My first completed novel in French

The first book I successfully read in French.

Jean-Paul et ses bons amis

(Available for purchase through TPRS Books)

Reading is one of the fundamental sources of comprehensible input (CI). Th more you read, the more chances you give yourself to acquire the language. Listening is also key, but I think that reading and listening go hand-in-hand for adult learners. Doing a lot of both leads to the best results.

I tried to read this book a long time ago (Fall 2017?). It was too difficult for me. Then, after watching about 10 episodes of French in Action while following along in the accompanying text, I was finally ready to read this book.

I read it a little bit at a time over a week. As I read, it helped me better understand the videos in French in Action and vice versa. I was actually surprised at how much the reading helped me understand the listening in the videos. I’m still many, many hours of listening away from being an advanced speaker (my goal), but I’m well on my way.  Reading is truly amazing for language acquisition.

How Did I Pick This Book?

I met the author of Jean-Paul et ses bons amis when I attended a language teaching workshop in Vancouver, BC in 2013. J’ai bu une bière ave lui et j’ai appris qu’il sait beaucoup sur l’adquisition du language. I know he has a handle on how languages are learned, and after a little exposure to French, I wanted to try to read some more. Out of all the books for beginners, why not pick one from someone I know?

Brief Review of Jean-Paul et ses bons amis

Jean-Paul et ses bons amis is highly repetitive (that’s good) and uses lots of short, comprehensible sentences and “text messages” in a lot of the dialogue situations. There is a complete glossary at the end of the book for ease of lookup – essential if you want to avoid distractions (e.g. your phone).

The plot is perhaps better suited for a younger audience, but I really don’t mind at this stage of the game. Right now I only care about ease of understanding.

I’ll repeat this from above: Even though this is a book for true beginners, at first it was too difficult for me. I was looking up a lot of words, too many for it to be at my level. But after watching roughly 10 episodes of French in Action, this book became much more accessible and, thus, more valuable for language acquisition.

Rating: 4.5 / 5

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