Time from B2 to C1/C2? (frustrated somewhat- seeking some feedback pls)

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Re: Time from B2 to C1/C2? (frustrated somewhat- seeking some feedback pls)

Postby whatiftheblog » Sun Dec 11, 2016 3:07 pm

tarvos wrote:At B2, you should be reading most texts quite fluidly already in my experience. You should be pausing only to look up certain slightly more common words that keep cropping up in texts, or a key word that really changes the meaning of a paragraph. I haven't really done any intensive work above B2, and I find it kind of boring. What I did when it came to French was spend a week in France and buy tons of Amélie Nothomb books (I read like six in a week). I didn't have a big dictionary with me, so I was forced to just read on and on. And I found out that after a while I got through them faster and faster. Nowadays I can finish that type of novel in a day and understand the plot without problems. There may be a few words I don't understand, but they either don't matter or I look them up if I'm curious.

The goal is to get into a flow of reading. Sometimes it's about the massive exposure and not about the details. Details occasionally can be swept aside. What you want is context. Many words can be gleaned from context, and for that you need reading speed.


This is a very important point, and one which I think can be just as easily applied to listening. In order to get certain vocab to stick, I've found it much more helpful to watch 4-5 videos on the same general topic - a vlogger's academic experience or France's anti-terror strategy or knick-knacks people find at flea markets or whatever. In the very beginning of my all-native-all-the-time journey, I would type out words or phrases I wanted to remember in a little notepad document on the side of my screen, but I've stopped doing even that because I've found the repetition approach to work better, not to mention it just being much more enjoyable.
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Re: Time from B2 to C1/C2? (frustrated somewhat- seeking some feedback pls)

Postby PeterMollenburg » Wed Dec 14, 2016 7:00 am

Cavesa wrote:Now, Iguanamnon inspired me to think of the issue in context of your learning, and I hope you won't mind, PM.

I think there are two awesome things in this community, that could help you.

1. The Super Challenge. You are highly unlikely to get to the C levels without having digested lots and lots of native media. Counting it can make the path more structured and less daunting. I would dare to guess you cannot NOT arrive to at least passive C2 (with big progress in the active skills too) with the double challenge.

2. The Course Completion Challenge.
Some courses and grammars can be very helpful. But not when you spread yourself extremely thin and don't get too far in any of them.

3.Get rid of low level resources. I know, it feels like "I should do the low levels of this series too, if I am gonna use the fourth book". Nope, it is not necessary. In most cases. You are not gonna be missing more than a few words, most probably not even that. Yes, intermediate Progressive books are still valuable, if you get through them quite fast and continue to the further two levels. But other than that, leave behind everything with labels like A1-B2, B1, intermediate, conversational, basic, and other creative variations on the same theme.

There are relatively few high level learner aimed resources for French learners, compared to English, Spanish, or German.
-the Progressive books.
-Alter Ego 4 and 5. Édito has a good B2 level course too, but no C1. A few older courses are now officially C1 (that's what google says), but I wouldn't go for too old stuff, if you want to pass the exams. But remember than all courses are just tools and a part of the larger puzzle. I bet you can pass a B1 exam having done only stuff from one course series A1-B1 without ever reaching out, if you are not particularily bad. But that is impossible from B2 on.
-Skill specific books, usually published by CLE or PUG. The rest of the publishers pretends there is nothing but lions beyond the beginner gold and intermediate silver mines. Production écrite 4 looked very good but I couldn't get everything. PUG has published B2-C1 books on writing, including Resume,Compte-Rendu, Synthese book, which is probably the best resource of this kind.
-Exam preparation books. When it comes to these, the publishers suddenly wake up. Some are more like mock test collections (the big red books is what I mainly used), some are more like normal courses, some are hybrids in between. These are trying to fill the gap normal courses leave, I'd say.

Apart from that, there is the real world. And language resources for native speakers, which can be useful too.


