Carmody's Log for French

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Carmody
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Carmody's Log for French

Postby Carmody » Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:09 am

Carmody's Log

Background
• 3 yrs of French in high school
• This past sept. – dec. night school with my wife at a continuing ed course.
• 5 years of twice daily taichi private practice and weekly classes have taught me to learn how to relax and learn a discipline. I hope to apply that knowledge here. As a young high school student, tension and fear often got in the way of my learning and enjoyment of the French language.
• I used to think I was pretty good at self-discipline but reading people’s logs suggests to me that I don’t know the meaning of those words. I am very impressed by people’s dedication and learning process here.
• Since I am retired, I have hopes of applying as much time as possible to this language effort but my wk outs at the gym, 2x’s day taichi practice, and daily chores mean that my time will not be limitless.
• My goal is very different from many on this website in that I am really only interested in learning French. While many people here are true polyglots and I respect that skill set greatly, I am at this point only interested in learning French.

Current
1. I realize the importance of quantifying what I do and what my goals are. The SMART methodology is useful to help with that: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria
2. Also reviewing the methodologies of different members here is helping me on those issues.
3. My current daily study schedule is as follows:
......a. 45 mins. reading of the online French newspapers
...........i. During this time I do vocabulary bldg. based on the words that I find in the newspapers such as Le Figaro, Le Monde, etc.
............ii. I am using Quizlet for my flash cards plus the use of an Excel spreadsheet.
......b. 45 mins. on grammar built from multiple sources such as the U. of Texas, the book French Verbs and Essentials of Grammar by Simon Oudot, etc.
......c. I also listen to French newscasts or French audio books in the background while I work. After a month of doing this on a regular basis it is helping greatly to “loosen up” my ear and increase my comprehension
......d. I don’t recommend the “immersion plus French” cds for numerous reasons, one of those reasons being that it is too elementary for anyone here.

My learning methodology is hopefully an evolving one. I start out with what I have at the moment and build from there based on what works. Everyone works differently and I need to evolve the most efficient methodology for me.

My reading of Fluent in 3months was a very interesting experience and I learned a lot from it. In fact I am learning a lot from everyone here and as a newcomer see the need to apply myself with more vigor.

Future
• Duolingo- I have been on this a couple of times but will hopefully start a daily regimen of this.
• In March my wife and I look forward to attending Alliance Française and starting with the A1 level and hopefully by this time next year being at B1.
• I hope to build a skill base and from there apply it in both lang-8 and itaki. I have done 3-4 initial essays on lang-8 but need to find someone there to really work with long term.
............Obviously this will require me to Skype so I am looking now for the best Skype hardware and s/w for that purpose.
• I also hope to make my learning of French an enjoyable journey with an enjoyable goal. I don’t want to beat myself up on this as to unrealistic time frames and goals. While time frames and goals can help me, I don’t want to turn it into drudge work although hard work will of course be part of the journey.
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tomgosse
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Re: Carmody's Log for French

Postby tomgosse » Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:04 pm

Bienvenue sur notre forum. I'm looking forward to following your progress.

The Skype software should run on any recently modern computer. The one thing I would recommend is that you purchase a microphone/headset combo. It doesn't have to be expensive. I've been using a Plantronics set that I purchased for about $40 a few years ago. They really do make a difference in how you sound.

À bientôt,
Tom
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Carmody
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Location: NYC, NY
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Language Log: http://tinyurl.com/zot7wrs
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Re: Carmody's Log for French

Postby Carmody » Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:10 pm

Since I am on a desk top computer, I also need to buy a camera to attach to the top of my screen. Do people have ideas re the best choice for camera as well? Thanks to Tom and all for help.
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tomgosse
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Re: Carmody's Log for French

Postby tomgosse » Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:26 pm

Carmody wrote:Since I am on a desk top computer, I also need to buy a camera to attach to the top of my screen. Do people have ideas re the best choice for camera as well? Thanks to Tom and all for help.

Logitech webcams are probably the best. This is the one I use: Logitech C920. And I use this Plantronics headset.

If you go to YouTube and search for these models you should find a lot of reviews and sample recordings.
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Carmody
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Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:00 am
Location: NYC, NY
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Language Log: http://tinyurl.com/zot7wrs
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Re: Carmody's Log for French

Postby Carmody » Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:01 pm

Tom,

I am so grateful for your guidance. I will go ahead and get the Logitech C920 the Plantronics headset.

I have 100% faith in your guidance.

Many thanks.

