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PMs TAC 2015 crazy? French course mission

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PeterMollenburg
Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3877 days ago

821 posts - 1273 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: FrenchB1

 
 Message 9 of 451
17 January 2014 at 2:12am | IP Logged 
Jeffers wrote:
I'm just saying hi, as a fellow member of the 2nd French TAC team. Like you, I have a
history of collecting courses... it's almost like I feel buying the course will teach me the language!


Thanks for saying hi Jeffers, I'll look up your log later in the day... Glad to see i'm not alone in course
collecting, although not so glad for you necessarily as it's a bit of an 'affliction' and i'm sure you know what I
mean there. Good luck with your French studies and keep moving forward (don't stop!) as so many others
say when it comes to language learning :) I'm sure you know this tho, just giving you a bit of moral support
that us language course collectors need indeed!

Jeffers wrote:
Are you doing anything with FIA, other than watching the videos?


With FIA I'm doing everything... video, audio, TB's and WB (also have study guide which i refer to when
necessary and do the end of lesson summary quizzes). Add that with my perfectionist ways and it takes a
long time for me to get through each lesson. I feel i must comprehend close to every word before being
satisfied with progressing to the next lesson
1 person has voted this message useful



PeterMollenburg
Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3877 days ago

821 posts - 1273 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: FrenchB1

 
 Message 10 of 451
18 January 2014 at 8:16am | IP Logged 
Thoughts on studying a lot of hours (ok 5hrs/day)...

After some consistent study i've come to the conclusion that 5hrs a day is unrealistic. Okay so I knew this to a degree already and summazed that 3hrs a day would end up being my average (hopefully)... However now that I've been studying consitently I feel i can let go of my 'crazy extremes' of i MUST do such and such EVERY day, which is a knee-jerk reaction to my no hours at all study regimes... (I have a history of being ALL or NOTHING). So I'm reaching a point of contentment now thinking I just remain consistent. Some days i'll get 5hrs done, some days maybe only 1 or 2, or none (hopefully that really is rare). As long as I stay focused and attempt to do what is realistic each day. Particularly with a baby on the way and other areas of life needing attention (5hrs requires TOTAL focus on study, sometimes lack of sleep and other things in life tend to suffer (ie it's unrealistic and perhaps selfish when one really is not accountable to only themselves). I'm sure some of you will be thinking "duh we could've told you that". Unfortunately I learn things the hard way, and try ever so hard to disprove what I innately know is likely to be the truth in the end anyway. So i've reached a moment of truth. I've had trouble with the concept of balance, actually not the concept, rather the application of it....

On another note in terms of how i approach my 'desk study' My first hour is usually Assimil NFWE- fantastic course! Followed by FIA (legendary). I feel I get more out of Assimil than anything else at the moment, and I really enjoy FIA. The remaining hours (if i get to them) within a day depending on how much time I have and in no partic order usually are made up of FSI (growing on me now that i've passed the very simple stuff), Hugo (yeah still reviewing, but with a target 5hrs a day i often actually don't get to it), Fluenz (best cd rom course i've come across, but still limited somewhat).

Actually each hour i study is only 45-50mins on each of these courses as the first ten or so mins I use flash cards. If you've read some of my older posts (links provided earlier on in within this topic thread) you'll know i've had real issues spending way too much time on doing flashcards. Initially tooooo many definitions for one verb for example... then i decided instead to provide examples from context to clarify just one meaning of a verb, then do another card when i come across that context.. ok but still spending too much time on them. Now i've resorted to NOT multiple definitions, NOT examples, but simple a small piece of info under a verb or noun ONLY to clarify a more specific definition or to indicate a word is an adjective and not a noun, or where two words which sound the same in French may need clarification on the French side of the FC to which one I am referring to.. and so on. Examples:
French side:
deposer [clarification: poser, laisser, decharger]
EN side:
to put down,
to lay down,
to set down,
to unload,
to leave,
to drop off

Okay so that's kind of multiple definitions, but in my book it's not strictly such as these multiple translations are generally indicating a very similar meaning. ie To deposit is also a translation of deposer but this would indeed be a separate card.

Another example:
FR:
Justement
[clarification: pertinemment]
EN
correctly,
rightly
[clarification: pertinently]

Then a sep card:
FR:
Justement
[clarification: pour renforcer un enonce]
EN:
quite,
so
[clarification: to reinforce an utterance]

I could go on... time to stop. PM
1 person has voted this message useful



patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2934 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 11 of 451
18 January 2014 at 8:53am | IP Logged 
Hi Peter,

Good luck with your challenge!

I am curious how much you are using native materials in your learning. I think courses are good, but I was under the impression that they don't get you much past B1. Personally I've found reading books/movies really helpful in moving along the long long B2 road.
1 person has voted this message useful



BonneVivante
Pro Member
Canada
Joined 3259 days ago

33 posts - 59 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: French
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 12 of 451
18 January 2014 at 5:58pm | IP Logged 
The all-or-nothing pattern is something many people experience. I struggled with it, not in language learning but when I wanted to get back into shape. Unless you're actually a flawless human being, expecting true perfection is simply a guarantee of frustration that will eventually derail your well-intended efforts. I'm sure you know all of this, so forgive me for stating the obvious. It took me a while to learn it!

