French for Beginners: Au Café

Course for absolute beginners in French. Learn French online the fun and easy way with Jennifer.
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  • Lectures 15
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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About This Course

Published 10/2013 English

Course Description

This is a French course for absolute beginners. We will start at the very beginning, learning some basic grammar and vocabulary. The vocabulary and cultural theme is "At the Café". In this lesson you will learn:

  • Café vocabulary
  • Definite, indefinite and partitive articles
  • The verb ÊTRE 
  • 32 ÊTRE expressions
  • Numbers 1-100
  • The French alphabet
  • Descriptive adjectives
  • Adjectives of nationality
  • Café culture in France

This lesson includes an introductory video, plus 14 instructional videos to teach you basic vocabulary, grammar, and culture. The vocabulary and grammar sections include on the spot exercises to help you assess your knowledge right away.  To help you with the 32 ÊTRE expressions that you will learn there is a set of task cards with a corresponding study set to help you practice. 

In addition to the videos, there are PDF files of all of the new vocabulary and grammar lessons, as well as supplementary exercises for you to complete.  You will particularly enjoy the QUIZLET study sets provided to help you practice and master all of your new French skills.

This lesson includes about an hour and a half of video instruction. A typical student will be able to finish the lesson, including the supplementary exercises, in about 5-7 hours, without rushing through the material. The lesson is structured to provide repetition, allowing the student to use vocabulary and grammar in meaningful context.

If you want to learn French, starting at the beginning is the easiest and best way to do it. This lesson will appeal to ages 12 - 112. You'll enjoy Jennifer's teaching style, which is simple and to the point.

What are the requirements?

  • No prerequisite knowledge required. All you'll need to complete this lesson is a notebook, a pen and the desire to learn French!

What am I going to get from this course?

  • At the end of this course you will be able to order food and drinks at a café, use the verb ÊTRE in sentences with descriptive adjectives and adjectives of nationality. You'll be able to ask someone what their nationality is and what language they speak. You will know the French alphabet and will be able to count to 100 like a pro. You will have broadened your cultural knowledge by learning about "Café Culture" in France.

What is the target audience?

  • This lesson is intended for absolute beginners of French. Students don't need any level or knowledge of the French language to benefit from this lesson.

What you get with this course?

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Curriculum

Section 1: Au Café: Introduction & Vocabulary
01:59

This lesson's theme is Au Café. The vocabulary introduced will be all about food, drinks and ordering them at a French café or restaurant.  Once you've learned some vocabulary we will get into some French grammar. Learning the basics is really important and I'll show you how to start putting everything together so that you can start speaking French right away. 

In the grammar section of this course I'll teach you the French alphabet, essential articles, French nouns and gender, how to count to 100, the verb être, descriptive adjectives and adjectives of nationality. We're going to cover a lot in this course so get your French notebook ready!

Finally, I will teach you a bit about the importance of the café in French culture. 

In this course we will focus on the four cornerstones for learning any language: reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

Vocabulaire: Au Café
Preview
10:24
Section 2: BONUS MATERIAL ADDED: The French Alphabet + Days of the Week
01:51

One of the first things you need to know is how to pronounce the French alphabet. This was a request from one of my students, and I'm happy to oblige! You can always feel free to leave a comment if you would like to see something added to this course . Now that you're learning the alphabet in French, can you spell your name? When you think about it, this something we have to do quite often. 

After watching the video you can continue to practice pronouncing the French alphabet by using THIS QUIZLET STUDY SET.

Section 3: Grammaire
00:51

All nouns in French are assigned a gender. They are either masculine or feminine. Nouns are preceded by an article that will vary according to gender and number (singular or plural). There are definite articles and there are indefinite articles. In this part of the lesson you will learn the difference and how articles are used.

03:03

Practice using articles with nouns, getting a good review of your new vocabulary in at the same time. Use the Articles Exercise Worksheet PDF file along with this video.

The PDF Definite, Indefinite and Partitive Articles will help you understand in more depth how, why and when to use definite, indefinite and partitive articles.  I suggest you watch THIS VIDEO LESSON, download the study guide and take notes directly on it. 

When you are ready you can complete the exercises I've provided for you and check your work on the answer key. 

Use THIS QUIZLET STUDY SET to practice and master your new French skills.


03:22

In this lecture, learn the numbers 1-20. Pay close attention to the pronunciation, and I suggest you practice saying them aloud. Watch especially how the numbers 17, 18, and 19 are formed. I suggest you download the PDF file to use along with the video and take notes as you listen to the lesson.  Once you know French numbers 0-20 like the back of your hand it will make counting to 100 a whole lot easier. 


14:08

Now that you have learned French numbers 0-20 let's have a look at numbers going up to 50.  When you are comfortable you can move on to the next lecture and learn all the way to 100.  

07:42

Now things are going to start getting fun!  Let's learn French numbers all the way to 100.  You'll have to pay close attention to numbers 70-100.  

Use THIS QUIZLET STUDY SET to practice French numbers to 100.  The ENGLISH side of the card doesn't have any English at all. You see a number and you hear a native speaker (not a computer generated voice) ask the question: C'EST QUEL NOMBRE? You should say the number in French before clicking over to the FRENCH side where you will see the number written and pronounced for you.

When you feel confident and ready for a challenge you can practice your MULTIPLICATION TABLES IN FRENCH.  VERY IMPORTANT: Be sure to start with the PHOTO and not with FRENCH. Only use the flashcard feature with this set. This exercise will really make you think hard. It is both a lesson on French numbers and in listening comprehension. On the PHOTO side you hear a multiplication equation called out in French. Listen to the equation, answer in French and then click to the other side of the card to check your answer and pronunciation. 

