French Input

French the natural way: get used to it!

Coucou les French learners,

Je suis de retour ! I am back!

The reason why there was no newsletter for quite a while is a GOOD one! Here is a new addition to our family, a beautiful girl, Jeanne. C’est une grande joie, un immense bonheur !

My life is now dedicated to baby Jeanne. Mes journées sont rythmées par Jeanne. And although I don’t sleep enough, I feel energized by this little bundle of pure joy.

I feel I am more than ever on a mission to deliver OPTIMAL French input to YOU ALL. I am also now more than ever MOTIVATED to become fluent in German. Whenever I can fit in some German Story Listening or reading, I do it. So when I am feeding Jeanne or when I am resting in bed, I read or listen to German. And here is what I found: MAGIC happens!

GET USED TO IT

The MORE I listen to German, the MORE I am getting used to the language. Of course, the same happens with French. The MORE you LISTEN to French, the MORE you are getting used to it.

Polyglot, Steve Kaufman explains it clearly in his recent video about the basics of language learning. He says: ” With languages, we are getting used to something. Some of the most basic things, we may not get used to them until six months later. And so, one shouldn’t worry about making mistakes in some of the most basic things. Learning languages is not about nailing down the basics, it is about getting used to the language.”

LISTEN and READ. Once you listen enough and you read enough, your brain acquires the basics. Your brain has enough experience with the language to know the basic structures of the language.

For example, the negative sentence in French “ ne… pas “. If you are just told the grammar rule, ” ne ” is before the conjugated verb and ” pas ” is after it. And then you do many drilling exercises, your brain may retain it in the short term but will it be able to produce it when you have a conversation? Probably NOT because you have not heard nor read this structure ENOUGH.

Steve Kaufman makes a very good point: ” The brain is not very good at absorbing theoretical explanations, the brain is much better at creating linkages, recognizing patterns as it gradually gets used to a new language. For the brain do that, you have to feed the brain a LOT OF INPUT, listening and reading.”

#trusttheprocess

QUOI DE NEUF?

I have LOADS of NEW input for you!

A NEW FREE VIDEO in the Culture francophone : Qui est ? series about one of the foremost figures of the French Avant-garde theater. Eugène Ionesco, a Romanian-French playwright.

The full video script is available to read and to listen to when you join the French learners community. AND you can also watch an exclusive video (with script and audio) about one of his most famous plays, Rhinocéros.

Reading in French can be challenging because spelling doesn’t match pronunciation. That is why audio books are perfect to get used to the French pronunciation. LISTEN to a NEW AUDIOBOOK, L’île au trésor, deuxième partie : la découverte d’un secret in collaboration with Theresa Marrama.

“Daniel is spending another summer in Canada where he recently stumbled upon an old map of Oak Island. He learned that his grandfather knew something about the Oak Island treasure. Daniel sets out to learn more about the map and its past. Will he uncover the truth? And what will he learn about the real treasure?”

Do you need to acquire and/or review how to start a conversation and the days of the week in French? Watch session 22 of the Baby Stage online self paced course for beginners.

More sessions coming soon to build a STRONG FOUNDATION: how to ask KEY questions and how to use most frequent structures and verbs (there is/are, to be, to have, to go, to think, to want, to like, to be able to). ALL via STORIES.

Helen who joined us recently says the stories are for ALL AGES: ” Vos histoires sont fantastiques. N’importe quel groupe d’âge peut profiter de vos histoires. Alice, vous offrez le meilleur cours CI (Comprehensible Input). I am learning so much and even wake up thinking about French. I can hear your voice in my head.

#inputaloneissufficient

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 Do you want to spend a whole week with me acquiring French? Join my intermediate French class on Zoom in July organized by Express Fluency and the wonderful Elissa McLean. MORE INFO HERE.


French the natural way: C'est le moment !

Coucou les French learners,

Joyeuses Pâques un peu en retard ! Happy belated Easter!

It was a very special Easter, one to remember but still Easter brings us l’Espoir, Hope! And here is a cute little poem about les oeufs de Pâques, Easter eggs by Maurice Coyaud.