Eventually I adopted a much laxer standard - just do something every day. Anything. Oddly enough (or perhaps predictably, to people smarter than me) I ended up doing more with the easy-to-satisfy goal than with the much stricter goals I originally set. A few years later and I am in the best shape since high school. I think the key is that, if it's something you enjoy doing, the goal needs only to be enough to motivate you to keep going, and your own interest will do the rest. If the goal is too strict, it serves only to add guilt and intimidation to an activity that should be enjoyable.

I am taking the same approach with French. I do something every day. Sometimes that means hours of reading. Sometimes a formal lesson. Sometimes if I feel lazy, it just means listening to some music or watching a French television show with subtitles. The most important thing is just not to stop. Sure, it's disorganized and progress is not linear, but since I have no deadline I don't mind. I just want to keep French in my life long term.

I think it sounds like you're finding more and more what works for you and I hope you'll continue to share your experiences. I find your insights into flash cards interesting - I think you suffer somewhat from 'classifier's dilemma', which is a term I just made up for a feeling I too have experienced. There's always a danger of spending more time deciding what your rules are for flash card formatting/organizing than actually learning words!
2 persons have voted this message useful



Sizen
Diglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 2740 days ago

165 posts - 347 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Catalan, Spanish, Japanese, Ukrainian, German

 
 Message 13 of 451
18 January 2014 at 6:23pm | IP Logged 
BonneVivante wrote:
Eventually I adopted a much laxer standard - just do something
every day. Anything. Oddly enough (or perhaps predictably, to people smarter than me) I
ended up doing more with the easy-to-satisfy goal than with the much stricter goals I
originally set.


I've had the same experience, except I started by giving myself a one hour daily goal,
and slowly worked up to 2 hours and now less than 4 hours is a rare occurrence even if
my goal is only 2 hours.

Anyway, I'm the opposite with flashcards right now. I like to have lots of definitions,
examples and translations, along with a note on the nature and gender of every word.

Examples:

étioler

Définitions de étioler, verbe

◆Rendre (un végétal) fin et pâle en le privant de lumière. Étioler une plante dans une
pièce mal éclairée.
•[AGRICULTURE] Priver de lumière pour faire blanchir. Étioler des légumes.
◆[Par extension] Rendre pâle et maladif; provoquer l’affaiblissement de. La maladie
l’étiole.
•[Figuré] Affaiblir; dégrader. Des livres qui étiolent l’esprit.
◆S’étioler : devenir pâle et maigre; dépérir. Un enfant qui s’ennuie et s’étiole.
•Devenir de plus en plus faible. L’intelligence s’étiole à rester inactive. Elle
s’étiolait, privée de l’éclat des soirées mondaines.

to bleach, to blanch, to make weak, to wither, to decline

or

boyau

Définitions de boyau, nom masculin

◆Intestin d’animal. Boyau de porc, de veau.
◆Les boyaux : [Familier] intestin de l’homme. Avoir mal aux boyaux.
◆Mince corde faite avec l’intestin de chat ou de mouton, utilisée pour la fabrication
de certains instruments de musique ou pour les raquettes de tennis. Les boyaux d’un
violon.
◆Passage étroit. Rue en boyau.
◆Pneumatique sans chambre à air pour bicyclette de course.
◆[MILITAIRE] Fossé étroit et sinueux qui met en communication les tranchées.

gallery, tunnel, trench, innards, entrails

Makes for some really long cards. Some days when I review, I look at the definitions,
and some days I look at the translations. Just depends on how I feel about the word on
any given day. And then, sometimes I remember some cards better by its definition, and
sometimes I remember it better with the translation... I like to give myself as many
opportunities as possible to remember words. Plus it's super easy to make when the
dictionary has example sentences/uses for each definition all grouped together. Takes
no time to make the cards.
2 persons have voted this message useful



PeterMollenburg
Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3877 days ago

821 posts - 1273 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: FrenchB1

 
 Message 14 of 451
18 January 2014 at 9:43pm | IP Logged 
patrickwilken wrote:
Hi Peter,

Good luck with your challenge!

I am curious how much you are using native materials in your learning. I think courses are good, but I was
under the impression that they don't get you much past B1. Personally I've found reading books/movies really
helpful in moving along the long long B2 road.


Salut Patrick,

C'est une bonne question, mais c'est aussi une que beaucoup de monde m'a déjà demandé. Je comprends
que toutes ces personnes n'ont pas tort, qu'il y a un problème ici, que tu vois aussi maintenant... que je
n'utilise que les cours cours et... eh bien plus de cours!

Mais, en fait j'utilise les livres natifs, magazines natifs et quelque fois je lis qqch sur un site web français,
mais ce n'est pas tous les jours. Ces jours là avant tout, je préfère utiliser ces cours. J'espère qu'à l'avenir (je
n'achète plus de cours) je les finirai et je commencerai à utiliser beaucoup plus de matériaux natifs.

