French the natural way : trust the process

Coucou les French learners,

I am back from a wonderful weekend in Erlangen, Germany where I got to listen to my idols, Stephen Krashen and Beniko Mason.

They are my heroes in the field of Second Language Acquisition! I got to spend the entire weekend listening to them at the Story Listening workshop, and networking with like minded educators.

My biggest share to you this morning (as I am recovering from it all!) is to TRUST THE PROCESS.

Acquisition & Learning

Although Stephen Krashen developed the first comprehensive theory about second language acquisition, he explains big complicated concepts in an easy and interesting way. Everything he says is crystal clear.

This weekend, he explained why we have to TRUST THE PROCESS. It all lies into the difference between acquisition versus learning.

Language acquisition is a subconscious process. In other words, while it is happening, we are not aware that it is happening. Once we have acquired something, we are not usually aware we possess any new knowledge; the knowledge is subconsciously stored in our brains. The good news is that research strongly supports the view that both children AND adults can subconsciously acquire languages.”

Learning is a conscious process; when we are learning, we know we are learning. Learned knowledge is represented consciously in the brain. So when we talk about “rules” and “grammar”, we are usually talking about learning. Research as well as experience tells us that error correction and conscious learning are very limited.

It is good news, isn’t it?! That means, you don’t need to practice the language. For example, you don’t need to learn the passé-composé and the imparfait rules (as one of my learners asked me the other day) in order to acquire French. All you have to do is to listen and read comprehensible French.

Stephen Krashen even mentioned that if “if you practice your French out loud every morning in front of a mirror, your French will not improve. The ability to speak is a result of language acquisition, not a cause.

Le Sénégal

Beniko Mason is such an inspiring, strong, kind woman. I don’t have enough words to describe how I admire her so much. I am so grateful she showed me the path to Story Listening to help you, my dear learners acquire French effortlessly.

Beniko Mason says “learners need to receive a massive amount of rich compelling (highly interesting) comprehensible language input in order to make good process in acquiring a language.

That is exactly what I try to do with the videos on my YouTube channel and with this month challenge: en mai, fais du français !

I believe that by watching my videos every day, you will improve. TRUST THE PROCESS.

This week’s video is a 25 minutes story from Sénégal, a francophone country in Africa. In many African countries people speak French. The other day, I was reading an interesting article about French becoming the world’s most spoken language by 2050, thanks to growing francophone populations in sub-Saharan Africa.

Do you want to know more about Sénégal? Jennifer Hoban, a Middle School French teacher in the US has compiled tons of wonderful resources (articles, songs, readings…) about French Speaking Africa and especially Sénégal.

Did you know that the French spoken in Sénégal has different words and expressions to describe things? My favourite one is the verb dallaser which comes from the American TV series Dallas. It means to boast, show off.

I love hearing from you so let me know how the challenge is going for you. Share and/or leave a comment with #coucou

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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