Language patzer, French

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Language patzer
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2020 5:48 am
Languages: Greek native, English C2, French B2
x 140

Language patzer, French

Postby Language patzer » Sat Nov 28, 2020 6:09 am

Hi everyone.

I used to be part of a couple of language forums, but I haven't been active the past years.

I have tried (and failed) to learn multiple languages at once, so now I have learned my lesson. One language at a time, at least at first.

What I have been doing though, is to gather a lot of material on several languages. So that's taken care of.


This log is about French. I have the Certificat (B2 I beleve), but it's been years since I got it.

My aim is to strart studying again in order to get to C2. That takes an enormous revision to fill in all the gaps before I go for the C2. So, after a lot of thought, I decided to use the FSI French course as the method to follow, and complete my knowledge from other sourses as needed.

Motivation is a big issue, so let's not start with that on the first post.

My goals are simple so as not to give up:

Finish the FSI course, and study it well.

Get out of it as much as possibe.

Study every day without fail.

Use the language even with errors.

Go for the C2 test, when I feel ready.

FINISH THE COURSE (very important).


Why FSI? Although I have a soft heart for Assimil, I really like the drills as boring as they may be. I'll just do the work without any second thoughts and philosophical pondering. Doubt and inability to make final decisions have led to past failiures (not finishing things). I am a hopeless INFP...

So, that's it.

Let's hope this time I'll make it!

À bientôt
8 x
Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Francaises
Book 1
41/65

Language patzer
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2020 5:48 am
Languages: Greek native, English C2, French B2
x 140

Re: Language patzer, French

Postby Language patzer » Sat Nov 28, 2020 1:27 pm

I am more than half way finished with unit 1.

So far I am very happy with FSI. Since I know all the words, I was able to focus on dictation (accents mostly) and pronounciation. It was pleasant and not at all boring.

Dictation hepls me in more than one ways, and I will be doing it a lot.

The grammar explanations are a bit strange, but you get the point. I have other grammar books anyway. Had I not been already familiar with all those words it would have been slower and more difficult. All those drills will pay off, I can see that.

I think FSI will help me put the knowledge I already have in order, as well as teach me new things. I actually feel very excited with that thought. I already have a lot of vocabulary, but my grammar needs a lot of work, and my fluency... let's not talk about that yet.

I will start writing in french at some point, but not yet. I don't feel comfortable starting now. I am not at all shy about mistakes, it's just that I stop at every word doubting everything and that is very annoying. But texts will come, hopefully soon.

Off to see something french on youtube!
4 x
Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Francaises
Book 1
41/65

Cavesa
Black Belt - 4th Dan
Posts: 4059
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:46 am
Languages: Czech (N), English (C1), French (C2), Spanish (intermediate), German (somewhere on the path), Italian (passive advanced, active basic)
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Re: Language patzer, French

Postby Cavesa » Sat Nov 28, 2020 9:38 pm

Hi, welcome to the forum!
I like your goals. How do you plan to bridge the gap between FSI and C2? And any particular learning activities you're doing, on top of the FSI? Your arguments for "boring" drills are very good, I think you're bringing up an advantage we often tend to overlook. :-)
2 x

Language patzer
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2020 5:48 am
Languages: Greek native, English C2, French B2
x 140

Re: Language patzer, French

Postby Language patzer » Mon Nov 30, 2020 6:12 am

I finished the entire first unit. It was very easy, as first units tend to be :lol: . The only problem with FSI: it takes quite a while ... My husband kept hearing me repeating phrases and he was very amused.


Thank you, Cavesa. I read a bit of your log and I was very impressed. To answer your question: I am not sure yet how to get to C2.

I have a fault, not finishing things, so my main focus is to finish the course as a first step. I have many books on french, grammars, methods, exercises etc, that I will be using along the way. I also found two old Hugos books on the Internet Archive, one on grammar and another on composition, which complement each other. I have already started using them both in order to get a good revision on grammar, and to start producing my own texts.

How I will proceed is not expactly planned yet, other than following FSI closely. The starting point is this: I need an excellent revision, thorough and deep. There are more things I have forgotten than I remember. After I feel sure about my B2 level, I will think about exactly how to get to C2. Probably buy more advanced books, as a start.

I will be watching and reading french material all the way. I have been doing it anyway!

Writing is very important to me. I am doing translation excercises from the books I mentioned, and I will probably start a journal or something.

Advice is more than welcome!
4 x
Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Francaises
Book 1
41/65

Language patzer
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2020 5:48 am
Languages: Greek native, English C2, French B2
x 140

Re: Language patzer, French

Postby Language patzer » Tue Dec 01, 2020 6:45 am

Today I will finish unit 2, so I continue as planned.

I suddenly got very scared of the size of FSI. I will not stop studying of course, but I wonder if it's at all possible to finish the entire thing in a reasonable amount of time.

I also understood something about FSI basic. If I had no knowledge of french, none at all, it would have been seriously difficult to go past even chapter one. You need support beyond FSI, a teacher or other books.
2 x
Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Francaises
Book 1
41/65

Language patzer
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2020 5:48 am
Languages: Greek native, English C2, French B2
x 140

Re: Language patzer, French

Postby Language patzer » Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:30 am

I am modifying my plans a bit, because I can see that the Hugo's book I have been studying on the side (French grammar simpified) is giving me great results. By results I mean the fast and thorough revision I need.

You study a certain amount of chapters, do all the drills, and then go to the complementary composition book which is basically a workbook full of exercises (the keys as well).