C’est le moment !

Now is the time! I got overwhelmed lately with the new situation: 4 kids to home school, more French online sessions and the Baby Stage online Paced Course to continue…

It is a challenging moment but maybe is the time to start doing things you would not have started in your “normal” life?! My two eldest boys just started to acquire Russian online with la crème de la crème, Michele Whaley. This is something they would not have had the chance to do a month ago!

So let’s focus on the positive and let’s start doing something we have always wanted to do! If you want to become fluent in French, I have your back!

Pourquoi le Français ?

Why learn French? Let’s state the obvious first: French is spoken by around 175 million people. It is an official language in 29 countries worldwide as well as of many international organisations. It is the only language with English spoken on all continents over the world! It is predicted to have as many as 500 million speakers by 2025. Watch this short video with subtitles in French to check out the facts.

Now, apart for numbers, French is also fascinating in terms of culture, History, places to visit and bien sûr, la cuisine !

You may think French is a difficult language? Bien sûr que non ! Of course not! If you are an English speaker, you will find French and English have SO many words in commun. English has been influenced by French and an estimated half of English words come from French! Many of these words are common, every-day words.

Tristement pour moi, sadly to me, French has started to be anglicized a LOT! French has absorbed English words in large numbers which means that many modern words are also the same in French as in English.

So although, French pronunciation might be a scary at first, French vocabulary is EASY to acquire.

Last but not least, it will be much easier to acquire other languages, once you know French. It will give you the confidence to keep on and acquire other language, especially related languages like Spanish, Italian or Portuguese.

Prêt ?

Convaincu ? Convinced? Ready to start your French journey the natural way!

Previously, I mentioned Barry‘s French journey. Andy who is also a member of the French learners community started with a bad experience at school: “Everything was completely grammar based, verbs, nouns, adjectives and so on. We were taught to memorize phrases in French like we were taught to memorize our times tables.

Andy also had to repeat phrases in French when he was not yet ready to speakUnfortunately one day in French class the teacher had decided that he would give someone a phrase to repeat, then the next child would have to repeat it until the entire class had completed the task. I changed the phrase, which meant the person behind me who’s turn it was couldn’t remember what I had just said… My French teacher said “not you, the next person go, you’ll mess it up .

Then later on, Andy decided to give French another chance and he “messed with language apps such as duolingo and lingodeer but they get very boring quickly“. Then Andy discovered my YouTube channel, yeah! He says: ” Your method of teaching has reigniting the flame I once had for language as a child. You have shined a light on a way of learning and shown me a door I never knew existed.

Partez !

That is exactly WHY I started to do deliver comprehensible French content. BECAUSE I want French acquisition FOR ALL.

NO need  to memorize long lists of words nor understand grammar rules, nor speak when you don’t want to. JUST watch, read and listen to comprehensible  fun stories.

#inputaloneissufficient

The Baby Stage online self paced course is being constantly updated with new sessions. There are now 18 sessions to watch, read and listen to in order to build a strong foundation. And over the weekend more sessions are coming your way with lots of cultural references so you get immersed in the French way of life!

You also have access to MORE stories for ALL levels, audio books and to the video scripts (with audio).

ALL for as little as 4.75 Euros/month.

Here is the last video I posted on YouTube for intermediate learners about the true amazing life of world jazz musician Manu Dibango.

Download the script and the audio file you have access to on the membership.

JOIN NOW

#trusttheprocess

Happy Baby Stage!

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: enjoy the ride!

Coucou les French learners,

J’ai des bonnes nouvelles ! I have GOOD NEWS!

Becoming fluent in French is NOT a chore. It is a natural process which happens over time NATURALLY.


Speak to me!

Une mauvaise experience

Barry who is a new member of the French learners community asked me this very good question: ” When I listen to your videos I understand the stories and most of the words.  Should I review the written text after the video and learn the words I don’t know or should I trust the method and let it sink in?  The same applies when I read the abridged version of Alice in Wonderland.  I know from the context that Alice puts the key in the lock without knowing the word for lock.  Do I need to memorize the words I don’t know?

