PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

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CompImp
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Re: Pete Mollenburg's Adventures in the Matrix in French

Postby CompImp » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:20 am

I've genuinely never seen someone change their mind so often.

Pick something and stick to it ! And if you spend a lot of time going over old rope on courses with limited language exposure it's no wonder you're not improving. You need to come to terms, and get comfortable, with the fact that if you continue to do language 'your way' you will never reach the really high levels. It's just not possible with courses.

I understand you like courses, but you really needed to ditch them 2 years ago, but you're stubborn. :D
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Re: Pete Mollenburg's Adventures in the Matrix in French

Postby PeterMollenburg » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:27 am

CompImp wrote:I've genuinely never seen someone change their mind so often.

Pick something and stick to it ! And if you spend a lot of time going over old rope on courses with limited language exposure it's no wonder you're not improving. You need to come to terms, and get comfortable, with the fact that if you continue to do language 'your way' you will never reach the really high levels. It's just not possible with courses.

I understand you like courses, but you really needed to ditch them 2 years ago, but you're stubborn. :D


Granted I change my mind a LOT, but ironically, if anyone has been consistent here, it’s me. Five years + of French almost exclusively. Consistent enough? Going over old rope with courses? Here’s my stats from last year below. Yes I’ve done a lot of courses, but I’ve done a lot of other activities too.

I might take forever to progress, but I have progressed. B2 in French is a not a weak achievement, it’s something, even if it does take me 10 times as long as the fastest learners.

Also, we’ve never spoken before, and your profile doesn’t reveal much. What grounds can you claim I need to move on? Have you reached B2 in an L2 without courses? If so, have you something meatier to share with me that might be of benefit, like how you achieved your language successes?

All in all I’m tired of defending my methods. People have seen me for long enough here, and been pleasantly surprised (almost willing to do more courses themselves) because of my success at times. It’s one thing to have a sound method that apparently gets one to C1 (or ‘advanced’ or whatever), but those people, methods etc, are not me. I do things my way, the way that motivates me, and that often means I chop and change my mind. So what, at least I continue to learn French.

However, you have a rock solid valid point, beyond B2 is a different story altogether. I know this, I have accepted this (what others have to say), I accept that every man and his dog wants me to put me into native content (only) already, some like you, like already 2 years ago. I get it, but it’s not going to happen. I don’t feel necessarily that the courses on my list will get me to C1/C2. They will help though, and people might or might not be surprised. I don’t know, all I know is I feel I must do them, because that’s what I want to do.

Perhaps I’m stubborn, perhaps I’m just me. You might get your wish though, I intend to stick to this plan (give me a month, tops ;) )

2018 TOTALS
Extensive reading: 194 hours 41min
Television: 178hrs 13min
Courses: 125hrs 18min
Audio courses (commuting): 98hrs 37min
Podcasts (commuting and other): 72hrs 34min
Exclusive vocab study: 24hrs 20min
Intensive reading: 23hrs 18min
Audio books: 6hrs 14min

TOTAL: 751hrs 52min

Not to mention speaking to my children - A LOT - every single day in French.
(no they are not native FR speakers as in they haven’t learned it from anywhere/one else but me and a few French kindergarten/playgroup sessions, and French children’s media, but my interactions with them are constant, in French, so at the very least I’m verbalising what I learn)
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Re: Pete Mollenburg's Adventures in the Matrix in French

Postby rdearman » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:51 am

It seems to me your trying to learn calculus by studying algebra. Lots of B1/B2 courses would logically just make you a better B2. I also don't see why you can't fit in Dutch into an extra half-hour a day. But just my opinion.
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Re: Pete Mollenburg's Adventures in the Matrix in French

Postby PeterMollenburg » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:40 am

rdearman wrote:It seems to me your trying to learn calculus by studying algebra. Lots of B1/B2 courses would logically just make you a better B2. I also don't see why you can't fit in Dutch into an extra half-hour a day. But just my opinion.


You’ve said it yourself before rdearman, that is, you’ve very strongly indicated that if you want to succeed in language X, don’t introduce other languages until you’re done and it seemed as if this came from your own experiences and struggles in moving forward with languages. As for my methods, as stated already, i’ll do things the way I want to despite the end result, despite what others have to say.

I was swayed very much so early on by those who kept trying to influence the way I learned (and out of kindness, which I utterly appreciated). I can’t thank this forum, as a collective enough for all the awesome tips and advice I’ve receive here. The opposition to my methods has been useful, and worthwhile.

This time round however, I’ll try it 100% my way, whether that means changing my mind in 2 days time or in 2 years, sticking to courses, introducing other languages or not. If people had the impression I was stubborn before, because I wouldn’t do what they thought I should do, (wait for it, this could be fit for a cheesy Hollywood one-liner where the hero, or is it the bad guy, with a cape on that reads, ‘language learner, for realz’), i’m going to do it 100% my way :?

As for squeezing in 30min Dutch. i’ve been informed in the past by experienced language learners here (what, now I’m prepared to listen to others, because it suits my argument ;) ? you bet!), that if one wants to make it to C1/C2, don’t bother with other languages, focus. They also, might’ve, just quietly, kind of, actually stated, as well, that courses should be almost completely left behind. Mind you, some of the courses on my list were deemed as exceptions, so that, kinda, half, counts. Huh? PM! Stop it! You’re listening to other experienced language learners again! Dammit, PM, you know everything, you know courses will take you to level W34+++ and that no-one else knows this yet as they’ve not done as many courses as you!

