Review: À Moi Paris French Audiobook Learning Method

Learn French Downloadable Audiobook
FrenchToday.com.

Publisher’s site: FrenchToday.com

French Today’s “A Moi Paris” audiobook series is designed to teach French, from the ground up, to the English speaking student. 

Disclaimer: Since I am not only the About French Expert but also the founder of French Today my opinion is obviously biased. I will therefore just describe the product and base the number of stars on customer reviews which can be found on the French Today website.

Recorded at Several Speeds

This series of audiobooks focuses on teaching modern French and includes several recordings of the same text to help students bridge the gap between the classical French often featured in books and classrooms, and the French which is actually spoken in France. This difference affects not only the pronunciation of French, but also vocabulary and grammar. Level 1 and 2 are recorded at three different speeds while levels 3 and 4 are recorded at two different speeds. This is not the same as slowing down/speeding up an existing recording via software since each recording speed has its own specific rhythm and enunciation. 

Built around a Level Adapted Novel

The “À Moi Paris” series centers around a fun and realistic storyline: you’ll meet Mary, a young English woman who first comes to Paris as an au-pair, then meets her roommates and their friends. The story starts at a true beginner level (no prior French experience required) and Camille gradually builds up the grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation to help you progress to the next levels.

Students connect with the realistic situations and the characters, and can then re-use what they’ve learned when facing similar situations in France.

Logical Approach for an English Speaker

French Today’s method doesn’t assume students are grammar experts. Camille clearly explains all the grammatical terms, insists on concepts which are particularly difficult for English speakers, and provides plenty of “in-context” practice.

The Plus = Prepares the Student to Understand and Be Understood By French Natives

Unlike most other methods, French Today’s audiobooks prepare you to interact with natives, and respect the modern French pronunciation and common street French constructions, focussing on everyday vocabulary.

The Con = It May Not Help You With Your French Grades

If you are only looking to learn French to pass traditional exams, this is not the method for you. Camille has created a logical curriculum which doesn’t follow the traditional ways of teaching French: in particular, À Moi Paris level 1, 2 and 3 use exclusively the present tense, and instead focus on building up the student’s vocabulary, pronunciation and the most used grammatical structures such as adjectives, pronouns, adverbs, questions… Camille’s philosophy is that the other tenses can wait and that you can easily express concepts of past and future actions by just using the present tense + time/day of action. A philosophy a traditional French teacher will probably not agree with.

Format

All 4 levels are available as downloadable standard MP3 and PDF format compatible with Mac, Windows and most portable devices. 

Content

These audiobooks are spread on four levels, always centered around an ongoing story narrative.

So each book is slightly different from the previous one:

- “Level 1" (8 hours of audio, 140 pages transcript) covers the first steps in French and introduces politeness and basic structures. The student is exposed to the basics of modern French, French pronunciation and learns essential vocabulary. Includes Story, Study Guide and Exercises.

- “Level 2” (10 hours of audio, 199 pages transcript) aims to significantly increase fundamental French vocabulary, and practice understanding French (with its modern pronunciation) in context. Includes Story, Study Guide and Questions & Answers sections.

Ÿ- “Level 3” (9 hours of audio, 182 pages transcript) reinforces fluency with the present tense by introducing more complex pronouns, adverbs and adjectives. Includes Story, Study Guide and Exercises.

Ÿ- “Level 4” (9 hours of audio, 198 pages transcript) leverages much longer dialogues, more complex vocabulary and start using other French tenses.

The longer chapter stories that make up this level encourage the student to stay focused and also use contextual clues to stay within the dialog. Includes Story, Study Guide and Questions & Answers sections.

Customer Reviews - 5 out of 5 stars (from verified customer reviews on the website). Available exclusively on FrenchToday.com 

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