French Input

French the natural way: la lecture extensive

Coucou les French learners,

l’été est à nos portes, summer is around the corner !

The best excuse to READ sur l’herbe, on the grass, sur la sable, on the sand, au bord de la piscine, by the swimming-pool, partout, anywhere…

To like reading is to exchange hours of boredom against delicious hours.

La lecture extensive

When looking into reading in another language, there are two ways: intensive versus extensive reading.

This article in French explains the difference in a clear way: ” Pour caricaturer nous pourrions dire que le lecteur intensif lit et relit la Bible et quelques rares textes religieux, et, le lecteur extensif, tel celui de “la rage de lire”, mouvement allemand contemporain de Goethe, se jette lui sur tous les livres avec une curiosité insatiable.

Basically, the intensive reader reads the Bible again and again whereas the extensive reader has “the rage to read” which refers to German author Goethe. The reader throws him/herself into reading every book with a voracious curiosity.

When you start reading in French, try to become an extensive reader starting with easy beginner books.

Follow the five fingers rule by Martina Bex and read as many books as you can!

As Jim Trelease mentions “the more you read,the better you get at it, the more you like it; and the more you like it, the more you do it.”

Liana Kerr who is learning Japanese has excellent guidelines to read extensively without looking up words in the dictionary. She explains: “Stopping to look up a word, even if it doesn’t take you very long, breaks your concentration, but if you read many basic books without a dictionary, you gain the ability to figure out words from context almost instantly and read quickly.

From my own experience reading German books, her method works. No need for a dictionary, instead you get into a reading flow.

Les suggestions de la semaine

It can be daunting to read a whole book in French straight away. Especially because spoken and written French are not the same! Ce n’est pas la même chose !

You can still become an extensive reader by first reading texts. When you become a member, you get access to easy one page exclusive stories to read and to listen to.

BEST is to read daily. Les suggestions de la semaine encourage you to read and listen to one story each day of the week, so 5 French readings. As the week goes by, the language in the text becomes more advanced. Look at how it works in this tutorial.

Take your French to next level.

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



LE challenge is nearly over!

C’est le vingt-neuvième jour du May challenge #enmaifaidufrançais

Today’s video is a fun one about des biscuits bleus, blue cookies! It is based on Adriana Ramirez’ book which has 16 funny and catching stories that will help you learn and practice your French.

I actually found une vraie recette, a real French recipe to make blue cookies with lemon!

Please share where you are at in the challenge. Let’s get motivated, on se motive !

I am here to help you acquire French effortlessly.


Happy French acquisition!

P.S. The fourth video of the new series Au Portugal is up and running. The scripts should be available next week on the membership!!!

French the natural way: MERCI

Coucou les French learners,

un grand merci, A big thank you!

Merci pour … Thank you for your wonderful comments on my YouTube channel. They encourage me daily to keep on producing videos with comprehensible and compelling French input.

To “rekindle your love for French” does motivate me to keep on delivering the GOOD French stuff!

Acquisition versus Learning

I do try my best to answer each comment but yesterday I just read one I had missed from 7 months ago. This particular comment caught my attention: “Thank you for video, but if I may, I would like to point out something. I think your lesson lacks repetitions. As a beginner in French I just can’t learn so many new words. And asking your listeners questions is considered a very effective way for learners to learn new words and phrases.

Here is my reply: “Good remarks but the objective of watching my videos is to ACQUIRE French, not to learn new words. You should just enjoy the story. When you understand the story (not every words in the story), your brain is acquiring the new language effortlessly. That is why it is not necessary to ask you questions. Comprehensible input alone is sufficient. ENJOY!

In his paper entitled: We don’t need no stinkin’ exercises: the impact of extended instruction and storybook reading on vocabulary acquisition, Jeff McQuillan explains and confirms how just reading and telling stories aloud “has a significant impact on a child’s vocabulary development (Mol & Bus, 2011). Children acquire words incidentally by being read to, and show growth in word knowledge even upon a single exposure to a novel word (Carey & Bartlett, 1978). In general, the more exposure to an unknown word children have, the more likely they are to acquire that word, without any explicit vocabulary instruction (Robbins & Ehri, 1994).