Each chapter is brief and to the point. I am already able to produce sentences I never really could before, and I begin to feel more and more confident. I will finish this first, as it is not very big (140 pages), and then go back to FSI. It shouldn't take long. I need the grammar revision right now more than the speaking skills.

I also need the C2 goal as a fixed point to the horizon, so as not to lose my way. I don't know yet how of when I will get there, but my voyage has already started!
5 x
Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Francaises
Book 1
41/65

Language patzer
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2020 5:48 am
Languages: Greek native, English C2, French B2
x 140

Re: Language patzer, French

Postby Language patzer » Fri Dec 04, 2020 6:44 am

Continuing with my grammar exercises. I also signed up for french conversation practice here in our forum, so that's great.

I signed up for an attic greek group as well. I won't bother you with many details, but I will tell you that the last time I seriously studied it, I was in high school and peparing for university. Ancient greek was a mandatory lesson (as was latin but that's another stoy). I'd love to do this again, older and wothout the stress of exams!

As a greek, we have our own hangups with our language, but I am leaving all of that behind (I promise!). I am doing this as a beginner, only learning and nothing else. After all, I only know one thing, that I know nothing. ;) The older I get the more deeply I understand this phrase!

No, it won't take away from my french studies, this is certain. But I am adding no other languages, that's it (for now!)
3 x
Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Francaises
Book 1
41/65

Cavesa
Black Belt - 4th Dan
Posts: 4059
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:46 am
Languages: Czech (N), English (C1), French (C2), Spanish (intermediate), German (somewhere on the path), Italian (passive advanced, active basic)
x 12561

Re: Language patzer, French

Postby Cavesa » Fri Dec 04, 2020 12:52 pm

Language patzer wrote: I have a fault, not finishing things, so my main focus is to finish the course as a first step. I have many books on french, grammars, methods, exercises etc, that I will be using along the way. I also found two old Hugos books on the Internet Archive, one on grammar and another on composition, which complement each other. I have already started using them both in order to get a good revision on grammar, and to start producing my own texts.

How I will proceed is not expactly planned yet, other than following FSI closely. The starting point is this: I need an excellent revision, thorough and deep. There are more things I have forgotten than I remember. After I feel sure about my B2 level, I will think about exactly how to get to C2. Probably buy more advanced books, as a start.

I will be watching and reading french material all the way. I have been doing it anyway!

Writing is very important to me. I am doing translation excercises from the books I mentioned, and I will probably start a journal or something.

Advice is more than welcome!
Language patzer wrote:I also need the C2 goal as a fixed point to the horizon, so as not to lose my way. I don't know yet how of when I will get there, but my voyage has already started!


Well, I got to C2 partially accidentally. I was having fun "maintaining" my French for a long time. And then I thought "well, I could just as well push myself harder and take the C1 exam" and I was told "well, shouldn't you actually take the C2?" and I compared the two, and found C2 more suitable :-D

So, my main advice is: focus on what you're doing, enjoy it as much as possible (either enjoy the activity, or the results. Or both). You'll have to spend a lot of time on this project, so there is no point in torturing yourself, it won't help (quite the opposite). Think about which resources bring you something, and which ones are just a time filler. You may have the PM's syndrome (I am jokingly referencing PeterMollenburg, who has completed an enormous amount of coursebooks in French! He is a treasure chest of knowledge about them, he has achieved a lot in language learning, he is definitely worth reading! But his way to progress is not for everyone, as most people will simply not be able to complete all of that within our lifetimes).

I recommend picking some easily imaginable and countable goals, that will move you in the right direction. The Super Challenge is the best example and it is extremely useful to the advanced learners. Picking a few coursebooks and making them a priority (like what you're doing with FSI now) is very good too, they allow an easy check like "hey, I am already on page 250 out of 600" and that's always encouraging.

Your writing focus is definitely a wise decision. I wish I had done much more writing, back when I was around your level! :-)

I'm looking forward to reading about your journey up to C2 and beyond!
3 x

Language patzer
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2020 5:48 am
Languages: Greek native, English C2, French B2
x 140

Re: Language patzer, French

Postby Language patzer » Sat Dec 05, 2020 7:51 am

Thank you so much for the encouragement and advice, Cavesa! I'll check out Peter's log as well. It's true that with french I enjoy everything, even the most boring drills :lol: :lol: :lol: Maybe that will take me furtherthan before. As well as the great support I found here. Merci!
0 x
Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Francaises
Book 1
41/65

Language patzer
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2020 5:48 am
Languages: Greek native, English C2, French B2
x 140

Re: Language patzer, French

Postby Language patzer » Tue Dec 08, 2020 6:50 am

I continue with my grammar revision and exercises. I should have done this a long time ago. I feel very secure studying grammar, as it turns out. Of course it depends on one's goals about a language. I want to deeply learn french, so...

I thought I might add a book to the mix. I am a big fan of police and crime films and noves, and one of my favourites is Nicola le Floch. So i thought, why not actually read a book? So I will. Slowly. I will take a notebook only for that book, and note down everything I should: unknown words, grammar questions/answers etc. I am aware it will not be an easy book, but I like it so I think the motivation will help. I greek we say you must throw yourself in deep waters in order to learn how to swim.

So far I am happy with my progress. I keep saying to myself that this is for fun anyway, and that helps me study with pleasure. I really enjoy making sentences in french that are actually correct, and I am looking forward to the day I will be able to write and speak couramment!
2 x
Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Francaises
Book 1
41/65


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