Coucou les French learners,
Le printemps est arrivé chez moi ! Spring has arrived at my home!
It is getting warmer, ça se réchauffe but there are still cold and rainy days! Des jours de froid et de pluie !
“There are spring rains, delicious when the sky seems to cry of joy.” Paul-Jean Toulet is a poet and a novelist.
So no excuse not to enjoy a good book!
I just read about a fascinating case of an adult learner of English as a foreign language who overcame her struggles by reading. This particular learner “had been troubled by the thought that her English was poor, especially in informal situations.”
Sounds familiar? Many language learners feel the same way. They lack confidence. This particular learner whose name is Karey “found making presentations in English very frightening, frustrating, and exhausting, especially in front of professors of English as a Foreign Language… Her grammar mistakes and incorrect word choices made her feel humiliated in front of an audience.”
How did karey solve her problem? She first tried different approaches: “She began with attempting to read classic literature, a path that many adults try, without success. The language level was simply too high and incomprehensible… She tried online English tutors with a private teacher. She stopped because of the tutors’ obsession with correcting her pronunciation.”
Finally she started “to read simple English books she had bought for her children, the Magic Tree House series. These books were not boring, even though they were written for young readers.” And then petit à petit, little by little she read “classic children’s fiction such as Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid, Swan Lake, and The Secret Garden; and simplified literary works of titles such as Jane Eyre, Anna Karenina, A Christmas Carol, The Great Gatsby, etc.”
What happened? Karey’s confidence grew and when she had to give another presentation in English, she felt at ease speaking. She says: “When focusing on the content, I simply forgot that I was using English in all discussions!“;
Many language learners think they have to “practice” the language in order to learn it. Karey’s case shows the opposite. There is no need to memorize vocabulary nor to practice repeating made-up dialogues.
“Fiction contains exactly the materials we need to face this challenge; it includes communication of all types such as chatting, negotiation, discussion, description, narration and even teasing or joking. No school text will encompass all the language features we are likely to encounter in real life.” (Hsieh, Wang & Lee, 2011; McQuillan, 2016).
“Krashen (2016) proposed that we achieve the highest level of literacy and language competence over three stages:
- hearing stories,
- reading self-selected narrow recreational texts,
- reading self-selected professional texts in an area of personal interest.“
Let’s complete the first stage by listening to this fun story about un roi, a king in Australia who wants to marry his daughter, la princesse !
This video is part of the series of 10 stories based on the book by Adriana Ramirez, translated and adapted into French by Kristin Arnason “Learning French with Comprehensible Input Through Storytelling. First Year French. Student’s Book“.
The best way to listen to comprehensible French for free!
By purchasing the eBook of the scripts to Season #1 videos, you contribute to help those who cannot afford French lessons by ensuring that the weekly free French stories continue on le Français naturellement YouTube channel.
I am here to help you acquire French effortlessly.
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 boost your French AND see me in Agen this summer? Contact me directly.