Coucou les French learners,
The other day, Richard asked an interesting grammar question:
Je voudrais savoir s’il vous plaît, the difference between the preposition “de” and the partitive articles, “du/de la” in the following examples of this story. (Je déteste la grammaire, mais je pense qu’il est temps que je commence à l’apprendre, sinon je ne comprendrai jamais cette langue).
His comment was about the first Infant Stage session which you can watch, read and listen to for free here.
As you know, I am not a fan of grammar in the acquisition process. However, you may not know this but I love grammar! Here is my answer to Richard:
It’s good you started noticing those grammar details however I would suggest that for now, you focus on content, not form. At this stage in your journey, your first objective is to understand what’s going on in the story. Did you understand the story? If yes, then that’s good enough. Move on to the next story and little by little as you understand more and more stories and details in the story, your brain will subconsciouly understand and absorb those grammar structures (partitive, feminine, masculine…).
In the language acquisition process, grammar plays a role, but it’s not the sole focus.
Absorb grammar implicitly
Initially, during the early stages, you want to focus on understanding and acquiring vocabulary, phrases, and sentence structures through exposure to comprehensible input. At this point, you absorb grammar implicitly without explicit study.
Remember when you were a toddler, you didn’t learn your mother tongue grammar rules, yet you could understand the language (when your family and friends talked to you).
Until you understand a lot of French, you can of course try to work out grammar structures logically and rationalize them, but you will always think hard before you want to output (speak/write) instead of thinking French spontaneously. It will become very fustrating.
Furthermore a language is not logical. We, human beings, are not robots. We do have grammar rules but you may have noticed that there are always exceptions to those rules and they can’t be explained! It is because we, as human beings use the language and we distort words, verbs (hence irregular verbs), and structures over time.
To absorb grammer implicitly with no effort, listen to stories and try to understand them. When you understand what you hear or read, you acquire the grammer subconsciouly.
Enhance your understanding
As you advance and aim for higher proficiency levels, grammar starts to play a more explicit role.
Understanding grammar rules becomes beneficial to improve accuracy and express more complex ideas. It helps you to construct sentences more consciously and accurately, aiding in clearer communication and nuanced expression.
Grammar comprehension at this stage can enhance your understanding of French and facilitate your ability to produce more sophisticated and contextually appropriate sentences.
The Senior Stage which is the last stage in your French journey with us is about grammar. You are now an advanced French learner and you feel the need to understand the grammar rules. Our sessions are designed to help you understand how to structure French sentences with defined parts of speech. Watch the introduction and the first session for free!
Sara shared on Trustpilot:
This is such a rich source of comprehensible input for learning French. I really appreciated that the resources start from absolute beginner, because although I have learnt French in the past, at school and as an adult, my French knowledge felt shaky. Going back to the beginning and being able to relax and watch video stories and fully understand them, built my confidence over time.
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.
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