Who's on First? (Jack's French Log)

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overscore
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Re: Who's on First? (Jack's French Log)

Postby overscore » Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:21 pm

Et Manu Chao!



Aznavour, avec sous titres!

2 x

jackb
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Re: Who's on First? (Jack's French Log)

Postby jackb » Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:05 pm

Thanks mverse. It's still kinda weird that people are reading this.

I think the extensive activities made it easy for me to put time in everyday until I had the motivation and desire to do more intensive activities, so I don't regret it.


I don't regret it either. I think 30 years ago (if Netflix, etc existed), I would be doing much more extensive stuff. I don't have time to just watch and re-watch shows AND tile the backsplash in my kitchen.

I'm a fan of Stromae and anxiously await more stuff from him. Other stuff I regularly listen to is Black M, Big Flo & Olie, MC Solaar, Maître Gims, and Zaz.

Overscore, thanks for the suggestions. He kind of looks like Heri Salvador a bit. Cue the rabbit Youtube rabbit hole in 3.....2.....1....
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Re: Who's on First? (Jack's French Log)

Postby jackb » Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:59 pm

I finished Gilmore Girls season 1 and posted some simple writing to Jounaly, so I'm happy with my progress this month.

I need to practice writing so, at the moment, I'm going to try to write some sentences with an artificially small vocabulary. No, I'm not sure how to pick the vocabulary or the sentence structure, tenses, etc.


I found what I was looking for with the artificially small vocab. Apparently, it's called the kernel method.
https://learnanylanguage.fandom.com/wiki/Kernel_Method . I'm going to take these words and create some simple sentences with the help of some grammar books. The plan is to work through the topics I know and am comfortable with. This isn't a way to learn new things, but to reinforce what I know.

Right now I'm leaning towards Réussir Delf B2 and/or ABC Delf books for test prep. I'm going to hold off on buying them until the new year. I may work through some library workbooks in the meantime. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm open. I plan on getting a tutor 6 months or so before the exam date.
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Re: Who's on First? (Jack's French Log)

Postby jackb » Thu Dec 10, 2020 7:17 pm

So the writing sentences daily didn't really work out. I tried it out for a couple of days, but it was missing something. It was a short-lived test, but it 'not working' led to me not doing it. I decided not to beat myself up about it and do something else. I borrowed the intermediate grammaire progressive from the library and started working through it. It feels like the paper version of kwiziq. I really like it. The only problem is the answer key isn't included. Luckily I could borrow too from my library too, but that will probably be the reason I won't continue with the series.

Writing the answers does something for me. In the last week or so of writing the answers, I'm noticing that I seem to be able to hold more french words in my head. It's odd. I'm not sure if I can really explain it. I've been looking into the Practice Makes Perfect series to substitute. Does anyone know anything about this series? I'm looking at the reading comprehension and past tense books.

I'm just about half way through unit 7 of FSI. The review was interesting. There were a bunch of words that would sound alike to a non-French speaker (son livre and cent livre). They had them in sentences and you are supposed to translate them. This is really helping my listening. I still stumble through some of the exercises because I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do. I figure it out, but sometimes, it's a struggle.

Journaly is cool and I get decent corrections, but I'm finding ways not to write there. My preference for offline material is really coming through. I'm not sure how I'm going to replace the writing bit in my practice. At this point, the sentence writing in exercise books will do just fine, even if they are simple and unconnected.

The French Voices podcasts are going really well. It takes about a week to really go through one. I'm to the point that I know a large majority of the words, but I still print and go through them. I find myself underlining and commenting on ways to convey a specific feeling.

I'll be poking at Speechling in the next few weeks. Initially, it looks to be on the expensive side until you compare it to actual teachers/tutors. I'm paying close attention to the thread that was started a few days ago.
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Re: Who's on First? (Jack's French Log)

Postby jackb » Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:28 am

December was an OK month. I finished FSI Unit 7, all 11 tapes. I basically have to do all of the tapes 3 times. There are some specific things that give me problems:

1. Creating inverted questions
2. Listening. Sometimes, I just don't know what they are asking me to do.
3. Conjugating with 'on/elle(s)'.

The conjugating thing is weird. I guess I always tied my conjugations to il/ils. None of the this is nearly as automatic as it needs to be.

I finished Les Vacances du Petit Nicolas, but I'm only 2/3 through La Toile de Charlotte. Le Petit Nicolas felt different, but not in a good way. There are a couple more books from the library on hold for this month. I'm having some problems with the passé simple, mostly because I've never really learned it. It's slowing down my reading. It's used pretty often in La Toile de Charlotte. More conjugation issues.

I bought Speechling last week and I'm been submitting 15-25 recordings a day for review. Most of the feedback is positive reinforcement or confirmation of correctness. The corrections have come in the form of recordings by the tutor. During my practice, I generally repeat the phrase until I think I have it right 3 times, then submit for review. It's a lot of talking in a short amount of time.

