Extralean: C2 Français et d'autres aventures.

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extralean
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Extralean: C2 Français et d'autres aventures.

Postby extralean » Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:43 am

I've decided to take a crack at the French DALF C2 exam.
This journal is an attempt to bully myself in to making sure that I do the work required to pass. Any and all help will be appreciated. So feel free to chime in. I've done logs before (on HTLAL and elsewhere) and I find them effective.

I like to read, so if you're on goodreads.com - add me (username: extralean).

Why:
In 18 months I will have been married to a French woman for 4 years. At which point, one can ask to be naturalized as a French citizen and get a French passport (even living outside of France, as I do in Australia). I have decided that since I need to pay and get certified (B1 required) I may as well go for glory.

Current level & Experience:
~C1 untested.
4 years living in Paris, 10 years with a French chick, French is my day to day language at home.

Current Positives:
I have taken a gander at a couple of practice C2 exams, and believe that 75% of it will be fairly straight forward - especially with the time frame I've set myself. I have no problems with understanding spoken and written French and I am at ease speaking it in both a familial and business environment - having worked in France, and done some interpreting/translation for some BD help for some tenders for work in New Caledonia for my job in Australia.

Current Improvement Opportunities:
Writing.
Writing at an academic level.
Handwriting (both quality thereof, and in preparation for the hours of writing needing in the exam).
Accent - 3.5 years back in Australia has had its' effect on my accent.

Which is why the Output Challenge Thread prompted me to sign up, and start this log.

Alors, allons-y.
Last edited by extralean on Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Jar-Ptitsa
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Re: Extralean: C2 Français - Allons-y!

Postby Jar-Ptitsa » Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:45 am

wow, extralean, how are you?

Good luck with your French :)
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extralean
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Re: Extralean: C2 Français - Allons-y!

Postby extralean » Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:51 am

I'm great thanks. I vaguely recognise your username, but apologise as it's been quite a while since I've been on any language forum, let alone HTLAL or what appears to be its successor. Hopefully this proves to be the motivation I need.

Is there a chat/skype group or something?
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Re: Extralean: C2 Français - Allons-y!

Postby Jar-Ptitsa » Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:02 pm

extralean wrote:I'm great thanks. I vaguely recognise your username, but apologise as it's been quite a while since I've been on any language forum, let alone HTLAL or what appears to be its successor. Hopefully this proves to be the motivation I need.

Is there a chat/skype group or something?


My username is new, my others were jar-ptitsa, wise owl chick, kuikentje etc. we didn't know each other well, only little bit, but I remember that you're Australian and that you lived in Paris with your French girlfriend. Now you are married, and 4 years!!!

I don't know about a chat or skype group, maybe between some people. I don't chat or use skype, therefore I don't know.
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extralean
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Re: Extralean: C2 Français - Allons-y!

Postby extralean » Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:05 pm

vogeltje wrote:My username is new, my others were jar-ptitsa


Well I do remember you, you're just not the you I thought you were! I'm glad that you're still around!
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Re: Extralean: C2 Français - Allons-y!

Postby Jar-Ptitsa » Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:10 pm

extralean wrote:
vogeltje wrote:My username is new, my others were jar-ptitsa


Well I do remember you, you're just not the you I thought you were! I'm glad that you're still around!


I suppose that it was confusing because I live in London now. I've moved here with my parents some months ago.

I'm glad that you are around also. Are you in contact with Jack?
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Re: Extralean: C2 Français - Allons-y!

Postby Mohave » Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:15 pm

Welcome Extralean!

I look forward to following your log and see how you prepare for the C2 exam in French!

Best of Luck!
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Re: Extralean: C2 Français - Allons-y!

Postby Cavesa » Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:14 pm

Hi, Extralean.

Nice log, I am looking forward to reading about your path.

I passed DALF C2 in February and I suppose you should have no trouble with the spoken part, given the fact you've been living in France with a french wife for a long time.

Writing is more difficult because it more or less follows the rules and styles the french natives learn at school (french composition classes are an interesting process including tons of highlighters, a ruler for underlining, lots of frustration and many assignments marked 0). And it is different from many other systems. (A friend of mine personally attended a czech, a british and a french highschool and the differences in expectations, when it came to seemingly the same tasks, were enormous.). And the preparatory books don't cover the topic enough. Basically, you should practice resumes, compe rendus and syntheses, as the books tell you, and more. You need to learn not to copy the source "dossier" but you must not get too far from the topic, as it is meant, either and you must still obviously draw from the sources and add just the right amount of your own thinking (which usually means next to none. I am quite convinced the french lyceens are being trained to think analytically and formally correctly but not critically or creatively, even though I may be wrong). In the end, you will probably get a different task from all the model ones in the books anyways (my preparatory books always statted clearly which genre of writing should I compose. the real task wasn't clear about it, so I have still got no clue whether it should have been more synthese, more opinion based, more compte rendu,...)

