Alors? Quel adjectif utiliseriez-vous pour décrire cette nouvelle année 2021 so far? Moi je dirais… let’s see… nouvelle! Ha!

 

Ce que je veux dire c’est qu’il y a beaucoup de nouvelles activités pour French Truly qui ont presque toutes commencé en même temps! And the cool thing is… you can be a part of them too! Since these three nouvelles activités have now all officially started, let me tell you a little bit more about them, how they work concretely, the kind of topics we cover, and the kind of tools we use to practice and improve our French together! I have a fourth project in mind too, which will be delivered to you via webinars, but I’ll keep this one secret until la fin du mois prochain so stay tuned…

 

ONLINE FRENCH IMMERSION COURSE

Samedi dernier, my wonderful étudiants and I had our very first session of the very first Online French Immersion Course, which lasted 3 hours. I am delighted to announce it went beautifully! The goal of these specific online courses is to explore la culture française, et particulièrement la culture chartraine (from Chartres), with a predefined topic and a special local guest pour chacun des modules. Each course is composed of four three hour long modules. Pour vous donner un exemple précis, samedi 16 janvier 2021, nous avons parlé de l’histoire de la gastronomie en France et de son extraordinaire transformation depuis le début du règne de Louis XIV during the 17th century. We talked about the historical, cultural, and political context qui a poussé le roi soleil et son ministre des finances à créer l’industrie du luxe en France, which the whole world takes for granted today even though they did not exist before these two men’s great influence and persistence. I had sent a PDF with class content and videos ahead of times to all students so they could feel more prepared before the class.

 

Voici quelques exemples des sujets dont nous avons discuté ensemble : the creation and launch of French gastronomy in the 17th century, the rise and fall of François Vatel the most amazing French maître d’hôtel, and last but not least, French restaurant etiquette : how to behave appropriately dans un restaurant en France!

 

 

L’aventure du luxe commence avec une mission économique : comment transformer la France en une super puissance mondiale? Au début du règne de Louis XIV, la France est pauvre car elle sort d’un siècle de guerres de religion à l’intérieur du pays, de guerres dans toute l’Europe, et de quatre années de fronde. Voici la mission de Jean-Baptiste Colbert, le très célèbre ministre des finances de Louis XIV : relever l’économie française. Comment compte-t-il arriver à ses fins? En se passant des étrangers c’est-à-dire en inversant la balance import / export. Pourquoi? Parce qu’à la fin du XVIIe siècle, la France est principalement rurale et agricole ce qui signifie qu’elle est forcée d’importer tous ses produits de luxe. En fait, avant Colbert, la France importe deux fois plus qu’elle exporte.

 

 

Peut-être avez-vous vu le film Vatel avec Gérard Depardieu? Si ce n’est pas le cas, je vous le conseille vivement! Vous comprendrez à travers son personnage François Vatel, que les Français prennent l’art de la table très au sérieux!

 

En 1631, François Vatel est un homme simple, débrouillard, efficace, travailleur, qui a su gagner la confiance de ses commanditaires. Il a été un organisateur, un intendant, un responsable de l’événementiel puisqu’il s’occupait des cuisines, des menus, des fleurs, des feux d’artifices, etc. bien plus qu’un simple chef cuisinier. D’ailleurs il n’a jamais été chef cuisinier contrairement aux idées reçues. Il a d’abord travaillé au Château de Vaux-Le-Vicomte sous la direction de son propriétaire Nicolas Fouquet, le ministre des finances (avant Jean-Baptiste Colbert) de Louis XIV mais celui-ci est arrêté et jeté en prison pour malversations laissant Vatel sans travail. Il s’exile en Angleterre pendant 10 ans avant de revenir en France à Chantilly au service du Prince de Condé, un cousin de Louis XIV, où il devient “contrôleur général de la bouche chargé de l’extraordinaire”. Quel titre! En 1671, Vatel doit organiser une immense fête pour le roi dans un contexte politique délicat et malheureusement le rôti vient à manquer sur quelques tables mineures. En plus de ça, Vatel ne dort pas pendant 12 nuits donc il frôle la crise de nerfs. Puis un jour, un vendredi (jour du poisson), la cargaison de poisson est beaucoup trop petite pour nourrir toute la compagnie… C’est la goutte d’eau qui fait déborder le vase : Vatel est désespéré, il monte dans sa chambre, coince son épée dans le chambranle de la porte et se la passe à travers le corps. On découvre son corps gisant dans une flaque de sang et quelques minutes plus tard, le reste de la cargaison de poisson arrive… quel gâchis! 

