Lianne's 365 Days of French

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Lianne
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Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:29 pm
Location: Canada
Languages: Speaks: English (N)
Actively studying: French (low int), ASL (beg)
Wish list: Swedish, Italian, Esperanto, Klingon
Has also dabbled in: German, Spanish, toki pona, Swahili
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... p?p=127744
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Lianne's 365 Days of French

Postby Lianne » Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:20 pm

New year, new log! My last update on my old log was 2 years ago, so I figured it was time for a fresh start.

Introduction! My name's Lianne. I'm a half-French, half-mix-of-English-Scottish-Swedish-German-etc., Canadian, whose native language is English. Half my family speaks French, but I was raised fully anglo anyway. Sometimes I get really grumpy about that. I'm 30 years old, autistic, and a library technician in an elementary school. I have in the past struggled with language wanderlust quite a bit, but for quite a few years now I've been firmly focused on French. Despite this, I cannot carry on a conversation in French.

I just signed up for the 365 Day Language Challenge, starting tomorrow! This was perhaps an outrageous thing to do, as my French studies have basically lapsed over the last year. But I really want to get back into my studies and start making progress again, so I decided to jump right back in.

Updates since my last log:
- In 2016-2017 I took two intermediate French courses that were taught in French and were SUPER HARD and I think I learned a lot in them! I wish I could have taken more of them. I've probably lost much of what I gained, but on the bright side I still have the course materials!
- I finished the French Duolingo skill tree at some point. 2016 maybe? Anyway there's still lots of reviewing I can benefit from there.
- In May I signed up for the 2018-2019 Language Super Challenge, but haven't participated at all. I just never got going, the bot wasn't working right, I was locked out of the forum (I just got my password reset today! Yay!)... Basically it's been a lazy year for language learning. All I've really done in 2018 is a bit of Duolingo. But I've decided to start tracking for the Super Challenge anyway. I never complete it even with the full 20 months, so there's no way I will in 12, but I'll still track what I do.
- At the end of 2017, I did a job interview in French!! Well, they spoke French. I mostly responded in English. It was for a job in a French immersion school, that my French was nowhere near good enough for, but which they were having trouble filling so I was encouraged to apply anyway. I did not get the job, on account of my low French level. However, the interview did lead to me getting a job in an English school in February, which is my honest-to-goodness dream job!! This is not really related to my language learning, but makes me really happy, so I'm sharing it anyway. :)

So, 2019! The 365 Day Challenge requires me to study French for at least half an hour every day. I'm going to start off with Duolingo reviews, and maybe pulling out my course materials from all my French classes to go over. I know there's a lot of grammar that I need to work on. I've also got loads of reading materials readily available, as well as movies/shows I can watch. We'll see where the year takes me! Hopefully to a conversational level in French! :)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Editing to add this list of old logs I managed to track down at HTLAL (and one from here):
Lianne's Holiday Season with Toki Pona (2010)
Lianne’s TAC 2011 Fun Times - Team Ŭ (2011)
Lianne’s TAC 2012 - The Romantics (2012)
Lianne's 2013 Log - Esperanto (2013 - one whole post lol)
Lianne's 2014 Return to French (2014)
Lianne's Log, Mostly French (2016)

Wow, that was a sad look at my inconsistency over the years! :lol: That also might not be all my logs; I can't log in to HTLAL anymore so I'm dependent on Google searching for my old logs.
Last edited by Lianne on Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
19 x
: 171 / 365 365 Day French Challenge
: 25 / 100 French Super Challenge Books
: 38 / 100 French Super Challenge Movies

: 3 / 15 ASL 101

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Lianne
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Location: Canada
Languages: Speaks: English (N)
Actively studying: French (low int), ASL (beg)
Wish list: Swedish, Italian, Esperanto, Klingon
Has also dabbled in: German, Spanish, toki pona, Swahili
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Re: Lianne's 365 Days of French

Postby Lianne » Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:40 pm

I'm probably not gonna post every day all year, but since it's the New Year and I'm all enthusiastic and whatnot... :)

Day 1 complete! I spent 35 minutes reviewing some of the early skills on Duolingo to get the levels up to 3. I guess I usually spend only a few minutes at a time on Duolingo, because that felt like forever! I got through so many lessons! But I'm definitely gonna have to get some other forms of studying ready to go, because I'm not going to want to do that every day, as much as I like Duolingo. In particular, I'm thinking of getting into some intensive reading. I have a whole box of French novels I've picked up over the years, of varying difficulties, and this is something I always mean to spend more time on.
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: 171 / 365 365 Day French Challenge
: 25 / 100 French Super Challenge Books
: 38 / 100 French Super Challenge Movies

: 3 / 15 ASL 101

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Lianne
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Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:29 pm
Location: Canada
Languages: Speaks: English (N)
Actively studying: French (low int), ASL (beg)
Wish list: Swedish, Italian, Esperanto, Klingon
Has also dabbled in: German, Spanish, toki pona, Swahili
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Re: Lianne's 365 Days of French

Postby Lianne » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:44 pm

Day 2 complete! I actually did lots today. I don't wanna burn out (which I do sometimes), but at the same time do want to use my vacation time to an advantage. (I'm still on Christmas break; I go back to work on Monday.)

