Ani's 2017 Log

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PeterMollenburg
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Re: Ani's 2017 Log

Postby PeterMollenburg » Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:30 am

Ani wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:I must apologise, as I definitely roped you into some of these courses, sorry :? I would advise you to go with FIA, since it appears to be the most versatile- audio, video, written exercises, readings, some drills. Best all round I think.


Haha no totally not your fault. FIA is definitely strongest in writing, which I keep saying is my goal for this year. BUT starting back with "Ce sont des animaux" seems kinda ridiculous. I don't have TONS of free time this year for seated book work... so I am still torn with "well then just get on with it" and "find a faster route" ... I can't think of any way to accelerate FIA. For example. I just flipped to Lesson 22 and I can fill in the writing exercises just straight off the top of my head, but I wouldn't get there until probably June if I do everything. On the other hand, there are at least some good things tucked inside that I missed elsewhere, and the practice of structured writing is something I really do need.


One rule I have for myself in wanting to complete material that seems a little too easy or that i've gone over before, is not to write anything that i've already answered previously and not to write answers to questions when I already am beyond that level of ability. Thus, skip writing things such as "ce sont des animaux", and it will speed up your progress. You could even skip audio an ANYTHING you already know in the workbooks and just read over them very briefly to make sure you do in fact already understand such concepts. Streamline the stuff you already know. You don't have to answer everything in writing, nor do you have to hear everything that has audio content available for it.

Spend more focused time on activities in FIA that introduce new concepts, vocab etc or push you more than that basic stuff.

I'm currently working through "DLI - Headstart for Belgium". It's so easy it's a joke, so I'm reading the conversations, doing only 1 in 20 activities if that, and even skipping the audio. As it is i'm wasting time, but i can't help myself. I want to tick it off my list, and I've been curious about the course for a while (i'm hoping the cultural notes will provide more useful or interesting content) but I'm absolutely not spending the rediculous amount of hours suggested to completed the course- "rediculous" because I'm well beyond it, otherwise the recommendation would make sense for an absolute beginner. Shhhh you didn't hear I'm once again falling into the 'easy language course trap'. In fact someone has stolen my username and password and this isn't even me, it's them! ;)
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Re: Ani's 2017 Log

Postby Ani » Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:16 am

PeterMollenburg wrote:[

I'm currently working through "DLI - Headstart for Belgium". It's so easy it's a joke, so I'm reading the conversations, doing only 1 in 20 activities if that, and even skipping the audio. As it is i'm wasting time, but i can't help myself.


Stop just stop! Lol well you just talked me out of FIA. Why on earth are you doing beginner head start French lessons for cultural information on Belgium? Just read a book, man. Read 5 books. By Belgian authors. Read an expat forum. In French. DLI Head Start is NOT even on the Big 5 list :)

So now that I am thinking about it, the audio drills of FSI would really help me. I think that is enough just to do it. I don't really want to learn to write French like an American college student. Although I still have trouble with some basics, it is pretty easy to spot the difference between native French writing and student writing even without obvious mistakes. FSI and GPdF it is :)

Also I really want to learn to write like a native French speaker, matching my own level of writing education in English. This makes me wonder how people learn to write in general. I write everything "by ear" with a few grammar rules in mind for checking overt my work or sorting out how to write a tricky concept (that's analytical grammar right?) But nearly every skill can be systematized, at least to a certain point.. So how exactly do you systematically learn a style of writing?
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Re: Ani's 2017 Log

Postby PeterMollenburg » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:13 am

Ani wrote: FSI and GPdF it is :)

I think you should add FIA and Mauger, and Assimil ;)

Ani wrote:Also I really want to learn to write like a native French speaker, matching my own level of writing education in English. This makes me wonder how people learn to write in general. I write everything "by ear" with a few grammar rules in mind for checking overt my work or sorting out how to write a tricky concept (that's analytical grammar right?) But nearly every skill can be systematized, at least to a certain point.. So how exactly do you systematically learn a style of writing?