 

French immersion course

 

Après deux heures de cours et d’échange, Olivier Brelot, propriétaire du célèbre restaurant chartrain L’Estocade, nous a rejoint pour nous parler de son parcours personnel et professionnel en tant que restaurateur à Chartres, puis les étudiants had the opportunity to ask him plenty of questions en français! Nous avons tous beaucoup ri et beaucoup appris ensemble. I almost forgot to mention that each class is recorded so that participants who want to go through the class again, or the ones who for whatever reason could not make that particular class, can enjoy our time together as much as they need to!

 

All three Online French Immersion Courses are sold out right now but I will open new ones soon and the waiting list is already growing! So whether you are a beginner or intermediate level student, don’t wait and let me know which group you’d like to join by sending me un message privé HERE.

 

ONLINE FRENCH BOOK CLUB

online french book club

 

Et oui! Notre tout premier rendez-vous club de lecture a eu lieu le mardi 5 janvier 2021! Comme je l’ai dit aux participants ce jour-là, j’étais un peu (beaucoup ha!) stressée parce que je n’avais jamais enseigné un groupe en ligne avant et j’avoue que je me sentais inquiétée par tous les problèmes techniques potentiels ou par une énergie un peu plate due au fait que nous n’étions pas physiquement ensemble. I know how to work small, medium, or large groups in person, I’ve done it so many times, mais en ligne? J’ai pensé : “It could be awkward! Surtout s’il y a des problèmes de connexion, des sons bizarres, des échos, etc.!” mais non pas du tout! I could not have dreamt of a better first online group, we encountered zero problème technique, l’énergie était super, et tous les étudiants adorables! Quel soulagement! Quel bonheur!

 

Évidemment nous sommes aidés par le livre que nous étudions Métaphysique des tubes d’Amélie Nothomb qui est juste drôlissime! Une histoire tellement riche et amusante! If you haven’t already read this book, you really should. Either by yourself ou avec moi lors d’un prochain club de lecture. I have divided the book into 5 parts so we meet 5 mardis in a row. Entre chaque Tuesday, j’envoie un PDF with homework, questions, reflections, comments on the next part to help students deepen their reading experience and make them feel more ready and in control for our next session. We also created a WhatsApp group where we can chat en français without having to wait until our next weekly rendez-vous. Each of these classes is also recorded and then sent to all participants so you never have to miss one meeting!

 

Ce premier groupe est for intermediate level students, and I will continue it after this one ends on February 2nd 2021. Yet I also plan on starting one for beginners with the book La Belle et la Bête – Beauty and the Beast – written by 18th century French writer Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont. I chose this story because everyone knows it which makes the whole experience considerably less overwhelming for beginner students, and it’s a children’s tale so it’s easier yet it is both profound and beautiful. Et bien sûr l’auteur est française!

 

French online book club

 

The above picture is taken from the stunning 1946 Jean Cocteau’s version of La Belle et la Bête, which I encourage you to watch. J’ai aussi trouvé une émission de radio sur France Culture à propos du livre de l’auteur que nous étudierons ensemble Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont.

 

If you want to join the waiting list for the intermediate online French book club (I will stay with Amélie Nothomb as her books are simply perfect for our purpose : they are short, beautifully written, flawless syntax, great vocabulary, never ever boring or too descriptive, and last but not least, hilarious) or the beginner one avec La Belle et la Bête de Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, write to me HERE and I will get back to you right away.

