Languages vs Time

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aokoye
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Re: Languages vs Time

Postby aokoye » Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:04 pm

I'm half way through my first week of the 3 week French course and I have mixed feelings.

Pros:
The instructor is giving us a lot of opportunities to speak
The instructor has no qualms correcting people's pronunciation
The pair work is actually useful (so far...)
I think there will be more writing involved than in my last two classes
It's only 3 weeks

Cons:
It's too easy
I'm bored

In short, I'm bored but I like that we're being forced to talk. I think my plans for for the next two and a half weeks are essentially the same as I predicted. Get through the class, work out of the grammar book that I recently got (which I'm really enjoying - there are lots of exercises which is what I personally need), watch shows in French, work on vocab from the A2 book.

This afternoon I thumbed through the book that the university used for second year French in previous years (but will not be using in the Fall) and it's actually not that bad. I almost bought a used copy of the second edition because Powell's has it for $21 but resisted. It's good that I did because it turns out my university's library has a loanable copy of the same book! So now I think the plan is to go through my A2 textbook (Édito) for reading content, vocabulary, and listening. I'll also keep up with the grammar book that I bought. After I work my way through Édito (the speed of which will only really be limited by my ability to grasp the vocab), I'll check out the 2nd year book and skim it.
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aokoye
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Re: Languages vs Time

Postby aokoye » Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:06 am

Apparently Friday evenings are when I decide to take Dialang tests all while wondering what has gotten into me given my general tiredness in the evening (I'm very much a morning person). This time I took the French listening test and got a B1 which is probably appropriate. This is especially true given that the test result says:
Your test result suggests that you are at level B1 in listening on the Council of Europe scale. At this level, people can understand the main points of clear "standard" speech on familiar matters connected with work, school, leisure etc. In TV and radio current-affair programmes or programmes of personal or professional interest, they can understand the main points provided the speech is relatively slow and clear.

While I haven't read the CEFR can-do statements in a while, that is definitely something I can do. I've noticed that as long as I know the vocabulary, I don't have a whole lot of issues understanding what's being said. I can also figure out some things based on context, but it takes next to no effort if I know all of the words. It seems like whatever I'm doing, I'm doing it right. It seems that I got lucky with 6play working on my computer despite living in the US and never using a VPN to gain access to it, found shows I like, and sometimes listen to RFI. I took the vocab test as well and I scored an A2 which I think is more related to the format of the test than anything else.

Outside of listening, I've spent a fair amount of time working on grammar as of late. I've been jumping around a bit in the grammar book to take into account what we're working on in class which also has the added benefit of holding my interest. In addition, finished up the vocab for the second chapter of Édito and am likely going to finish all of the exercises for that chapter in both the text and workbook this weekend. Outside of that, I need to study for a French test for class on. Looking at the review sheet for the test, I should be fine.
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DaveAgain
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Re: Languages vs Time

Postby DaveAgain » Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:41 am

aokoye wrote: I took the vocab test as well and I scored an A2 which I think is more related to the format of the test than anything else.
Reineke mentioned a two part vocabulary test that examines passive and active vocabulary separately.

https://www.itt-leipzig.de/?lang=en

If you choose the 'entraînement' option, TV5Monde's mock TCF test lets you test listening, grammar, and reading separately.
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Re: Languages vs Time

Postby aokoye » Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:54 pm

DaveAgain wrote:
aokoye wrote: I took the vocab test as well and I scored an A2 which I think is more related to the format of the test than anything else.
Reineke mentioned a two part vocabulary test that examines passive and active vocabulary separately.

https://www.itt-leipzig.de/?lang=en

If you choose the 'entraînement' option, TV5Monde's mock TCF test lets you test listening, grammar, and reading separately.

It's funny, I was thinking about the vocabulary test from the University of Leipzig the other day. I have it book marked from a while ago. Thanks for the TV5Monde test though! I was looking for it earlier this week but couldn't find it. I just took the reading portion and, appropriately, the results put me at the B level:
Votre niveau de compréhension écrite en français est celui d'un utilisateur indépendant (niveau B défini par le Cadre européen commun de référence).

Honestly I really wish I could live and take a [good] French course in a Francophone area. I suspect my language skills would sky rocket given where I am right now after 6 and a halfish months of studying. Knock on wood I'll get into my first choice for grad school.

Edit: I just did the oral comprehension section of the TV5Monde test (the most recent one from late 2018) and they put me at A2/B1 which I also think is appropriate.
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aokoye
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Re: Languages vs Time

Postby aokoye » Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:57 am

My weekend goals ended up getting pushed to today because I was really not feeling the desire to do much yesterday. I kept up with vocab, but that was about it with regards to language stuff. I also didn't study explicitly for my chapter test that was this morning, but I would be shocked if I didn't get an A.

One of the interesting things about this class is that there's a required outside of class speaking requirement. We have to have two ten minute conversations with a native French speaker and then analyze the conversation. The exercise, in general is not a bad one. I have some disagreements with some of it, but in general it's a good assignment. The teacher didn't scaffold it well, but his supervisor/boss is the one who likely came up with the idea and my instructor's lack of scaffolding isn't entirely or even mostly his supervisor's fault. The conversations are done via a website called TalkAbroad and the costs are paid for with tuition. I had my first 10 minute conversation today and it went very well. I was able to get what I wanted to say across and the person I was speaking with seemed to understand most of it (I talked about, among other things, why the I root for the US women's soccer team, the answer of which is more complex than, "because I'm from the US").

