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.


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!


Le Stage Bébé

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


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.


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!


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 🙂

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