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French Speaking Challenge (A1): Week One

(This challenge is about SPEAKING. To get to a solid A1 reading level, click here for the A1 French Reading Challenge.)


Disclosure: Some of the links in these pages are affiliate links, which means I will get a small commission for each purchase at no additional cost to the reader. In every case, I have either used, regretted not using, or plan to use the products on the site that I recommend.



Week One: Challenge Introduction and Spoken Drills

Week Two: Spoken Drills

Week Three: Spoken Drills

Week Four: Spoken Drills

Week Five: Spoken Drills

Week Six: Spoken Drills


Week Seven: Reflections


Welcome! We have recently finished the A1 French Reading Challenge, but haven’t really had an opportunity to improve our speaking. Never fear! I have the perfect solution- Pimsleur and CI Clouds!

I actually love Pimsleur, but feel it is a little too difficult to be used without a solid foundation. What I prefer to do is to reach an equivalent reading level and then activate the knowledge in a productive way. For example, this challenge focuses on Pimsleur Level 1 French, which should be quite easy to do if it were written down. However, the point is to now activate the knowledge that we already have so we can speak or write it. That’s what this challenge is about:


Activating the knowledge from our A1 Reading Challenge or equivalent. 


But don’t worry if you aren’t interested or didn’t participate in the reading challenge as this stands quite independently of that. 


So, here’s the plan:


  1. Get the awesome Pimsleur app and get the free trial here. You can get a free subscription for two weeks, but after that it’s paid. You might just want to get the subscription and cram as much in as you can during that time. That’s how some people watch Game of Thrones for free. You probably won't have time to review (I've found that I need to listen to some of the episodes a few times- especially the weird French en thingy, but the choice is yours!

  2. Get ready for the challenge! We’ll be doing five lessons a week (weekend break) for the next six weeks. 

  3. This is a 7-week challenge, with weekly posts. Each post, apart from the last, will contain five lessons, Monday - Friday. A spoken lesson in the form of CI Clouds will be included for each lesson, but I suggest you also use the Pimsleur app to try other methods such as Shadowing or Scriptorium.

  4. Enjoy!


How to use the CI Clouds: Obviously, you can read the tutorial here, but if you can’t be asked, here’s how it works:


  1. Take a few words;

  2. Use positive, negative, interrogative (+,-,?) forms of each sentence;

  3. Generate hundreds of sentences easily.'

For example, I + understand + (French / Spanish / English) =


1) I understand French.

2) I understand Spanish.

3) I understand English.

4) I don’t understand French.

5) I don’t understand Spanish.

6) I don’t understand English.

7) Do I understand French?

8) Do I understand Spanish?

9) Do I understand English?


The amount of spoken sentences that can be generated quickly is crazy, for example adding you to the above examples would generate another 9 sentences. This kind of exercise is excellent for improving spoken French without a partner. I’ll include an exercise for each lesson. 

So let's get ready for our first week!











samedi (optional): Review each cloud in the positive

dimanche:(optional): Review each cloud in the negative

Well, that's the end of this week's challenge! See you next week for part 2 and please share & leave comments if you know someone who you think would be interested!

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