PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

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Carmody
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Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Postby Carmody » Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:27 pm

he Alliance Française has offered that I either make an appointment to review my exam with the next two weeks or be provided with some (sounds more general) feedback via email (also within the next two weeks). I will take them up on this offer.
That sounds great!

But even without that, sitting for the exam must have been tremendously helpful to you for learning what it is you don't know and what you need to work on.

Also, tremendously respect you for sharing the results with us all!

Thanks and best wishes for whatever you decide.
:D
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PeterMollenburg
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Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Postby PeterMollenburg » Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:50 pm

Carmody wrote:
he Alliance Française has offered that I either make an appointment to review my exam with the next two weeks or be provided with some (sounds more general) feedback via email (also within the next two weeks). I will take them up on this offer.
That sounds great!

But even without that, sitting for the exam must have been tremendously helpful to you for learning what it is you don't know and what you need to work on.

Also, tremendously respect you for sharing the results with us all!

Thanks and best wishes for whatever you decide.
:D


Thanks, Carmody. Yeah, taking stock of where I’ve gone wrong can only help my French.

As for the sharing, you’re welcome ;) .

I hope your French journey is going well, Carmody, as well as everyone else’s respective language learning journeys.
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Caromarlyse
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Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Postby Caromarlyse » Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:01 am

I've just joined the forum, but have been making my way through your log for a while. I was therefore sorry to hear you hadn't passed the C2 exam, but I'd echo what others have said that the offer of personalised feedback sounds like a great learning tool, potentially. Also, I wanted to try to encourage you not to disappear: I for one want to hear more of your adventures!
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PeterMollenburg
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Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Postby PeterMollenburg » Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:11 pm

Caromarlyse wrote:I've just joined the forum, but have been making my way through your log for a while. I was therefore sorry to hear you hadn't passed the C2 exam, but I'd echo what others have said that the offer of personalised feedback sounds like a great learning tool, potentially. Also, I wanted to try to encourage you not to disappear: I for one want to hear more of your adventures!


Thanks, Caromarlyse. Yes, I agree. I'd be mad not to get all the feedback I can from the exam.

I've been giving it some thought and I may start a new log. Under my newly planned log, I wouldn't necessarily lay this one completely to rest, as I do not believe the story for French with me ends here, or at least not the story of my French learning up to a *certified* advanced level. Still, any relevant updates here may be few and far between and be covered mainly in the new log. Why a new log then? I feel a good reason for a new log is that I'll be introducing a long-term focus on at least one other language apart from French. This log has been predominnantly a French mission with little room for other languages, even though they tried to weave their way into the picture.

In my new log French would still be present of course, alongside Dutch and maybe other languages. It'd be more like an evolution of this log of sorts with some old as well as new objectives and some other complex goals I've spoken about at times in this log that would be linked directly to advancing my chosen languages.

I guess I'll start it in the new year if that's what I decide (and I'm leaning that way currently).
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Carmody
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Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Postby Carmody » Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:12 pm

Those who are continuing on in French will certainly miss you.
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PeterMollenburg
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Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Postby PeterMollenburg » Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:49 am

DALF C2 EXAM FEEDBACK

Well, I had a choice between going over my exam in person or receiving feedback via email. While I initially chose the first option, I then decided on the second for a couple of reasons, one of them being having a written record I can refer back to in future as opposed to a meeting I'd likely forget the details of pretty quickly.

Here's the feedback word for word I received in my email a couple days back.

AF examiner wrote:Bonjour Steven,

Please find below my notes and feedback regarding your DALF C2 LSH exam (November 2019).
I have also attached the blank marking schemes for your information.

