Carmody's Log for French

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Carmody
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Re: Carmody's Log for French

Postby Carmody » Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:45 am

2018 Study Summary

The end of 2018 seems a good time for review of how my French studies are progressing. I have been at this for 3 years now.
During this year I passed the Duolingo French test at a B1 level in all categories including grammar.

My normal daily routine is usually 2 hrs. of reading and then followed up by one hour of YouTube sourced oral comprehension work. This usually includes Francais avec Pierre, Francais Authentique and Home Language with Patricia. It can also include movies, etc. There are an awful lot of sources that I work with.

Reading is my favorite pastime in French. This year I read:
Un Coeur Simple G. Flaubert
Le chant de l'océan M. Dupuy
Lambeaux C. Juliet
L'homme qui plantait des arbres Jean Giono
J'irai cracher sur vos tombes B. Vian
Un barrage contre le Pacifique M. Duras
Un Pedigree P. Modiano
Jean le bleu J. Giono
Sans famille H. Malot
Le Château de mon père M. Pagnol
Un Sac de Billes J. Joffo, who died on died on Thursday December 6th 2018.

I love all the books on the list very much but my favorite book for this year was Sans famille by Hector Malot. I have been through the animé on YouTube twice and find it wonderful.

My all time favorite French writer is Amélie Nothomb. We have no author in the USA even close to her and I find her magnificent. People are offended that she pumps out one book a year, but it doesn’t bother me, since I don't feel the need to read each book.

If anyone wants advice on any of the books I have read this year don’t hesitate to ask.

Now for the controversial part-my study methodology when reading:
-each book is read 2-4 times.
-first time through is with no real look up in my dictionary and then the 2nd time thru I look up as much as I can. Note that my books are tools, so that means that I write in them and underline all items of interest.
-I am also doing something which I am sure will shock absolutely everyone and that is when I look up a word in my 260,000 word Larousse paperback dictionary I put a stroke by the word. Successive look ups mean I add strokes. This is so I see where my frequent vocab problems are.
-then if the word is not in the dictionary I go to Reverso online and look up the word there.

(Added afterward the next day)
So my second read through I look up the words and highlight with a yellow marker. That way on my 3rd and 4th run through I can focus on just the "problem words and idioms" and reinforce those. I make a strong effort not to read on the third and fourth time; that wastes time. The great advantage to this part of my method is that I can see the highlighted text and then if need be refer to the context for the word or idiom.

My books are my learning tools so I try to use them as such with lots of notations and underlining.

Also equally shocking is that I am not working on grammar or spoken French right now. I have no one at the moment to speak with although I had a wonderful Skype friend with whom I used to talk often. Grammar is also getting a rest at the moment. But for some strange reason I really like it.

I find French literature a fascinatingly rich resource that is very different from anything else in English.
I have been at this for 3 years now and no longer log in the minutes I spend and how. Rather now it is a way of life for me and it is 2 hours a day of reading and 1 hour on the oral comprehension.

If anyone has questions, feel free to ask.
Last edited by Carmody on Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Arnaud
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Re: Carmody's Log for French

Postby Arnaud » Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:46 am

Carmody wrote:
Now for the controversial part-my study methodology when reading:
-each book is read 2-4 times.
-first time through is with no real look up in my dictionary and then the 2nd time thru I look up as much as I can. Note that my books are tools, so that means that I write in them and underline all items of interest.
-I am also doing something which I am sure will shock absolutely everyone and that is when I look up a word in my 260,000 word Larousse paperback dictionary I put a stroke by the word. Successive look ups mean I add strokes. This is so I see where my frequent vocab problems are.
-then if the word is not in the dictionary I go to Reverso online and look up the word there.

My books are my learning tools so I try to use them as such with lots of notations and underlining.

Also equally shocking is that I am not working on grammar or spoken French right now. I have no one at the moment to speak with although I had a wonderful Skype friend with whom I used to talk often. Grammar is also getting a rest at the moment. But for some strange reason I really like it.

I find French literature a fascinatingly rich resource that is very different from anything else in English.
I have been at this for 3 years now and no longer log in the minutes I spend and how. Rather now it is a way of life for me and it is 2 hours a day of reading and 1 hour on the oral comprehension.

If anyone has questions, feel free to ask.

I find the method interesting. Congratulations for all your progresses.
Last edited by Arnaud on Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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MrsStarez
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... php?t=8933
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Re: Carmody's Log for French

Postby MrsStarez » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:55 am

Sad to read about Joffo. “Babyfoot” was one of my set texts for French A level.
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Carmody
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Re: Carmody's Log for French

Postby Carmody » Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:14 pm

A very big thank you to everyone for dropping by and for giving your support. It really does mean a lot to me. Since you are all true Polyglot pros and at advanced levels in French, your support is especially appreciated. Your support also helps me with my confidence. I believe confidence is very important in my study of language and I really don’t have it. It is also very seldom mentioned. I am just so intimidated by how much I do not know in my French studies. So thank you for your support. :D
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Carmody
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Re: Carmody's Log for French

Postby Carmody » Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:33 pm

Please note I have made an addition to my method:

(Added afterward the next day)
So in my second read through I look up the words and highlight them with a yellow marker. That way on my 3rd and 4th run through I can focus on just the "problem words and idioms" and reinforce those. I make a strong effort not to read on the third and fourth time; that wastes time. The great advantage to this part of my method is that I can see the highlighted text and then if need be refer to the context for the word or idiom.