All excellent advice here, I believe. With the three main points you've made above I think point one and two and easily done. Point three for me is a struggle. I can't see myself making any money on selling courses I already own. I see no point in selling them/getting rid of them when my wife might (and it's a long shot) use some of them, or even my nephew. And I will always struggle with not having completed them all. I know, it's the one thing I've always struggled with. Still there is very very little time for courses in my schedule now, and they are no longer a priority, so the chances of me returning to easy material are slim, and if I do, very little time will be wasted. I need a machine that can teleport me to another dimension in which I lose no time and fly through courses. Anyone heard of this "course completion dimension" or have the access codes and machine to get there? I'll pay- with novels, series, audio, anything but courses... noooo not my courses!!! :o Okay, in reality I have a number of decent courses geared towards passing B2 and above exams. I definitely hear your point Cavesa, and I will endeavour to not to stray as much as possible out of advanced/useful territory.

smallwhite wrote:
Cavesa wrote:I still can't remember what verlan is, I have googled it a dozen times already and I'm giving up


Or you could go old school and look up a dictionary instead:

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/verlan#French

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/verlan#English

"A type of backslang used in France, in which the order of the syllables or sounds of words is changed."


Actually a lot of French hip-hop uses verlan. I thought it was hard enough deciphering American hip-hop all those years ago when I used to pause, write, and play figuring out lyrics pre-internet. Perhaps I can revive this in the future, but I think i"ve a long way to go before I attempt that :)

Elenia wrote:I will once again link to sctroyenne's post on what she did before sitting the C2 exam for French. It's nice and detailed and also super motivational.


Yep, I'd read it before, but it was very much worth reading it again (and I may a few more times yet), just to reinforce what I ought to do to help me along the journey to advanced French. Thanks for sharing Elenia! And thanks sctroyenne if you're out there ;)

smallwhite wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:1. Could I reach C2 by March 2017 if I'm already currently a B2?
2. If above seems a stretch- Could I reach C2 by November 2017 if I'm already currently a B2?

I don't know what C2 is like so I can't say. I believe you could pass C1 by March 2017.


Thank you for your vote of confidence :)

smallwhite wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:3. What would this entail (grammar study, speaking, reading) in your opinion?
3a) How many hours?
3b) What should I focus on?

It would entail you working towards the test instead of working on what you like to work on.
As in:
cannot understand a mock C1 reading paragraph -> study that paragraph
and not:
cannot understand a mock C1 reading paragraph -> redo Assimil hoping the skills would transfer to understanding said paragraph.

PeterMollenburg wrote:My aim was to sit the B2 in May 2017 for French (originally I thought I could reach C1/C2 in a year or even less with hard study- idiot!!!).

If I were you I'd sit the C1 in May 2017.

Currently I don't think I will feel ready by May 2017, but I could be wrong. I want to feel confident I know what I'm doing and i'm not convinced I can learn enough as well as get through B2 and C1 exam prep material in time, but I could be wrong.
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Re: Time from B2 to C1/C2? (frustrated somewhat- seeking some feedback pls)

Postby PeterMollenburg » Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:34 am

Yet another post by the most important person ever in the history of man. No need for an introducion as my (user)name is above this post, sorry, i mean as we all know who I am.

Yep it's me, try not to faint.

Here's my ahem, final? routine, well at least with all it's gory detail.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
First two hours of French every day
(alternating which of the 2 hrs I begin with each day) :
-----------
1st hour (or 2nd hour every other day)
Extensive reading :

15 min SRS

+45 min of :
(alternating between 2 books)

A 'real book' :
currently reading :
• Le Régime Cétogène contre le cancer

An easy French reader/graded book :
(with a view to increasing difficulty and making my way through a large collection of such books, bilingual books etc):
• whatever 'Easy French Reader' currently in use.
----------------
2nd hour (or 1st hour every other day)
Attentive listening :

15 min SRS

+ 45 min of :
(alternating again between 2 things)

A series :
currently using:
• Sex and the City (dubbed)
Note that what i'm finding works well here is 1st to watch an entire episode extensively (in French audio, maybe FR subs too) ~20-25min. Then, with the last 20 minutes to go back to the earlier episodes that i'm still working on and pull apart the detail by pausing and repeating, listening very carefully to the dialogue while using the unmatched FR subs as clues if needed to attune my ears to what it is I should be hearing.