ORAL COMPREHENSION & PRODUCTION
While you didn’t achieve a high score in this part, your mark was enough to pass (25/50). Both examiners agreed that areas of improvement include :
« structure logique et efficace qui facilite l’écoute pour le destinataire » à this means working on organising your ideas in a clear and logical way
« recentrer ou élargir le débat » à it is expected that you build on ideas from the examiner and refocus or expand the discussion
Morphosyntaxe: that is to say, the grammar. At a C2 level, there should be nearly no mistakes and a variety of tenses and structures
Lexique: at a C2 level, there should be no approximations and the vocabulary should be precise and varied

WRITTEN COMPREHENSION & PRODUCTION
This is where you lost most of your marks (13/50). While you did respect the general situation and the register was suitable, the examiners suggest you work on:
“Capacité à produire un texte sur un sujet complexe” : the French « problématique » needs to be developed into the paragraphs, in reference to the documents and through personal arguments and examples, and finally answered in the conclusion
“Cohérence et cohésion”: similar to the speaking part, this is all about organising your ideas in a clear and logical way, using a variety of connectors and transitions
“Morphosyntaxe” : as above
“Lexique” : as above
“Aisance” : you need to be able to show flexibility in your use of the language by rephrasing ideas and using different linguistic structures. This will allow you to reach a higher level of precision to express slight differences in meaning

In conclusion, the examiners are confident that working on two main aspects of the exam would help you succeed :
Methodology : the expectations are high, to match the French academic tradition. It would be useful to check out the methodology of “la dissertation française”
Language: work on maintaining a constant level of grammatical accuracy and variety, and also on enriching your vocabulary with idioms, specialised words and synonyms.

Thank you again for your efforts, Steven. The DALF C2 is very challenging, and many native French speakers would have trouble with the methodology as well! We definitely encourage you to continue with your French studies and would be very happy to welcome you at the Alliance again in the future.

Kind regards / Bien cordialement,


I guess upon reading that, it's pretty clear that I am (edit: not at the C2 level. In the end I place myself again somewhere on the scale between B2 and C1, but where I am on that scale is anyone's guess.

While I'm in no way bitter about this, nor really that disappointed (what's the point of being disappointed as I cannot change the reality of the level of my French), I am over studying French only. I have little desire or capacity to continue to study French and only French with every spare second I have. I am confortable that I have done sufficient to establish French in my every day life as well as those of my children. I am ready to learn other languages now simultaneously for several reasons. And I think it will be healthier for my French to do so.

OTHER PLANS/ THOUGHTS/ LANGUAGES
While I hope my French continues to grow in the coming two to three years, I would not be too disappointed if it stagnates but means that the other languages I work on do some catching up and developing.

Of course other projects, ideas and things are in mind for the near future, so how much time I get to spend on language learning, or should spend on language learning is anyone's guess. I may find I flounder and get nowhere for a couple of years learning a lesson I already knew (don't take on too much at once). Still, as already mentioned, as long as I can maintain my French at this point, what's ahead of me in the coming couple of years is of little consequence, so I ought to listen to that and not take myself too seriously ;)

In many ways my French goal is well and truly achieved, but in many ways I've reached this point noticeably short of my target.

Many a wise polyglot's words are echoing around in my hollow cranium. I definitely could've done things differently to progress more rapidly, but I'm me, I was always going to do it my way and I was always going to learn from it. It has been both beneficial and detrimental to stick to my guns.

Lately, I've been doing my best to balance my language time between French, Dutch and Norwegian with no particular language being favoured. French is ever familiar and makes Norwegian look like sea level while French is Mont Blanc, towering over, in terms of status. Dutch is a very fit experienced hill climber and making efficient progress on well trodden paths, but hasn't ever reached such lofty heights as the Alps.

Norwegian is intriguing. Sooo different in terms of pronunciation compared to other languages I've studied and more of a challenge than I ever expected. I've not progressed much as time is now split between other languages and I've had other things going on as well. I'm realising that if I get anywhere with this language it could be a bit of a slower path than I anticipated, as I needed to dig for more resources appropriate to help me pinpoint the phonetics and beat them into my head (the beating hasn't started yet). I'm happy to plod along.