----------------------------------
Hi Patrick, that's a good question, but it's a question that many others have already asked me. I understand
that all these ppl are not wrong, that there is a problem here that you also see now.... that I only uses
courses, courses... and well, more courses!

But I do use native books, native magazines and sometimes I read something from a French website, but it's
not every day. These days above all I prefer to use these courses. I hope that in the future (i'm not buying
courses anymore) I will finish them and I will beging to use a lot more native material

PM    



Edited by PeterMollenburg on 18 January 2014 at 9:48pm

1 person has voted this message useful



PeterMollenburg
Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3877 days ago

821 posts - 1273 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: FrenchB1

 
 Message 15 of 451
18 January 2014 at 9:53pm | IP Logged 
BonneVivante wrote:
The all-or-nothing pattern is something many people experience. I struggled with it,
not in language learning but when I wanted to get back into shape. Unless you're actually a flawless human
being, expecting true perfection is simply a guarantee of frustration that will eventually derail your well-
intended efforts. I'm sure you know all of this, so forgive me for stating the obvious. It took me a while to learn
it!

Eventually I adopted a much laxer standard - just do something every day. Anything. Oddly enough (or
perhaps predictably, to people smarter than me) I ended up doing more with the easy-to-satisfy goal than with
the much stricter goals I originally set. A few years later and I am in the best shape since high school. I think
the key is that, if it's something you enjoy doing, the goal needs only to be enough to motivate you to keep
going, and your own interest will do the rest. If the goal is too strict, it serves only to add guilt and intimidation
to an activity that should be enjoyable.

I am taking the same approach with French. I do something every day. Sometimes that means hours of
reading. Sometimes a formal lesson. Sometimes if I feel lazy, it just means listening to some music or
watching a French television show with subtitles. The most important thing is just not to stop. Sure, it's
disorganized and progress is not linear, but since I have no deadline I don't mind. I just want to keep French
in my life long term.

I think it sounds like you're finding more and more what works for you and I hope you'll continue to share your
experiences. I find your insights into flash cards interesting - I think you suffer somewhat from 'classifier's
dilemma', which is a term I just made up for a feeling I too have experienced. There's always a danger of
spending more time deciding what your rules are for flash card formatting/organizing than actually learning
words!


Your sharing here BonneVivante goes a long way in reassuring me and supporting me. Thank you :) We all
need a pat on the back or some sharing occasionally to make us feel a little more human/normal despite our
sometimes irrational ways, cheers :)
1 person has voted this message useful



PeterMollenburg
Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3877 days ago

821 posts - 1273 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: FrenchB1

 
 Message 16 of 451
18 January 2014 at 10:08pm | IP Logged 
Sizen wrote:
I've had the same experience, except I started by giving myself a one hour daily goal,
and slowly worked up to 2 hours and now less than 4 hours is a rare occurrence even if
my goal is only 2 hours.


Positive :)


Sizen wrote:

Anyway, I'm the opposite with flashcards right now. I like to have lots of definitions,
examples and translations, along with a note on the nature and gender of every word.

Makes for some really long cards. Some days when I review, I look at the definitions,
and some days I look at the translations. Just depends on how I feel about the word on
any given day. And then, sometimes I remember some cards better by its definition, and
sometimes I remember it better with the translation... I like to give myself as many
opportunities as possible to remember words. Plus it's super easy to make when the
dictionary has example sentences/uses for each definition all grouped together. Takes
no time to make the cards.


An interesting insight into another's flashcard mannerisms. However for now (always changing my ideas on
FCs) I'm going to keep it simple. I don't use Anki, I use Flashcards deluxe and do the majority of my language
study (ebooks, emagazines, access to audio, dictionary use, linguee, etc and so on including flashcard use)
through my iphone. So initially i steered clear of Anki as it wasn't as portable although im sure now it's caught
up. I enter all my cards via a bluetooth keyboard directly into my phone thereby skipping the computer input
step. I've often considered giving Anki a go but yet to try it as I don't want to waste too much time fiddling with
a new program instead of just learning French and moving forward with what system i'm currently using. On a
website that made comparisons of multiple programs for flashcards (and reading reviews) Flashcards Deluxe
seemed to tick the majority of boxes and be the most praised. It's a great program but as I'm using my phone
to enter (and write this message, no internet in my new house yet) it's too slow to go into another program
copy, cut, paste the French and English into the flashcard and separate the English from the French (for the
examples of context). It was yet another way that I found to slow myself down, so for now i'm sticking to a
faster way. I'm a very slow and 'deliberate' studier. This is why courses word for me. I like to analyse
everything and speak every word with alwlays working on my accent. Many ppl would go through a course in
half or the third the time it takes me, yet i like to take away 100% of the new grammar and vocab. Those who
don't make a real conscious effort to recall new material from language courses may only retain 80% of it, or
end up with a notable accent. However they may progress much quicker than I would by learning through
context... anyway i'm getting off track, thanks Sizen, good luck with your studying!


2 persons have voted this message useful



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