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TAC ’15 French Spanish Celtic Adv Study

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sctroyenne
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3991 days ago

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

 
 Message 225 of 336
06 February 2014 at 5:52pm | IP Logged 
I had another lesson last night. I finished another text which was much better than my
last one. Ironically, this was because I had more trouble thinking of what to write
this time. Since I didn't want to write about the whole world in my little text, it was
much easier to keep my writing from becoming too complicated. My tutor praised it quite
a bit and then proceeded to tear it apart. It was filled with mistakes, but she started
insisting on flawless style and logic, second-guessing every word choice, trying to tie
everything together much better, making arguments airtight, etc. I find that the
average standards for writing in French are much higher than in English. Texto and
chatspeak aside, which can be truly awful, I've found that people without advanced
degrees or even a License write much better than the average American. They seem
to demand much more precision than an average American teacher/professor who can be
dazzled with writing that's makes grammatical sense and has at least a bit more
coherence than a senile person's manifesto. I'll have to put a lot more thought into my
writing in French than I'm used to.
1 person has voted this message useful



Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3766 days ago

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

 
 Message 226 of 336
06 February 2014 at 8:32pm | IP Logged 
Your impressions are right. I've tried writing at lang-8 and people often want to correct
my 'intentions' apart from my grammar or even my style.
1 person has voted this message useful



agantik
Triglot
Senior Member
France
Joined 3235 days ago

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

 
 Message 227 of 336
06 February 2014 at 10:04pm | IP Logged 
It´s certainly due to the tradition of the French essay known as "dissertation" which is required in whatever
subject you study (French, philosophy, history, English...) Without being chauvinistic, it´s nice to know French
people can still be good at something in the middle of a depressingly low spirited tendancy in France ;)
1 person has voted this message useful



sctroyenne
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3991 days ago

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

 
 Message 228 of 336
07 February 2014 at 5:41pm | IP Logged 
I went to a Francophone gathering last night! Unlike Meetups, almost everyone there was
actually French which was great. I held my own pretty well, if I may say so myself. They
meet up quite often so I'll be able to get a bunch of speaking practice in.
2 persons have voted this message useful



sctroyenne
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3991 days ago

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

 
 Message 229 of 336
14 February 2014 at 7:12pm | IP Logged 
Look at the surprise package I received yesterday!




4 persons have voted this message useful



sctroyenne
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3991 days ago

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

 
 Message 230 of 336
21 February 2014 at 5:46am | IP Logged 
Another week of racking up hours of language contact. I'm still getting all of my basic listening in - I'm not always paying full attention but it does keep English from bleeding in.

I had another French lesson last night. I procrastinated quite a bit on my writing assignment so I had to just completely cut a bunch of stuff I had intended on including. I think this turned out to be a good thing as my main writing sin tends to be over-complication. She started off by complimenting me on my argumentation skills, saying that it shows that I must have done well in writing in English in school. Then she proceeded to rip through my paper. I'll repeat what I said before - the French are much more demanding when it comes to the average person's writing style than Americans. Grades have become so inflated that anything that makes basic sense can get an A (*maybe* a B if there are some logic errors or undeveloped ideas). Meanwhile the French have the infamous 20 point system that constantly reminds students how far they are from perfection.

I think I'll focus on writing shorter compositions so I can really work on the style. And I'll be sure to remember to never miss a chance to use a logical connecter if I can. Not only does it earn major points but as a foreigner with less than airtight logic skills, you can't be too unambiguous. I can also see a difference in approach - I tend to start with free writing and jotting down notes as I read, then I assemble them into a logical order and develop the structure from there. She showed me how I should be taking an article, copying down all the key words and transferring those directly into my own writing. She didn't go into outlining but I'm sure she'd favor starting from a clear outline first rather than trying to corral all my ideas into a loose structure. I think for reading I'll also seek out more editorial debates (one paper publishes an article, an editorialist at another paper responds to it, someone else responds to the response, etc). In writing responses to articles she gives me, that's essentially what I'm doing.

I got in some explicit Irish study time. I'm feeling pretty motivated these days so hopefully I can make some good progress. I came *this* close to being able to speak with an Irish speaker this week at the language conversation meetup. TG4 just put my favorite episode of Aifric back up today here. They cycle through the episodes in order, posting a new one once every 1-3 days and taking the oldest one down. What's actually good about that, rather than having access to any episode whenever I want, is that by the time I make a full cycle I've learned quite a bit more and I can notice the difference in how much more I can pick out. It's really motivating!

I've also been contemplating methodology a lot with Language Hunters and Where are Your Keys for both my own learning and for teaching ESL. I keep looking for "set ups" and coming back to the question, "What can you *do* in the language?" Gesturing for the question form whenever I'm prompted to come up with it in Gaeilge gan Stró is really helping me remember to start my sentence with "An". I forget all the time otherwise. The question-answer format is really good for learning basics of grammar and for developing conversational skills, especially in a language like Irish with the morphology that comes with putting statements into question form and for learning how to respond affirmatively/negatively.

No Spanish so far, other than maybe a short conversation at the language meetup. I'm thinking of booking a Guatemala trip soon, though. I calculated my PTO hours for everything I want to do in the coming months/year and I should be able to fit it in. It may be time for me to bite the bullet, buy a plane ticket and book my course...
1 person has voted this message useful



sctroyenne
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3991 days ago

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

 
 Message 231 of 336
24 February 2014 at 6:06pm | IP Logged 
My ESL lesson was cancelled this weekend so I was able to visit the Irish study group
for the first time in a few months. We tried out Language Hunters Tea with Grandpa.
There were a few hics with people not understanding at first and wanting to ask why we
were saying things certain ways but by the end you could see they were having no
trouble with the different forms - questions, answers, statements. I'll be trying to
collaborate with them to develop the game.

I've been making progress with Gaeilge gan Stró. I think I can probably "finish" the
book within about two weeks if I keep this pace up (though not necessarily master it).
I can probably start thinking of ordering the intermediate book, which I'm pretty
excited about!

I ordered a Dora the Explorer DVD from http://deaonline.deastore.com/ which includes an
Irish language track among others. It says it should be delivered by the first week of
March though it hasn't shipped yet so I may have to endure their long shipping times.
But it's free international shipping so I'm not complaining too much.
1 person has voted this message useful



sctroyenne
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3991 days ago

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

 
 Message 232 of 336
25 February 2014 at 8:16pm | IP Logged 
I was feeling pretty good about my progress in Irish so I decided to check out the sample
chapter from the online version of the intermediate edition of Gaeilge gan Stró. And as
always with Irish, looking ahead turned out to be a mistake. The intermediate edition has
a lot of review but all the conversations and talking head sections are quite a bit
longer (plus there are two more conversations per unit) which makes a big difference.

It's funny the difference with Spanish. From the beginning I could go in over my head and
feel encouraged that it was perfectly understandable thanks to all the hard work I've
already done in French. But with Irish I still need to take it bit by bit so as to not
become overwhelmed.


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