Resource-wise-
French- I want to complete French in Action. Why not? I want to, who cares. I've also been listening, reading, watching, doing some vocab, the usual stuff. With a knock to the ego with the exam, I'm feeling more like a good performing B2 than anything as I read and watch things but don't understand everything. B2, in the end, is not so bad, hey? ;)

Dutch- Vocabulearn, Hugo Dutch in 3 Months. Covering old territory, repaving the old roads, and quickly. Easier than knocking down trees and preparing for a new road. Eventually I'll meet new material, but please don't anyone dare tell me how to study now. I know what I want and what I need to do. I'm doing this my way. I'm also watching TV in Dutch here and there.

Norwegian-
Occasional TV, occasional audio (eg Pimsleur, or a podcast here or there for beginners), a smattering of reading over phonetics from a couple of courses - Hugo Norwegian and then the preferred Learn Nowegian by Sverre Klouman.

I'm toying with doing some Spanish too, but I should resist, as I feel if my schedule gets bigger outside of languages (and it is likely to), I'll be questioning why I started Norwegian.
Last edited by PeterMollenburg on Fri Dec 20, 2019 1:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Carmody
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Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Postby Carmody » Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:46 pm

Congratulations as always on your great accomplishment!

As to going ahead with French in Action I sincerely do not think it a worth while expenditure of your time. There is a tremendous amount of plodding, rote work which is part of the course and at your level the time could be better spent with other more focused courses.

They mentioned grammar -Morphosyntaxe-and I am curious what is you favorite grammar book?

Congratulations on having scaled the heights so very successfully.!
:D
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Caromarlyse
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Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Postby Caromarlyse » Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:21 pm

I'd say you're doing yourself down a bit to assess your level now as somewhere between B2-C1. From the feedback you got, it sounds to me that, had you had a bit more exam-specific preparation, you'd have got over the pass mark. From a purely selfish point of view, I'm glad you'll be continuing with the French studies, as I like to read about them, but I will be interested to follow your adventures into other languages too. I'm assuming this means you'll be staying on the forum?!
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PeterMollenburg
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Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Postby PeterMollenburg » Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:47 am

Carmody wrote:Congratulations as always on your great accomplishment!

As to going ahead with French in Action I sincerely do not think it a worth while expenditure of your time. There is a tremendous amount of plodding, rote work which is part of the course and at your level the time could be better spent with other more focused courses.

They mentioned grammar -Morphosyntaxe-and I am curious what is you favorite grammar book?

Congratulations on having scaled the heights so very successfully.!
:D


Thanks, Carmody for the FIA warning :?

As for favourite grammar book... I just do not have one for French. All grammar I have learned (or failed to learn) has come from the numerous various courses I've used as I proceeded through them and bookmarked them and/or made notes for future reference. Thus, such notes come from several sources. No one source stands out as my 'go to' or gold standard, sorry.

Thanks for the congratulations, Carmody and good luck with your learning!
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PeterMollenburg
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Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Postby PeterMollenburg » Fri Dec 20, 2019 3:44 am

Caromarlyse wrote:I'd say you're doing yourself down a bit to assess your level now as somewhere between B2-C1. From the feedback you got, it sounds to me that, had you had a bit more exam-specific preparation, you'd have got over the pass mark.


Maybe, maybe not, it's hard to tell, but thank you all the same, Caromarlyse.

Caromarlyse wrote:From a purely selfish point of view, I'm glad you'll be continuing with the French studies, as I like to read about them, but I will be interested to follow your adventures into other languages too. I'm assuming this means you'll be staying on the forum?!


I'm sure I'll be a about in some capacity, but how often, and what exactly, I'm not sure. Perhaps if I do create a new log as I have considered, I might just post less frequently. My concerns are oversharing which I have a tendency to do (the internet, like much technology, is both a gift and a curse. Although, I'm sure the powers that be already have a very thorough profile on me and everyone else, blogs or not, internet access or not), and not wasting time is the other main concern when I could be learning or doing something else useful. Three languages means I must really use my time wisely. Mind you, I know others can get some use out of my posts.
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