Coucou les French learners,
When Chris spoke French for the first time during our French Accountability Hour last Monday, I was a amazed. Chris spoke in full correct sentences with a beautiful French accent.
Je n’en croyais pas mes oreilles ! My ears couldn’t believe it! Vraiment ?! Really, Chris was speaking French for the first time? But how could she speak French so beautifully with no prior practice?!
So I asked Chris and here is her answer:
I came to your website with no prior knowledge of French. All that I have learnt is from both you and Ben.
I listen to the Baby Stage with Alice telling a story while drawing and then listen to Ben reading the story below. I then read the story silently in my head. I work my way through all 31 videos in this way before moving on to the Baby Stage Stories.
I listen to each story and then try to read it silently in my head. Once I have completed all of the stories, I then move on to the Infant Stage and then the Teen Stage using the same method as described previously. Upon completion of the Teen Stage and Teen Stories, I then return to the Baby Stage and begin the process all over again. I believe that repetition is important.
I have remained silent up until now as many advocates of this theory recommend a silent period. Comprehensible Imput Theory is not a gimmick. I have experienced the magic of this powerful process first hand.
Chris mentioned the silent period. She reminded me how crucial it is to just listen and read, and not practice speaking (although this may sound counter intuitive!).
What are the 3 main benefits of remaining silent?
The silent period is commonly observed in young children when they are exposed to a new language. It is believed to be a normal and necessary stage in the language learning process, as learners use this time to internalize the language’s sounds, vocabulary, and grammatical structures before attempting to speak.
The silent period allows you to focus on listening and observing, leading to the development of strong comprehension skills. By immersing yourself in the language and absorbing its sounds, intonation, and rhythm, you gain a deeper understanding of the French language.
Unlock our vast library of engaging stories! Journey from beginner to advanced levels with our carefully curated collection. When you listen to or read a story, focus on understanding the context, picking up vocabulary, and observing the pronunciation and intonation patterns.
Reduced Speaking Anxiety
When Chris spoke to us in French for the first time, she was relaxed. She took her time to develop her ideas in fluent French. She didn’t look anxious. Why is that?
The silent period provides a safe and pressure-free environment for you to build confidence and reduce speaking anxiety. By initially focusing on comprehension rather than immediate production, you can ease into the language learning process and develop a solid foundation before actively speaking.
You also have the chance to fine-tune your pronunciation. Regular exposure to native speakers and authentic audio resources helps you develop a more accurate accent and intonation.
You can listen to my Dear Man, Ben telling our stories and simultaneously mimick his pronunciation, rhythm, and intonation. This technique helps train your mouth and vocal muscles, enhancing your ability to reproduce French sounds accurately, even during the silent period.
Try out with this fun story about a man who invites three women to cut a piece of cheese! Read and listen to this Grimm Brother’s tale for free. Make sure to turn on the Audio sync view button to listen to Ben and read simultaneously.
During the silent period, you have the opportunity to passively absorb vocabulary and linguistic structures. By encountering words and phrases in context without the pressure to produce them, you can internalize the language and facilitate vocabulary acquisition.
You also naturally absorb grammar patterns and sentence structures through exposure. By listening and observing, you develop an intuitive sense of how the language works, which lays a solid foundation for accurate language production later on.
Maintain a language journal to capture your thoughts, observations, and experiences related to your French learning journey. Write about topics of interest, summarize stories or podcasts you’ve listened to, or jot down new words and phrases you encounter. You will engage with the language actively, even without speaking.
The silent period serves as a valuable stage in the language acquisition process, paving the way for successful language production in the future.
Beware! the duration of the silent period can vary greatly among individuals and depends on factors such as age and exposure to the language. You may experience a brief silent period, while others may have a longer period of listening and observation before actively participating in verbal communication.
#enjoytheride & #trustheprocess
Review of the week
My 7 year old daughter and I have slowly been going through the Baby Stage. We love how natural and low pressure it is to learn French. Alice’s method is lovely and gentle, and I highly recommend it. Merci!
What are you waiting for? Join us now and make real progress in French! You will gain:
CLARITY: progress step by step through stages and make French become clear to you.
COMMUNITY: meet weekly and keep yourself accountable through the most caring and invested community.
TRANSFORMATION: feel empowered. Be fluent in French. Transform yourself and get a new soul.