French In Action, as a learning device?

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Re: French In Action, as a learning device?

Postby Carmody » Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:53 pm

Ignuanamon
This notion that spending 800 hours should make a learner C2 is erroneous
Yes I totally fell for that FSI 800 hrs. myself. Totally. Until Peter Mollenburg set me straight. And yes I totally agree with your summary.

Maybe part of my learning curve has been the realization that things are not what I thought they would be when I started out. And yes, I even fell at the beginning for Benny Lewis' Fluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the World. I mean at the beginning I was seriously ignorant.

Everything that I have learned has been due to the unspeakable kindness of strangers on this Forum. Their generosity, patience, wisdom, and forbearance with my blundering has been incredibly appreciated.

Everyone has their own style of learning. I happen to actually enjoy slow and easy all the while keeping in mind what rdearman said when he mentioned that "language learning is hard work."

Each to their own.
Last edited by Carmody on Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: French In Action, as a learning device?

Postby Stefan » Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:54 pm

iguanamon wrote:There is also a chart of hours for the US Foreign Service Institute. I understand the desire and need to quantify how many hours it will take to reach a level in a language, but, this is, at best, highly variable. Does it take into account only classroom instruction and not outside study or exposure to the language in native context? Who knows?

Since this was raised, the researchers at FSI wrote about their experiences in Lessons learned from fifty years of theory and practice in government language teaching (1999) and published a table while making it clear that they were talking about class hours. Each day you had about four hours of class and were expected to do an additional three hours after class, not included in the table.

Image

They also made a similar comment about this not being for everyone:

Note: All estimates in this figure assume that the student is a native speaker of English with no prior knowledge of the language to be learned. It is also assumed that the student has very good or better aptitude for classroom learning of foreign languages. Less skilled language learners typically take longer
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Re: French In Action, as a learning device?

Postby Elexi » Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:28 pm

and in those FSI hours, one has to the add the effect of relentless intensity, day in day out - which is probably worth a good few hundred extra hours in itself.
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Re: French In Action, as a learning device?

Postby Carmody » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:37 pm

A point of clarification:
my over 800 hrs. of French study last year included study of grammar, oral production, viewing French shows on YouTube, plus extensive reading of books, in addition to my studies of FIA.
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Re: French In Action, as a learning device?

Postby reineke » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:53 am

Fsi 575-600 class hours + around 300 hours for homework. Students work face to face with a native speaking instructor:
"The goal of language training for FSI students is typically General Professional Proficiency in Speaking and Reading (3/3+). This level is approximately equivalent to "Superior" on the scale used by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. On the CEFR scale that's a C1.

DALF C1 : 690 hours from Beginner level
DALF C1 890 hours (refers to teaching hours/lessons) .

Goethe numbers are similar...

Cambridge C1 English 700-800 guided hours C2 1200 guided hours.

800 hours will make a learner 800 hours older.
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Re: French In Action, as a learning device?

Postby PeterMollenburg » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:09 am

reineke wrote:Students work face to face with a native speaking instructor


This is a major difference I believe, to those of us who learn at home/in our own time (ie not as our full time job/activity).

Despite my few thousand hours I don't not feel I'm at C1... However feeling and being are different, but I'm pretty certain I'm not a C1. To be fair I'm a perfectionist and have arguably very much overdone certain aspects thus taken longer, and FSI does not care too much about perfecting accent from what I understand.

The difference is I think, I've not done enough reading (although a 'good' amount), but what I really want to point out is having a native speaker on hand during a good chunk of my learning would make a massive difference. Yes I speak French day in day out with my very young daughter, but that is not the same as complex conversations with a native speaker. This I think is an essential element that could bring FSI language students up to C1 in such a short time, along with a pretty dedicated continuous steep learning curve with regards to materials and course direction that they employ. Having a native speaker on hand would really boost the passive language use into active use rather efficiently. For those of us who learn at home without a native speaker (in the form of our language instructor) on hand, this I feel is a major difference. Thus don't think you're going to get to C1 in the same time as FSI students, because you likely do not have all the key elements they do day in day out. I'm not saying give up, just don't hold yourself to their hours when the situations are very different.
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Re: French In Action, as a learning device?

Postby Carmody » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:13 pm

I believe that on completing the FIA course in its entirety, it is thought that the student will have a skill set close to that of a student at intermediate level, second year French in university in the US.

People might find this url of interest; it is up to date Spring 2017:
https://iasext.wesleyan.edu/regprod/!wesmaps_page.html?crse=004155&term=1171
From the website:
Examination and Assignments:
Weekly writing assignments and quizzes, a final examination.
Additional Requirements and/or Comments:
Students are required to attend a one-hour T.A. session each week and are expected to spend an hour and a half a day viewing videos and practicing the material. This course is intended for students who have completed FREN101 or have placed into FREN102 through the placement test. Students who have not done so should consult with the professor before pre-registering. Students who are not admitted to the course through pre-registration are strongly encouraged to submit an enrollment request and attend the first class.
Note: I would love to hear any comments and assessment from anyone who has honestly completed this course in its entirety. By that I mean, a person who has completed all exercises in the wkbk and written all answers to all questions from the txtbk.
Last edited by Carmody on Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: French In Action, as a learning device?

Postby Carmody » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:09 pm

French In Action textbook, from the preface to the second edition, pg xi
....is intended to provide the equivalent of two years of instruction (elementary and intermediate French) at the college and university level, whether the course is taught over four semesters or condensed into two intensive semesters.
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Re: French In Action, as a learning device?

Postby smallwhite » Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:18 am

PeterMollenburg wrote:having a native speaker on hand during a good chunk of my learning would make a massive difference. ... Having a native speaker on hand would really boost the passive language use into active use rather efficiently.

That would be emk (French wife), qeadz (Korean wife) and other members living in-country. Funny they always say the difference is minimal.

Elexi wrote:and in those FSI hours, one has to the add the effect of relentless intensity, day in day out - which is probably worth a good few hundred extra hours in itself.

I'm not sure they study at relentless intensity for 8 hours day in day out - doesn't sound probable to me. And it's not like our L-Ring and LWTing are a walk in the park.

I do believe, though, that 1000 study hours spread over 24 weeks works waaaay better than the same hours spread over 4 years. And more importantly,

PeterMollenburg wrote:... a pretty dedicated continuous steep learning curve...

aka "leaving the comfort zone", which a lot of us refuse to do (and don't even realise it).
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Re: French In Action, as a learning device?

Postby Elexi » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:23 am

My impression from articles like the link below was that during the period of intensive study (4+ months) at FSI candidates did 5 hours every day of classroom activity and then the rest of the day doing grammar and language lab studies:

https://www.fluentin3months.com/diplomat/
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