Learning French (self-study) - Joe Cleland

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joecleland
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 18#p147718
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Re: Learning French (self-study) - Joe Cleland

Postby joecleland » Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:10 am

Today is DAY 128 of learning French.

Here is my 4-month progress video [first 2 minutes]: https://youtu.be/vlQfNVJoOgY
Please don’t be shy as I am very open to comments, constructive criticism, etc.

Since my last post, I have complete Fluent Forever’s 625 Most Awesome (common) Word List. I am now reviewing 30 random words a day from the list. My only regret is that I didn’t start it sooner. I have also complete 77/113 lessons of Assimil. On the inside, I want to throw this book out the closest window. On the outside, it’s best book I’ve ever picked up LOL. The content has been really dry but, I will see this one through the end.

I am ready to start actively reading. I feel this is one my biggest challenges. When I see the words, I know what they mean, but my pronunciation is all over the place. If anyone has suggestions how to practice or work through this, please let me know.
I wanted to finish up by talking about a resource I keep seeing pop up more and more- Lingoda. A lot of YouTubers talk about this as they want you to use their coupon code. Despite the publicity it really seems like a good way to learn. I have not learned any formal grammar and feel this would be a fun way to go about it while learning from a native speaker. The caveat is it’s very expensive as the only option is to buy in bulk.

Lingoda has a 90-day marathon where they only require you to log on and speak with a native speaker for 1 hour a day for 90 consecutive days and they refund you everything back. If you mess up even once you do not receive this very expensive refund. They provide homework and at the end of their curriculum you earn a CEFR Certificate for attending 90% or more of the leveled classes. It’s pretty interesting.
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    Complete
  • Pimsleur French 1
  • Fluent Forever 625 Word List
  • Assimil NFWE - 77/113 Lessons (68%)
  • iTalki Conversations - 26 Hours

    Currently Using
    Lingoda Level A1 - 100 hours
  • A1.1 - 45/50 Hours Complete (90%)
  • A1.2 - 7/50 Hours Complete (14%)

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mentecuerpo
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Re: Learning French (self-study) - Joe Cleland

Postby mentecuerpo » Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:52 am

Joe,
Great job, thanks for sharing.
I will follow your progress in our language forum and on this youtube page.
I am studying German every day, and I cannot mumble any phrase spontaneously, only repeating in the Glossika. It seems to me that your efforts are beginning to pay off.
I like the fact that you did not chicken out and started the conversation with the French person. I think this is my biggest problem, being afraid of making mistakes and feeling embarrassed.
Congratulations on March 2020.
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Morgana
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Postby Morgana » Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:11 am

Last edited by Morgana on Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DaveAgain
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Re: Learning French (self-study) - Joe Cleland

Postby DaveAgain » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:33 am

joecleland wrote:
Lingoda has a 90-day marathon where they only require you to log on and speak with a native speaker for 1 hour a day for 90 consecutive days and they refund you everything back. If you mess up even once you do not receive this very expensive refund. They provide homework and at the end of their curriculum you earn a CEFR Certificate for attending 90% or more of the leveled classes. It’s pretty interesting.
I think Mamapata has signed up for this. Do they refund EVERYTHING? I seem to recall browsing the website, and seeing a partial refund being offered.
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Klara
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Re: Learning French (self-study) - Joe Cleland

Postby Klara » Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:25 am

I am ready to start actively reading. I feel this is one my biggest challenges. When I see the words, I know what they mean, but my pronunciation is all over the place. If anyone has suggestions how to practice or work through this, please let me know.

What helped me most and still helps me:

Graded readers with audio, I always listen first and read afterwards, then listen again. Can't give you recommendations because I use French/German readers.

Dictations, any texts on your level. The software WorkAudioBook is a great tool for that purpose, but I guess that Anki is also an option.

Podcasts with transcripts, again I listen first, then read and look up some unknown words and finally listen again. French radio like French Inter, France info, France culture have short podcasts with 80-95% transcripts.