You can read this paper along with other interesting papers on language acquisition in the Language and Language Teaching handbook.

And it just happened that when writing this newsletter, I got a brillant comment proving my point by viewer Chris Rout: “Thank you so much for your videos. I think that they are just fantastic. I really enjoy watching/listening to your stories and it is such a great feeling to notice myself understanding more and more.


Language comprehension

I also want to thank you du fond du coeur, from the bottom of my heart for subscribing to the membership on my website.

It does support the free videos on YouTube without ads.

It does contribute to French acquisition for all!

AND you get to boost your French journey for as little as as 4.75EUR/month.

Becoming fluent in French is the RESULT of language comprehension (listening and reading), not of direct instruction and “practice.”


On the membership, here is an example of what you can read: Dimanche dernier à Paris and listen to (notice that the voice is not mine!):

You can download the files .pdf and .mp3 so that you can read and listen to French anywhere!

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

Le Challenge

How are you keeping up with le challenge du mois de Mai ?

C’est le vingt-troisième jour du May challenge #enmaifaidufrançais

Today’s video is about one of my favourite spring fruit: les fraises, miam !

If you haven’t started yet, no worries. START NOW!

If you want to watch something else than my videos, or if you’d rather read a bookSTART NOW!

I am here to help you acquire French effortlessly.

Happy French acquisition!

P.S. Did you enjoy the third video of the new series Au Portugal? (It is also a yummy one!) The scripts will be available soon on the membership 🙂

French the natural way: take your French to the next level

Coucou les French learners,

j’ai une grande nouvelle à vous annoncer! I have some big news to announce!

L’abonnement est prêt, the subscription is ready!!!

Boost your French for as little as 4.75EUR/month.

J’adore le vrai café, l’expresso ! An expresso in Portugal is around 0.65 cents. So the monthly subscription is like having 7 expressos.

Take your French journey to the next level with:

  • 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.

To help you go through all the steps I recorded a video tutorial. Watch how easy it is.

Get repeated compelling and comprehensible French input.

Be boosted in your French journey.

When you subscribe, you get to read and listen to French stories, poems and articles.

You also get to support the weekly free videos on YouTube without ads.


Join us now!

Repeated listening & reading

Do you feel like learning French at school was boring? You are not alone.

Felix felt exactly this way when he had to learn English at school. He didn’t like “memorizing words, studying grammar, doing worksheets and taking tests.” Felix is a 41-year-old Taiwanese man with a high school education, who currently works in the construction industry in Taipei, Taiwan.

Ken Smith relates Felix’ story in this fascinating article.

Although Felix had lost interest in learning English at school, he then tried a different approach later on in his life: “one in which he combined something that he loved, baseball, and something he felt was important, acquiring English. He listened to the broadcasts of Major League Baseball.

Dr. Krashen (1996) explains what Felix experienced in a paper titled “The Case For Narrow Listening”: “Repeated listening, interest in the topic, and familiar context help make the input comprehensible”.

Just showing up for yourself everyday (or regularly) and listening to interesting and comprehensible content in French will enable you to communicate freely in French as it was the case for Felix.

Today already  marks the 15th day of the May challenge #enmaifaidufrançais

Today’s challenge video is a Christmassy one (why not celebrate Christmas again!) about shopping.

BRAVO, Keep it up! 

If you haven’t started yet, no worries. START NOW!

If you want to watch something else than my videos, or if you’d rather read a bookSTART NOW!


I am here to help you acquire French effortlessly.

Happy French acquisition!

P.S. Did you enjoy the second video of the new series Au Portugal? The scripts will be available soon on the membership 🙂

French the natural way: c'est bon pour le moral !

Coucou Les French learners,

Comment ça va ? Vous avez le moral ? Ou vous avez le moral dans les chaussettes ?

How is it going? You feel good? or you are feeling low (your spirits are in your socks)?