Try "DLI - Headstart for Belgium" ;) You're writing might improve by leaps and bounds! Worth a shot I reckon ;)
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Re: Ani's 2017 Log

Postby Ani » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:27 am

PeterMollenburg wrote:
Ani wrote: FSI and GPdF it is :)

I think you should add FIA and Mauger, and Assimil ;)

Ani wrote:Also I really want to learn to write like a native French speaker, matching my own level of writing education in English. This makes me wonder how people learn to write in general. I write everything "by ear" with a few grammar rules in mind for checking overt my work or sorting out how to write a tricky concept (that's analytical grammar right?) But nearly every skill can be systematized, at least to a certain point.. So how exactly do you systematically learn a style of writing?


Try "DLI - Headstart for Belgium" ;) You're writing might improve by leaps and bounds! Worth a shot I reckon ;)



Bahaha .. I need to go to bed but now I am dying of laughter.
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Re: Ani's 2017 Log

Postby Elenia » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:49 am

Hey Ani,

Just check out examples of native French writing. Follow blogs, read both formal and informal blogs, find a forum or two. Read attentively, when you do read. Don't simply look for the meaning, see also how sentences are structured. Think very critically about it, about when certain words and structures are used and whether this is a general trend across the things you've read or specific to that particular writer.

And then write yourself. Write outside of the bounds of your courses. Write on different topics that interest you, or write 'responses' to all that input. Engage in a forum.

(Of course, I say all this but I don't really practice what I preach :roll: I follow some of my own advice, but not particularly rigourously. I don't know how natural my style is..."
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Re: Ani's 2017 Log

Postby Systematiker » Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:21 pm

What Elena said, for sure - but also don't be afraid to look for monolingual guides to developing a better writing style. It's a huge area in many languages, for students in schools, in universities, and even adults who find that they need some work on written expression and style. A quick Google search seems to show a lot of stuff like this on the Internet in French, about half of it starting from square one (likely because of la francophonie).
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Re: Ani's 2017 Log

Postby Ani » Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:19 pm

Elenia wrote:Hey Ani,

Just check out examples of native French writing. Follow blogs, read both formal and informal blogs, find a forum or two. Read attentively, when you do read. Don't simply look for the meaning, see also how sentences are structured. Think very critically about it, about when certain words and structures are used and whether this is a general trend across the things you've read or specific to that particular writer.

And then write yourself. Write outside of the bounds of your courses. Write on different topics that interest you, or write 'responses' to all that input. Engage in a forum.

(Of course, I say all this but I don't really practice what I preach :roll: I follow some of my own advice, but not particularly rigourously. I don't know how natural my style is..."


Paying attention to the format of what I am reading is definitely a weakness! Just like I can hear a song and tell you all about it but not actually have memorized any of the specific lyrics -- my brain just reprocesses it all :)

Maybe I should start a collection of writings by type? Have you ever written sentences/paragraphs based on a model for practice with form? I am thinking that might be a good exercise for me -- and a little easier to self-check.

Systematiker wrote:What Elena said, for sure - but also don't be afraid to look for monolingual guides to developing a better writing style. It's a huge area in many languages, for students in schools, in universities, and even adults who find that they need some work on written expression and style. A quick Google search seems to show a lot of stuff like this on the Internet in French, about half of it starting from square one (likely because of la francophonie).


Oh I should go look for some. I haven't found much that wasn't based on the advice of "read read read!, write more! Use action verbs!" ... Which isn't quite structured enough for me. But I am sure there are good things out there.

What I really need in my life is more books :)


-----

Mondays are so hard! I hate having to do real life. I'm tired and feeling guilty about everything. I realized today was the 23rd and I started hyperventilating. I can't believe this month went so fast. I have a bunch of paperwork I need to finish by the end of the week. I don't know why I didn't start it earlier (wait I do.. I procrastinate every single time because I hate it! :) ) Trying to motivate myself to do the things I need to so I can study more.

I did do a few hours last night of reading and Russian studyand a tiny bit of Finnish that involved picking up Assimil and re-reading the lessons I already know. Hoping to finish the book I am reading today but not sure hour much time I will have.

Off to make a cup of tea and educate my children....
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Re: Ani's 2017 Log

Postby Elenia » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:25 pm

Try checking out the reviews on Goodreads or babelio.fr for the books on writing advice. Also maybe search specifically for the blogs of authors you like?