Barry sent me some interesting background information about his French journey: ” I was taught French in school for three years – I didn’t enjoy the lessons and gave up.  When I was 40 I went to Gérardmer in Alsace to do an Ironman Triathlon.  It’s not known as an English tourist area so I had lessons from a retired teacher (he’s English) before I went.  He pretty much followed the method from my childhood: vocabulary lists and some conversations in French about what I did today etc.  I learned enough to get by when I got to Gérardmer but I’d acquired a German accent listening to Michel Thomas (NB This post was an old post and although there are good points about this method, it is not natural!) CDs.

After the triathlon I didn’t do any French.  The problem was that none of the instruction I’d had resulted in me being able to understand even simple things – it was all about learning.  I could speak a little in formulaic situations but that wasn’t comprehension. Apps like Duolingo and Fluent Forever are really appealing because they sell the idea of being fluent in x months but they simply focus on memorizing words and not comprehending
Most of us have had this kind of learning experience. NOT ACQUISITION!

Une bonne experience

When Barry came across this fantastic video by Jeff Brown showing how to acquire a language rather than learn it, ” this was a light bulb moment!“. Barry made an excellent point ” It made so much sense because conversations are about listening and not talking.

EXACTEMENT.

To be able to maintain a conversation in another language you must be able to listen and comprehend the other person talking!

So back to Barry‘s question about getting the most out of the videos and stories on the membership. Here was my answer: ” YOUR brain is wired to acquire any languages. When you acquired your mother tongue, you listened to your parents and caretakers. You didn’t review or memorized word lists! Your brain absorbed the new language subconsciously and once you were able to understand what was going on, you started to speak. The SAME PROCESS happens with any other languages. 

You need input first to become fluent in French. You need a LOT of input
So instead of spending your time memorizing words, listen and read to more input. It is the BEST use of your time. The more you read and listen, the more you understand. You can watch the videos and then read the script if you enjoyed the story or if you want to check out how some words are spelled. But the GOAL here is not to learn, it is to ACQUIRE the new language (it stays forever in your brain). The only way to acquire the new words and structures is to let it sink in. Your brain is magic! It is working for you subconsciously. 
I can tell you from my own experience with German ( I am acquiring German right now) that the more you watch, listen and read everyday, the more you are hooked because the easier it gets to understand. And then, at some point you will NATURALLY want to speak and write.
NO need to review/memorize/make words lists. JUST listen and read and ENJOY.”

Watch my video in English to get more in depth explanation!

#inputaloneissufficient

Le Stage Bébé

And here comes another fantastic news!!! I have developed an online self paced course to start acquiring French naturally.

NO STRESS.

This course is a series of exclusive videos, scripts and audio files (recorded by my Dear Man) for beginners.

In this series of videos, you build a strong foundation. You acquire the most frequent French words and structures used in everyday conversations. These super words and expressions will allow you to communicate in the greatest number of contexts. They will also help you understand the general gist of most conversations. They are super useful!

Even if you are not a beginner, this self paced course is perfect to consolidate the French basics.

In each video, you first listen to the key structure in different phrases. You then watch a story which uses this key structure in context. After you have watched the video, you can read the story script which includes a glossary of the key words and expressions used in the story.

Some videos are also compelling stories which give you RICH INPUT. So far there are already 5 sessions to watch, read and listen to. The 5th session is ALREADY a LONG story! You will see how easy it is to understand it!

The BEST part is that this online course is INCLUDED in the membership. For as little as 4.75EUR/month, you also have access to stories, tales, fables, biographies, articles, poems and audio books… And you ARE NOT ALONE. You can comment, ask me or other French learners questions. MOTIVATE yourself & others!

Sit comfortably, listen, read, try to understand, ENJOY.

JOIN NOW!

ENJOY THE RIDE. This is how Barry ended his message: ” Alice, your website is brilliant.  There is so much content and I’m really enjoying watching the videos and listening to the stories.  It was such a liberating feeling to watch French-only content and understand almost everything. I was a bit concerned that I should be learning vocabulary and conjugations but I’m going to trust the process and enjoy the ride!