 

PODCAST

online french immersion course

 

I’ve been talking about my upcoming podcast Become a little bit French with Virginie for a while now. I even told you I would alternate interviews and short stories. D’abord, j’interviewe une personne française (en français bien sûr!) who walks and is still walking an extraordinary and inspiring path : écrivain, entrepreneur, artiste, artisan, creator. Puis je partage avec vous une nouvelle (a short story) écrite et lue par moi. Et j’alterne!

 

Et bien je suis ravie de vous annoncer que j’ai enregistré mon tout premier podcast samedi 9 janvier 2021 avec Flo, une femme formidable que j’ai rencontrée l’année dernière lorsque nous habitions toutes les deux à Paris! Not only elle a eu (et a toujours d’ailleurs!) une vie complètement exceptionnelle but she also happens to be hilarious! Bref, nous sommes désormais de très bonnes amies et je ne peux qu’espérer que vous l’apprécierez autant que moi! Vous pourrez écouter le podcast quand il sera prêt, et le regarder sur ma chaîne YouTube car nous avons aussi réalisé un enregistrement vidéo!

 

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Learn French online with Virginie

Join French Truly’s online immersion course and online school, either by buying the French online course(s) of your choice or by becoming a monthly member. See more details about the membership at the bottom of this page.

Each French online course is packed with video & audio files along with written material, to make it as fun, easy, and user friendly as possible for you! Come and learn French online with me!

 

French online immersion course about Chartres, France

French online immersion course

Come to France anyway!

You want to go to France but covid decided you couldn’t travel right now? Maybe you have plans that keep getting postponed? How frustrating! I hear you. We know it’s going to get better but we don’t know when! So, instead of lamenting over an uncertain future, how about we make the present moment a little bit French… online? Who says because you’re stuck at home you can’t immerse yourself in the French language and culture? Join me and all my wonderful French guests in a small online group for 4 consecutive weeks!

I just moved to Chartres, the most charming French city only an hour away from Paris, and until you can come join us here in person, I’m going to share all I can of my new dreamy home with you online!

Intermediate level students

SOLD OUT 2021 Jan 16, 23, 30, Feb 6 – 6pm French time
NEW DATES 2021 Jan 25, Feb 1, 8, 15 – 6pm French time JOIN NOW 3 SPOTS LEFT

Beginner level students

SOLD OUT 2021 Jan 24, 31, Feb 7, 14 – 6pm French time
NEW DATES COMING SOON JOIN THE WAITING LIST

If you’re unsure which level you are, contact me to schedule a free Skype call

 

Benefits

  • Improve your French conversational skills in a completely safe & friendly environment with me and my amazing French guests who I am selecting because they represent true Chartres landmarks : art historians, chefs, entrepreneurs, artisans, pâtissiers, etc. all passionate experts in their own fields.
  • Practice speaking & listening to French while learning about the French culture. This will ensure a rich discussion as well as expand your French vocabulary.
  • Learn French grammar & conjugation in a natural way thanks to a practical context.
  • Relax knowing that I’m here to manage our time together and make sure everyone gets a fair opportunity to participate.
  • Discover Chartres, my new gorgeous city, with me! I very recently moved to this little piece of heaven and I am beyond excited to explore and share all I can with you!
  • Bask in French traditions & history in medieval Chartres, an endless source of fascinating stories.So, if you’re feeling a strong “OUI” for this, just click on the appropriate sign up button right below!

French online book club

french book club

You want to improve your French, become smarter, and hang out avec moi et un livre court, hilarant, facile à comprendre, et superbement bien écrit?

Join me and other French / Francophone book lovers to read, discuss, and converse together on our live Online French Book Club!