Later could use (recent suggestions from various users here on the forum included):
• Girls (doublé)
• Game of Thrones (doublé)
• Buffy (scripts avail)
• The Wire (doublé)
• Eureka (doublé)
• Lost Girl (doublé?)
• Les Revenants
• Disparue
• H
• Nos chers voisins
• Un gars une fille
• Caméra Café (T'scripts, avail)
• The Village
• Kaamelott (Transcripts avail.)
• Fais pas si fais pas ça
• Engrenages
• Hero Corp

Dedicated programs for intensive listening:
Here I have a subscription to Yabla that I might as well make use of. It's more intensive language focus usually. I can also use RFI Journal en français facile, which has transcripts available, but probably won't so much as I tend to now use this as a listening exercise when commuting to and from work. At work if there's time, i'll try to read the transcript before returning home from work. Here I'm likely to use Yabla and later on GLOSS, as Serpent's suggestion of GLOSS seems to be a pretty decent recommendation.
• Yabla
• RFI Journal en FR facile (transcripts)
• GLOSS
-----------
Then after my first 2 most important hours, are done each day, if time allows i will follow with hour blocks of study alternating between the following:
-----------
Intensive reading
15 min SRS + 45 min of :
• Bien-dire (FR learning mag)
----------------
A course:
15 min SRS + 45 min of:
(currently using):
• Assimil Using French
----------------
Intensive reading:
15 min SRS + 45 min de :
• Think French (FR learning mag)
----------------
An exam preparation course :
15 min SRS ou vocab. + 45 min of:
• Préparation à l'examen du DELF B2
------------------------------------

Comments:
The first 2 hours are the things I currently deem most important. The latter 2 hours, although some people would argue I could do much better, choose something else, I shouldn't be doing them etc allow me to still be me without these things taking priority. The good thing about them being later in the study schedule, means I must do the important stuff if I want to get to the other stuff I'd like to do (the courses and the intensive reading mag's). Thus, the set-up is motivational.

The areas I haven't mentioned in my routine are speaking and writing. I think it's too hard to include speaking in my schedule when I am not likely to be speaking at the same times all the time, thus I will simply aim to do 2 conversational sessions a week. As for writing, I currently feel it is covered in course work (exercises), writing and responding to flashcards and the like. Still I might change my mind on this later, but I don't feel I have room in the schedule for dedicated writing time just yet.

I've already largely begun the above routine. And am actually enjoying it would you believe. I've also had a conversational session this morning. It was good, and the 'teacher' said I read well with very little accent.

Also yet to do more assessing of my current level. Time hasn't permitted (I put in a request form, but no reply yet), y'know, work, family, my dog, they all get IN THE WAY of my study... ahem, i mean, everything is in balance, stay calm PM all is well (forces smile) :x

Oh, and six frogs just attacked me but throwing/sending/deploying 612 other frogs in my directions. Not easy being me.

As some of you may know, I speak to my daughter in French, read to her, show her French TV shows etc. That's going well. Her comprehension is excellent but she certainly doesn't choose French over English when responding to me. I have to encourage her a lot. My wife recently stated that I should speak to her in French too, as it will help me progress and help our daughter improve by hearing yet again more French. My wife is totally fine with this (I didn't force her to make the suggestion, she's fine with it- we once attempted to speak Dutch only with each other with mild success, but the situation was different. So slowly but surely I'll introduce more French into the household (my wife knows some French- perhaps A2 level and is happy to work it out as we go).