#trusttheprocess

Happy Baby Stage!

Happy French acquisition!

P.S. The eBook (pdf version) about the adventures of  Marie et Médor à Paris is now available! All the video scripts are in the present and in the past tense AS WELL AS ALL the scripts from the series Un peu de culture! When you enter CADEAU, you get 20% OFF for the whole month of February. ONE day LEFT!

Bien sûr, it is FOR FREE when you become a member of the French Learners Community 🙂


French the natural way : simplifier pour amplifier

Coucou les French learners,

L’hiver se termine et le printemps arrive ! Winter is coming to an end Spring is coming! This is part of what we celebrated last Sunday. NOT the Superbowl but la Chandeleur.


On 2nd February, my family and I stuffed our bellies with delicious galettes (savory) and crêpes (sweet), miam !

Do you know where the crêpes come from? Here is a cute story about a poor little boy who had the idea of making crêpes for his king! It is entitled Des soleils à croquer – Suns to crunch/to eat because une crêpe has the shape and the color of the sun. Eating crêpes celebrates the return of longer days and light.

When you are member of the French learners community, you get to READ and LISTEN to two versions of the story. A simplified one and a detailed one. So you gradually understand more words and structures which leads to ACQUISITION. The new French language stays in your brain FOREVER.

Download the TWO versions NOW for FREE (PDF and MP3 files)! (And enjoy my Dear Man’s theatrical voice!)

Des soleils à croquer – version simplifiée

Des soleils à croquer – version détaillée

If you cannot see the MP3 files, go onto my site to download them.

Submergé(e) ?

Do you feel submergé, accablé, écrasé… Overwhelmed?

Although, it is the start of the new year, you may already feel overwhelmed with work. I am! Je suis très occupée en ce moment, I am very busy at the moment. I feel I don’t have time to dedicate to my German acquisition. Je ne suis pas motivée, I am not motivated!

Do you feel the same? Where to find the TIME to acquire another language?

” Work is health, to do nothing is to keep it (health)” from the song by Henri Salvador.

To be honest, I have been feeling pretty discouraged with my German until I read and watch two very different things.

SIMPLIFIER

First, I watched Marie Forleo’s Questions & Answers video. By the way, this has nothing to do with second language acquisition! In this video Marie Forleo was trying to help some entrepreneurs to focus on what matters most.

What she said was EXACTLY what I needed to RE-focus on German. She said to set TOP priorities, but NOT too many! She said ” SIMPLIFY to AMPLIFY“. Although this quote applied to work and business in general, it does also apply to second language acquisition.

Having to “study” too many things is NOT productive nor efficient.For example, doing the Goldlist method then playing on an app to memorize some words out of contexts then studying grammar is NOT efficient. This not HOW we are going to become fluent.

When short on time, RE-set priorities. SIMPLIFY. JUST LISTEN and READ to COMPREHENSIBLE INPUT.

We acquire language when we understand what we hear and read, that is, when we get “comprehensible input.”

Acquiring a language and learning about the language are not the same thing.

Consciously learned rules of the language are not helpful in real communication. They are only helpful when we take a written grammar or vocabulary test (and sometimes in editing our writing).

#inputaloneissufficient

AMPLIFIER

So I simplified and then I read Maria from English without Fear newsletter. Maria explains that when she started to acquire Spanish, she started small 10 minutes a day. She started watching comprehensible videos in Spanish but not every day. She says that at the time ” Spanish bug hadn’t bitten me yet” BUT she then increased “ those occasional few minutes to an hour a day of input” and BOUM! Maria ” saw her comprehension skyrocket, Plus she was hooked on Spanish!  Desire took over what had been discipline.

I also gave 10 hours online sessions to Maria. During our sessions, we would spend approximately half of the session conversing about the weekend, family and work. The other half, I would tell Maria a story with rich Spanish input, in other words I would do Story Listening. I must say I was very much impressed by Maria’s comprehension and also by how she was ready to have a conversation with me ALL in Spanish!