SOLD OUT 2021 Jan 5, 12, 19, 26, Feb 2 – 6pm French time
NEW DATES COMING SOON JOIN THE WAITING LIST

 

Benefits

  • Improve your French comprehension skills in a completely safe & friendly environment with me and Amélie’s amazing stories, hilarious plots, unique sense of humor, delectable vocabulary, flawless syntax.
  • Practice reading, speaking, and listening to French while bursting out laughing at every page. This will ensure a rich discussion as well as expand your French vocabulary and sentence structure.
  • Learn French grammar & conjugation in a natural way thanks to a practical context.
  • Relax knowing that I’m here to manage our time together and make sure everyone gets a fair opportunity to participate.
  • If you don’t already know Amélie Nothomb, discover a fabulous author able to share a piece of life with you as she’s written 28 books! I guess if you’re good, we could just continue with another one of her books when this first course est terminé!

 

French online course #1: 600 WORDS

learn french online

In this course, you will find 15 videos (+ 10 bonus ones) to help & accompany you every step of the way through the course + for each word, each sentence, each expression, each conjugated verb, I have created an audio file of my voice, slow and slightly faster speed. Your French language learning experience has never been so easy, fun, and fruitful. You can learn French online and benefit from the flexibility working at your own pace offers, while having me with you the whole time.

 

Did you know…

You can converse (speak + understand) in French with only 600 WORDS?

The average French person only uses between 300 & 3,000 WORDS?

This means that if you can master a relatively short list of words, you’ll be able to express yourself like the average French person! Plus you’re much more likely to understand the French when they talk back to you!

 

This course will teach you…

1- How to speak French

2- How to pronounce French

3- How to make French sentences

4- How to conjugate all the most common French verbs

5- How to polish your results

6- How to self evaluate your French

More info HERE

  • It should take you about 30 hours to complete this course, which is made up of 10 lessons
  • This course is designed for a beginner / intermediate level. If you are intermediate but feel like you could really reinforce your foundations, you will love it.
  • You can join whenever, either by buying the course or by becoming a monthly member giving you access to my French online courses from $10 / month. See more details about the membership at the bottom of this page 🙂

 

Online course # 2: PERFECT PRONUNCIATION

Learn French online

In this course you will find 11 videos + 150 audio files + 92 pages PDF format to help & accompany you every step of the way throughout the course. In some parts of the videos, my face will appear close up and profile so you can easily see how I make these sounds with my mouth. The 150 audio files are composed of the 100 most popular French words and the 50 most common French phrases. They are recordings of my voice, speaking slowly enough so you can easily grasp every syllable. Your French language learning experience has never been so easy, fun, and fruitful. You can learn French online and benefit from the flexibility working at your own pace offers, while having me with you the whole time.

NB: if you are the proud owner of my previous French online course 600 WORDS, don’t worry, this is not a repeat as we are now exploring 1 letter words and up, whereas in 600 WORDS we began at 4 letter words and up.

 

Combine knowledge with confidence…

For you to be able to have a pleasant and efficient conversation with a French person, one thing is key… can you guess what it is? Confidence! How well do you think you will communicate in French if you don’t feel confident about your accent? If you are scared that people won’t understand you? Or even worse if you think someone might make fun of you? Without a minimum of confidence there is no room for communication. Yet if you feel confident, you can afford to make a few mistakes here and there because people will still understand you. What prevents a conversation from happening isn’t just a lack of knowledge, it’s also a lack of confidence. You need to have both to make it work, not to mention, to make it fun!

