French Input

French the natural way: le secret pour acquérir le Français

Coucou les French learners,

La compréhension, comprehension is the key to acquire a language.

Terry Waltz, a Chinese teacher and polyglot explains in a thoughtful article about second language acquisition that “Comprehensible Input (abbreviated as “CI”) is what makes people gain proficiency in a language. It is the way all babies learn their first language—by understanding the language they hear.

– So on what are you working at the moment at school? – Well, on a table…

Indeed, when my online learners tell me they are able to understand more and more French, they are on their way to fluency!

Le secret d’une polyglotte

Dr Kato Lomb who has acquired 17 languages and who at age 86 was acquiring Hebrew claimed that “she had no special gift for languages.


A polyglot is a sir who speaks several languages with only one (une langue means a language and also tongue).

Her secret? She READ! “She selected on novel in the target language and read it very thoroughly, preferring novels to language texts because of the artificial language used in the latter. Often, it was a difficult novel (the first English author she read was Galsworthy), but when easier reading was available, she took advantage of it.

Her case is fascinating! It has inspired me to read more in my quest to become proficient in German. Dr Lomb explains that when she reads “she uses a dictionary to look a up a word if it appears three times in the text and she still does not understand it. In the beginning, it is a good idea to simply ignore many words you don’t know if you can understand the text without them.”

I hope her case also inspires you to read in French!

Start with an easy reader. Have a look at my book recommendations on my YouTube channel.

Soon I am planning on having a live on Facebook.

I will be reading aloud Frères de sang by French author Mikaël Ollivier

One evening the Lemeuniers are dining and the police arrives with the eldest son, Brice. They accuse Brice of having murdered five people! Martin, his younger brother, knows Brice is innocent – and decides to prove it!

Join me, listen to a captivating story and get inspired to read!

Let me know if you would be interested?

#inputaloneisufficient

Une nouvelle série

I am excited to share with you this new story which is the start of a new series of fun stories.

The stories are based on  Spanish teacher, Adriana Ramirez book Learning French with Comprehensible Input through Storytelling, First year French.

Get the book to read all the details of those great stories and absorb vocabulary effortlessly.

The first story is a cute one about blue cats, des chats bleus.

I love hearing from you so keep up sending me feedback. I am here to help you acquire French effortlessly.

#trusttheprocess

Happy French acquisition!

P.S. The 30 scripts of the season 1 videos are still downloadable as eBook (pdf). Merci, Thank you to all who have already purchased it. Please let me know what you think.

Support the free videos on YouTube without ads by downloading it.

Contribuez à l’acquisition du français pour tous ! Contribute to French acquisition for all!


French the natural way: les crêpes et la motivation

Coucou les French learners,

Bonne fête de la Chandeleur à tous ! Happy Chandeleur to all!

La Chandeleur

La Chandeleur is a special day in France, an opportunity to eat delicious crêpes, miam !

February 2nd is in fact a Catholic holiday when Jesus was presented at the temple in Jerusalem. Making crêpes was a good way to use up the extra wheat ahead of the new harvest. And symbolically, une crêpe looks like a sun, so it is a reason to rejoice as the days started to get longer!

Here is an infographic about this special celebration:

And here is an interesting article about the reason why the French and Belgians eat crêpes on that day: La Chandeleur: pourquoi mange-t-on des crêpes le 2 février ?

I actually got inspired by the above article when I did this week’s video to celebrate La Chandeleur. Find out more about this tradition AND make crêpes with me in my kitchen!

J’ai une confidence à vous faire ! I have a confession to make: le gâteau de crêpes aux deux chocolats didn’t taste that great! Better to fill each of your crêpes the way you want!

This video is a new addition to my playlist Les choses de la vie. Watch this other video about a delicious crêperie in Bretagne, en France.
Be sure to share my videos with you family, friends, colleagues… Anyone who wants to acquire French naturally and joyfully!
Next Saturday, I am starting an exciting new series of fun stories based on  Spanish teacher, Adriana Ramirez book Learning French with Comprehensible Input through Storytelling, First year French.

Se motiver

What a better way to start the month of February than by eating crêpes ? Isn’t that motivant, motivating?

How to motivate yourself to acquire French? This is a question I often get from my learners (and also from myself)!

A fantastic language teacher in the US, Mila Garner has a great way of motivating her learners to listen and read:

An analogy I use to quickly help my students understand why we teach the way we do:

Listening and reading are like the water that fills the cup…and you guys are the cup. Let’s say your goal is to pour that water. That water that is poured is your writing and your speaking. You can only pour that water (speak and write) if you were filled with it (listening and reading) in the first place!

I do this while drawing on the board and they all understand and agree.

Listen and read, #inputaloneissufficient

Isn’t it more motivating than studying French with grammar exercises? Find content you understand and which interests you and listen to it and/or read it.