So, you guessed it! In order to acquire French, you need ABUNDANT INPUT. I need it too to acquire German!

ABUNDANT & RICH INPUT leads to language ADDICTION. It leads to being hooked. Because the MORE listen and read, the MORE you understand, the MORE you are able to understand complicated and interesting input, the MORE you want to read and listen to videos and books in your target language.

#trusttheprocess

Why don’t you start right now? February is the month of LOVE! I am starting a new series of FREE videos telling you love stories in slow comprehensible French. I use abundant and rich language to give you OPTIMAL input. All you have to do is to sit comfortably and ENJOY the story. When you have finished listening to the story, listen to another story and/or read and listen (to my Dear Man’s voice!) to the script on the membership.

The first story is a Greek tragedy!

 

Simplify to amplify.

Happy French acquisition!

P.S. The eBook (pdf version) about the adventures of  Marie et Médor à Paris is now available! All the video scripts are in the present and in the past tense AS WELL AS ALL the scripts from the series Un peu de culture! When you enter CADEAU, you get 20% OFF for the whole month of February.

Bien sûr, it is FOR FREE when you become a member of the French Learners Community 🙂 For as little as 4.75EUR/month, you have access to exclusive compelling stories, as well as ALL of the eBooks and the 2020 calendar.

P.P.S. SOON there will be exclusive videos to watch on the membership!!!


French the natural way: Bonne Année 2020 et les choix à venir...

Coucou les French learners,

Bonne année 2020 !


Don’t make the mistake!

Did you know that French people usually wish one another Bonne Année and add on Bonne Santé, to good health not only on the first day of the new year? They can wish one another Bonne Année, Bonne Santé  until the end of January! That is why, although my first newsletter of 2020 is coming quite late, I can still wish you a joyful year!

Did you also know that in France the Holiday fun is not over until January 6th? The official end of the Holiday season is the celebration of l’Epiphanie or la fête des rois when the French typically eat la galette des rois. Watch how French chef pâtissière, pastry chef Mélanie Dupuis bakes a delicious galette. She shows you how to make une pâte feuilletée, puff pastry from scratch as well as la crème d’amandes, almond cream, miam !


A whole dish / a big deal (popular French expression)

Je choisis

I am now back after a welcoming break hiking and celebrating with my family. I had time to reflect about the choices I want to make this year.

Qu’est-ce que je choisis ? What do I choose?

Instead of thinking of new year’s resolutions or goals, I prefer to think in terms of choix, choices. Why? Because when you CHOOSE to do something, you WANT to do it.

Je choisis de, I choose to…

#inputaloneissufficient

What about you? What do YOU choose to do? 

I love hearing from you so let me know what  your choices are. Share and/or leave a comment with #jechoisis

Je donne

I choose to give. I want to show you HOW to acquire French the EASY way.

LISTEN. READ. ENJOY.

Watch a new series of FREE videos this month about French films recommendations. In each video, I give you a synopsis of the film and 3 reasons why I enjoyed watching it. ALL in slow and comprehensible French. You have access to the video scripts and audio MP3 files on the membership. JOIN now!

This week’s video is about a film I found funny and at the same time intriguing Le mystère Henri Pick. It is about an editor who discovers a masterpiece among a pile of rejected manuscripts. She tries to track down its unknown author, who may already be dead. Find out why I enjoyed watching it!

Read and listen to new stories, articles, video scripts and audio books on the membership. For as little as 4.75 per month, get access to hundreds of comprehensible and compelling stories.

There are new stories EACH WEEK so you never get bored! And you become a member of the French learners community. You are NOT alone in your French journey.

DOWNLOAD THE CALENDAR FOR 2020 AND 12 BOOKMARKS WITH POSITIVE QUOTES TO START THE YEAR DU BON PIED !

You see, it is the EASY way! LISTEN. READ. ENJOY.

#trusttheprocess

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. A new online course is coming your way!!! You will WATCH, READ and LISTEN to French fables, plus DO fun exercises to relax and enjoy. ALL in slow and comprehensible French from the comfort of your home #frenchfromhome

 


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