Learning French (self-study) - Joe Cleland

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joecleland
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Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:09 am
Location: Saint Petersburg, FL
Languages: English (N), French (A1/A2)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 18#p147718
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Re: Learning French (self-study) - Joe Cleland

Postby joecleland » Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:14 pm

Today is DAY 135 of learning French.

I am really thankful that I came across this forum in the infancy stages of my learning. You all are soooo helpful and I can't thank you enough.

This past week was a weird one as my French learning wasn't constructed as it normally is. I did not complete any Assimil lessons but instead paused on Lesson 78. I am doing an additional 14 day trial on Glossika. I think I may make a switch to learn Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening (RWSL) AND move back to the Pimsleur route only for pronunciation. I am not sure how much knowledge will be gained but I can always use speaking/pronunciation practice.

I am looking for a little guidance here. Glossika is perfectly challenging at the current level (took their practice test they marked me as A2). I find that now I am in the tail-end of Assimil the speech is around the same rate which seems like perfect timing to me. I plan on learning 10 new sentences a day for RWSL and complete 1 lesson of Pimsleur a day. Glossika has a review portion that is taking me about 10-15 minutes that I warm up with. So far, it seems like a less strenuous version of Assimil. The only downside is it costs $30 a month. I plan to still continue my 1.5hr iTalki session each week. Those sessions have been helping me a lot. Once the New Year hits I plan to bump this up to 2-4 times a week.

I will be in France in about 3.5-4 months and want to make good use of my studies before traveling. So, please advise if you think there are more resourceful uses of my time that would be better to focus on.

**SIDE NOTE: I had my first random French conversation last week. I was eating outside downtown at a cafe. I was nervous but at the same time excited. I over heard a man speaking French and as he was walking by he said "hello". I said "hello" back to him and asked "if he was window shopping?". He said, "je suis desole. je suis francais". I was excited to say back "ce n'est pas un probleme, je comprends". This is where my brain turned off as the French man spoke so fast I wasn't sure he was still speaking French :lol: Oddly enough, I was able to pick out 30-50% of what the man was saying. I had to apologize immediately and let him know that I had only been learning for 4 months- in French. He was taken back completely and we continued in speaking 'très lentement' for maybe 5 minutes. He was patient and kind as his English was not great. It seemed like he could relate to the troubles :lol: I probably could have spoke to him for 30 minutes but I had to run.
9 x
    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 - 40/50 Hours Complete (80%)
  • A1.2 - 0/50 Hours Complete (0%)

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MorkTheFiddle
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Posts: 1063
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:59 pm
Location: usa
Languages: English (N). Read (only) French and Spanish. Studying Ancient Greek, aiming for mastery by 2424. Studying a bit of Latin and Japanese. Once studied Old Norse. Dabbled in Catalan, Provençal and Italian.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 11#p133911
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Re: Learning French (self-study) - Joe Cleland

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Wed Nov 20, 2019 11:36 pm

What disappointed me most about all my trips abroad was lacking a proper understanding of the spoken language. It seems to me my best bet would have been watching a lot of native content and having a language exchange partner. But you probably should listen to someone who has cracked this problem, not somebody who did not. :roll:
6 x
Tu sabes cuando sales pero no sabes cuando regresas.

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joecleland
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Posts: 74
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Location: Saint Petersburg, FL
Languages: English (N), French (A1/A2)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 18#p147718
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Re: Learning French (self-study) - Joe Cleland

Postby joecleland » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:44 pm

I have been hibernating but I am back now! I have taken the past 3 weeks off due to personal reasons and the holidays. I feel like I have forgotten everything...well the little that I knew! I have tried reading native material and using a grammar book on my own but the over abundance of boredom only migrated me away from my computer (my study area) to the couch. I have decided to give the company Lingoda a try. Despite their very cautioned reviews regarding 'full refunds for marathon or sprint participants' I've decided to take the online approach seriously and use this opportunity to learn from a native daily.

First impressions: I had to take a placement test prior to getting started. I scored in the A1 range. Lingoda recommended that I start from ground 0 :lol: I had already been self-studying for a little over 4 months and was able to converse on a basic level so this was disheartening. Nevertheless, I do not consider myself great at French so I am following their recommendations. Of the first three trial lessons that I attended it had other students (between 2-5 members each class) from all over the world..Germany, Dubai, Brasil, Canada, USA, and Switzerland, so far. It's very interesting to hear the different accents at even the basic level of French.

