French the natural way: how to retain vocabulary?

Coucou les French learners,

Il fait très chaud ici, au Portugal ! It is very hot here, in Portugal!

This weekend, we went for un pique-nique du soir, an evening picnic by the river. There are many plages, beaches by the river where you can go. I cherish those summer long evenings!

C’est mon moment préféré en été.

My son Thomas, my Dear Man and I are also working hard to provide YOU with more optimal French input, STAY TUNED!

Vocabulary retention

This is a question I am often being asked: how to retain new words and structures in the LONG TERM? In other words how to ACQUIRE ( NOT learn) the new words?

I was reading Allison Lewis thoughtful post about vocabulary acquisition: receiving input vs. producing output?: ” Research seems to indicate that people remember new words better when they receive gradual exposure to the words through comprehensible input rather than through conscious study and output practice.”

There is absolutely NO need to practice speaking or writing and there NO need to go through word lists to acquire vocabulary. BEST is to LISTEN & READ. This is most efficient & effective.

Allison Lewis mentions: ” the study by Chun, Choi, and Kim (2012) in which two groups of students learned new words. One group was given the words in a list with translations into their L1, and they studied the words. The other group simply engaged in extensive reading, and the target words were included in the texts they read. On an immediate post-test, the two groups of students did equally well in remembering the word meanings. However, on a delayed post-test five weeks later, the group that had done extensive reading remembered more than 2.5 times as many word meanings as the group that had consciously studied the list of words. 


Make the MOST of your time by reading and listening to INPUT which interests you. Allison Lewis says: ” When we are listening or reading, our brains are working actively in processing language. In addition, our brains are often thinking of new ideas and making personal connections to what we are hearing or reading.


A NEW FREE VIDEO in the Culture francophone : Qui est ? series about Jeanne Mance, an extraordinary French nurse who went to Canada to build an hospital in Montréal. She was among the founders of Montréal.

I had a lot of fun recording a NEW AUDIOBOOKLa maison du 13 rue Verdon in collaboration with Theresa Marrama.

Cheryl and her mother have just moved into an old house on Verdon Street. From the minute they pull into the driveway, Cheryl is struck with a strange feeling.

This audiobook is perfect for upper beginners  as it contains approximately 4,200 total words and 180 unique words.

As I was mentioning at the start, my 12 years old son Thomas who is le cadet, the second brother has kindly offered to write about wild animals. He is on summer holidays now and he enjoys looking for interesting facts about animals. Did you know the black cheetah was in fact a leopard and is covered with spots? Read it here ( free download!) and listen to it when you are a member. More fun facts about animals coming soon!

Le cadet de la famille

Finally, a NEW EXCLUSIVE video with reading and audio based on a German story by Frau Johnson. I watched it to acquire German and loved it so much, I decided to adapt it into French. Except the tooth fairy is une petite souris, a little mouse in France!


Hanish who joined us says: ” I really like the use of the green screen Alice! And these intermediate level videos are wonderful, the ones here and on your YouTube channel. I can’t wait to watch the next one! I love that you’re promoting french acquisition through comprehensible input – the french learning world needs more of this!


There won’t be a newsletter next week as I will be teaching on Zoom at the Express Fluency Online Conference. It is NOT too late to join my French intermediate class (1 hour every day at 11 am EST). I will be telling you STORIES!!! Register here.

Watch my intro video here (as well as other amazing teachers’ participating)!

If you are a teacher, it is not too late to watch me and some master teachers AND learn from some amazing presenters.
Use code ALICE for $20 off registration.

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 Want to help us deliver more quality French input to ALL? Download the 2020 calendar & 12 bookmarks with positive French quotes! MERCI DU FOND DU COEUR <3



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