Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Continue or start your personal language log here, including logs for challenge participants
Online
User avatar
philomath
Green Belt
Posts: 325
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:57 pm
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Languages: English (N), Spanish (B1/B2), French (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=12205
x 763

Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Tue Dec 31, 2019 3:31 am

Happy (early) New Year! Here is my new language log for 2020. This year I want to improve my Spanish and French, and if I have time, learn more Ancient Greek as well. I'm not planning to start another language, but I might if I make travel plans. German is especially tempting right now, as are Japanese and Korean.

Anyway, last year I defined my Spanish goals in terms of the amount of listening, speaking, reading, and writing I wanted to do. However, looking back on it, I'm not sure if quantitative goals like those are as helpful as I thought. Instead, in this log I'm going to describe what I want to improve about my Spanish and French in 2020, and each month I will try to assess my progress and see how to stay on track to reach my target result.

Spanish
  1. Listening: I want to improve my comprehension of shows that have fast dialogue and use a lot of slang, such as La casa de papel and Elite.
  2. Speaking: I want to improve my conversation skills, especially when it comes to asking questions to further the discussion and making small talk in general. I also want to improve my ability to talk about more complex topics, so I'll need to increase my active vocabulary a lot.
  3. Reading: I'm very happy with my reading skills right now, but I would like to start reading a wider range of sources, such as blogs and magazines for native speakers.
  4. Writing: I want to practice writing about more complex topics. It would also be nice to try writing formal essays in Spanish.

French
Honestly, I'm such a beginner in French that I'm not sure what kind of goals to set. I barely have any French skills right now, so any improvement would be good. I know that I would like to accomplish the following though:
  1. Finish Colloquial French.
  2. Finish Pimsleur French I. (Maybe do Pimsleur French II as well?)
  3. Finish going through an introductory grammar book such as Practice Makes Perfect: Complete French Grammar.
  4. Have at least two French lessons per month until I feel confident switching to from formal tutoring to language exchanges.
  5. Start enjoying native materials on a daily basis.

I should mention that this year I will be spending less of my free time studying languages. I've spent pretty much my whole life so far wanting to be a writer, and I'm tired of planning to write and then never doing it. This year I'm going to put in a real effort to finish some of the writing projects I've started and improve as a writer. Of course, I'm not going to stop studying languages (otherwise this post would've been pointless). My plan right now is to focus on French and my writing projects at the beginning of the year and to squeeze in Spanish when I can. We'll see how it goes! I will make another post soon with my goals for January. :)
13 x
French Goals (Starting August 15)
: 545 / 600 Listening

French Goals (Starting October 14)
: 0 / 3000 Writing

French Goals (Starting October 17)
: 0 / 300 Grammar

Online
User avatar
philomath
Green Belt
Posts: 325
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:57 pm
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Languages: English (N), Spanish (B1/B2), French (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=12205
x 763

Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:57 pm

Last edited by philomath on Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:40 pm, edited 3 times in total.
0 x
French Goals (Starting August 15)
: 545 / 600 Listening

French Goals (Starting October 14)
: 0 / 3000 Writing

French Goals (Starting October 17)
: 0 / 300 Grammar

Online
User avatar
philomath
Green Belt
Posts: 325
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:57 pm
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Languages: English (N), Spanish (B1/B2), French (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=12205
x 763

Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:45 am

Goals for January

Spanish (low priority this month)
[ ] Continue reading Harry Potter y la cámara secreta.
[ ] Start keeping a diary in Spanish again.

French
[ ] Do 4 hours of listening practice.
[ ] Do Colloquial French Chapters 3-6.
[ ] Do Pimsleur French I Lessons 11-22.
[ ] Do Practice Makes Perfect: Complete French Grammar Chapters 1-8.
[ ] Have at least two iTalki lessons.
[ ] Write 1,000 words.

Goals for January 2 to January 10

Spanish (low priority this month)
[ ] Continue reading Harry Potter y la cámara secreta.
[ ] Start keeping a diary in Spanish again.

