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PMs TAC 2015 crazy? French course mission

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napoleon
Tetraglot
Senior Member
India
Joined 3417 days ago

543 posts - 874 votes 
Speaks: Bengali*, English, Hindi, Urdu
Studies: French, Arabic (Written)

 
 Message 161 of 451
24 July 2014 at 3:00pm | IP Logged 
Hey PM,
I just read a post of yours on emk's log and I must say I'm impressed. You're writing has become so much better.
Tell me what you're doing so that I can do it too... :)
Cheers!
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 162 of 451
24 July 2014 at 4:02pm | IP Logged 
napoleon wrote:
Hey PM,
I just read a post of yours on emk's log and I must say I'm impressed. You're writing has become so much
better.
Tell me what you're doing so that I can do it too... :)
Cheers!


Hey napoleon,

Certainly no secret formula or mixture of any kind. Just being consistent I think is helping, but it's slow. Do
take note of the corrections emk made tho. I haven't done ANY writing for at least a month (except typing in
flashcards) as most of my current course material I've covered before, so I don't write out answers 2nd time
round, otherwise it's audio only material. Thanks for the positive words napoleon :)
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 163 of 451
26 July 2014 at 7:16am | IP Logged 
--- a little interlude ---

Over the past week after going to see my mother's family in Queensland for her 80th
birthday which was somewhat akin to a family reunion my studying habits fell a little
by the wayside. Dutch suffered around a week of no exposure to the language in any
form. French I studied half-heartedly by being comitted some days after returning from
QLD and other days losing the plot completely. Mind you there weren't many days that I
wasn't exposed to some French in one way or another. Since having come so far in French
and knowing there's much work to be done yet even when I procrastinate I still expose
myself to French via websites, movies and so on. My eating also became very unhealthy
and my sleep patterns completely stuffed because I kept staying up late watching the
Tour de France live (time difference sucks) and looking up all the little villages and
valleys on wikipedia and google maps as they rode considering whether I could live in
any of these places - recently i've started compiling a list of prospective towns and
villages in which my family could one day relocate to. Currently we are in no position
to do so, and the move is likely to be for no more than 6 months out of each year, but
the way I see it if I don't aim for it, it won't happen. My wife is 'down with the
idea'. Word.

So in my 'losing the plot' momentarily with regards to my study regime, I came up with
some rules to work TOWARDS (ie these won't happen overnight). The rules predominantly
apply to French, as the current aim is simply an hour a day of Dutch study. Here are
some of them:

* If i wake at 6am I do 3 hrs 'desk study' (2 french, 1 dutch) (won't go into details
if not getting up at 6).

* Exercise 3 times a week (sitting at a desk for hours upon hours is not good
physically, i have to combat this by not forgetting my health and being active)

* Eat healthy (i have my own personal approach to this that wouldn't fit many others'
belief systems on healthy eating- the main idea is stay healthy so I can focus and
study most effectively).

* Don't be distracted during my 'compulsory study hours' with such things as emails,
websites, phone calls etc unless absolutely necessary

* Aim to have a conversation a week via meetup sessions or italki (already set in
motion with a planned italki skype session with a language teacher)

* Listen to French podcasts when walking the dog if on my own (my wife tags along
sometimes)

* Watch French TV while eating breakfast

* Always attempt to seek out French sources on the internet when looking things up
unless whatever it is i'm searching for is not available in English

* When it comes to reading books (outside of allotted study time which includes
reading) at least every second 'session' of reading should be conducted in French (ie
i'll have an English and a French book on the go).

* Have a preference when listening to music or radio to listen to French sources of the
same

* When driving alone listen to French (whatever form- radio, music, learning CDs,
podcasts etc).

* When waiting in line or for service of some kind attempt to fill such gaps with
French flashcards

* Have a preference for watching French movies/series first.
------------

All these activities are designed to make me focus more on filling in the gaps where
I'm currently not exposed to much/any French (except for in the car which i've been
doing for some time now). Of course it goes without saying that I'm not going to ignore
my family if i'm waiting in line for example, many of these rules generally apply to
when i'm on my own (except the desk study hours). However with movies/series my wife is
quite fond of French cinema, she's aware of my preference and happy to go along with
it, but if she's not up for a French movie it's no big deal. Watching something in
French when my wife is about is simply an added bonus anyway.

Finally, such rules when tend to irritate other individuals with their approach to
learning, so before anyone says it won't work, bear in mind writing out rules and
regulations is something i often do, and admittedly it may not always work, but at the
very least it gets me thinking critically on ways I can be exposed to more of the
language. Let's see if my monthly hours of study increase from here on...

