brain friendly

Become confident in French. Move beyond the feeling of speaking like a 5 year-old.

You need help for your French test preparation or simply to get past the intermediate plateau?

Cathy Intro, coach & French test preparation

I’m a “self-confidence booster”. I help intermediate to advanced level learners find their “French self”. First we assess your strengths and weaknesses. Then together we develop a plan to target the areas that will have the most impact on your ability to speak French fluently or to ace French exams.

fun + strategies = motivation to reach your goals

4 pillars in the method:

a) Speak from day 1

You’d like to express your ideas about what’s going on in the world and in your life in French.

smiling adult businessman at table with gadgets holding presentation
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Often, the first things learners tell me are:

  • “I understand quite well but I feel like a 5 year-old when I have to speak. I’m very frustrated.”
  • “There’s so much variety in the DELF exam, I don’t know enough vocabulary. And I’m not sure how to present my ideas spontaneously in French?”

We’ll practice speaking so that you get used to expressing ideas with the French you know. As we’re building up your language skills, the level of complexity of your French will increase but what matters first is to “get out there” and rewire your brain to think faster in French.

Some of you need to speak fluently for your job or to socialize in a French-speaking environment. Others need to prepare for a challenging test like DELF, DALF, TEF or TCF but you all have one thing in common and I can’t stress this enough:

Cultural note: As a francophone you’re expected to have an opinion about anything (or pretend you do) and to be able to express it in a convincing way.

This is a core value of the French identity. Once you understand that, your interactions with your francophone environment will start to change. Then you will start to fit in better. This is the perfect preparation for a French test as this is what’s expected of you as I explain here.

b) Create the ideal learning state

Learn how to use your adult brain brain to its full capacities.

photo of head bust print artwork
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Adults and children learn differently. They also use the language differently. We, adults, already know and need to use many abstract concepts and nuances that kids know nothing about. Another advantage adults have over children is that we’re able to reflect upon our own actions and emotions and to choose the best course of action for us. And when we make wrong decisions, we’re able to learn from it and improve.

Neurosciences proved 2 facts about the brain. First, it’s addicted to pleasure. Second, it tries to automate as much as possible. That’s why having fun should be at the centre of the learning process as well as reflexion and strategies.

No two brains are alike so there is no one-size-fits-all approach but that’s the beauty of your learning process! You get to design it as you like. There is no quick and easy fix but by working strategically every day, you can improve significantly both on the fluency side of language and on the mechanical side (grammar and such). I’m happy to share here some great techniques to learn efficiently and pleasantly.

A quick word about what we’ll do together in 1:1 coaching

Not sure how to go about this? Let’s have a quick chat!

c) Have fun!

Embrace learning as an adult

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Photo by Jopwell on

Learning a language is difficult but it doesn’t have to be boring. In fact it shouldn’t be boring because a bored brain doesn’t learn.

A little bit of humour goes a long way to make certain things stick or to encourage someone to go beyond their limits.

By using the resources available here and on other websites I’m suggesting, you will learn more about all the major current societal issues (environment, education, gender, immigration, health, new technologies…). On top of that you will build up your vocabulary bank and learn how to express an opinion in French.

d) Listen

I place a big emphasis on listening, both your listening skills and mine :

  • your listening skills (language skills)
  • listening to others (cultural awareness, actively listening what they say)
  • listening to yourself (your mental state, your needs and interests)
  • me listening to you speak in French and talk (in French or English) about your doubts and successes

As a team, we will also work on your mindset by helping you understand the French and francophones cultures better so they can become more familiar. This will in turn increase your self-confidence.

All sessions are visioconference (or audio only if you prefer) from the comfort of your home or office with Zoom or Skype.