French In Action, as a learning device?

Ask specific questions about your target languages. Beginner questions welcome!
User avatar
Carmody
Blue Belt
Posts: 540
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:00 am
Location: NYC, NY
Languages: English (N)
French (A2)
Language Log: http://tinyurl.com/zot7wrs
x 877

Re: French In Action, as a learning device?

Postby Carmody » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:51 am

French In Action

So I am at Chapter 40 with 11 chapters to go. I hope, hope, hope that I make it to the end.

In the meantime, I have been compiling a few summarizing comments that I was going to post in many months time when I finished FIA, but I am seeing other people using FIA and think these comments could be useful to them on their journey as they set out.
…………………………………………………………….................................................................

The material for French In Action includes as a minimum the need to:
1. View the 51 videos of about 38 mins. each.
2. Read and answer questions in two workbooks that are each about 400 pages in length.
3. Listen to 51 audios that will take about 4 hrs. each or a total of 204 hours to complete with the work book.
4. Also to read and answer questions in two additional textbooks of about 400 pages in length.

Given the size and scope of the basic material and time needed for completion , I am not sure I would call this a course. A course implies a distinct beginning and end and this is of such considerable scope that no person can finish the material while remembering it all. This is more a large encyclopedia of the French language.

My suggestion is for someone considering this study to:
1. Go through it once, learning what you can. As the author says at the beginning, you are not meant to get it all the first time through.
2. Then go through it again focusing on those parts that caused the most problems.
3. Do so again, and as often as you care to.
4. Now use it as a reference encyclopedia of sorts that you can dip into as needed.
5. Don’t let it get the upper hand; if you are having trouble with a section come back later and work on it.
6. You must retain control how it is you will use it and keep a minimum of momentum rolling. Don’t let it dictate how you use it, other than following the general course outline. Don’t let it bludgeon you into submission with all it asks you to do.
7. Above all relax and enjoy the journey. It is your journey; keep it that way.

NB: if you buy used books, etc. make sure they are all the same edition level.
7 x

Online
User avatar
PeterMollenburg
Brown Belt
Posts: 1272
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:54 am
Location: Australia
Languages: English (N), French (B2-certified), Dutch (High A2?), Spanish (~A1), German (long-forgotten 99%)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=784
x 2067

Re: French In Action, as a learning device?

Postby PeterMollenburg » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:47 am

Carmody wrote:French In Action

So I am at Chapter 40 with 11 chapters to go. I hope, hope, hope that I make it to the end.


I have a lot of confidence that you will make it. You're doing very well, and I'm very impressed. Keep it up Carmody! ;)
3 x

User avatar
tomgosse
Blue Belt
Posts: 998
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:29 am
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Languages: English (Native)
French (A1)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1185
x 1767
Contact:

Re: French In Action, as a learning device?

Postby tomgosse » Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:56 am

Congratulations! You are ready to conquer the Mount Everest of French Language courses. Those of us who never made it to base camp stand in awe of you. You are an inspiration to us all. :D
2 x
Rejoignez notre groupe français ! Les Voyageurs

User avatar
luke
Yellow Belt
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2015 9:09 pm
Languages: English (N). Spanish (intermediate), Esperanto (intermediate), French (intermediate)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5462
x 149

Re: French In Action, as a learning device?

Postby luke » Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:02 am

tomgosse wrote:Congratulations! You are ready to conquer the Mount Everest of French Language courses. Those of us who never made it to base camp stand in awe of you. You are an inspiration to us all. :D


Amen!
2 x
: 25 / 25 Jen Nia Mondo
: 16 / 16 Pasaporto al la Tuta Mondo
: 5310 / 3950 Duolingo
: 17 / 52 Faktoj kaj Fantazioj
: 216 / 1198 Step by Step in Esperanto
: 9 / 30Paŝoj al Plena Posedo

User avatar
Carmody
Blue Belt
Posts: 540
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:00 am
Location: NYC, NY
Languages: English (N)
French (A2)
Language Log: http://tinyurl.com/zot7wrs
x 877

Re: French In Action, as a learning device?

Postby Carmody » Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:15 pm

Tom,

Every thing I have learned about language learning I have learned on this Forum. And one of the main things people have taught me is that I should not compare myself to others. That is said repeatedly. So in effect, we each have our own Mount Everest of French Language to climb.

For you to carry on in the face of adversity as you do with your studies and to help others like myself out is itself a true effort of Mount Everest proportions and serves as a extraordinary high standard to us all. Without your guidance to me with FIA in particular I simply would not have even started the journey. That is a fact. So I am just giving credit where it is deserved.

And obviously my FIA journey is not over and I have still far to travel, but I am grateful for people's guidance and hope I don't try to rush things now.

