I am always trying to improve my French, so I decided to try out the Mauril 31-day challenge. The challenge, offered in partnership with the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, is available in beginner, intermediate, or advanced versions. It offers the challenger a variety of prompts so they can increase their fluency in French. From the simple (“Ask someone the time”) to the complicated (“Watch a movie and describe the plot”). Any French learner can find their level.
For example, the March 23rd prompt (beginner) is to “Describe Mauril to a friend” — here is my attempt:
“Mauril est une application d’apprentissage du français qui permet de regarder des vidéos et de tester des exercices pratiques pour améliorer son français.”
I’m pretty sure my translation isn’t perfect, but it’s probably understandable to most French speakers.
Let’s do the challenge!
If you enjoy the 31-day challenge, try the free Mauril app. Named for the Honourable Mauril Bélanger, the former Ottawa-Vanier MP who championed official languages in Canada, the app was designed by a team of language learning experts in collaboration with the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks (CCLB). It includes audio and video content selected from Radio-Canada and CBC’s extensive content library.
The process starts with a placement test which suggests a level that will be challenging for the learner but not TOO difficult. Levels range from beginner (one to four) up to advanced (one and two).
The learner progresses at their own pace by watching short snippets of videos accompanied by comprehension questions. There is a Mauril blog and the learner can also take practical challenges.
On a related note, I’ve been using Duolingo to improve my French for about three years and Mauril makes a nice counterpoint. It is more immersive and realistic. It’s based on listening, not reading, and it features conversations at a normal speed. It’s also teaching me a bit about CBC’s classic French-language TV shows.
Image: Mauril social media
Catherine Fisher, blogger