Listening practice has been spotty with French Voices. I have about in my playlist. There's one in particular where the host interviews someone from her favorite boulangerie in her home town. It's tough going for me.

Goals for January:
Grammar/Speaking-FSI Units 8 and 9. Repeat 25-50 sentences daily and submit as many as needed.
Reading- 1/4 of HP5- HP et l'Ordre du Phénix (250 pages). It's the longest in the series.
Listening- 2 French Voices podcasts.

*Edit: Changed book to HP to align with my 2021 goals.
Last edited by jackb on Mon Jan 04, 2021 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Who's on First? (Jack's French Log)

Postby jackb » Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:56 pm

Some things I (think) I learned in 2020

I’ve made progress. I do everything in French better than I did this time last year. Fighting frustration has been hard for then last month or so. Work has been tough with longer hours leaving less time for language learning. Realizing an overall increase in skills is good.

Challenges aren’t really my thing. Last year, I signed up for the 366 and Super Challenge. Accounting my time for the challenge is harding than just doing what needs to be done. I just updated my trackers for the first time in 3-4 months. I guess they did what they were supposed to do; get me to work with French everyday and consume native content.

Listening is most important. My son pointed out to me that I am strangely quiet at certain times. After talking about it more, I realized that I am a listener first and a speaker second. My default is to listen. This is why I’m so uncomfortable when talking to people. Language exchange doesn’t make sense to me until I am able to understand what is being said. Unfortunately this is lost on a most of courses. For my next language listening will be skill #1.

I dislike studying grammar, but I don’t mind doing grammar exercises. Some people love it and can use it as a framework to build around. I’m the opposite. I need to use the grammar to describe what I already have a handle on, but don’t know. The exercises lock it into place.

I want to be advanced in French. Words like advanced are used all the time so they can mean different things to different people. To me advanced means to be able to read and listen to anything in French I want with ease and talk to people about subjects that interest me (music, technology, politics, sports, diy, astronomy). I know I should care about writing, but I don’t.

I’m still up in the air about certifications. I work in IT and over the years I’ve gained a negative view of them. My main problem is they provide an artificially broad number of subjects, some of which are irrelevant to me. The days of ‘paper certs’ still sticks in my craw a bit. In relationship to languages, to get an advanced level cert in French, I would have to spend most time on my weakest skill….writing. Something I don’t really care about. Is it worth doing ? When my boss says I need it, yes, but for a hobby?


2021

Goals:

Study 5 times a week from 6-7 am.
Finish Harry Potter series (3 to go)
Complete Speechling Core Curriculum (3/4 through Intermediate 1)
Finish FSI (Unit 8)
Transcribe one my favorite native podcasts every month.
Start a fluff sci fi series (Sookie Stackhouse, Mercy Thompson, Throne of Glass)
Finish Gilmore Girls (6 1/2 seasons of 22 episodes to go!)

I’m changing up my schedule to include explicit study time. Realistically, it will turn out to be 30-45 minutes. My intention is that it will be intensive only time. The actual work to be done will be rotated out to prevent boredom and/or frustration. The evening will be for extensive activities and FSI coursework. FSI is picking up steam and getting more difficult. I can foresee a few weeks of FSI study in the morning and audio only work in the evening.

I picked those series because they are dialog heavy, without too intricate of plots, long, and popular. The plan is for them to counteract the old timey language of FSI. Plus when you put that with the Gilmore Girls, you end up with a ton of words.

Even if I don’t finish it all, I think this will push me.
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jackb
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Re: Who's on First? (Jack's French Log)

Postby jackb » Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:12 am

The first full week went pretty well. I just finished Unit 8 tape 6 for the second time. FSI is an interesting mix of difficulty. Sometimes you get to sit back and repeat, others you stare into space and wonder 'What am I supposed to be doing here?'. I'm getting something out of it, but there is much more to be gotten. I feel like some of the lexical exercises are just dragging me along, where repeating is a struggle. Maybe I'll revisit it later.

I'm 100 pages into HP and making good progress. I'm on pace for my reading goal for the month. I hope I can finish it in 2-3 months instead of 3-4. This one has the best start because the Dursleys don't have the opportunity to be too terrible to Harry.

Speechling is going well. The feedback is still good, but not super detailed.. There are already a couple of things to work on. Let's see how it goes when the sentences get long.

I took a listening detour to watch the first two seasons of Le Prince des Dragons on Netflix. My listening comprehension is getting better. I might finish and I might not.

I haven't touch any podcasts. I better get on that this week.
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Re: Who's on First? (Jack's French Log)

Postby jackb » Sun Jan 17, 2021 7:16 pm

Last week was a bad one for study. My son's friend has COVID so we are all quarantined for a couple of weeks. We didn't find out about it until almost a full week after they were together. Everyone tested negative, so we are just waiting it out. We also neutered my dog. It's been like having another baby between the cone, pain killers, and preventing him from licking out the stitches.