#trusttheprocess

I love hearing from you so keep up sending me feedback. I am here to help you acquire French effortlessly.

Happy French acquisition!

P.S. The 30 scripts of the season 1 videos are still downloadable as eBook (pdf). Merci, Thank you to all who have already purchased it. Please let me know what you think.

Support the free videos on YouTube without ads by downloading it.

Contribuez à l’acquisition du français pour tous ! Contribute to French acquisition for all!

 


French the natural way: les deux ingrédients

Coucou les French learners,

C’est presque la fin du mois de janvier, it is nearly the end of January.

Are you keeping with your resolutions or objectives?


This year: I stop smoking, I do sport, I eat organic, I grow young again, I go to sleep early

Read this great blog post about les bonnes résolutions. It has three parts from difficile to le plus difficile and it has a glossary for each part. Just perfect to start reading in French!

Listen to this song by La Grande Sophie : c’est amusant, it’s fun!

Here are the two simple ingredients to acquire French with joy: listening & reading.

Because #inputaloneissufficient

Ecouter

Dr. Beniko Mason says in a recent interview with Dr Stephen Krashen: “It is the most natural and ordinary way of acquiring a language. People have acquired foreign languages from listening to what they understand from the beginning of human history.

Beginner French learners often ask me on my YouTube channel if they should speak right away and/or practice writing in French. My answer is always to listen as much as you can to input you mostly understand to start with.

In his latest video, polyglot Steve Kaufmann explains how listening is the core skill to acquire another language. He compares it to the the core in our body: it takes regular practice but the more you listen, the more you understand, the more vocabulary and structures you acquire.

Lire

Of course, reading is the other key ingredient to acquire another language. And that  is why, this month of January is dedicated to critiques de livres, book reports!

This week’s book is another French reader written by Kristy Placido (who also wrote Nuits mystérieuses à Lyon).  The story happens in Cameroun, which is a francophone country in Africa. Read and Listen about la francophonie on Podcast Français Facile.

Watch my review and let me know if you have read it already or want to read it:

Be sure to share my videos with you family, friends, colleagues… Anyone who wants to acquire French naturally and joyfully!

Remember to #trusttheprocess

I love hearing from you so keep up sending me feedback. I am here to help you acquire French effortlessly.

Happy French acquisition!

P.S. The 30 scripts of the season 1 videos are still downloadable as eBook (pdf). Merci, Thank you to all who have already purchased it. Please let me know what you think.

Support the free videos on YouTube without ads by downloading it. Contribuez à l’acquisition du français pour tous ! 

P.P.S.An exciting collaboration with Spanish teacher, Adriana Ramirez who teaches in Canada starts in February! Yearly and monthly subscription to over 150 exclusive stories and podcasts will be available later this year. Watch this space!


French the natural way: get Frenchfidence

Coucou les French learners,

I love meeting my learners each day (except Wednesday which is my “recharging” day) because they bring so much fun and joy.

Last year around the same time, I started the “Meet the learners” series.  You got to meet:

  • Nancy Jane, one of my earliest and best supporter whose greatest achievement was reading. She now tells me she understands so much more. Recently, she watched my video in Weimar, Germany (where I currently live) and she could understand it with ease, yeah!
  • Alan, a dedicated Russian polyglot who I believe continues to acquire 10 languages right now!
  • Athena, who is studying how to become un nez, a perfume tester in Versailles.
  • Chris, my first “YouTube customer” who continues to self acquire French!

I believe what most language learners have in common is that they are passionate about learning about another culture and another way of thinking.

However most of them, most of us lack confidence at some point. We are afraid of “outputting”, of speaking, sounding like a foul, making mistakes.


We speak the same tongue, but we may not speak the same language.

Frenchfidence

The other day, I was listening to the Momfident podcast on how to overcome fear and self-doubt as a Mamapreneur and Frenchfidence came to my mind!

No matter how I keep repeating that a language is only a tool to communicate, there is this fear of making a mistake.

BUT when you were a child, you didn’t care! You just talked to you caretakers in single words or chunk of words, at times you were not even pronouncing them right but you made yourself understood. And little by little, by listening to people talking around you, you became fluent.

I see this type of behaviour happening with my 3 years old every single day. He absolutely doesn’t care about making a mistake, he just wants us to understand what he wants! So he says things AND he listens!

In The Read-Aloud Handbook , Jim Trelease explains that “Listening comprehension feeds reading comprehension… We learned the meaning of a tiny but complex word “the” by hearing it. In fact we heard in three ways:

  1. Over and over and over
  2. From superheroes – Mom, Dad, brother, sister (role models)
  3. In a meaningful context – the cookie, the crayons, the potty”

So to gain French confidence, act like a child!

Listen, read and speak without fear.