I started my intensive reading today. I went through my box of French books looking for something that was on the shorter side and on the easier side. I picked out a Buffy the Vampire Slayer book called La lune des coyotes. I worked on that for 90 minutes, and got through about 5 pages. :oops: That was looking up and writing down every word I was less than sure on. With the help of a dictionary I was able to understand pretty much everything. I think that passively, my grammar is pretty good, like I can almost always understand a sentence, if I know the words. So that's good! Reading is already my strongest French skill, and I feel like I could get quite good at it if I could boost my vocabulary sufficiently.

Then I did about 15 minutes of Duolingo. Might as well get a good streak going. :)
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: 171 / 365 365 Day French Challenge
: 25 / 100 French Super Challenge Books
: 38 / 100 French Super Challenge Movies

: 3 / 15 ASL 101

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Lianne
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Posts: 225
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:29 pm
Location: Canada
Languages: Speaks: English (N)
Actively studying: French (low int), ASL (beg)
Wish list: Swedish, Italian, Esperanto, Klingon
Has also dabbled in: German, Spanish, toki pona, Swahili
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Re: Lianne's 365 Days of French

Postby Lianne » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:38 am

Last night and this morning I did the Dialang French tests. There seem to be mixed opinions about those tests' accuracy here, but I figured regardless of how accurate it was, it would be useful to compare my scores at the beginning and end (and maybe middle) of my year of daily French, to measure my progress. Here are the scores I got:

Listening: B1
Writing: B1
Reading: C1
Structures: B1
Vocabulary: A2

Overall, these scores seem generous, particularly that C1 in reading! On all of the self assessments (where it asks you yes/no questions about your perception of your abilities in various circumstances) I got estimates of A2, so Dialang thinks I underestimate my abilities. That's probably true, but I still think the tests overestimated them. I feel like a lot of that is just the nature of a mainly multiple choice test that isn't being graded by a human.

Anyway, we'll see how my scores compare down the line!

As for my 365 Days of French, day 3 is complete! I continued my intensive reading, but while also half-watching a movie in English, lol. So it took 2 hours but I'd estimate I was focusing about 50% of the time, so let's call it an hour of study. (That also seems to fit how many pages I got through.)

Obviously, since I'm only a few pages in, I haven't noticeably improved yet. Still looking up lots of words, and occasionally having to slowly parse long, unfamiliar phrases. But there are some sentences I understand quite quickly.
Last edited by Lianne on Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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: 171 / 365 365 Day French Challenge
: 25 / 100 French Super Challenge Books
: 38 / 100 French Super Challenge Movies

: 3 / 15 ASL 101

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SGP
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Re: Lianne's 365 Days of French

Postby SGP » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:30 am

Lianne wrote:Obviously, since I'm only a few pages in, I haven't noticeably improved yet. Still looking up lots of words, and occasionally having to slowly parse long, unfamiliar phrases. But there are some sentences I understand quite quickly.
You might want to consider color-coding their individual parts from time to time.
Also, you could note some of those French Sentence Building Blocks of the This is a "Toughie" type, then adding some background information or some (more) example sentences.

And there is something else that could be done, too. Because it is a bit lengthy, even if I consider that method to be useful as well, it has been outsourced to another log.
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Lianne
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Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:29 pm
Location: Canada
Languages: Speaks: English (N)
Actively studying: French (low int), ASL (beg)
Wish list: Swedish, Italian, Esperanto, Klingon
Has also dabbled in: German, Spanish, toki pona, Swahili
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... p?p=127744
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Re: Lianne's 365 Days of French

Postby Lianne » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:36 pm

Day 4 complete! One hour of intensive reading got me to the end of chapter 1. I also did about 10 minutes of Duolingo reviews.

One thing I'm undecided on is what to do with my pages of notes where I've written down translations of unfamiliar words. While I sometimes enjoy flashcards, I don't have the best track record for using Anki for French. I find that so many words have multiple translations (whichever direction you're going in) that the cards get complicated or it's difficult to remember the meaning(s) I put on the card. I've had a similar problem with word lists, Goldlist method, etc.