 

This course will teach you…

1- How to pronounce every letter of the alphabet

2- How to pronounce every digraph & trigraph

3- How to make every French sentence flow

4- How to pronounce the 100 most popular French words

5- How to pronounce the 50 most popular French phrases

6- How to avoid the pronunciation mistakes everyone makes

More info HERE

  • It should take you about 20 to 2 hours to complete this course, which is made up of 11 lessons
  • This course is designed for a beginner level. If you are intermediate but lack confidence when it comes to talking and feel like you could really benefit from focusing on pronunciation, you will love it.
  • You can join whenever, either by buying the course or by becoming a monthly member giving you access to my French online courses from $10 / month. See more details about the membership below 🙂

 

Online course # 3: FRENCH DICTÉES

French online course dictées

 

In the FRENCH DICTÉES online course you will find 20 videos + 10 audio files to help & accompany you every step of the way throughout the course. Why 20 videos? Because there are 10 dictées in total, each focusing on one particular topic, and for each dictée I have prepared 2 videos. Let’s say the video focuses on both French past tenses called imparfait & passé composé. The first video will go though the grammar, the conjugation, and all the tips on these two past tenses to help you understand and remember how and when to use them. The second video will be the actual dictée, a short story written by me, describing everyday life situations conveniently packed with imparfait and passé composé verbs! Boom! Efficient! The dictée will also be read by me, slowly first and then a little faster, with a close up on my face so you can more easily recognize the words and copy the shapes I make to improve your own pronunciation.

 

Become a French language expert

How do you become an expert at anything? By focusing on one thing at a time.

I’ve made sure to categorize and isolate either a verb tense, a verb group, a grammar or vocabulary topic per dictée, so you can effectively focus and interiorize concepts separately, which makes it a lot easier to remember them.

 

Here’s what you’re going to learn

What grammar & conjugation points will each dictée focus on?

Dictée # 1: Present tense

Dictée # 2: Past tenses – imparfait & passé composé

Dictée # 3: Future tenses – futur proche & futur simple

Dictée # 4: Conditional, imparfait, asking questions

Dictée # 5: Imperative form

Dictée # 6: First group verbs all tenses

Dictée # 7: Second group verbs all tenses

Dictée # 8: Third group verbs all tenses

Dictée # 9: Numbers

Dictée # 10: Prepositions

Each dictée is a short story written by me about practical everyday life situations. This means that not only do you get to work on conjugation & grammar drills, but you also improve your conversational skills at the same time: a magic combination for your next trip to France!

 

Grow your confidence talking about practical everyday topics

The dictées will refer to common topics that you are very likely to hear or very likely to use to express yourself such as:

-Traveling to France

-Socializing

-Childhood memories

-Family dynamics

-Everyday life routines

-How to express your ideas, opinions, and dreams

 

Two videos per dictée

First video: key grammar and conjugation reminders explained very clearly so you feel prepared and confident entering each dictée.

Second video: the actual dictée. I’ve made sure to categorize and isolate either a verb tense, a verb group, a grammar or vocabulary topic, so you can effectively focus and interiorize concepts separately, which makes it a lot easier to remember them.

 

And for you challenge lovers over-achievers?

Yes I have prepared something just for you! I have also made 10 audio files, 1 per dictée, so that if you wish to, if you want it extra difficult, if you want to test yourself more deeply, you can solely rely on sound. Indeed there are many occasions in life where we hear a language but we don’t see it: speaking to someone on the phone or listening to the radio for instance.

 

20 videos? 10 audio files? What else?

This new FRENCH DICTÉES online course also comes with written files with both the French text along with the English translation, so that you can evaluate yourself when you’re done taking notes.

To summarize, you’ll be able to use video, audio, and written material.

 

Dictées worked for me, they’ll work for you!

Let me tell you, I LOVE dictées because THEY WORK. And clearly you realize this too and that is smart of you. So now let’s see how something as simple as a dictée can truly help you become a little bit French! Your French language learning experience has never been so easy, fun, and fruitful. You can learn French online and benefit from the flexibility working at your own pace offers, while having me with you the whole time.

 

Become a monthly member!

Learn French Online

My goal is to transform your French language learning experience. This is why I’ve decided to offer you a new way to learn French online and gain access to the French Truly Online School! Actually, more than 1 new way, you’ll have 3 plans to choose from so come and learn French online with me!

 

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in 3 easy steps

 

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