#trusttheprocess

L’Acadie

As adults, one advantage we have over toddlers is that we can read. It is a BIG advantage when it comes to acquiring another language.

When you can read a whole article in French or a chapter book, you confidence rises AND you are acquiring new language too.

This week, let me introduce you to a new French reader Au revoir l’Acadie which is about the history of Canada. The story is set in 1755 when a war is going on between the French and the English territories in Canada. Marie and her family live in Arcadia, and consider themselves ‘neutral’. But one Sunday, the village is attacked by English soldiers, who declare Arcadia to be English territory.

I personally did not know about l’Acadie and what happened in Canada at that time so this was very interesting to me; furthermore because my fantastic Latin teacher, Michael Champagne is from Arcadia!

This book is perfect for French advanced beginners to intermediate. In my report about the book, I use the expression ” âme sensible s’abstenir ” which literally means sensitive soul, abstain or refrain! The story which is an historical event is tragic so beware!

Watch my review and let me know if you have read it already or want to read it:

Be sure to share my videos with you family, friends, colleagues… Anyone who wants to acquire French naturally and joyfully!

Remember #inputaloneissufficient

I love hearing from you so keep up sending me feedback. I am here to help you acquire French effortlessly.

Happy French acquisition!

P.S. The 30 scripts of the season 1 videos are still downloadable as eBook (pdf). Merci, Thank you to all who have already purchased it. Please let me know what you think.

Support the free videos on YouTube without ads by downloading it.

P.P.S. Yearly and monthly subscription to over 150 exclusive stories and podcasts will be available later this year. An exciting collaboration with Spanish teacher, Adriana Ramirez who teaches in Canada starts in February! Watch this space!


French the natural way : l'objectif de l'année !

Coucou les French learners,

As we start the new year, we are full of new resolutions! Download this questionnaire in French on Mondolinguo about what you intend to do this year.

The BIG questions is will we keep them?!


“This week I stay cool, I don’t stress out, I don’t get angry, I keep smiling and being nice, I take life on the good side, I eat less and I stay less in front of screens, I prioritize on my friends and my family…” – “Looking forward to the weekend then!”

To be honest, I don’t really like the word résolutions, resolutions. I would rather use the expression objectifs à atteindre, objectives to reach.

Prendre le temps

In my case, the main issue is trouver le temps, finding the time. Instead of trouver, to find, I should rather use the verb prendre, take : prendre le temps, take the time.

I am reading The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease  and in the first chapter, the author talks about time “Who has the time these days?“. He tells an anecdote when he was sixteen years old and he didn’t have time over the weekend to draw something for the class bulletin’s board. Sister Patricia Joseph told him quietly: “That’s all right, James. But please understand, even the busiest people find time for the things they truly value.

If you truly value acquiring French the natural way, you will find and take the time to listen to French and to read in French. If you find compelling input, it will be even easier to take the time.

I truly value acquiring German, I don’t want to give up! My two problems are that I can’t find compelling and comprehensible input to self acquire German. I also find it hard to do “self German”. The solution is a “German parent” to give me the right input and to boost me. So I have set up a time each week to meet with amazing Kathrin Shechtman.

A massive dose of German input once a week is OK with me because I know that if I set myself to “do” German everyday, I could not make it and I would be frustrated. It is best to do it less, than not to do it.

What is your achievable goal this year to acquire French?

Prendre le temps de lire

Reading more is also on top of my list this year. Instead of having myself to read everyday for half an hour, I have decided to read instead of procrastinating on my phone. So far, I am good at keeping at it. When I have some time off and I am tempted to check things on my phone, I read. I find it much more fulfilling!

In the The Read-Aloud Handbook, Jim Trelease points out that “regular conversations takes care of basic vocabulary. It consists of 5000 words we use all the time. Then there are another 5000 words we use in conversations less often. These 10,000 words are called the Common Lexicon. Reading leaps into the rest of the words, the “rare” words.

That is why Story Listening serves as a bridge to reading and reading helps you acquire more vocabulary and complex structures.

And that is why, I am spending this month recommending you books to read in French. This week I am adding a new book report in my YouTube playlist Critiques de livres.

This book Pirates français des Caraïbes is packed with action and romance and French culture and history in the Caribbeans. It is perfect for French beginners to intermediate. Watch my review and let me know if you have read it already or want to read it:

Be sure to share my videos with you family, friends, colleagues… Anyone who wants to acquire French naturally and joyfully!

Remember #inputaloneissufficient

I love hearing from you so keep up sending me feedback. I am here to help you acquire French effortlessly.

Happy French acquisition! Bonne année 2019 !

#trusttheprocess

P.S. The 30 scripts of the season 1 videos are still downloadable as eBook (pdf). Support the free videos on YouTube without ads by downloading it.

P.P.S. Yearly and monthly subscription to over 150 exclusive stories and podcasts will be available soon. Watch this space!


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