The grammar reflex

Passive versus active language: the starting point of the Grammar Reflex.


Passive language is language  that one studies theoretically but never uses when one has to speak spontaneously. It is a mixture of forgotten words and rules that create a feeling of confusion and are of no practical day to day use.


Active language is a collection of words, expressions, grammar and structures, that come to mind without prompting; they are alive and readily used in expression; this is what is meant by language reflexes.

For those who start language training, it is vital to remember that active language is the only real way of measuring their capacity to speak and communicate.


Then, how does one manage the study of a grammatical language such as  French, while giving absolute priority to oral practice and language reflexes?


"The Grammar Reflex" is the response to that everlasting question of students.


How does one progress in language structures, through spoken and active language?



"The Grammar Reflex" is a method organised along four principal lines:

  1. The Discovery and simple explanation of different rules of construction, based on the use of a great range of examples.

  2. Written exercises which give the students the possibility of broadening their comprehension and mastering some of the more difficult points of the French language.

  3. A great number of automatic response drills, in order to transform acquired theoretical knowledge into language reflexes. These automatic exercises are the core of the method, with priority given to reaction speed, without written support.

  4. Conversation and oral expression in order to transform acquired knowledge into everyday expression and to use it in real time communication.


Conversation, at the same time both free and structured, then transmits the intended meaning. Students and teacher remain throughout mutually attentive to the richness and accuracy of the language used.

The teacher's role is that of a counsellor, helping the student to reformulate inaccurate sentences or suggesting a better choice of syntax, structure or vocabulary.

Through this means, the teacher can continuously monitor the progress students are making in their oral expression and the use of the elements realised in the course of their conversational practice.


The Grammar reflex is a vast work dedicated to the active practice of the French language structures. It was developed through experience by a teacher, Bruno Arène who, throughout his career, has tried to simplify the sometimes demanding structures of French, with the aim of translating theoretical knowledge into active practice and reflexive use.

Hundreds of straightforward explanations, written exercises andespecially oral automatisation exercises, from conjugation to other elements of language such as pronouns, various verbal forms (e.g. interrogative, negative, passive, impersonal, etc.), and a wealth of vocabulary... are there, at the disposal of all those who want to speak good and expressive French.

You can be confident that you will master both theory and practice, and find the way to transforming your passive knowledge into active and rewarding practice.


French is a beautiful and resonant language, often sophisticated and even subtle, but never complex.




With the Grammar Reflex, you will discover that conjugation is a puzzle made of three pieces: the infinitive, present of  indicative and "passé composé"


This approach to verbs will offer you a simple, reliable and efficient system, and will allow you to conjugate easily from memory.


You will thus be able to develop your language reflexes, optimise your answering speed and acquire real autonomy.




For a deeper understanding of the Grammar Reflex >>

To speak a language you need :


  • Vocabulary
  • Verbs
  • Grammar and an understanding of thecivilisation and culture of the native society.
  • Vocabulary is a patient and active work of acquiring the means of expression.
  • The conjugation  of verbs can be mastered by a system that will surprise you by its simplicity.
  • Grammar (structures) is the discovery of the architecture of the language. In French, it is highly developed but not complicated.
  • Civilisation is the direct experience of the country, its culture, its habits, food, people, history, geography, etc. All of which are reflected in its language and its application.

useful links

Bruno Arène +33 6 82 31 87 68