Before it all went sideways, I tried to transcribe a couple of minutes of a podcast. It was difficult but doable. The thing I didn't like is that I need to be sitting at my desk, where I sit 8-9 hours already. I'm not so interested in sitting more. I may give it a try later.

I've watched a couple more episodes of Le Prince des Dragons. I notice that I've been translating in my head and everything gets twisted. I'm trying to 'echo' (replay the audio) in my head to prevent translation and it seems to be working for the most part. I realized that I don't have a French voice in my head. Not sure if that makes sense, but I'm going to give real shadowing a try.

A friend of mine says he has Assimil Using French and Business French with audio. $50 for both is a good deal. They are prime candidates for shadowing material. Maybe I'll give the freeform portion of Speechling a try with them too. My goal with this will be to create and cement my French voice in my head in addition to working on listening comprehension.

Here's to a better week!

Goals:
Finish Unit 8 in FSI
Finish Speechling Intermediate 1
Read 100 page HP5
(Still waiting on the Assimils)
3 x
366 Day Challenge. : 221 / 366
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Books : 3100 / 5000

jackb
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Re: Who's on First? (Jack's French Log)

Postby jackb » Sun Jan 31, 2021 7:17 pm

What I would normally call study has kind of stopped. I've had a dog with a cone in my lap for the last few weeks. He's officially my son's dog, but I'm his person. It sounds weird but if you have a dog, you know what I mean. I have been able to read and watch shows.

I'm up to page 300 in L'Ordre du Phénix. I'm happy with my progress. Reading comprehension is slowly increasing. I don't think I'm reading faster, but it just feels 'better'. It takes about 15 minutes to get warmed, then I seem to settle in. Hopefully I can stay on track and finish it ahead of schedule

I finished Le Prince des Dragons and Carmen San Diego, in my watching spree. The echoing in my head is really working. I'm going to continue doing it to help listening comprehension and prevent translation. Les Chasseurs de Troll is on deck. Kids shows are short, use common words and lack any seriousness at all. Perfect for now.

FSI is on pause for the moment. I finished Unit 8, but haven't done anything in 9. Speechling is moving along. I'm halfway through intermediate 2. Some of the sentences are too slow and are frustrating. Hopefully those will go away in the more advanced levels. The feedback has gotten better since I first started it. Some of the responses have been pretty detailed.

I'm starting to see how all of the skills work together. Is not writing slowing down my progress? It might be, but I'm not sure I'm worried about it.

February Goals:
Speechling: Get to advanced 1 and try some freestyle
Read 300 pages in HP 5
Watch a bunch of shows
Finish Unit 9 of FSI
Dip my toe into shadowing
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jackb
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Re: Who's on First? (Jack's French Log)

Postby jackb » Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:02 pm

February was mostly reading and listening. I got a couple of books that were on long term requests from the library and mixed them in. It's the first time in a while I've read plain old english books. It's nice change of pace.

Since I've been primarily reading, I added in some different combinations of listening; read french/listen to french, read english/listen to french, just listening or just reading. Reading french and listening to french is my least favorite. The way do it, it feels like a reading exercise first and a listening exercise second. Oddly enough, reading in english and listening in french is my favorite. I basically read a block of english and build the scene in my head, then let the narrator describe it to me in french. When I read the french again without the sound, I still have the pictures and the song of words in my head. I should finish it in March. I think a modified L/R might work for me. Really who has consecutive weeks of 12 hours days anyway?

Speechling is moving along. I got the Assimil courses from my friend and started going through Using French and putting them in the Speechling using the freeform option. It's very different in a good way. I can see myself using only freeform in 6 months. Maybe through in some language islands to see how they get corrected. I wonder how much they will get into grammar correction. The first dozen or so Assimil lessons are sloooooooow. It makes for easy shadowing. I expect them to ramp up in speed quickly.

Shadowing is good. It makes me just uncomfortable enough to continue doing it.

I haven't done any FSI. It's officially one the shelf. I hope to pick it up later, but I'm not really too worried about it. I've only watch a couple of shows with english subtitles, which I don't count anymore. I can't read english, listen to french, AND watch the show. I can only do 2 out of 3.

I'm falling into a bit of a schedule of Assimil in the evening, Speechling in the morning (yesterday's lesson), and listening/reading HP on the weekends.

I noticed that I'm changing things up quite often. I'm not sure if I want to call it jumping around or rotating. I feel like I'm making progress in some areas on a month to month basis, so let's just call it rotating ;)

March Goals:
Finish HP5 (Tom Sawyer is next)
Shadow Using French
Assimil->Speechling (not the whole lesson)
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