French the natural way: the only cure is more input!

Coucou les French learners,

Last night, I was tutoring a 12 years old French student and she had to learn a list of vocabulary about all the different rooms in a school: la cantine, le gymnase, la salle des profs, le laboratoire… Instead of having the learner memorize each word and repeat them after me, I decided to make up a story with her. We ended up with a girl called Phoebe who goes to school with her hamster in her bag. She goes to les toilettes , the toilets but her hamster escapes and Phoebe finally finds it in la salle des profs, the teachers’ room where the director also is. Heureusement, fortunately the director is not strict and he does not punish Phoebe ! We had fun co-creating this story and most of all I am confident the new words will stick in my learner’s mind.

“Acquisition Quote of the Week” by

Le challenge de la semaine

Memorizing vocabulary lists and studying grammar is not harmful but it is painful and it does not lead to acquisition. Instead of giving my learners grammar worksheets and word lists to learn by heart, I prefer to give them a dose of daily comprehensible input.

Here is an example of what my learners can do when they do not have a lesson with me: le challenge de la semaine. One input activity in French for each day of the week (each takes around 10 minutes):

1. Lundi : watch the video A l’hôtel

2. Mardi : read a parallel story Juliette et Robert en France

3. Mercredi : watch the video Un nuit bizarre

4. Jeudi : read a parallel story Camping dans le Massif Central

5. Vendredi : read another parallel story Dereck et sa grand-mère

Bonus: listen to the song Voyage Voyage

The theme here is about traveling because one of my learners likes to go on trips around the world. But I believe you can set yourself weekly challenges similar to the one above. Find videos, podcast and readings about things you enjoy and take about 10 minutes a day to listen, watch or read in French. YOU CAN DO IT because vouloir, c’est pouvoir, to want is to be able to.


L’histoire de la semaine

This week’s video is based on a Belles Histoires story L’énorme rutabaga.

Mathurin plants a seed. The seed grows into giant rutabaga!

You will acquire:
Il sème une graine = he plants a seed
Elle grandit = she grows
Il devient = he becomes
Ils tirent = they pull
Viens ! = come!
Ils tombent par terre = they fall on the floor

Happy French acquisition!

A bientôt !

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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