I also make lists of the words I look up. I have lots of lists. Lists on vocab for parts of the human body; lists for verb conjugations, lots of lists.

My books are all highlighted listings of what words I don't know. If I am on a trip anywhere, I can bring it along for review. Review is essential for me. I need to constantly review vocabulary, idioms, and grammar rules. And speaking of grammar rules I doubt if I will ever remember when to use just ne, just pas, and just ne pas. I do love grammar. But I can't do everything at once, so, I am not focusing on it now.

I wonder sometimes if I am the only individual with the mind of a sieve. It is obvious that polyglots have no problem. My only remedy is to constantly review. They never mention constant review in the text books........

Most normal, healthy, and well adjusted individuals would not go to this trouble to learn but I have to constantly be engaging my mind and writing things down. I can't just learn by watching a computer screen. If you wonder how I make the lists, I go to the stationery store and buy multiple rolls of yellow cash register paper. I buy in quantities of 6 at a time. Then cut off 12' strips that I can notate as needed. All my books have yellow strips of words I am working on.

My methodology is highly individualized; unlike any other. I think everyone learns differently and the challenge is to learn how it is you learn. One size does not fit all. I just need to keep interacting with the books and movies, etc. and hopefully I will improve in time.

Also a major part of my learning how to learn is checking in at least twice a day with the postings on this Forum. I really learn lots from finding what works and doesn't with other people. This Forum is invaluable.

So now you know everything about... :lol:
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rdearman
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Re: Carmody's Log for French

Postby rdearman » Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:08 pm

We finally got around to answering some of your questions on the Podcast. :)

http://lollygagging-podcast.com/episode ... -can-help/
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Carmody
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Re: Carmody's Log for French

Postby Carmody » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:29 am

Many thanks for the Podcast. Most interesting.

Language learning requires a sophisticated expertise with Social Engineering if one isn't going to alienate friends and family. The topic is for me the 800 lb gorilla for everyone learning languages. I am surprised that others haven't posted threads on the Forum for this topic.

Thanks again.
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PeterMollenburg
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Re: Carmody's Log for French

Postby PeterMollenburg » Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:42 am

Carmody wrote:I wonder sometimes if I am the only individual with the mind of a sieve. It is obvious that polyglots have no problem. My only remedy is to constantly review. They never mention constant review in the text books........

Most normal, healthy, and well adjusted individuals would not go to this trouble to learn but I have to constantly be engaging my mind and writing things down. I can't just learn by watching a computer screen. If you wonder how I make the lists, I go to the stationery store and buy multiple rolls of yellow cash register paper. I buy in quantities of 6 at a time. Then cut off 12' strips that I can notate as needed. All my books have yellow strips of words I am working on.

My methodology is highly individualized; unlike any other. I think everyone learns differently and the challenge is to learn how it is you learn. One size does not fit all. I just need to keep interacting with the books and movies, etc. and hopefully I will improve in time.

Also a major part of my learning how to learn is checking in at least twice a day with the postings on this Forum. I really learn lots from finding what works and doesn't with other people. This Forum is invaluable.

So now you know everything about... :lol:


People who don’t know me in real life really well are sometimes surprised when I simply cannot recall certain details of past events they are relating to me in which I was present. I also struggle to remember details of movies. If I dodn’t watch it very recently, forget it, I’m not going to remember that part of the movie you are attempting to discuss or have a laugh about.

What’s great now with my French, is that like a detailed weaved pattern, tapestry, whatever, all the main structures of fabric are there, and the image is easily discernable, so I can generally make out the overall picture even though many gaps (holes, frayed edges etc) remain. The image is obvious, despite much detail being absent. I think if you remain determined and consistent, Carmody, despite your memory (mine’s not great either) even many unknown words once you come across them, will just seem right for the overall picture of French, and therefore perhaps more easily retained. In any case, nothing beats being consistent in language learning, so keep up the great effort!
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Carmody
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Re: Carmody's Log for French

Postby Carmody » Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:40 pm

Peter
Thanks so much for your feedback; greatly appreciated.
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Carmody
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Re: Carmody's Log for French

Postby Carmody » Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:20 am

I always appreciate people visiting my Log; it means a lot. It is for that reason that I am going to summarize more succinctly below what I said when I explained my methodology for reading books above.

So for what it is worth and in case anyone is interested this is how I do it:

Step One:
I read through the book underlining all words and idioms that need looking up.
Step Two:
This is a slower read where I look up all the underlined words, etc. and write them in the book.
Step Three:
I go through the book but make a definite effort not to read it. Rather I am just highlighting vocabulary words and the definitions that I have written in.
Step Four:
I go through book reviewing all the highlighted words and definitions.Each book has now become a memory bowl where I can repeatedly dip into it at any point and review. And yes, you are right, it is similar to Harry Potter and his Memory Bowl where he draws on his own memories from the past.
http://www.languagerealm.com/hplang/pensieve.php

*Note: the advantage to my approach is that I can identify context of the word or idiom and not just definition.

Anyway that is what I do and how. As you can see,I need to constantly interact with my material.

Hopefully this explanation of a B1 French learner will be of help to others, however, I truly believe Language Learning is Totally Individual and each person has to find those study habits that trigger the best and most efficient learning for themselves.

Thanks again to everyone for dropping by.

enjoy
:D
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