Good luck with your learning!
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MorkTheFiddle
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Re: Learning French (self-study) - Joe Cleland

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:22 am

Morgana wrote:
You might also look into chorusing/Olle Kjellin. There are a few threads here on the forum, including:
An Olle Kjellin [Chorusing] thread, and
Quality Practise Pronunciation With Audacity – The Best Method! - A tutorial by Olle Kjellin, MD, PhD
I'm wondering whether chorusing would work with songs, using something like LyricsTraining. Seems like music would take out any tedium there might be in the process.
Just a thought.
Here's the link for LyricsTraining:
http://www.teachertrainingvideos.com/la ... ining.html
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Adrianslont
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Re: Learning French (self-study) - Joe Cleland

Postby Adrianslont » Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:10 am

Klara, Mork and Morgana have given you some good suggestions. I will add https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/932662308. It sorted out some of my pronunciation/listening problems and you seem to like anki. And it’s not really a grind - it’s a bit each day, drawing your attention to issues and sorting them out.

You often mention that you find Assimil both great and a grind - I have the same feelings about it and about a linguaphone course I did for Indonesian.

I might have said this before - You don’t have to finish it! As long as you are disciplined about what you replace it with I don’t think it matters if you don’t actually finish things. I really admire your discipline and it will serve you well but I believe the benefit comes from putting in the time with appropriate materials each day rather than getting to the last page of every book/course you use. Doing 70% of a couple of courses will be great and then if you only watch 70% of Buffy or Star Trek or whatever you do next, that also will be great. If doing 100% of Assimil is going to kill your enthusiasm, change.

I would avoid doing reading to the exclusion of listening at this stage - that’s why the idea of podcasts with transcripts is such a good one. Heads up: it seems Balades podcasts will disappear end of this month - I would investigate and if you like them, download audio and scripts before that happens.
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jeff_lindqvist
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Re: Learning French (self-study) - Joe Cleland

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:02 pm

MorkTheFiddle wrote:I'm wondering whether chorusing would work with songs, using something like LyricsTraining. Seems like music would take out any tedium there might be in the process.


Of course you can chorus anything you want, but Olle Kjellin's method has the spoken prosody in mind. Looping a phrase from a song doesn't really replicate chorusing a real spoken sentence.
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Cèid Donn
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Re: Learning French (self-study) - Joe Cleland

Postby Cèid Donn » Sat Nov 16, 2019 8:37 pm

jeff_lindqvist wrote:
MorkTheFiddle wrote:I'm wondering whether chorusing would work with songs, using something like LyricsTraining. Seems like music would take out any tedium there might be in the process.


Of course you can chorus anything you want, but Olle Kjellin's method has the spoken prosody in mind. Looping a phrase from a song doesn't really replicate chorusing a real spoken sentence.


I tried to explain this in another thread here awhile back but singing and speaking aren't the same thing, either neurologically or linguistically. In terms of prosody specifically, while more traditional or indigenous styles of music will be shaped by the language's spoken prosody and can help reinforce good prosody, a lot of contemporary commercial music today, like the overwhelming majority of music on LyricsTraining, is heavily influenced by music styles developed by anglophones in the US and so are shaped around English prosody. This is great if you're learning English, but not so great if you're learning any of the other of the world's languages. When you adapt other languages to English-language music styles (that includes anything rooted in rock or hip-hop), things can get weird, depending on how that language's prosody compares to English.

Even with music that reflects its culture's language prosody, various aspects of the natural spoken prosody tend to be exaggerated or diminished for musicality and the end result isn't very natural for speaking. And even vocal techniques that are intended to more closely mimic spoken language, like Sprechstimme, are intentionally unfaithful to spoken prosody for the sake of musicality.

Singing is great for getting extra exposure to your TL, reinforcing of vocabulary, building confidence and enjoying your TL, but if you want to refine your spoken prosody specifically, focus on speech, not singing.
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siouxchief
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Re: Learning French (self-study) - Joe Cleland

Postby siouxchief » Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:21 am

Can I ask Joe (or anybody else) do you listen and read one more time before trying to translate from L1 to L2 during the active phase?

I see the advice in my book is to listen and read first but I wondered would it be more advantageous for my memory recall to have a try translating without listening again....
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