I am unsure what to recommend as writing practice and info sources. Perhaps textbooks for french lyceens? The authors of the dalf preparatory books vastly underestimate the issue in my opinion. I had a tutor for exam preparation (mostly for the writing part as I knew it would be a problem) and still, I am unsure where all the problems were as my writing was much worse than my speaking in the end. Of course, the grammar correctness, appropriate vocabulary and so on will play a part as well. A good thing is a monolingual dictionary being allowed and provided for the exam. However, you won't have that much time to check too many things or to write a full separate draft to correct, cut or lenghten and rewrite into the paper. Therefore practicing writing pieces of a given length straight away is a useful exercise.

Another thing: are you going for "sciences" or "lettres"?
I'd personally recommend you at least consider taking "sciences", unless you know for sure you'd have more problems with it. Many people are unreasonably afraid of "sciences" and most take "lettres". But this version has a huge advantage. The possible topics and overall difficulty of the texts, audiofile and content is much more predictable and therefore easier to prepare for.

Sciences: you will very likely get something from medicine/ecology and global warming/internet and such things. And the material is gonna be more or less similar to the science articles in le Monde. My audio task was a pretty clear radio interview with a scientist organising a meeting concerning the global catastrophes. You are very likely to have something to write/speak about, some opinions, knowledge of various aspects of the issue and so on. You will very likely be asked whether you agree this or that is good or whether you are more sceptical.

Lettres: this is a mystery box. It can be anything, from a cosmopolitan-like bunch of "psychology" and "sociology" articles whether or not is working beneficial for people. The ladies who were taking the exam with me, and had chosen "lettres", were facing a problem "what the hell am I supposed to write 3 pages about?", as one of them put it. On the other side of the spectrum can be pretty complicated philosophy or linguistic subjects. One of the past papers included the evolution of French language, demonstrated on Middle Age French, if I remember correctly. This year, the examinators themselves constatted the "lettres" oral subject was quite philosophical and hard. The problem with such subjects can be both the language (talking about philosophy requires being extremely precise and it can be demanding even in our native languages) and the content (while my general knowledge base is overall well above average and I can totally talk about many things, I am not well versed in philosophy and I know very little about linguistics and history of a language. And while such knowledge is technically not being tested, you still need it to have something to talk/write about)
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Re: Extralean: C2 Français - Allons-y!

Postby PsittacusMagnus » Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:18 pm

.
Last edited by PsittacusMagnus on Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Extralean: C2 Français - Allons-y!

Postby extralean » Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:04 am

Cavesa wrote:...a bunch of useful information, and why I started the log...


Salut Cavesa,

Merci pour ta réponse. C'est exactement pour les avis comme le tien que j'ai commencé cet fil.

Pour répondre à ta question en regardent sciences v littérature; je ne sais pas encore. D'après ce que j'ai pu comprendre - on pouvait voir les textes et choisir après. Est-ce que je me trompes? D'habitude je choisis littéraire; j'en ai des connaissances des langues, philosophie etc à un point où cela ne me fais pas trop peur. Néanmoins, je n'aurais pas trop de problèmes avec les sciences non plus. Tout dépendra de la thème abordée. Je verrai après si je me sens plus à l'aise avec l'un ou l'autre.

J'ai téléchargé un livre (Réussir le DALF); et je compte à faire tout les exercices. C'est le même livre offert par l'alliance français à Brisbane; qui est d'ailleurs le seul livre qu'ils fournissent... j'ai fait appel à mon beau-frère pour voir s'il ait des pistes vu qu'il a fait ses études en France. Je me suis dit qu'il doit avoir des ressources pour des français qui veulent améliorer leur français jusqu'au niveau universitaire. Qui est d'ailleurs mon but.

Pour ma compréhension orale, je fais du streaming du journal des affaires BFM Business -disponible ici. Ça m'aide à passer le temps pendant je cherche du travail enligne.

Je me demande si il vaut le peine de contacter les groupes de français bases dans ma ville pour voir s'il n'y a pas quelqu'un qui voudra faire une échange de corrections pour qu'on s’entraide.

Soyez exigeants avec vos corriges; je n'apprend que comme ça.



I don't really feel like doing translations for non-English posts in this log - download google translates addons if you can't follow the above.
Last edited by extralean on Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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