Procrastination still remains a fairly common issue. I aim to stamp this out in 2017 as my new year's revolution.. sorry resolution. Thought I was Napoleon for a second or two then. I am him though, i mean it's pretty obvious. I'm a little shocked it's not been mentioned in this thred quite frankly. I'll have to have a talk to the moderators, they're obviously editing posts, probably siding with the British or the Russians, or the Glussians, or the Zlussians. Know what I'm sayin'? How men legs have you got? Like seven? Teen?

FRY A MASSIVE FRY IN YO' FACE FOOLZ. I GOTS ME SOME SKILLS FOR REALIO, YA FEEL? ;) I AIN'T EVEN LIVIN'
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Re: Time from B2 to C1/C2? (frustrated somewhat- seeking some feedback pls)

Postby smallwhite » Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:08 am

Just curious - why do you do your SRS reps during your precious desk time? Do you do them during downtime during the day as well?

I do most of mine in bed, both morning and night. I alternate between SRS and LLORG, to be exact.
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Re: Time from B2 to C1/C2? (frustrated somewhat- seeking some feedback pls)

Postby PeterMollenburg » Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:18 am

smallwhite wrote:Just curious - why do you do your SRS reps during your precious desk time? Do you do them during downtime during the day as well?

I do most of mine in bed, both morning and night. I alternate between SRS and LLORG, to be exact.


I actually have very little time outside my desk study time and other interests and comittments, and if I do have any time, i want to relax (and preferably watch something in French, or read). I don't find SRS relaxing, but still believe it's worthwhile (I don't find it particularly stressful either). If I don't push myself to do it in my routine, I simply won't do it. And rather than do 45min straight (yuck), i feel bite-size chunks are best. Get it out of the way first think each hour, then do something else i prefer. I'll emphasise again though, that I do think it's worthwhile. If I have down time I can never bring myself to do SRS.

Edit: I also hook up a keyboard to my smarthphone as I like to respond to my Anki reps with type-written answers. It's my preference. I don't carry the keyboard everywhere around the house, or elsewhere. "Hook up" btw as I prefer a cabled keyboard to bluetooth. Too many well hidden studies showing beyond a shadow of a doubt imo that bluetooth is not good for our health. Nor do I carry a computer with me. Thus the desk seems like the best spot to do it. I find using a smartphone without a keyboard such a massive waste of precious time.

Another Edit:
When doing extensive reading or listening I have a little rule to prevent me from stopping too much. I can only look up 2 words or expressions to add to Anki to avoid stopping my flow too much. As I progress in 2017 I have some ideas up my sleeve to grant more and more time to my extensive activities- reduce the "2 words/expressions" rule to 1, reduce SRS time gradually during extensive activities, stop SRS during extensive activities and then stop even messing with Anki altogther during extensive activities. All designed to encourage a shift towards total native 'use' of the language.
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Re: Time from B2 to C1/C2? (frustrated somewhat- seeking some feedback pls)

Postby smallwhite » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:11 am

I see. I do find type-written answers better than my usual multiple-choice tapping, but most of the time I go for quantity instead of quality. These days, with Dutch which I love, I do a bit more typing. Typing answers (to both word and sentence cards) helps my speaking A LOT. It lets me text-chat fluently, which is just one step away from talk-chat.

In fact, I really should be doing more of it. Thanks for reminding me!

Btw, your French-exam-mission has inspired me and I'm now considering taking a Spanish exam next year. I'll have to re-read this thread!
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Re: Time from B2 to C1/C2? (frustrated somewhat- seeking some feedback pls)

Postby PeterMollenburg » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:44 am

smallwhite wrote:I see. I do find type-written answers better than my usual multiple-choice tapping, but most of the time I go for quantity instead of quality.


Yeah I understand. I generally go for quality first. I find type-written answers involve more active participation, along with me speaking all flashcards out loud.

smallwhite wrote:These days, with Dutch which I love, I do a bit more typing. Typing answers (to both word and sentence cards) helps my speaking A LOT. It lets me text-chat fluently, which is just one step away from talk-chat.


