FSI French Basic adventure

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lusan
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FSI French Basic adventure

Postby lusan » Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:50 pm

I start this journal to keep track of events on this FSI Journey. I will include materials that I will be using during the journey. I suspect that FSI will take 1 year or less to complete. I will used it as the base for my active language. I have no decided yet if Anki will play a role. I will reevaluate that decision after completion of 5 lessons.

Objectives
Reading: Any books
Listening: University lectures
Speaking: Casual conversations
Writing: Casual notes

Methods
Assimil with Ease - done
Hugo French in months - done
French Verbs & Essentials of Grammar
French Demystified - ongoing
Les 500 Exercices de Phonétique - Hachette -ongoing
FSI French Basic Course - started

Medias
YouTubes
--- TED talks
--- Le journal en français facile de RFI
Podcasts
--- Balades
--- InnerFrench

Vocabulary build up books
*Most unknown words will be made into Listening cards.
Un été à Paris - A2 - done
Le dernier verre - A2 - done
Le vin bleu de Monsieur Dupont - A2-B1 - 7/30/19 done
Colo en Auvergne - A2-B1
Danger à Lyon - B1
Cinq contes - B1
Le comte de Monte-cristo - B1
Les perles de Pyla - B1
Les Misérables , tome " - B1

Reading List
Le petit prince - done
Une Putain D'histoire - Bernard Minier
Harry Potter vol 1, 2 et "

Livres de Agatha Christie
Le Crime de l'orient-express
Dix Petits nègres
Le train Bleu
La maison du péril
Le couteau sur la nuque
Drame en trois actes

Anki Status of mature cards 7/26/2019
Passive Listening - 2201
Active - 446 Cards
Grammar - 276
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lusan
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Re: FSI French Basic adventure

Postby lusan » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:47 pm

Comments at mid course of volume ONE

Post completing the first 6 lessons of FSI...

1. I enjoyed them very much, though at times, I found the work very hard. After 2 hours of working everyday on the repetition. I was/am exhausted. I did 2 tapes every day. It took a little more than 2 hours. 21 days to complete 6 lessons. 2 lessons a week. Lesson 6 was very hard. I will take a week off before jumping back in for the second half of the first volume.

2. I would not recommend this course to those that has not reached at least A2 skills. So far it is very easy for me since I did not meet more than 10 words in 163 pages of materials. Not knowing the vocabulary would make this course a real pain.

3. The review lesson 6 would be ideal for Anki's card practice. It has great exercises; some similar to the active wave of Assimil but using useful sentences.

Books Read
1. Le dernier verre-A2
2. Colo en Auvergne -A2/B1
3.Danger à Lyon -B1
4. Un été à Paris - A2
5. Les perles de Pyla -B1

Films Watched - Episodes
Cosmos 1999 - 2
Buffy - Season one - 4

I target 1 episode/day. Buffy is Ok, but the idea of watching a vampire movie before bed is creepy. I ordered some SF serials. They will replace Buffy for late evening watching.

Podcasts Heard
Ballades - 17 Target: 50 episodes then replaced for more challenging podcasts.
Le petit Nicolas - 2 Target: full book.

What I stopped
RFI - I prefer watching a French serial instead.
'Les 500 exercises de phonetique'. Not enough time and exhausted after FSI work

Anki status 8/13
Mature Listening cards: 2503 - increased by 302
Matured Active cards : 561 - increased by 115

I like a 1/3 ratio of Active/Passive Listening vocabulary. Note that I do not acquire cognate words using Anki because Spanish is my native language. Reading is turning easier and faster.

In summary, my output and listening skills are rapidly improving as per my self assessment during weekly meetings at the French Group. The reps indeed help a lot with fluency. I am satisfied with FSI so far. However, I agree with those who say that the course is tough. It is.

On polish: FSI forced me to place the language in pure maintenance mode. Now I just do Anki and I watch an serial episode every day. Next month I will visit Poland. I wonder how I would be impact by all this frenchish work.
Last edited by lusan on Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:00 am, edited 3 times in total.
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lavengro
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Re: FSI French Basic adventure

Postby lavengro » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:55 pm

lusan wrote: FSI French Basic "adventure"

Honestly, based on my previous experience with FSI French Basic, there are a whole host of other, more accurate terms I might have used in place of "adventure" - "unrelenting hellish slog," for example. A personal rhetorical question: do you already drink very heavily? If not, you surely will be by the time you drag your broken carcass across the French Basic finish line.