French
[ ] Do 1 hour of listening practice.
[ ] Do Colloquial French Chapter 3 and start Chapter 4.
[ ] Do Pimsleur French I Lessons 11-14.
[ ] Do Practice Makes Perfect: Complete French Grammar Chapters 1-3.
[ ] Have another iTalki lesson, or maybe even two!
[ ] Write 250 words.
1 x
French Goals (Starting August 15)
: 545 / 600 Listening

French Goals (Starting October 14)
: 0 / 3000 Writing

French Goals (Starting October 17)
: 0 / 300 Grammar

Online
User avatar
philomath
Green Belt
Posts: 325
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:57 pm
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Languages: English (N), Spanish (B1/B2), French (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=12205
x 763

Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:42 pm

I’m back from Quebec City! I had a great time and hope to go again when it’s warmer. (Though honestly the cold weather wasn’t unbearable; we even went snowshoeing for two hours and survived!)

I did manage to speak a little bit of French during my trip, but only enough to say bonjour, oui, merci, and order food at restaurants. Next time I travel to Quebec I want to be able to say more than that!

Walking around in the cold weather made me so tired every day that I didn’t study French at all. :( Now that I’m back in the States I want to resume my studies, as you can see from the post about my goals above. Yesterday I had around 200 Anki flashcards to review, but it didn’t take too long. Also, reading Lawyer&Mom’s language log made me really want to use Clozemaster, so I might do more of that and less of Duolingo and Memrise.

This is what I did yesterday:
- Reviewed my Anki flashcards for both Spanish and French.
- Wrote 564 words in my journal in Spanish.
- Did more of Colloquial French Chapter 3: listened to the first dialogue again and made cloze deletion flashcards for some of the phrases introduced (“J’adore...”, “Je n’aime pas beaucoup...”).
- Did Pimsleur French I Lesson 11.
- Did some more Clozemaster for French—I’ve now done 200 sentences! Only 25,000-something more to go. :lol:
2 x
French Goals (Starting August 15)
: 545 / 600 Listening

French Goals (Starting October 14)
: 0 / 3000 Writing

French Goals (Starting October 17)
: 0 / 300 Grammar

Online
User avatar
philomath
Green Belt
Posts: 325
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:57 pm
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Languages: English (N), Spanish (B1/B2), French (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=12205
x 763

Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Sun Jan 05, 2020 4:30 am

Accomplished today:
- Reviewed 100 Anki flashcards (96 French, 4 Spanish) in 13 minutes.
- Did Practice Makes Perfect: Complete French Grammar Chapters 1-2.
- Wrote 41 words in French (not many, I know :lol:) and posted them on iTalki for corrections.
- Studied 84 sentences with Clozemaster.

I decided not to go very in-depth during my first pass through Practice Makes Perfect. If I make myself do every exercise and memorize all of the vocabulary, I'll quickly get frustrated and stop. Right now I just want to get an overview of the grammar as quickly as possible. Chapters 1 and 2 go over -er, -ir, and -re verbs in the present tense, which is definitely important to know, but I really want to learn other verb tenses too!

I'm already a little bit frustrated with French. I feel like I'm learning too slowly. What am I doing wrong? Besides working on conversation skills with my iTalki tutor, I want to be able to write more, so maybe I should just be writing more. It's late tonight, but tomorrow I'll sit down and try to write a longer paragraph in French, even if it means I have to look up a lot of grammar and vocabulary. Maybe I should also look for some easy reading material in French. The problem with reading is that I don't want to pronounce the words wrong in my head and end up with fossilized pronunciation errors, so I need to find reading material that has audio as well.
3 x
French Goals (Starting August 15)
: 545 / 600 Listening

French Goals (Starting October 14)
: 0 / 3000 Writing

French Goals (Starting October 17)
: 0 / 300 Grammar

DaveAgain
Blue Belt
Posts: 816
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:26 am
Languages: Eng (n)
x 1399

Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby DaveAgain » Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:59 am

philomath wrote:Maybe I should also look for some easy reading material in French. The problem with reading is that I don't want to pronounce the words wrong in my head and end up with fossilized pronunciation errors, so I need to find reading material that has audio as well.
1. Heidi was one of the first french books I read, I used the Librivox audio, with French and English texts in parallel browser windows.

