I CAN SPEAK FRENCH ::and your students can too::

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I have a message! It is 11:52pm and I just finished writing it! It is a super special message because it is IN FRENCH and I WROTE IT ALL BY MYSELF! Right now! I just wrote it! Me! In French! It surely has lots of little mistakes but I am confident that you will be able to understand it (well, if you speak French, that is!)! French is the first language that I have ‘tried to learn’ through reading and listening to comprehensible texts (comprehensible input) instead of through more traditional methods of study (vocabulary memorization and grammar drills). And do you know how I feel?

I feel GIDDY! I feel POWERFUL! I feel TRICKY! I feel EXCITED! My husband is so sick of my enthusiasm that I think he might just duct tape my mouth before the weekend is out! Every time I think to say something in a normal conversation and I realize that I can say it in French, I do! Yahoo!! It is so fun! Well, for me. For my husband, it’s pretty annoying 😉

Is this what a student in a comprehensible input classroom feels like? BECAUSE IT IS THE BEST THING EVERRRRRRRR!!!!!!

Je suis très content. J’adore le français! C’est imposible dormir parce que je pense au le français. Je pense à touts les choses que je sais en français! Étudier une autre langue avec le COMPREHENSIBLE INPUT n’est pas difficile. C’est facile!

Chaque jour pour sept jours, j’ai étudié le français pour deux heures, mais «je n’étudies pas»: je regarde les mots en français et je comprends les mots parce que les mots sont familiers. Sont familiers parce que sont . Mon amis parlent espagnol et parlent français. Mon amis dissent : « Est-ce que tu-veux dire “Está enojado con su hermano” en français? C’est facile! En français, tu dis ‘il est fâché quand tu veux dire ‘está enojado’. Tu dis ‘son frère’ quand tu veux dire ‘su hermano’. » C’est facile parler le français parce que mon amis son professeurs talentueux et ils comprennent COMPREHENSIBLE INPUT.

En particulier, je ne pas dormes parce que je pense à Dominique Crenn. Je pense à touts les choses que je sais dire d’elle. J’ai regardé ‘Top Chef’. J’ai vis Dominque Creen quand j’ai regardé Top Chef. J’ai pensé « Dominque Crenn est une chef très interessante. Elle est une chef très talentueux.» Hier, j’ai regardé ‘Chef’s Table’ après étudier le français pour deux heures. J’ai dit a mon amour : « C’est Dominique Crenn! Nous aimons Top Chef. Nous aimons Dominique Crenn! Nous regardons Dominque Crenn en Chef’s Table! » Mon amour a dit : « Oui, nous regardons Dominique Crenn en Chef’s Table. » Nous on regardé Dominique Creen en Chef’s Table. Après regarder Dominique Crenn en Chef’s Table, j’ai dit: « Dominique Crenn est extraordinaire! Elle est très interessante! Je suis fascinante pour Dominique Crenn! Je veux aller à San Francisco. Je veux manger à son restaurant; je veux manger à Atelier Crenn! Dans Chef’s Table, il y a beaucoup de personnes qui parlent français. J’ai comprendé beaucoup de personnes que ont parlent français en Chef’s Table. Une personne a dit : « Dominique Crenn va être qui Dominique Creen veut être .» C’est le vocabulaire que je sais! C’est le vocabulaire de « Nous Sommes » (de L’Université et de Le Tour de France)! Après voir Chef’s Table, je sais dire beaucoup de choses de Dominique Crenn. Chef’s Table est en anglais mais je sais dire beaucoup de choses en anglais et aussi en français! Dominque Crenn est une chef français. Les pères de Dominique ont adopté Dominique. Aussi, ils ont adopté le frère de Dominique. Dominique est de Brittany, una région en France. Le père de Dominique est un ami de Charles de Gaulle! Maintenant, Dominique est une chef à San Francisco, en California. Elle est une chef célebre. Dominique a deux restaurants. Un restaurant s’appelle ‘Le Atelier Crenn’. C’est un restaurant magnifique.

Je suis très content! Je dis: « Est-ce que tu-es un professeur de français? Est-ce que tu-es un professeur d’espagnol? Est-ce que tu-es un professeur d’autre langue? COMPREHENSIBLE INPUT est magnifique! Tons élèves vont parler (le français, le espagnol, etc.) rapidement quand tu parles avec tons élèves en la langue et quand ils regardent les mots et comprennent les mots. N’est pas difficile! C’est facile!

Maintenant, je vais dormir.

I’ve done a little French ‘study’ here and there awhile now, but my current elation is the result of a solid week (five days) of 2-3 hours per day spotty exposure to French—translations of familiar Spanish texts that friends sent me and reading and re-reading the texts that I wrote by myself and were subsequently edited by mon amis. The 2-3 hours per day is the time I spent working on translations of the unit, so actually much of that time was spent writing teacher directions in English and formatting docs. So…I don’t know…1-1.5 hours per day of input in French?

^^^^^^ And LOOK WHAT I CAN DO!!! ^^^^^ Just think of what I could do if I had an amazing teacher like Cécile Lainé or Julia Ullman or MaryAnn Kowalski (my French teacher friends that helped me this week) for an entire year, or two years, or more! Woowwwwweeee!

Guys. Comprehensible input is the coolest thing ever. SERIOUSLY!!!!

22 comments

  1. Bien fait, Martina! I’ve been shocked at how much my 1s can do in both French and Spanish this year. I took on a classroom overhaul from textbook to CI, even though I’m a Teachers for Global Classrooms fellow & will be out for 2+ weeks teaching in Morocco. At the beginning of the year I was freaked out about it, but now that I’m a week away from going, I feel confident that they’ll ROCK their Q3 project of writing an epic storybook starring themselves! Level 1!!! Their grammar won’t be perfect, but they will most certainly get their point across. Merci mille fois for the inspiration!!

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  2. Bon travail Martina! Yes, I agree 100 percent! Comprehensible Input is like magic….when will every language teacher realize this?

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  3. Martina felicidades, I mean ¡Fantastique! Please share your sources of comprehensible listening si vous plait.
    ¡Merci!

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  4. Merci beaucoup, tout le monde! Je suis très content! Still lots of things that I want to say, like “Je suis très PROUD!” and I haven’t learned how to say “to read” so I used “regarder”. It’s so very fun to try to figure out how to express myself using the words that I have, though, and empowering when I am able to do it! Totally different than my experiences learning Spanish and Italian!!

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  5. I have been following you and love your materials and tonight I found a French CI instructor to follow as well! It gave me such joy to read your post about how happy you are to be learning French and then I went to Cécile Lainé’s site and now I have songs and other materials to use in my French level 1 class : ) Merci !!!

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  6. Hi Martina,

    I have recently started to follow you and others who are teaching with comprehensible input. I have been teaching for 16 years and know a decent amount about CI and TPRS, but haven’t figured out how to apply them to my curriculum. I would love to attend iFLT, but can’t make it this year. Do you have any recommendations for how to learn more about implementing this method of teaching in my classroom? I teach in the Boston area.

    Thanks in advance, and thanks for all the sharing that you do. It is really inspiring!

    Kristina

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    1. I’ll be doing a workshop in Chittenango, NY (near Syracuse) in late July this summer! No details yet but I’ll post them when I have them. I think your best bet though would be to find teachers near you to connect with. Under the “teacher training” tab there is a “collaborative database” page; on that page there is a link to find trained teachers near you to connect with.

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