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Welcome to the website for the “I can’t believe I’m reading French” comic book series, better known as Gnomeville comics.

The Gnomeville series of comics enables you to read in French right now by adding about one new word per page, and using the words you already know in English, while telling an entertaining fantasy story about a quest to capture a rogue dragon (yes, “dragon” is the same in French and English!).

The comics are designed to support the principles of Extensive Reading for language acquisition, which involves reading as much as possible at a comfortable level of difficulty in the language you want to learn. To be comfortable you need to know the meaning of at least 95% of the words that you read (on average).

However, in this comic series we take it to the extreme, where you start reading without any prior knowledge of French at all. Once you start Episode 2, you have sufficient French knowledge (12 very frequent words that make up 15-25% of typical French text, 23% of Les Misérables) to make your reading fluent, as you will know at least 95% of the words you are reading in the comic. By the end of Episode 2 you will have acquired the 20 most frequently occurring words in French newspapers. Those same words cover ~38% of Les Misérables. At the end of Episode 3 your vocabulary covers ~44%.

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Amazon.com links: Episode 1, Episode 2

 

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