Thanks Tom.
3 x

User avatar
tomgosse
Blue Belt
Posts: 998
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:29 am
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Languages: English (Native)
French (A1)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1185
x 1767
Contact:

Re: French In Action, as a learning device?

Postby tomgosse » Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:14 pm

Carmody wrote:Tom,

Every thing I have learned about language learning I have learned on this Forum. And one of the main things people have taught me is that I should not compare myself to others. That is said repeatedly. So in effect, we each have our own Mount Everest of French Language to climb.

For you to carry on in the face of adversity as you do with your studies and to help others like myself out is itself a true effort of Mount Everest proportions and serves as a extraordinary high standard to us all. Without your guidance to me with FIA in particular I simply would not have even started the journey. That is a fact. So I am just giving credit where it is deserved.

And obviously my FIA journey is not over and I have still far to travel, but I am grateful for people's guidance and hope I don't try to rush things now.

Thanks Tom.

Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad that I could help you and others. I wish you and all the others on this forum all the best.
Tom
1 x
Rejoignez notre groupe français ! Les Voyageurs

User avatar
Carmody
Blue Belt
Posts: 540
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:00 am
Location: NYC, NY
Languages: English (N)
French (A2)
Language Log: http://tinyurl.com/zot7wrs
x 877

Re: French In Action, as a learning device?

Postby Carmody » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:16 pm

I am at chapter 45 / 52 and am beginning to truly drag a bit. So a couple of thoughts while it is still fresh in my mind:

French In Actiion: A Beginning Course in Language and Culture

This is definitely not a Course for Beginners. Trust me.

Also it is not really a Course. For example, if a dictionary is of very great length, it becomes an encyclopedia of sorts and FIA is part course part encyclopedia. It is long.

Also, no one completes or finishes FIA. That is to say, no one does all the exercises; there are just too many in both the text book and the work book to finish in one lifetime. As is said at the beginning of the course, don’t expect to get it all the first time around.

I noted in the workbook what needed further study and kept going on. If you don’t keep going, the course will grind you down into dust of an ever increasing smaller granularity. I kid you not. You must stay master of your own learning pace and just keep going. You can always review. While I skipped over portions throughout FIA, I did however develop over 100 pages of typewritten notes based on the Work Book..

Also note that this is not a course for fast thinking, quickly moving people. It is geared more for the person who takes life one step at a time. If you want fast and furious, another course might be more suitable. My wife happens to be truly fast and brilliant and couldn’t get past chp. 5; she found it just too slow going.

-the pros
It covers a great deal of material in very considerable breadth and depth.
-the cons
It covers a great deal of material in very considerable breadth and depth.

Finally hats off to Pierre Capretz and everyone for producing this course. The efforts required to do it were truly herculean. It is the work of a life time to produce and something that one can work on/study from for ‘the rest of one’s life’ to do it and yourself justice.

Each person who learns a language probably chooses one central book, and I would say this is the one I have chosen or vice versa. No course is perfect but this is probably as good as it gets. If I ever do finish FIA my exhaustion will be similar to that of the long distance, ultra marathoner. I am not sure I can make it much further/farther.

If you have questions on FIA, feel free to ask.

nb: if buying used copies make sure they are all the same edition. Do not get the first edition.
Last edited by Carmody on Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
5 x

Elexi
Orange Belt
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:39 pm
Languages: English (N), French (B1), German (A2), Latin (eternal beginner), Dutch (Aspires to find the time).
x 344

Re: French In Action, as a learning device?

Postby Elexi » Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:10 pm

I found that the last 10 or so lessons don't quite keep the pace of the rest of the course - that while the material being taught is useful, it slows down the pace - i.e. it is not jumping to any new levels but rounding things off.

I also detected that Capretz and Abetti were beginning to get silly in the audio - always professional, but at times a bit silly in the way they say things. I put it down to fatigue... either theirs or mine.
2 x

User avatar
Carmody
Blue Belt
Posts: 540
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:00 am
Location: NYC, NY
Languages: English (N)
French (A2)
Language Log: http://tinyurl.com/zot7wrs
x 877

Re: French In Action, as a learning device?

Postby Carmody » Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:28 am

I think Capretz and Abetti had phenomenal self control to be able to persevere as long as they did. Those exercises were bone crushing.
2 x

Tomás
Blue Belt
Posts: 549
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2015 9:48 pm
Languages: English (N). Currently studying Spanish (intermediate), French (false beginner).
x 621

Re: French In Action, as a learning device?

Postby Tomás » Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:02 am

Carmody wrote:If you have questions on FIA, feel free to ask.


Is it true that there is an episode where Mireille gets water spilled on her blouse? I should probably avoid that one given my delicate constitution.
1 x


Return to “Practical Questions and Advice”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: LesRonces and 5 guests