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TAC ’15 French Spanish Celtic Adv Study

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SwedenRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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4250 posts - 5710 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Irish, French
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 Message 217 of 336
16 January 2014 at 6:06pm | IP Logged 
Wow, I held that quick grammar in my hand when I was in Ireland but thought that I were better off with my own resources. Now, six months later, I can definitely see that this quick guide would come in handy.

Edited by jeff_lindqvist on 16 January 2014 at 6:06pm

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Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4075 days ago

739 posts - 1312 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Spanish, Irish

 Message 218 of 336
23 January 2014 at 6:03pm | IP Logged 
I went through the Language Hunters Irish "First lap" videos the other day which
included some stuff I hadn't done during the weekend. Some of them were pretty
challenging but I got through them and watched some Aifric immediately after. Just like
after I returned from the weekend, I was able to focus much more on the verbs at the
start of statements and prepositional pronouns at the end. And I think with that focus
helped me also notice other vocabulary I've already learned as well. I really like
getting a lot of repeated listening practice early on this way. In addition to being
entertaining, Aifric has been great for demystifying the language for me.

As for French, I'm working on some compositions and making use of my resources to
practice new locutions, my collocation dictionary to find some more precise vocabulary,
and my Bescherelle guide for style to make my writing more concise and less awkward.
I've been enjoying some YouTube videos - there are a few sketch groups producing videos
now such as Golden Moustache (enjoyed Top Wesh and Pokémon : L'Invasion), Palmashow, Le
Dezapping du Before, etc. They're not all brilliant but there's some funny stuff in
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Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4075 days ago

739 posts - 1312 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Spanish, Irish

 Message 219 of 336
30 January 2014 at 10:24pm | IP Logged 
I had my second lesson last night with the French tutor. What was interesting was that
after a discussion here in another log about when to use "tu" and when to use "vous"
(wherein I had said that the tutor and I used "vous"), she used "tu" with me in this
session. But then in an email right after she went back to "vous". It's a funny thing.

I had written a response to an article she had given me about the manifs plaguing
Hollande's/the PS's term and what it means for France. It wasn't anywhere near a
completed, polished state (I was still re-organzing and adding things on the ride over)
as it was just the sort of thing I get overwhelmed writing. What made it harder was
listening to news and radio programs all week added new layers to the issue each time
which just made it more complicated.

Her assessment was pretty much spot-on - very good, varied vocabulary but sentences
that are way too long and complicated (which is how I write in English as well so no
surprise there). She spent some time helping me make my writing lighter. I'll be using
my Bescherelle L'essentiel which has a section on style to help edit my next text. I
found that I really hit the limits of my vocabulary when writing, especially my active
vs passive vocabulary. I'm constantly sputtering as I write with this script going in
my head:

"Oh I know a word that would be great here but I can't remember it. Let me think of it
in English. Well, now I don't remember English anymore. Oh well, I'll use this
different word. But I'm not sure I'm using it right here. Which preposition do I need
here? Let me do the Google test. Oh, you can use both, let me see if there's something
that says which can be used when. Ok, got it, now let me get back to writing. Damn, now
I've forgotten what I wanted I say in the first place."

It's also good for speaking. Usually in a normal lively conversation once you've made
your point clear but you don't know quite how to finish the sentence or the thought
someone will take over. She doesn't, or at least she kind of will start to but then
will stop and insist that I finish my sentence. She also sets a pretty high standard
for how caught up with the news I should be so I'll be doing that a lot. Though I'm
afraid my news junkie habits in English are getting to me in French, especially with
the whole Dieudonné controversy and the Jour de Colère protests, etc. Sometimes for the
sake of sanity it's just better to turn off the hose.
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United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4075 days ago

739 posts - 1312 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Spanish, Irish

 Message 220 of 336
01 February 2014 at 10:22pm | IP Logged 
Monthly Recap: January 2014

It's been one month so it's a good time to make an assessment of my progress thus far.

I've been tracking my study time with the app ATracker, which is a first for me. It's really good to be able to see the hours I'm putting in and figure out what adjustments I need to make. The app allows me to export the raw data but I can't quite figure out how to manipulate it in Excel the way I want. But I can also export the app's charts and graphs which I'll do for this month.