My first class I thought was way too easy, my second class I felt I didn't know anything (grammar) I think maybe I was the worst in the class, and my third my instructor suggested I may be studying below my means. It messes with my brain but I figure it can't hurt to cover the material again. The package I have enrolled in is 30 classes a month all 1 hour in length. There is a validity period of 90 days to use your credits. If you do not use your credits they disappear but I emailed the concierge team and they said they could retro-actively re-enable them; weird process??

Anyways, I decided to not get my hopes up on having my money returned to me (due to their stringent guidelines) but to use this program to learn the material and to practice speaking with a native for one hour every day. You decide what classes you take and which ones you want to skip: reading, writing, grammar, speaking. You can decide to jump up to any level you feel appropriate A1.1, A1.2, A2.1, A2.2, B1.1, B1.2, B1.3, B2.1, B2.2, and B2.3.

I will say if had I not studied on my own before joining I would soooooo lost in these A1 courses. Everything is completely in French. Literally everything. The questions, exercises, intros, etc...are all intended to create an immersion process for the student. The teachers have been communicating only in the target language. In my three classes there were two students that were so lost and I felt so bad as they didn't have any exposure to the language. I only write this as a cautionary to those intending to join without prior knowledge. Other than that, I will post an ACTUAL update of my progress and my opinion of the company with some more time utilizing.
6 x
    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 - 40/50 Hours Complete (80%)
  • A1.2 - 0/50 Hours Complete (0%)

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joecleland
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Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:09 am
Location: Saint Petersburg, FL
Languages: English (N), French (A1/A2)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 18#p147718
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Re: Learning French (self-study) - Joe Cleland

Postby joecleland » Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:36 pm

I have officially hit my 6 month mark of learning French. Coming off a 3 week break during the holidays, I noticed I forgot and misused words I normally wouldn't say or have trouble with. Despite the time off, I decided to make a progress video of where my level is currently at.


During this time I have complete Pimsleur French 1, Frequent Forever's 625 Most Awesome Word List, 80 lessons of Assimil's New French with Ease, 26 hours of iTalki conversations, 2 Chapters of Benny Lewis's Language Hacking book, I complete 2 lessons of Pimsleur French 2, and 10 lessons using Lingoda. I have only had 1 encounter at the 4 month mark speaking French with someone I didn't know randomly in public. Also, I have watched an abundance of French TV, movies and listened to Podcasts.

My overall experience with the language so far has been fun but a lot of work. Each week, since week 5 of learning, I have spent a minimum of 1 hour a week speaking French with someone online. This is giving me more and more confidence every session. I still have not picked up a short book or novel giving myself every excuse why I can just put it off. I know reading skyrockets language learning. Side note, I do not like reading in my native language- this may be why I am putting it off.

In my previous post, I stated that I need some sort of structure so I am using Lingoda. I am doing one lesson (1 hour) each day of the week. I am starting from the A1.1 level. Below is a projected timeline which Lingoda provides for students to work towards completing the CEFR objectives. Although Lingoda states this course can be used for a true beginner, I still believe that someone should have a couple months of study before attending these courses. There is a certain level of expectation from just the 10 classes I have attended. I think without some knowledge it would be very easy to be discouraged or lack confidence to continue. I did want to point out it's very interesting to hear the other accents from around the world from students in my class. The class size that I have experienced have been 1-5 students- with a variance of understanding of the language. I have noticed the German and Italian natives have a very good pronunciation for some of the more difficult things I have trouble with. Anyways, I love the platform so far...and I actually look forward to my lessons everyday.

Almost every review that I have found encourages the viewer to use their referral code for free lessons. For this reason, I will not provide a referral code so that you know I have nothing to gain from my review.

A1 – 100 Day Total (3 months 9 days)
[*]A1.1 – 50 Days
[*]A1.2 – 50 Days; 100 Days Total
------------------------------------------------------
A2 – 100 Day Program (3 months 9 days) – 200 Days Total
[*]A2.1 – 50 Days; 150 Days Total
[*]A2.2 – 50 Days; 200 Days Total
------------------------------------------------------
B1 – 150 Day Program (5 months) – 350 Days Total
[*]B1.1 – 50 Days; 250 Days Total
[*]B1.2 – 50 Days; 300 Days Total
[*]B1.3 – 50 Days; 350 Days Total
------------------------------------------------------
B2 – 150 Day Program (5 months) – 500 Days Total
[*]B2.1 – 50 Days; 400 Days Total
[*]B2.2 – 50 Days; 450 Days Total
[*]B2.3 – 50 Days; 500 Days Total
------------------------------------------------------
A1-B2 Certified: 1 year 4 months 18 days
Last edited by joecleland on Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
5 x
    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 - 40/50 Hours Complete (80%)
  • A1.2 - 0/50 Hours Complete (0%)