And finally, for a real challenge how about some SIMPLE MATH IN FRENCH? This exercise is called calcul rapide and it is an example of what French kids do at school when learning simple math equations.  This is a really good way to master French numbers!  You will need a little vocabulary in order to understand the equations:

Listen to the opération and see if you can answer the right number en français.

plus = plus
pour aller à / moins = minus 
fois = times
divisé par = divided by
le double = doubled
la moitié  = half 
le triple = tripled
le quart = a quarter
une unité = one unit
une dizaine = ten
une douzaine = a dozen
une centaine = a hundred


05:02

Before we begin to look at the verb  ÊTRE - TO BE  let's have a look at French subject pronouns. There are a few rules that are quite different than in English, but after this lecture you should understand and be ready to move on. Pay close attention to the difference between using the TU and VOUS forms of YOU.

Use THIS QUIZLET STUDY SET to help you practice and master French subject pronouns. 

01:47

The verb ÊTRE means TO BE. It's one of the most essential, and therefore most common, verbs in French. It's a verb that you will use over and over again, so practice saying the conjugation over and over until you know it like the back of your hand. Remember the function of the different subject pronouns.

Use THIS QUIZLET STUDY SET to practice and master the verb ÊTRE.

03:04

Use the PDF lesson guide along with this video, which will help you practice the conjugation of the verb ÊTRE. Once you've gotten in enough practice move along to the exercise.  When you are ready you may download the quiz. The answers are on the second page, so don't accidentally look at it before completing the quiz yourself. Bonne chance! Let me know how you did on the quiz!

ÊTRE EXPRESSIONS

I am adding some bonus material to help you learn 32 ways to use the verb ÊTRE.  That's right, you'll learn 32 ÊTRE expressions!  

Use THIS QUIZLET STUDY SET to learn the expressions before moving on to the exercise and supplementary materials that you can use to truly master this verb.  Here's the order I suggest:

  • Download the expressions list
  • Practice and master the expressions on Quizlet
  • Complete the être expressions exercise and check the answer key
  • Download, print and cut out the être expressions task cards. Task cards are a nice alternative to worksheets which can seem boring.  You can use these cards by answering the questions orally or by writing them down on the response sheet.  Why not do it both ways?  Each card is numbered and there is a corresponding answer key for you to check your work. 

C'EST VS IL EST

WATCH THIS VIDEO LESSON to learn when you should use C'EST vs IL EST or CE SONT vs ILS SONT.  I am including this special section with the verb être because it can sometimes be confusing and I want you to have all of the rules in front of you.  I think you will find it helpful to download the lesson guide to read along and see written examples as you watch the video. I am also including an exercise for you to complete. 

13:26

Descriptive adjectives add richness to your sentences and they make it very simple to start speaking right away. In this lecture you will learn a whole list of adjectives, and how to form them according to number and gender. Use the PDF files along with the video.

BONUS MATERIAL ADDED: Regular descriptive adjectives list (40 adjectives) + QUIZLET STUDY SET

07:49

One of the first things people may want to know about you is your nationality and what language you speak. It may be one of the first things you may want to ask other people as well. In this lecture you will learn many different nationalities and languages. Nationalities are adjectives, so they must agree in number and gender with the noun they are describing. Use the PDF documents provided along with this video.

BONUS MATERIAL ADDED:  Download the PDF lesson on nationalities, countries and languages spoken in those countries.  You'll get more practice using the verb ÊTRE to say that you are from a certain country or that you are going to a country.  

Section 4: Culture
03:28

Cafés are a big part of French culture. Watch this short lecture to learn about ten of the most famous cafés in Paris.

Section 5: Conclusion
01:28

Congratulations! You've just completed Part 1 of Beginner French. You already have a lot of the necessary basics for beginning to speak French. Keep up the good work and I will see you soon with Part 2 of Beginner French. 

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Instructor Biography

French Language Expert Jennifer Crespin, Your French Teacher in the South of France

About me

Bonjour! I'm Jennifer, and I've been teaching French for close to 20 years. I was head of the French Department at St. Louis University High school, where I taught French to young men in a college prep setting for 14 years. I now live in the South of France with my family.

My native language is English, and I speak French fluently at the native level. Teaching French is my passion, and I am now the founder and lead teacher at Love Learning Languages, teaching French to people across the globe via Skype and Google Hangouts. I love to travel, and have been to most if not all countries in Western Europe with my former students from the United States.

I enjoy meeting new people and learning about cultures other than my own. Hobbies of mine include cooking, especially French food and Louisiana recipes (that's where I'm from originally), reading (Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and others from the same era are some of my favorites). I enjoy blogging about my life in France, and about learning for those studying French.

Qualifications & Experience

I completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and French in 1995, then taught French for a year and moved to France for a year before pursuing and earning a Master of Arts degree in French.

I taught French at Saint Louis University High School, a Jesuit college preparatory school for young men, from 1999-2013.

In the summer of 2013 I relocated to France with my family, and spent the summer working as Dean of l'Académie de France in Montpellier. L'Académie de France is a French immersion program for students from around the world, put on by Oxbridge Academic Programs.

In January 2013 I founded "Love Learning Languages", an online French language school. I've been developing my YouTube Channel where I release on average a couple of French language videos per month. I now teach French full-time on Skype and Google Hangouts, and I also do French immersion classes in France.

Teaching Approach

It's up to me to guide you and help you along on your journey to learn French. Learning should be fun, and I will make sure that you enjoy yourself as you improve your listening, writing, reading, and speaking skills. Learning French changed my life, and has opened up a whole new world that otherwise would have been unattainable to me. Learning French, the only language spoken on all continents, can do the same for you!

All students have different learning styles, different strengths and weaknesses, and different levels. My job as your teacher is to use many different approaches so that you will get the most out of your class as possible.

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