My goal for this week is to gt at least half way through the next chapter this week. It's a matter of how quickly I can get through the vocabulary (sounds familiar). I also am thinking about eventually taking the B1 or B2 DELF. If I was able to speak and write more I suspect I would have a realistic chance of passing B2 one in a year's time assuming the logistics worked out surrounding the test taking location and date. We'll see though - I'm far from wed to to the idea.

And now I need to go to bed because it's past my bedtime. More on these not so pipe dream French ideas tomorrow. I'm blaming any spelling and grammar mistakes in this post on my sheer lack of energy.
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aokoye
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Re: Languages vs Time

Postby aokoye » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:11 am

This week I've mainly focused on grammar. I finished the first 12 of 45 chapters in the grammar book that I'm using and have done an additional 3 towards the middle of the book as well. My goal is to finish that book by the end of the month, which should be doable. It's also easier to work out of that along side of this French course that I'm taking. Mind you - I only have one more week in said French class.

I've also learned around two thirds or maybe three fourths of the vocabulary from the third chapter of Édito A2. I would like to finish at least one of the listening comprehension sections of that chapter this evening. Thankfully the grammar for this chapter is pretty straightforward and conveniently the topic is the exact same thing that the textbook for my class is on - house related things. I ended up getting 100% on my chapter text on Monday and I suspect my plan of not studying explicitly for the second and final test will work just as well as this one. That's especially true given that the vocabulary is the same in Édito and the course textbook and I already worked on the grammar that we'll be going over next week (imparfait and when to use imparfait vs passe composé).

This afternoon I read a beginning French easy reader called Pauvre Anne. It's all of 39 pages with fairly large print. There were only a handful of words I didn't know, but again - it was a rather basic reader. Now the question is what to read next in terms of books. I'm very much in favor graded readers right now for intensive reading given how vocabulary is used (the repetitive nature). While I haven't read for pleasure in ages, I mainly read memoirs and more or less hate fiction of any kind with some notable exceptions. I've been like that since I was....11 maybe? That's part of why I read the news so frequently - it's easier than a memoir, but it's also non-fiction and short. That said, now is not the time to be doing intensive reading with the news for French. This is also a case of, I need to read what I physically have right now. I have 4 graded readers in French that I have yet to have finished reading and I really don't need to buy more (he says after having bought two short ones this afternoon for a total of $9 at Powell's - yay used books). I think the plan is to finish the Easy French Reader by Roussy de Sales, read the A2 reader I bought today, and then assess where I'm at.

What I haven't done enough of this week is watch French TV shows. That's easy enough to rectify though :lol:
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DaveAgain
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Re: Languages vs Time

Postby DaveAgain » Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:19 am

aokoye wrote:This afternoon I read a beginning French easy reader called Pauvre Anne. It's all of 39 pages with fairly large print. There were only a handful of words I didn't know, but again - it was a rather basic reader. Now the question is what to read next in terms of books. I'm very much in favor graded readers right now for intensive reading given how vocabulary is used (the repetitive nature). While I haven't read for pleasure in ages, I mainly read memoirs and more or less hate fiction of any kind with some notable exceptions. I've been like that since I was....11 maybe? That's part of why I read the news so frequently - it's easier than a memoir, but it's also non-fiction and short. That said, now is not the time to be doing intensive reading with the news for French. This is also a case of, I need to read what I physically have right now. I have 4 graded readers in French that I have yet to have finished reading and I really don't need to buy more (he says after having bought two short ones this afternoon for a total of $9 at Powell's - yay used books). I think the plan is to finish the Easy French Reader by Roussy de Sales, read the A2 reader I bought today, and then assess where I'm at.

There a radio programme called Une Vie, une Oeuvre, that might tie in with your preference for memoirs.
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Re: Languages vs Time

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:00 pm

Personally I didn’t bother with graded readers in French. After Assimil I jumped right into YA lit and then genre fiction. Keep in mind, I read extensively and have a high tolerance for uncertainty, but I find French to be absurdly transparent for a native English speaker, much easier than German was. Huge improvements after just the first book or two.
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aokoye
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Re: Languages vs Time

Postby aokoye » Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:01 am

Lawyer&Mom wrote:Personally I didn’t bother with graded readers in French. After Assimil I jumped right into YA lit and then genre fiction. Keep in mind, I read extensively and have a high tolerance for uncertainty, but I find French to be absurdly transparent for a native English speaker, much easier than German was. Huge improvements after just the first book or two.

I think my issue is that I have a medium tolerance for uncertainty and a very low tolerance for fiction. I'm able to see the logic in readers which is why I'm willing to read them. Now that I'm thinking about it, I have a pretty high tolerance for uncertainty when it comes to non-fiction. You can see it in my watching random French shows and what I've read (and enjoyed) in German.

Maybe I'll find some teenage non-fiction novel in French. Or I'll do what I did for German at one point and get a subject textbook aimed at students going to a school whose medium of instruction is French. I'll see what the children's section in the French section at Powell's looks like this evening or tomorrow afternoon, but I suspect I'll have to get what I want from amazon.fr or amazon.ca.

edit: After some searching, I realized what I should also do is buy the French version of Persepolis. That is going to have to be an, "order online" book, but I remember really enjoying it in German and I don't think I ever got around to buying the second book.
Last edited by aokoye on Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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aokoye
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Re: Languages vs Time

Postby aokoye » Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:04 am

DaveAgain wrote:There a radio programme called Une Vie, une Oeuvre, that might tie in with your preference for memoirs.

Thanks for the suggestion! I suspect there are a number of episodes of that and other radio shows that they produce that I'd like.
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