I'll be following your log with interest, as I intend to give that hellish slog another try in the nearish future. But then again, I already drink heavily....
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lusan
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Re: FSI French Basic adventure

Postby lusan » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:30 am

lavengro wrote:
lusan wrote: FSI French Basic "adventure"

Honestly, based on my previous experience with FSI French Basic, there are a whole host of other, more accurate terms I might have used in place of "adventure" - "unrelenting hellish slog," for example. A personal rhetorical question: do you already drink very heavily? If not, you surely will be by the time you drag your broken carcass across the French Basic finish line.

I'll be following your log with interest, as I intend to give that hellish slog another try in the nearish future. But then again, I already drink heavily....


Ja, ja, ja,.... I wonder how the soldiers did it. I should have been hell jumping cold turkey into this course... No drinking yet... but I look forward the do the whole course... I might have to slow down if it gets tougher, though!
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lusan
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Re: FSI French Basic adventure

Postby lusan » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:46 pm

Comments at volume ONE completion

1. I enjoyed this volume very much, though at times, I found the work very hard. After 2 hours repetitions, I was exhausted. I did 2 tapes every day. It took a little more than 2 hours. Some of the drills are overly complicated and unnecessary for my taste.

2. Lessons on pronoun placement are a real pain. They need better explanations. I will need to supplement this basic knowledge later. Now I just want to move on. I will do it after I finish volume 2.

3. Lesson 12 which it a review was a real hell. I skipped the translations and some listening exercises. I guess I am a little burned out.

4. I had no need to use Anki for anything. Actually, I think Anki is not even needed and might be a real obstacle by upsetting the drill flows.

5. I began to notice that my fluency have improved significantly. I will evaluate where I am upon completion of the full course.

I will take a long vacation, 4 weeks, away from FSI. When I return, I might slow down to 1 tape/day.
Maybe, I do the FSI phonology course together with FSI Basic French vol 2. I am not sure yet.

I plan to dedicate some time to study "Practice Makes Perfect, The complete French Grammar." I feel that I need to start writing and those grammar exercises should help.

Of course, I will keep Ankying and watching Buffy during the next 4 weeks. It happens that I will be in Europe visiting Gdansk and Florence. Cooling off and drinking wine.

Books Read
1. Harry Potter - Vol 1 - 99 %
2. Le train bleu, Agatha Christi. - 98 %

Both books were very nice read. I have already read them in Polish. To my surprised, I enjoyed them more in French than in Polish. I attribute it to my Spanish native language. I can read about 25 pags per day so I guess I should be able to read 2-3 books/months. Since I prefer to read non-electronic books, I will have to find a source of cheap French used books in USA. Otherwise, I will have to purchase them through Amazon.fr which ought to be expensive.

Films Watched
Buffy - Seasons 1 and 2
No. Episodes: 34

I began enjoying very much Buffy and I find the story interesting enough to look forward at watching the full series. Even though, a times do not understand some dialogues, I understand enough to enjoy the episodes without subtitles. The more I watch, I think, the better I understand. Some episodes are really hard since they are spoken at full speed and with many poorly enunciated sentences. -Which it is precise that I want to improve my listening skill. After all I know most of the words, but the sound-sight connection are not strong enough to decode their meaning during a high speed dialogue.

I began to create Subs2srs cards. I will do it for a while until I get tired of them. They are good but it takes too much work. Therefore I wonder of their efficiency.

Podcasts Heard
Ballades - 48 episodes

I understand them at 98-100 % rate on a first listening. It means that I have to move on. I began to listen to RFI using the same strategy: check all unknown words, then listen the podcast. I will move all unknown new words into Anki. I assume that it will give me the vocabulary necessary for French news. It does bother me that RFI seem slower than Ballades. I will look into a faster spoken media in Youtubes. The practice will be split into RFI and ballades for a while and then I will reevaluate.

Anki status 9/17
Mature Listening cards: 3746 - increased by 643
Matured Active cards : 834 - increased by 273

I like a 1/3 ratio of Active/Passive Listening vocabulary.
Active cards are mostly populated by cognates and common non-cognate ones.
Listening cards are mostly NON-cognates. They originate from podcast and read books. Harry Potters gave me about 1200 unknown words. I wonder when to stop adding new unknown words to Anki. Maybe another 2000 words will be enough.

Not bad. I have learn about 10 words per day since I began 10 months ago.

Polish: On hold and maintain with Anki. I wonder the damage. Next week I will be in Poland and I wonder about my communication with the in-laws.