As for your sentence idea - it sounds great! I harvest sentences (as I think probably everyone who has even looked at this site before knows!) and I keep on meaning to incorporate them, the words they use or the structures into my own writing. I've never done it systematically before. How exactly were you thinking of using sentences? Maybe we can share tips and motivation - we can perhaps try to post something on our logs each week?
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Re: Ani's 2017 Log

Postby Ani » Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:07 am

Elenia wrote:Try checking out the reviews on Goodreads or babelio.fr for the books on writing advice. Also maybe search specifically for the blogs of authors you like?

As for your sentence idea - it sounds great! I harvest sentences (as I think probably everyone who has even looked at this site before knows!) and I keep on meaning to incorporate them, the words they use or the structures into my own writing. I've never done it systematically before. How exactly were you thinking of using sentences? Maybe we can share tips and motivation - we can perhaps try to post something on our logs each week?



Those are good sites to check. I had forgotten about them. Thanks!

I don't have a great plan yet for using sentences, but I am pondering this in "real life" too, trying to figure out how to teach writing to my children. One of the better reviewed step-by-step methods is from Don & Jenny Killagon. You can see large previews of the books on Amazon (.com). I think I am going to buy the elementary school one as soon as I finish the aforementioned paperwork I need to fill out, and then I'll be able to talk about it a little better. The basic idea is breaking sentences, and then paragraphs, down into chunks and imitating the individual chunks to make new sentences. They just draw slash marks through the sentence separating off the subject, prepositional phrases, compound verbs, adverb clauses, etc. Through the process you end up both seeing and creating dozens (hundreds?) of sentence parts, and get a feel for how they are successfully combined by good writers (if you use good models). I don't want to restrict myself to middle school writing, but I thought to get started I'd work from a couple reading comprehension books I have that are full of poems, short stories, and excerpts for native speaking upper elementary/middle school kids. It would be a work in both grammar and vocab for me as well!

I am totally up for some sort of joint tip/motivation/writing sharing if we think of some way that it works. I see that you post your own writing on your log quite a bit, but unfortunately I can't read any of it :-p :lol:
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Re: Ani's 2017 Log

Postby Elenia » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:33 pm

Ani wrote:
Elenia wrote:Try checking out the reviews on Goodreads or babelio.fr for the books on writing advice. Also maybe search specifically for the blogs of authors you like?

As for your sentence idea - it sounds great! I harvest sentences (as I think probably everyone who has even looked at this site before knows!) and I keep on meaning to incorporate them, the words they use or the structures into my own writing. I've never done it systematically before. How exactly were you thinking of using sentences? Maybe we can share tips and motivation - we can perhaps try to post something on our logs each week?



Those are good sites to check. I had forgotten about them. Thanks!

I don't have a great plan yet for using sentences, but I am pondering this in "real life" too, trying to figure out how to teach writing to my children. One of the better reviewed step-by-step methods is from Don & Jenny Killagon. You can see large previews of the books on Amazon (.com). I think I am going to buy the elementary school one as soon as I finish the aforementioned paperwork I need to fill out, and then I'll be able to talk about it a little better. The basic idea is breaking sentences, and then paragraphs, down into chunks and imitating the individual chunks to make new sentences. They just draw slash marks through the sentence separating off the subject, prepositional phrases, compound verbs, adverb clauses, etc. Through the process you end up both seeing and creating dozens (hundreds?) of sentence parts, and get a feel for how they are successfully combined by good writers (if you use good models). I don't want to restrict myself to middle school writing, but I thought to get started I'd work from a couple reading comprehension books I have that are full of poems, short stories, and excerpts for native speaking upper elementary/middle school kids. It would be a work in both grammar and vocab for me as well!

I am totally up for some sort of joint tip/motivation/writing sharing if we think of some way that it works. I see that you post your own writing on your log quite a bit, but unfortunately I can't read any of it :-p :lol:


Well, even if we don't think of a way to work together we can motivate and encourage each other :) I can and probably should post translations, it's just that I'm lazy XD
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