9 tips how to use French language movies to improve your beginners French

Are films a good way for beginners to improve spoken French?

Before we moved to France full-time we were regular visitors with holiday-level spoken French. On the last few days of a visit we’d feel like we’d started to tune in to real spoken French, but at the start of the next trip we’d be out of practice and have to rebuild our confidence.

To keep up the habit of thinking about French vocabulary and grammar we started a monthly French conversation group. It was helpful, but because everyone was English speaking in a second language we knew it had limitations.

To stay in touch with the sound and speed of French native-speakers we bought a lot of French-language films on DVD. They also gave us insight into French culture and attitudes, and introduced us to French celebrities and even new vocabulary.
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The shocking cut-throat reality of event marketing dirty tricks

Is it frustrating to find your hard work undone by someone who doesn’t play fair?

It took a lot of hard work to promote the start of our second full year for La Vie Anglaise. Most of this falls on just two pairs of shoulders, so the extra weight of any setback hits us immediately and it’s very personal.

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One sure sign of poor time management, we missed 2015

Do you ever feel as if you have to run just to stand still?

Our first full year of La Vie Anglaise activities took up more of our time than we ever thought was possible. You’d be surprised how much work it takes “just” to run a couple of adult education evening classes.

Everything from updating this blog to the occasional walk on the beach took a back seat.

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La Vie Anglaise Organises a Smash Hit Village Event

Why has the blog been so quiet since mid-September?

We were so overwhelmed by the positive reception of our activities, it’s left almost no time for anything else.

The Salon de Thé was so popular and gave us the chance to meet so many people that we couldn’t turn down the chance to extend the arrangement from August into September, then again into October.

Our after school English classes and evening classes for adults started well and attendance has slowly grown.

We also organised our first major village event, what’s known across the English-speaking world as either a car boot or a garage sale, and here in France as a “vide grenier” (empty attic).

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The First Real Hurdle for La Vie Anglaise

Do endurance athletes still talk about The Wall?

Neither of us has ever run a marathon, but I know the legend of The Wall. Normal body chemistry can’t support the demands of a 26 mile (40 kilometre) run. Modern training techniques and diet supplements can help but back in my day athletes just kept going until everything ran dry. The last 6 miles was a battle of will against exhaustion.

We went through our version of The Wall at the end of last week.

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Scones and cream and cake stands. So British!

What in the world of cake sums up the English summer?

Yes, I know. These days it’s the Great British Bake Off.

Stop and cast your mind back a bit further. One cake strikes a chord so deep and primal in the English subconscious we still argue about how to say its name.

It’s the only English cake well known enough to be specifically requested for the Salon de Thé.

France wanted scones!

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LVA Salon de Thé stays open through September

Is there any better news than a stay of execution?

The LVA Salon de Thé is not joining the list of Bassan businesses who closed their doors in Summer 2014.

We’ll be staying open into September.  It’s an extraordinary achievement, a high measure of unprecedented success, a vote of confidence and an expression of thanks all rolled into one.

And when it’s over we’ll be OK. The Salon de Thé is to all intents a pop-up shop so closing the doors has always been part of the plan.

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