Carmody
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Rebecca
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Location: UK
Languages: English (N), French (Beginner)
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Re: Carmody's Log for French

Postby Rebecca » Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:11 pm

Hi Carmody! Welcome to the forum - I am new here myself! I'm studying French too, and will follow your log. Good luck with your learning! :)
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Carmody
Blue Belt
Posts: 569
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:00 am
Location: NYC, NY
Languages: English (N)
French (A2)
Language Log: http://tinyurl.com/zot7wrs
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Re: Carmody's Log for French

Postby Carmody » Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:58 pm

January 8th and time for a bit of update on my general pattern of daily study.

Yesterday I did:

1 hr....
Assimil New French with Ease, Chaps 1-5
1 hr....
French Grammar
1 hr....
Reading online French newspapers while a French news broadcast is playing in background for “softening the ear.” The newspapers provide me with the most frequently used words that I will then put on my vocabulary list for further study.
1/2 hr..
YouTube French children's stories in French

Also I have gotten a webcam and microphone thanks to Tom telling me what he uses. Hopefully with time I will gain sufficient confidence so as to use them.

Since my methodology of my study will evolve over time, I am trying not to rush it or be too rigid in approach. For me it is all about forming good habits. Like my 2x's daily study of taichi for the past 5 years, I am trying to have guidelines and yet be flexible. For the moment, it is pretty much the slowness of the long distance runner, so to speak...

One good thing that is appearing is the spacing of my learning times. For instance, when I am in an office waiting for my wife to finish her apt., I find it an excellent opportunity to take out my Fr. vocab list, that I always carry, and study that. Am not sure if this is spaced learning but I hope this habit will help me along the way.

My thanks to everyone for sharing all aspects of their journey in learning a language. I learn greatly from your resources, suggestions, and struggles. For me right now, it is mostly struggle but with time I will hopefully settle into an established rhythm of practice.

Très bonne année à toute le monde.

Carmody

ps: just for the record, I find that François Gérard Georges Nicolas Hollande speaks French slowly, clearly, and totally comprehensibly. Why don't the newscasters do so as well?
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tastyonions
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Re: Carmody's Log for French

Postby tastyonions » Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:25 pm

C'est normal que les politiciens parlent lentement et qu'ils fassent beaucoup de pauses. Ça donne à leurs discours un air de gravité et de refléxion sérieuse bien que souvent ils ne disent rien de très intelligent. :-)

J'ai fait la même expérience que toi : la première chose que je suis arrivé à comprendre était un discours de François Hollande.
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tomgosse
Brown Belt
Posts: 1035
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:29 am
Location: Massachusetts, USA
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Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1185
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Re: Carmody's Log for French

Postby tomgosse » Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:47 pm

tastyonions wrote:... bien que souvent ils ne disent rien de très intelligent. :-)

C'est la vérité !
Comment savez-vous quand un politicien est dire des mensonges ?
Ils déplacent leurs lèvres.


It's true!
How do you know when a politican is lying?
They move their lips.
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User avatar
Carmody
Blue Belt
Posts: 569
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:00 am
Location: NYC, NY
Languages: English (N)
French (A2)
Language Log: http://tinyurl.com/zot7wrs
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Carmody's Log for French

Postby Carmody » Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:49 pm

Hello all,

I would like your comments and suggestions on my language learning process. I am in the process of developing quantitative guidelines for my study of French and it is my understanding that 600-800 hours practice are necessary for a proficiency in the language. The topic of number of hours is of course a guesstimate based on my researches but I am comfortable in using that at the moment.

The following progress bars below are a tentative road map of the signposts I have setup for that journey.

Please note that I am trying to make this journey an enjoyable one and so have picked the reading of and listening to the online French news (ie, Le Figaro, Le Monde, etc.) for two main reasons:
1)it interests me more than the Classics and
2)it will introduce me to current vocabulary and language usage, where the Classics can not.

Yes, there is the matter of a glaring omission in the list of hours spent actually conversing in the language but I hope to remedy that with tutorials from places such as itaki, etc. Also, my wife and I plan to attend classes at Alliance Française in March.

Since you folks are light years ahead of me in the language learning process, I thought I could learn from your comments re my process or approach to language learning.

Many thanks for your time and guidance.

Assimil-NFWE: 75 / 113.

Hours Listening to French News: 25 / 200Goal of 200.

Hours Reading French Newspapers: 25 / 200Goal of 200.

Hours Review of Grammar: 25 / 200Goal of 200.

Hours Review of Vocabulary: 25 / 200Goal of 200.
Last edited by Carmody on Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:11 am, edited 6 times in total.
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