Sarafina wrote:I asked this question before. I got some nice answers but I'm someone that likes really specific advice with an estimated time frame of when to expect to reach certain milestones.
My listening is probably if I am being generous is probably at best scrapping B1. I've been watching French YouTubers, shows on Netflix and listening to some French podcasts. Although I don't do it consistently enough because I get frustrated by the lack of progress and just waiting for it to click.
Does anyone have any specific method/process to improve their listening quickly? How does one do active listening as opposed to passive listening? Does there any listening exercises that you would recommend? How does it take to see serious progress?
Does anyone know any resources that will needed for being able to having listening of around a C1 level?
The estimated timeframe based on my own progress (mainly) and progress I've read from others on this forum:
-start: somewhere around B1 or B2, with very little experience beyond the CDs that came with a coursebook and similar stuff
-Beginning the first tv series:really lost at first, getting used to it a bit during an episode or two, getting the gist is not that much of a problem
-By the end of the first season: a huge leap forward, a lot of details are clear too, but it is not that comfortable and tiny pieces all over the series are missing
-A few seasons later: very comfortable, almost as comfortable as in the native language
-A new series: a shock again, getting used to a new series is faster this time, but still requires a moment
-very comfortable in a season or two
and so on.
A realistic timefrime from B1/B2ish listening to C2 listening: 250-300 hours. I have no clue where to pin the C1 flag.
DALF: Even the C2 tasks are far from hard for someone with approximately this amount of experience with tv series (+ a bit of movies and other things mixed in the lot). Sure, other genres, like tv discussions, are great but they don't need to make a huge part of the listening routine, unless you want them to. Work on your vocabulary, your reading or work with courses secondarily helps with listening too (as you cannot understand spoken words that you don't know at all).
The preparation books may definitely be helpful before the exam, but the listening tasks are easy, once you get used to normal content for natives. I am actually very sceptical about the possibility of reaching C1 or C2 listening only
with the courses for learners. I hadn't done the listening part of my C2 DALF preparation books as it was easy and I didn't have time to waste. No problem at all, it was probably my strongest skill anyways, thanks to all the normal practice. (I wish I could talk like this about writing, that was a different story
A practical note: a few loooong listening practice sessions once a week help much more than short bits every day at the beginning. I don't think you can get the necessary momentum to move forward, rather than just maintain, but this is just one experience based opinion among many.
A catch: you need to get rid of subtitles and other crutches at some point and it will be discouraging. But you need to do it. The longer you postpone it, the later you'll get to it. I find it crazy that some people really wait with real use of the language until after a C1 exam.
I hope I didn't discourage you too much! The best news about all this: you can definitely reach this goal by having fun. By having fun for a few hundred hours. I had spread my 250 hours over three years or so. But I think half a year is possible, if you are in a hurry, don't need to spend majority of your French time on other aspects of learning it, and if you don't mind tv series addiction
The numbers with those "many zeroes" Elenia mentions are for reading. Thousands of book pages (I take usual smaller paperback pages as a unit, but who cares about the differences in font and text density and page size at this point. It would make a difference, if we were talking about a few dozen pages, not a few thousand). The starting point is again something like B1/B2, the point coursebooks tend to leave you at.
5000 is a really nice goal to get almost comfortable, to miss just "details" (even though quite a lot of them), but you really can improve the fluidity and speed and general comprehension with just that few books (5000 pages, that's just 10-15 usual fantasy novels).
10000 leads to solid comprehension with few unknown words (that usually don't matter much), speed and enjoyment improvement.
20000 and you'll choose the language version of your next book just by the price and cover design, no problem with French
To sum it up: It takes much more time and efforts than people think (and that is why they give up on extensive activities usually), but it is up to you how dense can your personal program be. It can take a few years. Or less (I can imagine a few fractures to be an ideal opportunity to devour a few thousand pages and spend a few hundred hours with a tv series, not that I'd wish anyone, including you and myself, anything bad). But it's fun. If it's not fun, you are not using the right tv series.