As trui posted recently, and I absolutely agree with, the CEFR levels are constantly under-played. Not trui’s words exactly, but the point that it’s an f***ng long way from B2 to C1.

That Luca polyglot dude, says from B2 to C1, if living in country and doing 10 hours a day of study will take you around 6 months provided you’re pushing your limits and diversifying your activities, working your weaknesses etc. Okay, given that I want to do a trillion courses, I need to add another year to that, that’s a year and 6 months. Given that I don’t have 10 hours/day, nor am I in French-country-land-ment, let’s add another couple years.... umm, no room for Dutch, no time for writing anything more... must go...
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Re: Pete Mollenburg's Adventures in the Matrix in French

Postby rdearman » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:08 pm

I think you have misunderstood my point. My point was that courses do not go to C levels and therefore regardless of how many of them you study or for how long you are not getting the content that you need. It is like studying algebra books and expecting to learn calculus it will not happen.
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Re: Pete Mollenburg's Adventures in the Matrix in French

Postby PeterMollenburg » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:18 pm

rdearman wrote:I think you have misunderstood my point. My point was that courses do not go to C levels and therefore regardless of how many of them you study or for how long you are not getting the content that you need. It is like studying algebra books and expecting to learn calculus it will not happen.


No, I did understand that, I just neglected to answer it clearly.

Edit: Some courses are very much relevant to the C-levels. CLE’s Grammaire Progressive du Français - Niveau Perfectionnement, Part/Vol./Book 4 of Mauger’s Cours de langue et de civilisation françaises might scrape in to the C-level standard, all the C-level exam prep books.

Such content is condensed advanced C-level relevant material. Vocab and grammar relevant to C-levels can be rare in some native content. Books/courses that focus only on that content can be utter gold mines.

But your point is true, I feel, most of these courses won’t take one to C-levels alone. Exposure to and use of native content with some explicit advanced courses for intensive study is probably the ideal balance, but again, too little time, too stubborn, must do them all, now!!
Last edited by PeterMollenburg on Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pete Mollenburg's Adventures in the Matrix in French

Postby garyb » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:25 pm

PeterMollenburg wrote:That Luca polyglot dude, says from B2 to C1, if living in country and doing 10 hours a day of study will take you around 6 months provided you’re pushing your limits and diversifying your activities, working your weaknesses etc. Okay, given that I want to do a trillion courses, I need to add another year to that, that’s a year and 6 months. Given that I don’t have 10 hours/day, nor am I in French-country-land-ment, let’s add another couple years.... umm, no room for Dutch, no time for writing anything more... must go...
So if you could get there in X hours with method A, or reach the same destination in X+Y hours with methods A+B... Why bother with B? I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with courses, but you seem to be saying yourself that they'd just slow you down. I'm not seeing their purpose here, except the C1 preparation ones if you're aiming for the exam.
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Re: Pete Mollenburg's Adventures in the Matrix in French

Postby PeterMollenburg » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:36 pm

garyb wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:That Luca polyglot dude, says from B2 to C1, if living in country and doing 10 hours a day of study will take you around 6 months provided you’re pushing your limits and diversifying your activities, working your weaknesses etc. Okay, given that I want to do a trillion courses, I need to add another year to that, that’s a year and 6 months. Given that I don’t have 10 hours/day, nor am I in French-country-land-ment, let’s add another couple years.... umm, no room for Dutch, no time for writing anything more... must go...
So if you could get there in X hours with method A, or reach the same destination in X+Y hours with methods A+B... Why bother with B? I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with courses, but you seem to be saying yourself that they'd just slow you down. I'm not seeing their purpose here, except the C1 preparation ones if you're aiming for the exam.


Well, I do feel, they will improve my French, but you’re right, I’ve identified it as inefficient. I’m thorough, I like the intensive focus on grammar, the audio is usually great for shadowing, the drills are great for automaticity and output.

And, I never completed all the courses, I wanted to, this is unfinished business - but wisely it’s a short list even at 21. Given, most of these courses are beyond the level of those I have already completed, there will be much benefit. Rather than removing the training wheels and going it alone, the training wheels will shrink gradually. You can still ride like a true riad cyclist with training wheels, it’s just not accepted, and there will be some limitations, but once they come off, watch out! (actually, not really, i’d look stupid, idiotic, and stiupid again, but it gets me out on the road!)
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Re: Pete Mollenburg's Adventures in the Matrix in French

Postby trui » Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:03 pm

I don't see what's wrong with some courses, especially grammar and vocab courses, if you keep it around your 2018 ratio.

In 2018 you spent, on average, 2 hours a day on French, with 30 minutes being courses, and 1 hour being pure native content (and I'm not even counting the commute audio podcasts!). 30 minutes on something you love and which keeps you motivated? Sounds good to me!

Some people need to go to school to get the motivation to learn a skill for an extended period of time (or in this case, use courses), some people can do without it. Some people just need their anki even when at times they could spend some of that time better elsewhere. Some people can't stand anki even though it could help at times.

If we all tried to learn a skill in the most 'efficient' way possible (not like we know exactly what way that is), then we'd probably give up on said skill within a week! Of course people can invest a bunch of time into one thing and never get anywhere, but Peter isn't doing that. He's reading, he's watching television--activities everyone can agree are beneficial.

My only advice would be to not underestimate vocabulary. So try and incorporate some way of actively developing it. But most of all, do what keeps you going. :)
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Re: Pete Mollenburg's Adventures in the Matrix in French

Postby rdearman » Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:31 pm

I think your bicycle analogy is wrong. I think what you actually want to do is drive a Formula 1 race car and you think spending more time on your BMX will get you there.

The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result
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