My study/exposure time by week:

A breakdown of what I've done (have to split into two images so I can list all the tasks I tracked):


So that's a total of 153 hours and 10 minutes, an average of 4.96 hours a day, broken down as follows:

French: 126 hours 16 minutes
Active time (speaking, writing, private lessons): 14 hours 23 minutes
Study time (vocab, grammar): 9 hours 25 minutes
Passive immersion time (listening, reading): 102 hours 28 minutes

Irish: 16 hours 43 minutes
Study Time (vocabulary, courses): 3 hours 59 minutes
Passive immersion time (listening): 12 hours 44 minutes

Spanish: 45 minutes
Passive immersion time (listening): 45 minutes

Notes, Reflections, and Goals:

So I had expected to continue on with my Irish study from before but French just took over. Towards the end of the year a bunch of shows on Canal+ posted their end of year specials which got me into the habit of listening to French all the time. I started thinking about my goals in French and how my contact with the language hasn't been nearly sufficient enough lately to progress at the C1 to C2 level so I started taking more serious measures to do something about that. I started private lessons once every two weeks with a teacher at the Alliance Française, I signed up for a history seminar, and I've been listening to podcasts and news at work. A local francophone group (mostly native French people rather than learners such as at Meetups) restarted their Thursday night meetups which is great for me so I ought to get some more speaking practice in. Since the main way I can get hours in is by listening at work and during commutes, my passive contact time is always going to be way higher than my deliberate study and active production time but I wonder if I shouldn't be trying to balance that out a bit more. Also, I'm thinking of maybe dropping most of my vocabulary study in favor of doing more reading. What does everyone else think?

I didn't make as much progress in Irish as I would have liked. I haven't worked with my methods in quite a while and I should go back to doing that regularly but it's hard to strike a balance. Even if I don't do a lesson every day I should manage at least a few times a week if my hope is to get up to at least an intermediate level. I have continued watching a lot of Aifric, though, and it does help. I can watch the episodes over and over again without getting sick of them which means I keep picking up more stuff. It helps make the language seem less difficult and I think by doing a lot of listening my listening skills won't lag far behind my other skills, which I think is important.

Spanish looks really sad right now, though I wasn't planning on focusing on it this month anyway. I did marathon my Por Ella Soy Eva DVDs right before the end of the year so I got in a good 14 hours of listening practice at the end of December, which doesn't show here. I also spoke a bit in Spanish at the last language meetup I went to which didn't get tracked. It was maybe for about 10-20 minutes so nothing major but good to see that I could do it.

So that was January. I think I'll go over the ACTFL tasks I posted earlier to see if there are any I want to focus on to give my study more direction. My goals in French will be reading and writing more, with some deliberate study, in Irish I'll be trying to get more course/method time in, and Spanish I'll be trying to squeeze in wherever I can though I'm still not focusing on it yet.
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Joined 3319 days ago

217 posts - 335 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Italian
Studies: German, Norwegian

 Message 221 of 336
02 February 2014 at 8:00am | IP Logged 
Good job and quite impressive too! I love your pie chart!
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Joined 3850 days ago

3335 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 Message 222 of 336
03 February 2014 at 9:46pm | IP Logged 
I would drop any vocabulary studies in favor of more reading. If you managed to read on
the subjects that encompass the vocabulary you need the most, then all the better. I
really don't do SRS after a B1 stage.

I don't know if you read extensively or intensively, but even if you don't want to read
intensively, you could try working on specific words, more important ones a little bit
detailedly. For example, you could google on them and find other usages. I do that a lot
with idioms. That would make up for the vocsbulary study.
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Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4075 days ago

739 posts - 1312 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Spanish, Irish

 Message 223 of 336
04 February 2014 at 1:44am | IP Logged 
Merci agantik !

I've started my experiment of dropping vocabulary study in favor of more reading. We'll
see how it goes!
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Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4075 days ago

739 posts - 1312 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Spanish, Irish

 Message 224 of 336
05 February 2014 at 3:59pm | IP Logged 
So far this month I've blown my stats out I the water. That's the beauty of keeping track of your hours - not
only are you able to see concrete evidence of what you've done but you're also inspired to compete with
yourself. A big boost to my listening hours has come from watching Face au doute, a show that fictionalizes
true stories and presents them with actors. It's delightfully cheesy and I love it.

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