PM (c'est moi !)
1 person has voted this message useful



iguanamon
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Virgin Islands
Speaks: Ladino
Joined 3663 days ago

2224 posts - 6708 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Creole (French)

 
 Message 164 of 451
26 July 2014 at 1:43pm | IP Logged 
Given the exigencies of a busy life and having a family, I'm amazed at how much you mange to accomplish and what you have achieved since joining HTLAL. I remember when I was learning Haitian Creole, I took advantage of every "hidden moment" I could. It's surprising what five minutes here and ten minutes there can do.

Many years ago, growing up in the US South- pre-internet, I listened to shortwave radio to practice and learn Spanish. In the mornings, Radio Australia (ABC International) would come booming in like a local station. I remember that they had a French broadcast intended for French Polynesia. I did some web-searching and found that they still do have a French service for the Pacific: Radio Australia Français and a short 7-8 minute daily podcast 24H dans le Pacifique with Australian and Polynesian News and commentary en français. Perhaps you are already aware of this.

While working, I often listen to RFO Radio France de l'Outre-mer Musique. I find the music goes well with my tropical life.

Keep up the good work, PM!
3 persons have voted this message useful



Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3310 days ago

2151 posts - 3960 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Hindi, Ancient Greek, French, Sanskrit, German

 
 Message 165 of 451
27 July 2014 at 12:48am | IP Logged 
I'm very impressed with your plan, PM, not irritated in the least! One thing I did a lot last calendar year was to listen to French or do FSI while taking a walk or a bike ride. I have to say that giving myself the "space" to be on my own with no other distraction except enemy automobiles, meant that I was out doing exercise a lot more often than I was when I wasn't using it for language study. So the one supported the other.

Your post about eating also got me rethinking some of my habits (alongside my spreading middle, which has become noticeable this year), and I have been more careful of late. Of course, now I'm with my family in America, that's all out the window!

I'm also impressed with your plan to skype each week. Please let us know how the tutor sessions go. I'd like to start that sometime, but I think I'll first get in the habit of writing French before I dive into conversations. So sometime soon I'll probably try to start a weekly lang-8 habit, and I'll write some things which I can then develop into language islands for later speaking.

Anyway, PM, keep up the good work!
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 166 of 451
27 July 2014 at 2:33am | IP Logged 
iguanamon wrote:
Given the exigencies of a busy life and having a family, I'm amazed
at how much you mange to accomplish and what you have achieved since joining HTLAL. I
remember when I was learning Haitian Creole, I took advantage of every "hidden moment"
I could. It's surprising what five minutes here and ten minutes there can do.


To be fair, I have a lot of time on most days to study despite working usually 5 days a
week. I've 'built' it that way so to speak. I'm a nurse and I'm obliged to do shift
work. However I've cut down my hours at the hospital to 2 shifts a week and informed
them that I prefer afternoon shifts, plus I've taken on a 2nd role (not at a hospital)
as a nurse usually 3 days a week. These 3 shifts are generally easier than my hospital
work, it's located closer to home and breaks are longer, it also pays much better so I
took it upon myself to opt to do the shorter afternoon shifts usually. This means these
shifts don't often begin until 3 in the afternoon or thereabouts giving my time for
study and family time. I opted to do afternoons as i'm much more focused on studying in
the mornings. Since I landed that 2nd position I decided to do the shorter shifts as my
earnings would be roughly the same as being at the hospital working 5 days a week,
working a lot harder and doing more hours. So it ends up being a win-win situation for
my studying. I did take on a 3rd role which I thought was going to be more permanent
but ended up being a fill in position. During a month while doing a couple of shifts a
week as a district nurse I had a LOT of time while driving to listen to French audio. I
like some aspects of nursing but not all. I am MUCH MORE passionate about languages. I
should have realised this earlier in my life really AND done something about it, but
the way I see it better late then never, better now than never, and nursing is allowing
me to be flexible and find the time to study. So I'm studying at a fever-pitch level of
enthusiasm to make up for lost ground. Admittedly, as I'm a perfectionist I'm taking
the 'scenic route' by probably relying too much on courses, but that's just me for the
moment. So in a nutshell I build my worklife around my study life/interests (languages
mainly). We have it pretty good here in Australia I must admit, I think this kind of
approach would not be achievable in many other parts of the world, and I probably
couldn't nurse in many other countries, so I'm certainly grateful for that. I'll have
to find something else to do perhaps when we move to France (hoping).[/QUOTE]

iguanamon wrote:

Many years ago, growing up in the US South- pre-internet, I listened to shortwave radio
to practice and learn Spanish. In the mornings, Radio Australia (ABC International)
would come booming in like a local station. I remember that they had a French broadcast
intended for French Polynesia. I did some web-searching and found that they still do
have a French service for the Pacific:
Radio Australia Français and a
short 7-8 minute daily podcast
24H dans le Pacifique with
Australian and Polynesian News and commentary en français. Perhaps you are already
aware of this.