To not have the mood in the socks, I take off my socks.

Recently, one of my online learners shared this article in the New York Times about this American journalist who has been living in Paris for 15 years and is still not fluent as she had envisioned when she moved to France! The title of this article is “Why is French so hard to learn?“.

Of course, when you are in the process of learning French and have high expectations, this kind of article will certainly bring your moral in les chaussettes!!!

Mais ne désespérez pas ! Do not despair! I am here to bring you the GOOD news!

C’est bon pour le moral

Do you know this song from La Compagnie Créole ? Ma grand-mère used to always play it to feel good or better.

Pour être de bonne humeur, c’est excellent, n’est-ce pas ?  Read les paroles, the lyrics here.

Just yesterday, Judith Dubois, also known as the Witch in Agen shared this thoughtful article supported by scientific data proving that “adults learn language to fluency nearly as well as children”.

Scott Chacon, the author of the article, explains that the main issue is TIME. It is not about learning grammar rules, nor long lists of words, nor brain plasticity. It is about exposure to the language.

Scott Chacon rightly asks: “If you’re in an English speaking school for 5 hours a day as a kid and your parent is studying the same language for an hour a day while you’re there and the kid learns 5 times faster than the parent, is it fair to then conclude that kids learn better than adults?

The article ends on an optimistic note: “You can become fluent in a language in a few years of work, I see it all the time. Even starting much later in life, it’s still possible (if not as common) to reach incredibly high levels of mastery.

Chaque jour un peu…

It is easy for language learners to get discouraged because it takes TIME to acquire a language. Mais attention ! It doesn’t take effort. Acquiring another language is EFFORTLESS.

All you need to find is TIME to listen to and read comprehensible input.


Today marks the 10th day of the May challenge #enmaifaisdufraçais

BRAVO ! Keep it up! Show up everyday and get some French input.

If you haven’t started yet, no worries. START NOW!

If you want to watch something else than my videos, or if you’d rather read a book, START NOW!

Today’s challenge video is a short one about a French children’s book. It is a cute story about a Dad and his son playing football.

Let’s support & motivate each other. When you have watched a video, share it on Social Media with#coucou2019. That way, you also make yourself accountable.


The only cure is MORE INPUT.


I am here to help you acquire French effortlessly.

Happy French acquisition!

P.S. Yearly and monthly subscription to exclusive stories and podcasts should be ready next week! We are now preparing a tutorial to show you how easy it is to get more compelling French input!!!

P.P.S Did you enjoy the first video of the new series Au Portugal? A second video is coming tomorrow



French the natural way: en mai, fais du français 2019

Coucou les French learners,

Joyeux premier mai, Happy 1st May!

May this bit of lily of the valley bring you happiness all year long

Why do the French give muguet, lily of the valley on the 1st of May? Find out in le Petit Scribe blog post.

En mai, fais du français

This year, I have another special challenge for you! I have created un calendrier du mois de mai 2019, a May calendar 2019.

Each day of the coming month, watch one of my videos.

Focus on comprehensible French input everyday!

Listen to a fun story.

Discover a beautiful part of Portugal or France.

Read a book with me.

Find out about a compelling French reader.

Listen to a magical tale, a Greek myth or a fable.


Can you raise the challenge?

Télécharge le calendrier, download the calendar here.

Invite a friend or loved one to join you for the month.

I have also assembled the playlist on YouTube so you can START NOW!

First video is a fun love story involving des chiens roses, pink dogs!

You can save the calendar and check off each day as you go or you can follow along with the playlist.

The new videos (or Nouveau !) are released on Saturdays.

When you have watched a video, share it on Social Media with #coucou2019. That way, you make yourself accountable and we can support and motivate each other!

I am super exciting about this and I hope you are too!!! I hope to see many #coucou2019


The only cure is MORE INPUT.


I am here to help you acquire French effortlessly.


Happy French acquisition!

P.S. Yearly and monthly subscription to over 150 exclusive stories and podcasts are nearly ready! Can’t wait to share more compelling French input with you!!!

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