Introducing The French Boot Camp!

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Introducing The French Boot Camp!

Introducing FrenchHour’s French Boot Camp!

How was it going back to work after the holidays? This is a very French question that everyone asks in France because we really disconnect during the holidays. We take 2 weeks off. We sometimes go on vacation, for instance, to ski. To sum it up, we don’t think about work at all. So, going back to work is always brutal.

For the holidays, our children came to see us in “cold country,” where we live. We spent 2 weeks together laughing, cooking, and lamenting that we couldn’t go for a walk because of the temperature: 4ºF outside! Brrr….

Last week, after the holidays, I, too, went back to work. I started my weekly classes again. This is the harsh reality of life. — Nope, I’m just kidding! — For me, work is a pleasure. I love my students, and I really enjoy adding worksheets to the site. There is always a fun challenge in my line of work — either a grammar rule that needs to be simplified, or a quiz to create, or a method to unstick a student.

say study in frenchThis year, although I didn’t make any resolutions, I decided to complete courses I created months ago or sometimes even years ago. Oops, that’s a resolution in itself, right?

In short, when you learn a language, sometimes you feel you’re progressing nicely, especially at the beginning. Then there are times you may feel you’re not advancing anymore. You need something to get you to the other side of the fence.

Well, I created this French Boot Camp. This is an intensive online class for higher levels. You commit for one month, 5 days a week for 4 weeks. You give me your written or oral homework every day and I go over your work daily, giving you feedback and a grade (that’s optional).

In the upcoming weeks, I intend to work on an intensive course for beginner levels, as well. Let me know if you need something specific.

And see how I can make a game out of learning French from any material:

I made this free quiz for you out of this blog entry. Take it and skim through French language and culture. Take it. What grade did you get?

Mini French Trivia

Test your French culture, French vocabulary and French grammar. Pick the right answer.
    I can't talk to you because I'm doing the groceries.
    We’ll lend you the book, regardless.
    They really like coffee.


Présentation – Le Défi De Français de FrenchHour !

Comment se passe la reprise après les fêtes ? C’est une question bien française, que tout le monde se pose en France car on déconnecte vraiment pendant les fêtes. On prend 2 semaines de congés, on part quelquefois en vacances, on fait du ski. En bef, on ne pense plus au boulot. Donc, la reprise, le retour est toujours brutal.

Pour les fêtes, nos enfants sont venus nous voir au pays du froid et nous avons passé 2 semaines tous ensemble à rigoler, à faire la cuisine, et à regretter qu’on ne puisse aller se balader à cause de la température : –20ºC dehors ! Brrr….

Donc, la semaine dernière, après les fêtes, moi aussi j’ai repris. J’ai donc recommencé mes cours hebdomadaires. C’est la dure réalité de la vie. « Nan, je rigole ! » Pour moi, le boulot est un plaisir. J’adore mes élèves, j’aime bien ajouter des fiches sur le site. Il y a toujours un défi : ou bien une règle de grammaire qui doit être simplifiée, ou un quiz à faire, ou un élève qui reste coincé.

French holiday table

Cette année, bien que je n’aie pas fait de résolutions, j’ai décidé de boucler tous ces cours que j’ai créés il y a des mois, quelquefois des années. Ça, c’est une résolution en soi, quand même.

Bref ! Quelquefois, quand on apprend une langue, on progresse bien, surtout au début. Puis quelquefois, on a l’impression de ne plus avancer. On aurait besoin d’un truc pour nous faire passer la barrière.

Et bien, j’ai créé ce Défi De Français. C’est un cours intensif pour niveaux supérieurs, où vous vous engagez pour un mois, 5 jours par semaine pendant 4 semaines. Vous me rendez vos devoirs écrits ou oraux tous les jours et je vous les corrige avec un retour et une note (ça, c’est facultatif).

Dans les semaines à venir, j’ai l’intention de travailler sur un cours intensif pour les niveaux débutants également. Dites-moi si vous avez envie de quelque chose en particulier.

Et voyez comment je peux faire de n’importe quel support, un jeu pour l’apprentissage du français : je vous ai préparé ce billet en forme de quiz gratuit. Passez-le et survolez la langue et la culture françaises. Quelle note avez-vous‿eue ?

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Well, if you’re looking for suggestions — an intensive aural course, to help those of me who are convinced that ‘this is as good as my listening skills are gonna get’. Thats where I am, and, truthfully, thats where I think I’ll be in six months, six years. I can understand, but its SO hard, and even then, only if the speaker is casual. (Last night, making a point, my daughter asked our resident French kid to ‘say something in French’, just so she could hear the accent, and the girl did, saying something like J’aime le poulet frit. But despite its brevity, and that I was about two feet from her, the only part I got was J’aime…. and something about chicken. The rest? Pffft. It just flowed….. in one ear and right out the other. )

    There’s a guy named Henry Rollins – he’s a musician with Black Flag, playing death metal, and he’s hugely muscled and hugely tattooed, none of which I admire. His politics, though, I admire a lot. One thing he’s said about his lifelong quest to learn has stuck with me – he said that he’s “Seemingly impervious to the uptake of knowledge”. Thats me and listening. (Well, not JUST that, as you might remember from my slaughtered pronunciations and shaky vocabulary). I don’t think, at this point, any discernible improvement’s really possible.

    I know that the only answer is to listen, again and again and again and…. but I get burned out on that so very fast. I don’t imagine that I’m alone in that reaction.

    So thats my suggestion.

  2. Wow, your message is great! And I believe it reflects a lot of what other students may feel. As you mentioned in your message, you know what the answer is. It’s ‘Keep it up!’, but you get burned out and you don’t think you’re going to even get there. I think that the key to learning a language is to not wanting the prize – getting to be fluent quickly, but instead, to keep the notion of pleasure alive. If you get happiness out of the process of learning, you’ll make progress.
    These courses on the site might help you with your listening/aural skills because they are presented differently and in a fun way.
    I hope that helps, Bill, and thank you for being so honest.

  3. Bill,
    Here’s a suggestion for you. Try Youtube but take a little extra time to
    find something easier to understand. For instance, Arte, the EU public
    arts TV channel frequently has documentaries on regions in France,
    villages or chateaux. In many of these, the narrator is an experienced
    actor from the Comedie Française or another theatre and, as such, has
    had an extensive training in diction. They study how to speak clearly
    and it shows.

    Here’s the procedure:

    Go to Youtube.
    Using the search box in Youtube, look for a topic, say “french documentaire
    chateau” and pick one of the results to watch.
    Here’s one result I got:

    An hour and a half long, nicely narrated. I don’t know if these are actors
    or not but the lady is really pretty.

    Or try something like “arte documentaire villages”. Use your imagination.
    When you get the search results, try a few of them until you find one a
    little easier to use. Pick one that you already know something about,
    even if it’s only a little.
    Or “arte documentaire les rois” Here’s another one:

    Find a topic you like and, following Anne’s advice, try to enjoy it. You might
    want to listen to some of these as many as three, four, five or six times but
    don’t beat yourself up over it. If you get tired after a little while, stop and
    come back to it later.
    Here’s another:

    Of course there are many other possibilities for finding spoken French
    tracks. This is one that has worked well for me. Why don’t you try it?

  4. Searching for “arte français monet” gets you this:

    among others, and this:

    Search for “arte français peintres” gets you these:

    In short, there is so much available, in such variety, that you can hardly
    avoid finding something that you can use to your listening advantage

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