Gee's Language Log

Continue or start your personal language log here, including logs for challenge participants
Gee1
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:48 am
Location: Scotland
Languages: English (N), French (B2), Spanish (A2 / B1) German (formerly B1 - but have neglected it for years, so I'll be nearer A2 now)
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Gee's Language Log

Postby Gee1 » Fri Jul 15, 2016 5:39 am

I've decided to keep a log to keep myself accountable. There are two things that hold me back: 1. I'm easily discouraged, and 2. I need to get more organised. As for the learning of French itself, my biggest problem has got to be listening. Every other skill I'm reasonably okay at but listening just drives me insane. One day I understand quite a lot (more than 50%), then the next I understand hardly anything. It's just soul destroying.

To improve my listening skills I will: 1. Listen to RFI's "Journal en français facile", 2. Join Alliance Française to get listening material more suited to my level, 3. Work through Assimil - "Using French", 4. Do some dictation lessons on YouTube

If anyone has anyone has any advice it'd be most welcome.
Last edited by Gee1 on Sun Aug 07, 2016 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Cavesa
Black Belt - 3rd Dan
Posts: 3352
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: Gee's Language Log

Postby Cavesa » Fri Jul 15, 2016 8:47 am

Welcome and I wish you lots of fun and success!

Gee1 wrote:2. Join Alliance Française to get listening material more suited to my level,

??? How? By suited material, you mean to listen to other beginners, so that they can damage your pronunciation and take away precious time you could spend with native audio or living natives eventually instead?

RFI journal is good, Coffee Break French and similar podcasts could serve you well, lyricstraining.com is awesome, tons of other stuff. And the most suited to your level is the audio to Assimil or any other course you decide to use, at the moment, even though supplementing is useful (and there is no such a thing as "too much listening" ;-) )
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garyb
Brown Belt
Posts: 1158
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:35 pm
Location: Scotland
Languages: Native: English
Advanced: Italian, French
Intermediate: Spanish
Beginner: Greek
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1855
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Re: Gee's Language Log

Postby garyb » Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:15 am

Cavesa wrote:
Gee1 wrote:2. Join Alliance Française to get listening material more suited to my level,

??? How? By suited material, you mean to listen to other beginners, so that they can damage your pronunciation and take away precious time you could spend with native audio or living natives eventually instead?

RFI journal is good, Coffee Break French and similar podcasts could serve you well, lyricstraining.com is awesome, tons of other stuff. And the most suited to your level is the audio to Assimil or any other course you decide to use, at the moment, even though supplementing is useful (and there is no such a thing as "too much listening" ;-) )


I assumed joining the Alliance Française was to get access to their library, rather than to take classes? My city has an Institut Français where you can become a member and borrow books, CDs, DVDs, etc. It's also staffed by native French speakers so you can get a bit of speaking practice when you visit. I used to be a member because it was near my work, but then I changed job and it's not convenient for me now.

Coffee Break has non-native speakers and I don't think it's a very useful resource: for B1 it's too basic, and for the A levels there are better things anyway. RFI Français Facile is good for learning to understand news (it's not really easier than normal news radio like France Info, but the transcripts are the big advantage), but news is generally easier to understand than typical everyday conversation, so once it starts feeling easy it's probably time to move onto more challenging material like TV series.

Anyway good luck, your plan sounds good!

EDIT: Also, Français Authentique on YouTube might be useful at your level for listening. It's by a native speaker but aimed at learners so it's relatively (but not unnaturally) slow and clear, and the videos have subtitles. If your reading is stronger than your listening then I think any resource with subtitles or transcripts is very useful. I was in the same situation (I did French at school, which was very focused on written language) and that's what helped me with listening.
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Gee1
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:48 am
Location: Scotland
Languages: English (N), French (B2), Spanish (A2 / B1) German (formerly B1 - but have neglected it for years, so I'll be nearer A2 now)
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Re: Gee's Language Log

Postby Gee1 » Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:39 pm

Thanks for the tips. I listened to a couple of vids on "Français Authentique" and they seem to be just right; his accent is clear and he doesn't speak at a million mph. As for lyricstraining.com - it's brilliant!!

Thanks very much folks, much appreciated.
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Gee1
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:48 am
Location: Scotland
Languages: English (N), French (B2), Spanish (A2 / B1) German (formerly B1 - but have neglected it for years, so I'll be nearer A2 now)
x 3

Re: Gee's Language Log

Postby Gee1 » Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:58 pm

Hi folks,

TBH, I couldn't have picked a worse time to start a language log. I'm currently moving house and everything is up in the air at the moment. I've been listening to some RFI and some posts on "Français Authentique" but only for about 10 mins a night. I will still be busy over the next few weeks but when I'm finished I shall really make a concerted effort to improve my listening. I dream of watching a Jean-Paul Belmondo film without subs and being able to understand it with ease.

Anyway, I hope everyone's language endeavours are going well.
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