On a related note, I was thinking that one thing that might be well suited to those sorts of methods is verb conjugations. There are lots of holes in my verb conjugation knowledge, particularly around tenses that I've hardly ever used. I wonder if having every conjugation of a verb on a flashcard or in a word list or what have you would be a good way of learning them. (Eg. nous saurions = We would know, vous sauriez = You (pl.) would know, etc.) I know you're supposed to learn the patterns so that you don't have to memorise them individually, but there are so many patterns, so many irregular patterns, and even when I know a pattern I can't always easily apply it. Thoughts on this?
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lavengro
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Re: Lianne's 365 Days of French

Postby lavengro » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:36 pm

Lianne wrote:...
On a related note, I was thinking that one thing that might be well suited to those sorts of methods is verb conjugations. There are lots of holes in my verb conjugation knowledge, particularly around tenses that I've hardly ever used. I wonder if having every conjugation of a verb on a flashcard or in a word list or what have you would be a good way of learning them. (Eg. nous saurions = We would know, vous sauriez = You (pl.) would know, etc.) I know you're supposed to learn the patterns so that you don't have to memorise them individually, but there are so many patterns, so many irregular patterns, and even when I know a pattern I can't always easily apply it. Thoughts on this?

Hi Lianne,

I found that approach to be of assistance particularly with irregular verbs, and for some forms of even regular verbs (particularly the subjunctive). I could usually puzzle out the correct conjugation of a verb given time, but I found the use of flash cards to really accelerate the learning process and it helped to lead to automaticity in recognition.

Good luck with your French studies!
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Re: Lianne's 365 Days of French

Postby Cavesa » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:15 am

That's why I've made a huge conjugation course on Memrise. I'll post here the link, when I'm on my computer and not phone.

It is based on a book full of the patterns + a few websites. It is not meant for most learners to use from start to finish. Pick the verbs you want and learn just the forms you want now, use the ignore button on the rest. Gradually unignore the new tenses as you learn them.

Unlike other courses of this nature, it is monolingual and huge. the point is automatic recall of the verb forms, so that you can focus more on the context of their use and not get stuck on them all the time like most learners :-)
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Re: Lianne's 365 Days of French

Postby Cèid Donn » Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:01 am

Drilling conjugation is really the only thing that works for me in terms of getting good with verbs, because with reading and other media, you will get exposure to a small portion of forms that are used all the time while you may not get any exposure to lesser used forms. So really, it comes down to drilling in whatever way you can do it. And I say that as someone who avoids drills as much as possible. I prepped for a Latin proficiency test ages ago by literally walking around everywhere with a deck of handwritten index cards with Latin conjugations written on them and reciting them aloud--on walks, walking around campus, at the grocery store, etc. Gawd, I have memories of me sitting at local restaurants alone going through those cards. Just a college chick with a plate of hummus, an iced tea and my Latin conjugation cards--I was totally living the dream. :lol: I aced my test but it felt borderline neurotic, so I have avoided drilling since. But now my own gaps with conjugation is very noticeable in my more advanced language, and especially with French, I've had to give in and go back to drilling. For Gaelic, I've been using Memrise courses but with French, I've been using this site for practicing online, and it's very convenient and good, once you figure out how to use it. But I would like to check out Cavesa's course too.
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Lianne
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Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:29 pm
Location: Canada
Languages: Speaks: English (N)
Actively studying: French (low int), ASL (beg)
Wish list: Swedish, Italian, Esperanto, Klingon
Has also dabbled in: German, Spanish, toki pona, Swahili
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... p?p=127744
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Re: Lianne's 365 Days of French

Postby Lianne » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:23 am

Thank you all for the advice! I will try out some methods of drilling those conjugations.

Day 5: I did a variety of activities today. Spent 15 minutes on my reading. Then spent 2 hours and 15 minutes watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel with the French audio. I've been gradually going through the series in French for the last couple of Super Challenges. If I can finish the series this year, I could actually complete the video portion of the Super Challenge for the first time ever! I'm on season 4 of Buffy and season 1 of Angel, so I think I have roughly the right number of episodes left. Finished off the day with 15 minutes of Duolingo. Total time: 2 hours, 45 minutes.

I had a thought, regarding my return to work on Monday. Normally I listen to audiobooks on my commute, which is a little over a half hour walk each way. I recently came across my Pimsleur French recordings. I have completed French 1 once, I think, but never got past the beginning of French 2. I don't even know if it's worth it to go back to something so intended for beginners, but on the other hand it would only take 3 weeks of commutes to refresh French 1, and then I could try out 2 and 3. I also have the Michel Thomas recordings, and have in the past also finished the beginner course in that but not the Language Booster or Vocabulary Builder. So those are some options that I could squeeze into my commutes by sacrificing my audiobooks (temporarily), and get a bit of speaking in, if only to myself.
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: 171 / 365 365 Day French Challenge
: 25 / 100 French Super Challenge Books
: 38 / 100 French Super Challenge Movies

: 3 / 15 ASL 101


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