about them. The sentences are simpler, so you can understand them immediately, and as you start reading more complex sentences you’ll have an intuitive sense of how they fit together. It helps you learn to use the information in the text to figure out unknown words, instead of a dictionary. You won’t always have a dictionary when you travel or have a conversation in French. If you really need to know what a word means, ask me or the community in the comments or use an online dictionary.

#trusttheprocess

La vidéo de la semaine

Providing you with rich, compelling input is my only concern 🙂

Last video is about a fruit, les prunes. In this video, you learn about the different kinds of plums, a beautiful painting by Edouard Manet and a recipe by famous chef, Paul Bocuse. All delivered to you in comprehensible 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.

Devinez quoi ? Guess what?

You can also read and listen to the life of Paul Bocuse. This article is available on the membership but you can access it FOR FREE NOW!

Paul Bocuse, le grand chef français

 

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!


French the natural way: compter en heures

Coucou les French learners,

Vous avez la pêche ? Ou vous avez la patate ou la frite ? Ou bien la banane ?


I am full of energy! Me too! You are lucky!

Listen to this podcast and read the script by Français Authentique to understand those typical French expressions!

C’est le début de l’été et des vacances pour certains. It is the start of summer and of holidays for some.

Qu’est-ce que vous allez faire ? What are you going to do? Passez du temps à acquérire le Français, bien sûr !


Summer will be beautiful, summer will be hot!

LE TEMPS

Take the time to read and listen to French. Many language learners get discouraged because at one point they feel they are not making any progress. Some of my learners tell me “I cannot learn a language!”.

Anybody can learn another language… Well, NOT learn, ACQUIRE another language. Our brains are wired to acquire any languages. All we need is TIME.


If I had the time!

Maria Cochrane who taught French and now teaches English as a second language has a great YouTube channel for English learners and teachers called English without fear.

In one of her recent videos, Maria talks about how long it takes to become “good” in another language. She talks about the number of hours, NOT years, of input required to ‘pick up’ a language. And why comprehensible input is the best use of time.

I love that Maria talks about how she counted the number of hours she spent with her French middle school learners : 300 hours. Compared to infants who spend on average over 1500 hours listening to their own mother tongue before they can speak it, it is not much!!!

Maria also talks about her own experience acquiring Spanish. After a year, she has had about 400 hours of Spanish input and her comprehension has improved but she says her “speaking is a mess”. C’est évident ! C’est clair ! She still has about 1000 hours to go. However, today I had the chance to have a 30 minutes conversation with her all in Spanish and WOW! It was impressive. I could understand everything Maria told me in Spanish.

Donc non, vous n’êtes pas stupide ! YOU NEED TIME & CONTENT.

#inputaloneissufficient

LE CONTENU

I have worked out a weekly plan for YOU.

Get your daily dose of French input.

When you become a memberLes suggestions de la semaine encourage you to read and listen to one story each day of the week, so 5 French readings with audio, 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.

Boost your French for as little as 4.75EUR/month. You also have access to:

  • Exclusive stories (with downloadable PDF file);
  • Podcasts to go with the stories;
  • All published eBooks included;
  • New resources updated regularly.

Be part of the French learner community and support each other. Become a member. Join here.

Bien évidemment, of course, you can also watch a new video every Saturday on my YouTube channel! Last video is part of the new series Au Portugal and is about la vie incroyable, the incredible life of Saint Antoine, the patron of Portugal.

Devinez quoi ? Guess what? The script is available when you become a member!

Watch the video and read the script or read the script and watch the video.

Take your French to next level.

Tomorrow is a special day in France, it is la fête de la musique !

Let’s celebrate! I am here to help you acquire French effortlessly.

#trustheprocess

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.


French the natural way: penser comme un Français

Coucou les French learners,

Soleil de juin, ne ruine personne ! “, Sun in June does not ruin nobody! This is a saying from the beautiful Ardèche region in the South of France. Les célèbres gorges de l’Ardèche are a paradise for canoers and kayakers, les canoéistes et les kayakistes.


Les gorges de l’Ardèche sont incontournables

BRAVO

The May Challenge 2019 is over. Bravo to all who finished it!

If you haven’t finished it, PAS DE SOUCIS ! NO WORRIES!

Continue comme ça, keep it up! The last video of the challenge is a short story based on the book Histoires Pressées by French author Bernard Friot.

Maintenant que vous avez pris le coup de main, now that you got the hang of it, keep watching, listening to and/or reading French. It is THE BEST and THE ONLY way to acquire the language.

Penser en français

Luca Lampariello is a polyglot. He speaks 13 languages: Italian, English, French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Russian, Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and Polish. And he doesn’t stop there! At the moment, he is learning Hungarian and perfecting his Polish!

I am always fascinated by people who are fluent in so many languages. Their thoughts on language acquisition are always inspiring.

Luca’s recent post and video about training your brain to think in another language caught my eye (and brain). Most of my learners translate in their heads when they want to say something in French (and in Spanish). It is a natural reflex to want to translate what you hear or want to say in another language.

I think Luca’s advice on it is good: “For beginners, it’s often the best way to quickly get comfortable with a new language, and make fast progress. As you progress, you’ll find that you’ll need to translate into your native language less and less, and, just like the training wheels on a bike, you’ll eventually grow beyond it.”

The long-term goal is of course to stop translating and to have the language flow out naturally without thinking.

To achieve that, Luca Lampariello gives the best advice: “you need massive input to help you get there. ” He goes on explaining: “Massive input is necessary because language learning happens both consciously and subconsciously. You can learn a lot of language from just having conversations, but you really need a lot of exposure to make thinking in another language feel effortless and natural.

#inputaloneissufficient

Les sources d’input

To help you get a massive dose of input, I have worked out a weekly plan

Get your daily dose of French input.

When you become a member, Les suggestions de la semaine encourage you to read and listen to one story each day of the week, so 5 French readings with audio, and a bonus reading/audio for the weekend. As the week goes by, the language in the text becomes more advanced. Have a peak at this week’s suggestions.

News in French is also another excellent source to get daily input. The founder, Max Lalanne writes all in French in a fun and casual style about the day’s most interesting stories, as well as a plethora of other entertaining or useful resources.

Evidemment, of course, you get to watch a new video every Saturday on my YouTube channel! Last video is part of the new series Au Portugal and is about a Portuguese speciality. My favourite kind of food: les croquettes de morue.

Comme promis, as promised, the first script about the video Braga Romaine is available on the membership!

Watch the video and read the script or read the script and watch the video.

Take your French to next level.

Be part of the French learner community and support each other. Become a member. Join us.

I am here to help you acquire French effortlessly.

#trustheprocess

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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