2. A columnist on Paris Match has a regular video+text piece on fashion advice: Les fantaisies de Catherine Schwaab
1 x

Online
User avatar
philomath
Green Belt
Posts: 325
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:57 pm
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Languages: English (N), Spanish (B1/B2), French (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=12205
x 763

Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:02 am

I studied French for a few hours today:
- Went through Practice Makes Perfect Chapter 1 again and made Anki flashcards for the vocab. Also did the first two exercises. I feel pretty comfortable with -er verbs in the present tense now. :)
- Reviewed Anki flashcards. Right now I have Anki set to 15 new cards per day, but I think I need to increase that number because I have 168 new flashcards and I keep making more. Today I used the "Custom study" option to study an additional 20 new cards.
- Listened to Episode 1 of the innerFrench podcast while reading the transcript. I think if I keep doing that I'll start to get comfortable with French orthography.
- Studied more sentences on Clozemaster. I've now studied 350, or 1.353%!
- Finished Colloquial French Chapter 3. The end of the chapter introduced more food vocab, but I couldn't be bothered to make Anki flashcards for those words.

At the beginning of the day, I felt very frustrated by my lack of French knowledge, but by the end of the day I felt more motivated again. I'm really enjoying Clozemaster and innerFrench so far. I was too tired to write anything in French, but maybe I'll do that tomorrow.
1 x
French Goals (Starting August 15)
: 545 / 600 Listening

French Goals (Starting October 14)
: 0 / 3000 Writing

French Goals (Starting October 17)
: 0 / 300 Grammar

Online
User avatar
philomath
Green Belt
Posts: 325
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:57 pm
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Languages: English (N), Spanish (B1/B2), French (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=12205
x 763

Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:16 am

Today I had another iTalki lesson with my French tutor! First he had me describe my day in order to practice the passé composé. I wish I knew the imparfait because it would have been useful, but my tutor didn't want to introduce the imparfait yet because he said it's complicated. Maybe I'll just learn it on my own first. :D However, he did start teaching me the future tense which seems relatively straightforward. And he gave me homework! I'm supposed to write a description of my weekend, putting in as much detail as possible. I think this will be a good opportunity to learn more vocabulary.
3 x
French Goals (Starting August 15)
: 545 / 600 Listening

French Goals (Starting October 14)
: 0 / 3000 Writing

French Goals (Starting October 17)
: 0 / 300 Grammar

Online
User avatar
philomath
Green Belt
Posts: 325
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:57 pm
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Languages: English (N), Spanish (B1/B2), French (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=12205
x 763

Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:36 am

This week has been sooo tiring. I guess that's typical after having two weeks of vacation and then going back to work!

Today I did the following:
- Listened to Coffee Break French Season 1, Episodes 8-9 on my way to and from work.
- Did Lesson 12 of Pimsleur French I.
- Reviewed 175 Anki flash cards. This took me around 20 minutes, so not too long.
- Reviewed 100-something sentences on Clozemaster. I really like Clozemaster so far! It is nice being exposed to sentences with more complex grammar than the sentences in my coursebooks. I feel like I'm slowly picking up more knowledge of French sentence structure and verb forms. :)

I'm too tired tonight, otherwise I would continue going through Practice Makes Perfect. Hopefully tomorrow!
1 x
French Goals (Starting August 15)
: 545 / 600 Listening

French Goals (Starting October 14)
: 0 / 3000 Writing

French Goals (Starting October 17)
: 0 / 300 Grammar

Online
User avatar
philomath
Green Belt
Posts: 325
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:57 pm
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Languages: English (N), Spanish (B1/B2), French (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=12205
x 763

Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Sun Jan 12, 2020 3:26 am

Today I did Practice Makes Perfect Chapter 3, which went over the verbs être, avoir, savoir, connaître, pouvoir, and vouloir. I don't know why I've been feeling so impatient about learning grammar lately. I used to love studying grammar, but with French I just want to get through it as fast as possible. Maybe I'll study the chapters more in-depth later.

I'm also a little bit worried that I'm overdoing it with Anki. Now every time I see a new grammar structure or word I just want to make an Anki flash card for it, which I know is a bad idea. Soon I'll be drowning in flash cards! When that happens I'll just start deleting them... it's happened before. :(
1 x
French Goals (Starting August 15)
: 545 / 600 Listening

French Goals (Starting October 14)
: 0 / 3000 Writing

French Goals (Starting October 17)
: 0 / 300 Grammar


Return to “Language logs”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Mohave and 2 guests