French the natural way: high frequency matters!

Coucou les French learners,

I have just published a cultural video about apples in Normandie. I LOVE any desserts with apples: tarte aux pommes, crumble aux pommes, gâteau aux pommes, tarte tatin… What about you?

Il y a du pain sur la planche ! This is a French expression which means there is a lot to do!

Let’s face it acquiring a new language is a daunting task! A mountain of vocabulary, no clear measure of progress and a million different methods to follow.

It doesn’t have to be like that. All you need is to FOCUS and ENJOY.

Il y a assez de pain et de vin, non ?

Les mots fréquents

Did you know that many people get by in life using only 500-800 different words a day?

So knowing the 500 most common words well (plus some cognates, words that are similar in your native language) will allow you to understand a LOT of French, maybe 90% of everyday conversations.

Knowing the 500 most common words  will also allow you to start reading. When you read and when you understand what you are reading, you acquire French FASTER!

Ben Slavic (who is a a language teacher and who wrote many inspiring books for language teachers) shared a list of the 200 essential French words. HOWEVER you won’t go very far if you start memorizing them using flashcards for example. You will probably store them in your short term memory BUT they will not stay FOREVER in your brain. This is learning, NOT acquiring.

Language acquisition is slow, piecemeal and stage-like.Bill VanPatten, While we’re on the topic.

To acquire the most common French words and structures, you need to understand them from context.

The most EFFICIENT way is to READ and to LISTEN to compelling stories.

That is why my Dear Man and I designed the Baby Stage and now the Infant Stage. To allow you to ACQUIRE the most used French structures. These self paced online courses are specifically designed to build a strong French foundation.

In each video, you first listen to the key structure being explained to you. 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. There is NO need to memorize those words because you will hear them again and again in the next videos!



FOCUS on the 500 MOST USED FRENCH WORDS. Enjoy the stories.

When you watch my videos, DRAW what you understand from the story. It will keep you focused on the story. My Dear Man designed a great template to help you draw and record the key vocabulary. Download it here.

Share your drawings, share your templates with the French learners community #idrawfrenchwithaliceayel #jedessineavecaliceayel


The NEW Marie & Médor series is underway! Did you watch Marie and her dog, Médor last episode? Médor goes for a walk in an orchard but he sees a strange apple tree. In this episode, you get to acquire USEFUL words and structures: il voit, certains, je n’ai jamais vu

When you are a member, you get to read and listen to Marie & Médor adventures in the present tense AND in the past tense.

The Infant Stage has started!!! There are now two sessions to watch. The first session is designed to acquire a common structure avoir besoin de, to need via a compelling story.

Session number 2 is to vocalize. I share with you phrases to repeat to give you the confidence to start speaking when YOU are READY. Infants start making sounds, they also start to say words and short sentences. They are getting ready to speak. The same applies to you. You can get ready to speak by repeating after me short and fun phrases. Again, there is NO need to memorize them. It is just a way to boost your confidence and HAVE FUN!

We also launched a new feature to CHAT with the French learners community. Join us and chat with us about the weather, things you enjoy doing or your favorite French story so far. This keeps you ACCOUNTABLE. It helps you make language acquisition a daily commitment.


Buchanan has completed the Baby Stage , BRAVO ! Buchanan says: ” Thank you for your fantastic French learning resource, I am so glad that I found you as my French teacher. Je suis chanteur et j’adore chanter les chansons françaises de Garou, Marc Lavoine et autres. Enfin je comprends les paroles des chansons.

What a success!!! Buchanan can now understand the lyrics of popular French songs, HOURRA !

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!

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