In summary, my output and listening skills are rapidly improving as per my self-assessment during weekly meetings at the French Group. The reps indeed help a lot with fluency. I am satisfied with FSI so far. However, I agree with those who say that the course is tough. It is.
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StringerBell
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Re: FSI French Basic adventure

Postby StringerBell » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:46 pm

lusan wrote:Since I prefer to read non-electronic books, I will have to find a source of cheap French used books in USA.


My sources for finding cheap physical books that aren't in English:

1) go to Amazon.com and search "French edition" and the name of the author. If you find a book you're interested in, you'll see "More Buying Choices" which will indicate if anyone is selling a used copy and what the best price is. Sometimes shipping is included in this price, sometimes not, so you have to click on the option to investigate what the actual prices are.

2) Abebooks. I recently found an Italian version of a book I wanted for $5 (including shipping from the EU!). It's really hit or miss. You can't search by language on their site, so you have to search by the title of the book in French.
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lusan
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Re: FSI French Basic adventure

Postby lusan » Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:30 am

StringerBell wrote:
lusan wrote:Since I prefer to read non-electronic books, I will have to find a source of cheap French used books in USA.


My sources for finding cheap physical books that aren't in English:

1) go to Amazon.com and search "French edition" and the name of the author. If you find a book you're interested in, you'll see "More Buying Choices" which will indicate if anyone is selling a used copy and what the best price is. Sometimes shipping is included in this price, sometimes not, so you have to click on the option to investigate what the actual prices are.

2) Abebooks. I recently found an Italian version of a book I wanted for $5 (including shipping from the EU!). It's really hit or miss. You can't search by language on their site, so you have to search by the title of the book in French.


Thanks. I will try your suggestion.
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joecleland
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Re: FSI French Basic adventure

Postby joecleland » Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:16 pm

Your post caught my eye. I have nothing constructive to add but words of encouragement. I'm very curious in terms of output how you will feel once you complete this course. Anyways, your post gave me something to look into after using Assimil- as I'm not familiar with FSI (although i've seen the acronym). I wonder if I'd have enough French knowledge to transition into that :shock: Best of luck!!
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lusan
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Re: FSI French Basic adventure

Postby lusan » Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:39 am

joecleland wrote:Your post caught my eye. I have nothing constructive to add but words of encouragement. I'm very curious in terms of output how you will feel once you complete this course. Anyways, your post gave me something to look into after using Assimil- as I'm not familiar with FSI (although i've seen the acronym). I wonder if I'd have enough French knowledge to transition into that :shock: Best of luck!!


I think it would be difficult define the impact of FSI impact in my case. FSI Basic French is only one of various paths that I am taking at this time. Everyday: Read 1 hour, Watch Serial, 45 min, Attentive podcast listening 40 min, and of course, French Anki for 1 hours. It seems that I work with French materials for 3.5 hour plus 2 hours of FSI. This is a total of 5 hours every day. What I can say for sure if that I feel that I am progressing well... Once a week, I attend to a local French conversation meeting and I participate in the conversations without much problems. Several of the group members are French natives. We have a ball talking about this and that. During the conversations, I notice that my fluency improvement -that is, I talk without much hesitation. However, I must say that I do not have issues with FSI vocabulary.

I did Assimil with ease sometime ago. Only the passive wave. I do not believe in the active wave method because anything could be say in multiple ways. In FSI, we sometimes have to answer general or specific questions. This is similar but better than the Assimil method, in my opinion. I find that Assimil dialogues are too slow.... and I am beginning to see that fast spoken French might be understood easier than slower one...up to a point... because it has plenty of homophones. I think that French asks us to pay attention to whole sentences since individual words though sound the same can have different spellings and meanings.... FSI is just a tool for speaking while Assimil is an great introduction to the language... Still the more French I learn, the more it seems that there is to learn... a very long journey.... well, enough of philosophy...

You asked if you know enough. My suggestion is to finish Assimil with ease, learn ALL regular/irregular verbal forms, jump into FSI Basic French, and listen as much as possible.
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joecleland
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Re: FSI French Basic adventure

Postby joecleland » Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:06 am

Thank you for providing such wonderful advice. I am book marking your advice!
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    Complete
  • Pimsleur French Level 1 - 30/30 Lessons
  • Fluent Forever Most Awesome Word List - 625/625 Words

    Currently Using
  • Assimil New French with Ease - 77/113 Lessons (68%)

    Thinking about using
  • Glossika
  • Assimil Using French
  • FSI


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