While working, I often listen to RFO Radio
France de l'Outre-mer Musique
. I find the music goes well with my tropical life.


It's somewhat ironic that you mention Radio Australia. My father used to work for them.
He didn't have anything to do with radio itself, he worked on their massive aerial
structures, building them and maintaining them. Their base was in our hometown but he
travelled all over the country working on giant radio antennas. No one in our hometown
knew much about Radio Australia, nor did we necessarily. I had (still have) no idea
what they transmitted. All I knew is that they were called Radio Australia, where their
base was located and that my dad worked for them. So it's ironic that you mention them
in that my father worked for them, but as for their programming I'm clueless. I'll
check out the links you provided iguanamon, thank you. I must add tho, that French
despite being taught here in my day at high school is not prevalent in this country by
any means. Despite Australia being in the pacific, French Polynesia, New Caledonia and
Vanuatu have extremely little impact on our country despite them being kind of near us.
Most ppl I talk to don't even know where New Caledonia is despite it being rather close
to our shores. Why didn't the French make it to Australia or NZ before the English
dammit!!! [/QUOTE]

iguanamon wrote:

Keep up the good work, PM!


I can't thank you enough iguanamon for your positive feedback. It really does help a
lot to receive such feedback. So thank you very much for your kind words, it's greatly
appreciated and well received,

PM
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 167 of 451
27 July 2014 at 2:58am | IP Logged 
Jeffers wrote:
I'm very impressed with your plan, PM, not irritated in the least!
One thing I did a lot last calendar year was to listen to French or do FSI while taking
a walk or a bike ride. I have to say that giving myself the "space" to be on my own
with no other distraction except enemy automobiles, meant that I was out doing exercise
a lot more often than I was when I wasn't using it for language study. So the one
supported the other.


Thanks Jeffers, as I said to iguanamon, I'm very appreciative of positive feedback it's
very encouraging :) thank you. I did attempt to listen to podcasts while riding myself
but I found it a bit awkward- if it was windy I found i had to turn up the volume a
little too much, plus I enjoy the peace and quiet of riding without background noise
(ex some cars). Maybe i'll keep that idea as another up my sleeve to expose myself to
even more French.

Jeffers wrote:

Your post about eating also got me rethinking some of my habits (alongside my spreading
middle, which has become noticeable this year), and I have been more careful of late.
Of course, now I'm with my family in America, that's all out the window!


It's easy to live a contiuously healthy lifestyle and there is so much misinformation
out there usually spread to fullfill someone else's interest(s) despite human health.
Any positive changes you can make are worthwhile, so keep up the healthy lifestyle
where you can Jeffers!

Jeffers wrote:

I'm also impressed with your plan to skype each week. Please let us know how the tutor
sessions go. I'd like to start that sometime, but I think I'll first get in the habit
of writing French before I dive into conversations. So sometime soon I'll probably try
to start a weekly lang-8 habit, and I'll write some things which I can then develop
into language islands for later speaking.


Yeah I have far too many words in my flashcard deck that are not used anywhere near
enough to keep them at the forefront of my mind. Conversations are definitely needed!
I'm not sure if I have already mentioned it but I have my first skype session booked.
Will def keep you updated :)

Jeffers wrote:

Anyway, PM, keep up the good work!


Thanks again Jeffers, you too, keep up the good work!


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 168 of 451
01 August 2014 at 2:54am | IP Logged 
July summary

--------------------------------------------------------

Dutch
A rather pathetic effort with Dutch in July unfortunately.

11hrs & 46min of study made up of predominantly course work.

My aim for August is my most consistent month yet.

-----------------------------------------------

French

An average month in terms of being somewhere in the middle of hours studied compared to
other months. By no means average in terms of amount studied being a good solid amount
as per usual this year.

A total of 72hrs 16 min...

..made up of:
Audio: 26hrs 27min
Watching: 14hrs 51min
Course work: 11hrs 59min
Reading: 9hrs 57min
Flashcards: 8hrs 7min
Conversation: 55min

This included a paid conversation with a professional teacher via skype (teacher
sourced from italki). The hour (55min) seemed to go by pretty quickly. I was nervous in
the beginning but did ok but started to stumble a lot towards the end. My listening
comprehension was good but i'm certain my teacher adapted her speech to my level. It
was a 'casual' lesson. That was my objective as I have not done this kind of thing
before. Next time I do this I will have more specefic goals in mind. It was a positive
experience nonetheless and drew to the forefront my need for conversational practise.
So for the month of August I aim to have a French conversational session via
italki/skype or a meetup at least once a week. Speaking is probably my weakest skill at
this stage.

Superchallenge:
732 mins
48 pages


1 person has voted this message useful



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