Cool. You can understand my wanderlust and keen interest in Dutch then. Sometimes I think I like it more than French, but I think that's more a feeling of wanting to study something different. Still I do really love the language too. Shame my family Dutch roots are very much fading into oblivion of late. I find the Netherlands a very intersting country too! Going to live there in 2011, some locals would respond to the notion of us living there with comments like "Why here? Why not France or Spain?". Despite the cultural differences which at times I found 'cold' in comparison to Australian culture, but understand is just part of the full intersting package that is Dutch culture, I still have a strong pull towards this country and language that I think will always remain with me.

Actually, to add to that (I know, lengthy tangent here), Belgium is equally interesting, despite much of the mocking that goes on either from a Netherlands perspective or from elsewhere. I prefer the Netherlands pronunciation of Dutch, but Flemish is also rather interesting. What I find to be a bit of a shame when you look at history, is that some large areas/cities of Belgium/northern France were once Flemish/Dutch but have now ironically from my perspective become well and truly Francophone. Brussels of course is a good example. Lille appears to be very much a Flemish city in appearance from an architectural perspective (i'm no expert of course), and I assume it was once Dutch/Flemish owned and speaking. All interesting.

smallwhite wrote:In fact, I really should be doing more of it. Thanks for reminding me!

Btw, your French-exam-mission has inspired me and I'm now considering taking a Spanish exam next year. I'll have to re-read this thread!


No probs :) I was a little hesitant to start this thread in the beginning, but it's fortunately become a source of useful information for others (like many thread) as well, it's providing others with some useful insights into their own learning methods and as you demonstrate can be motivational. Glad you are finding it inspiring smallwhite. I say do it! Go for the Spanish exam! But you'll have to find a good way to balance your Dutch it seems with a strong focus on Spanish. What's your Spanish level like currently, out of interest?
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Re: Time from B2 to C1/C2? (frustrated somewhat- seeking some feedback pls)

Postby rdearman » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:56 am

PeterMollenburg wrote:Also yet to do more assessing of my current level. Time hasn't permitted (I put in a request form, but no reply yet), y'know, work, family, my dog, they all get IN THE WAY of my study... ahem, i mean, everything is in balance, stay calm PM all is well (forces smile) :x

Oh, and six frogs just attacked me but throwing/sending/deploying 612 other frogs in my directions. Not easy being me.

I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes two or three days attack me at the same time.
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Re: Time from B2 to C1/C2? (frustrated somewhat- seeking some feedback pls)

Postby PeterMollenburg » Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:31 pm

rdearman wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:Also yet to do more assessing of my current level. Time hasn't permitted (I put in a request form, but no reply yet), y'know, work, family, my dog, they all get IN THE WAY of my study... ahem, i mean, everything is in balance, stay calm PM all is well (forces smile) :x

Oh, and six frogs just attacked me but throwing/sending/deploying 612 other frogs in my directions. Not easy being me.

I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes two or three days attack me at the same time.


I'm not so sure I like you posting around these parts rdearman. I offered to fit an anti-multiple-attack-mechavice to your B€3/2((990 spacecraft 10 years back when I crossed your path in the Altroif System near asteroid 7221 dash 99-146b. And you're still banging on about dealing with attacks like it's some kind of joke. Yes you were 16 dimensions adrift of me at that point in vaccuum space, but nothing a flat white on toast or a double over flip owl hooting vibration couldn't flute, ya dig? An' I ain't even paying for steaks. Get your fry on if you know what's real. Sunday's back.
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Re: Time from B2 to C1/C2? (frustrated somewhat- seeking some feedback pls)

Postby Cavesa » Sat Dec 17, 2016 3:44 pm

While I admire a lot of things about your learning, I am not sure whether it is a good idea to try to raise a bilingual child, while none of the parents speaks the language really well. It is not the first time I see such attempts. While it is awesome she can understand French from the shows, perhaps she shouldn't learn too much from her parents. But perhaps there are French schools and preschools in your area?
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