Would achieving B2 in French be possible without traveling to the country?

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Re: Would achieving B2 in French be possible without traveling to the country?

Postby Kevin » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:07 pm

Excellent article! Will be sure to give it a full read soon.

Thanks again everyone for the helpful advice.
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Re: Would achieving B2 in French be possible without traveling to the country?

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:33 pm

Of course you can. I think the focus on in-country immersion is from the pre-internet days, when it was difficult to access native content. And you need native content to get to B2. Coursebooks can only take you so far.

Today, with podcasts and streaming TV, I can easily get as much native French content as I want. More than enough to replicate living abroad. Because let’s be honest, even when I was a student in Germany I probably only listened to three or four solid hours of German a day, and that was enough to get me to B2.

The hardest part will be getting enough speaking practice. But yes, it can be done.
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Re: Would achieving B2 in French be possible without traveling to the country?

Postby Adrianslont » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:27 pm

Cavesa wrote:
Kevin wrote:I do have several resources. Pimsleur, Assimil (both with ease and using), Teach Yourself, and FSI. I am thinking of completing Pimsleur and Assimil with ease before I dive into native materials and practice with people in person and online. But other than the resources I listed, I cannot say I know the optimal plan to achieve B2.

Try searching the forum a bit. There have been lots and lots of posts about this.
You might be especially interested in posts by PeterMollenburg, emk, Skynet, or others from the French learning group.

https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =26&t=1575

Truth be told, I have posted a list of my favourite resources so many times I can't even procrastinate like this anymore :-D So, I'll leave it to others or your searching, no offence meant.

Kevin, our fellow member smallwhite uses what I think is a very easy to adopt, practical, straighforward approach. She doesn’t keep a log but if you put her name in the search function and the terms “chinesepod” and “method” you will get half a dozen posts that detail her approach.

Of course here are many members that have much to offer - and I think it’s a good idea to look around the forum - but you need to devote lots of time to actually learning french!
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Re: Would achieving B2 in French be possible without traveling to the country?

Postby SM11 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:00 am

Kevin wrote:Would you say it is possible to achieve B2 proficiency in French without having to travel to the country extensively? If so, what advice would you offer to achieve B2 proficiency?


For sure that's possible, it won't happen overnight but you can do it. I don't know if you got the chance to travel in different countries already, but so many people speak English nowadays even without ever been to an English speaking country.

I think if you can really immerse yourself in a French environment at home, you can improve very fast. How can you do that? The idea is to make the French language an important part of your life so that you can’t help but learn it. Want to read news? Why not do it in French? Feel like watching a movie? See if you can find the French version ^^

As a beginner, you may have a hard time switching to French for some activities at first. If you read a book in French when you barely speak the language, you might have a hard time... That’s why it’s important to immerse yourself progressively. If, all of a sudden, you go from everything in English to everything in French, you won't understand any of the French and you'll easily become frustrated.

I think the best way to pratice your French at home is to use an app like Tandem or Hello Talk to have a conversation partner (if you don't know anybody who speaks French in your surroundings). Of course you need to step out a bit of your comfort zone at the beginning but hey, do you really want that B2 level or not ? You know, I think learning is really a matter of mindset. If you're truly willing to learn, then nothing's impossible.

The first time you speak to someone in French, you will probably get frustrated. You will have plenty of things to say but not enough words to express your thoughts. This will be even more frustrating if you find your conversation partner interesting. There is nothing more frustrating than wanting to talk to someone and not be able to do so ^^ But you shouldn’t give up. Whenever you feel the desire to switch to English, remember why you are speaking French, and remember that if you keep speaking French you will eventually get your B2 level (or maybe more). Never forget your goal.

And also, don't forget to study regularly everyday. Regularity is the key to learn anything in this world ^^ It's better to study 15 minutes every day than 1 hour a week. Use something that teach a bit of the most important grammar points, and also that's not too old-fashioned so that you're not completely lost when you talk to real French native. Indeed, there's quite a big difference with spoken French and written French, and French learners often get confused when they talk to natives because of that. You can read this thread about this topic if you want: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =14&t=5945
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Re: Would achieving B2 in French be possible without traveling to the country?

Postby patrickwilken » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:00 am

It's completely possible.

What you need to do is create a French microclimate around you. That involves getting access to French books, TV shows and the like. I wouldn't worry about go all out and switching your phone etc, but it's good to try to gradually replace some of the activities you are currently doing in English into French. I switched over to only German language TV when I started German a few years ago, and did absolute wonders.
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Re: Would achieving B2 in French be possible without traveling to the country?

Postby gsbod » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:46 pm

I reached a B2 level in Japanese without ever travelling to the country. It was the first language I properly attempted learning on my own, as an adult. It took me about 4.5 years to get there.

I think some of the critical success factors for me were as follows:
Finding some decent textbooks to work with early on
Finding sources for TV drama (which were not strictly legal and are sadly no longer available)
Finding good book shops in my own country where I could occasionally browse and stock up on supplies
Finding a really good Skype language exchange partner, who I worked with over several years. A really good Skype tutor would have done the same job, but at a higher price tag!

One word of caution, however. By the end I was working to get to B2 in Japanese simply for the sake of achieving the task. Without visiting the country, or developing long term face to face friendships with native speakers, or finding a reliable, legal source of audio entertainment, it was hard to maintain a deep connection to the language. I haven't touched it for years now and although it helped pave the way for more sustainable success with other languages, I am not sure it was worth it.
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