User avatar
joecleland
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Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:09 am
Location: Saint Petersburg, FL
Languages: English (N), French (A1/A2)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 18#p147718
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Re: Learning French (self-study) - Joe Cleland

Postby joecleland » Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:49 pm

Lingoda Update

I have complete 17 classes with Lingoda at the A1.1 level. The majority of the classes have been very easy, and I'm starting to see a lot of similarities with the grammar/conjugation. I spend 30-45 minutes before each hour long lesson to familiarize myself with new vocab, the questions asked in the lesson material, work through the material, and use forvo.com to hear the pronunciation for words I haven't seen. My goal prior to starting each lesson is to have worked everything out on my own. I still find myself making mistakes but I'm more organized and prepared going into the lesson.

We take turns with each classmates reading the material together. I would say I believe my reading is already improving. As far as speaking, I've heard many common expressions being used. This one gets asked every class "comment dit-on". In my head, I try to answer the question before the professor can get to it. Conjugation is the hardest thing for me and I suspect will continue to be as I reach higher levels.

I just wanted to provide an update and say that I love the platform very much. I feel like I am learning with a very enjoyable method. Side Note- when a host (professor) is in a rural area it can negatively impact the quality of the lesson with disruption from audio, video, or connectivity- which delays the class. It's only happened worth mentioning from 1 professor.
4 x
    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 - 40/50 Hours Complete (80%)
  • A1.2 - 0/50 Hours Complete (0%)

siouxchief
Yellow Belt
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat May 25, 2019 8:36 am
Location: Ireland
Languages: Learning French
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Re: Learning French (self-study) - Joe Cleland

Postby siouxchief » Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:13 pm

Adrianslont wrote: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.


I found someone who made it available on Dropbox with transcripts. Get it before it disappears:

https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 6e74810478
2 x
Completed Pimsleur 1-2, Assimil French, Using French (1-40)
Working on Pimsleur 3
Next: Pimsleur 4-5, Assimil Business French & iTalki

Sporadic listening: Coffee Break French S03, 50 Daily French Conversations, Inner French & Duolingo Podcast

lusan
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Posts: 171
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2015 1:25 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC, USA
Languages: Spanish(Native), English, Polish(Intermediate), French(learning)
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Re: Learning French (self-study) - Joe Cleland

Postby lusan » Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:51 pm

siouxchief wrote:
Adrianslont wrote: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.


I found someone who made it available on Dropbox with transcripts. Get it before it disappears:

https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 6e74810478


Sad. I enjoyed very much Balades. I did 50 before moving on. Excellent for A2. I think it is possible to find them at Lingq.com.
2 x

User avatar
joecleland
Yellow Belt
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:09 am
Location: Saint Petersburg, FL
Languages: English (N), French (A1/A2)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 18#p147718
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Re: Learning French (self-study) - Joe Cleland

Postby joecleland » Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:14 pm

siouxchief wrote:
Adrianslont wrote: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.


I found someone who made it available on Dropbox with transcripts. Get it before it disappears:

https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 6e74810478

This is why you're the man 8-) Thanks brother!
2 x
    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 - 40/50 Hours Complete (80%)
  • A1.2 - 0/50 Hours Complete (0%)

StringerBell
Blue Belt
Posts: 940
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:30 am
Languages: English (n)
Italian
Polish
Latin
x 2749

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

Postby StringerBell » Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:09 pm

joecleland wrote:I think my biggest trouble is knowing what is the right resource for me?! I look at the Harry Potter book I have and know I am not ready for that.


If you're looking for something to read, you might want to consider starting off with the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. I've read 6 in Italian and I'm working on them now in Polish. The sentences are fairly simple (it's in the form of diary entries supposedly written by a middle schooler) so the language is accessible, useful, and colloquial. There are lots of funny drawings, which really helps comprehension, and you can always get the English version from the library if you want a parallel text. I'm sure that you can find some of them in French on Amazon (the one I linked is $7 shipping included) or Book Depository, and I bet you can find French audiobooks for some of these books, as well. I think this series is a great resource for language learners.
2 x
Italian: Read 5,000 pages : 1735 / 5000
Italian: Write 50,000 words : 7030 / 50000
Polish: Read 5,000 pages : 159 / 5000
Season 4 Lucifer Italian transcripts I created: https://learnanylanguage.fandom.com/wik ... ranscripts


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