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Slow Learning: FR, HI, ancGR TAC 2015

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PeterMollenburg
Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3586 days ago

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

 
 Message 49 of 164
20 June 2014 at 7:09am | IP Logged 
Hey Jeffers,

It's a shame you can't really use FIA at this stage. I'm sure you're not put off
learning French together with your son as you haven't indicated that, but I don't want
to say that I really feel that FIA is best as a complete course. There's so much to
gain from watching the videos. What I mean is that because it's immersion I believe
there's almost an expectation that you are watching the videos as the creators feel
that seeing French used in it's natural environment, in context is important for
learning. I don't know that listening to the audio alone can accomplish that. So I
wouldn't be too 'put off' I think it's just simply a little too much of a struggle with
the audio on it's own. And to take it a step further using the videos and audio only is
still missing quite a bit, with regards to grammatical explanations, the transcripts
and so on. I know this is prob all pretty obvious to you but I just thought I'd share
my thoughts and have a little sth to say on your log for once, as you do make a lot of
helpful comments for others including myself (not that this necessarily helps)....

Actually just like Mohave I started FIA as a newbie. That and Destinos I started at the
same time way back in 1998. Those were my first (can you believe I was just about to
spell first as 'furst'!) adventures with decent self-taught language leaarning
material... yes yes waffling i know! Anyway both those courses I still list as my
favourite 2 courses I"ve come across yet. Tho, fortunately I came across this forum and
'Assimil' which runs a close 3rd.

... anyway as for the SC you really do provide a lot of useful feedback, I just want to
say it's appreciated by many ppl on here i'm sure... Just don't let it detract from
your own learning! That's an order! ;)

It is rather interesting that you are studying 3 very different languages. Glad to see
you're enjoying it :) Btw how good is your German? How long did you study it for and
how did you learn (what method/materials)? I actually own a sprinkling of German
courses myself as it was the first language I ever began to learn and loved it, way
back in 1989 at high school. I did say FIA and Destinos were my first adventures with
decent self-taught language learning materials. Decent meaning they were large courses
that required a decent commitment. With German I dabled, although I did attempt to
learn more German a number of years later into adulthood when I met some Austrians I
was friendly with. When they departed Australia, I returned to the usual suspects-
Dutch, French, Spanish (I even bought Greek books but never started it).

Anyway seems like you're doing some pretty solid work on your French, keep it up.
You're remaining high up the 'leaderboard' in the SC with an impressive amount of
material covered and judging by what you've been using you're no slacker yourself. I
wouldn't dare attempt to go through Amelie (script) at this stage, but I don't mean you
shouldn't- whatever we are motivated to use works right? Now that you're back on the
FSI track, good luck with that too. Myself I don't mind I've slid way down on the SC as
you could see yourself that I have a lot of courses to get through, and they're not
going to complete themselves.

So back to your son... perhaps more audio based courses (that don't require
textbook/video support) may be better for a while longer? I can recommend both Paul
Noble, but that is VERY similar to Michel Thomas (also recommend the entire MT
collection), of course Pimsleur (i'm currently also doing level 3 for during my
commuting) and Rocket French, which is often overlooked as a gimmick. However if you
see past the heavy advertising it's a worthwhile course- one perfect French accent and
another speaker with a 'weird' French accent, but a LOT of different things are covered
that are not covered in other audio courses, and interesting story to follow too. I
know you have other audio courses as well so i'm not necessarily encouraging you to buy
these programs, just offering my experiences with them, but if you have more of your
own audio only courses perhaps that would be better for the time being.

PM

PS Hope you're having a nice day :)
2 persons have voted this message useful



Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3019 days ago

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

 
 Message 50 of 164
20 June 2014 at 10:23am | IP Logged 
Thanks for that, Peter. We are still going to watch FIA videos from time to time (we
were up to 4 when I decided to try the full course with him), and we've switched to
working on Pimsleur on the school run. We finished lesson 3 yesterday and we will
repeat it when he comes back from a school trip.

My son has autism, but he is fairly high-functioning academically. The main effect of
autism on him is in "receptive/productive language". What this means in real life is
that he has difficulty processing what he hears, and difficulty expressing his thoughts
even though he has an excellent vocabulary for his age. When he was younger he
actually spoke like near-deaf person, not because he didn't hear all the sounds, but
because he didn't notice them when he did hear them.

As for language learning, he does well with written material, remembering details, and
so on. He has liked Pimsleur, and I think the fact that things keep repeating gives it
a chance to sink in.

He is doing well in French in school, but I think the focus in school is too narrow.
I'd like him to get good enough that he could begin to enjoy native material. Once you
get to that point, there's no stopping you! But schools tend to do very little to get
kids using the target language for their own interests.

For all of these reasons, I've been looking for ways to boost his language studies in
school. I would like to support the grammar and vocab they are learning, but at the
same time help him to build up real world French skills. Pimsleur will help because it
will review the basic points of grammar, and help him to gain a bit of automaticity and
fluency. When the summer holidays begin, I was thinking about starting to work on
Assimil with him, because that will get him used to reading decent chunks of text.



Now to answer you question about German, Peter. I started with a Berlitz textbook, but
quickly got bored of it. I bought the Living Language German course and worked through
it completely, as well as two other textbooks with cassettes I borrowed from the
library. One of them was really good because every chapter featured questions sessions
with people on the street; very much like those segments on the FIA videos.
Unfortunately, I have no idea what the course was called, but I have a vague notion
that the author was female. I also listened to InTense German until it came out of my
ears, learned all the vocabulary from a 1000 card box of cards I bought, and was just
on the verge of using native materials (I was reading Asterix) when I got the chance to
move back to India, so I dropped it to start reviving my Hindi. All of that study was
over the course of a year.

About 6 years later I decided to try German again. A bookstore was getting rid of all
their Michel Thomas at 75% off, so I got the German foundation, advanced and vocabulary
courses. I also got TY German, but that quickly got difficult (too steep a curve, very
dense in terms of content), so I switched to TY Beginner's German. I also bought
several A2 readers with CD, listened to some Germanpod101, and Slow German podcasts.
About halfway through all of that, I caught the French bug, and have kind of let German
go. I'm planning to slowly start to pick it up again once I'm more comfortable with
how my French/Hindi/Greek are going. I think I will target a full revival to be
underway for the gap between the Super Challenges, and then sign up for 4 languages for
the next SC. By that time I'm hoping my French will be more a matter of fun and less a
matter of effort.
3 persons have voted this message useful



PeterMollenburg
Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3586 days ago

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

 
 Message 51 of 164
21 June 2014 at 7:03am | IP Logged 
Jeffers wrote:
Thanks for that, Peter. We are still going to watch FIA videos from
time to time (we
were up to 4 when I decided to try the full course with him), and we've switched to
working on Pimsleur on the school run. We finished lesson 3 yesterday and we will
repeat it when he comes back from a school trip.

My son has autism, but he is fairly high-functioning academically. The main effect of
autism on him is in "receptive/productive language". What this means in real life is
that he has difficulty processing what he hears, and difficulty expressing his thoughts
even though he has an excellent vocabulary for his age. When he was younger he
actually spoke like near-deaf person, not because he didn't hear all the sounds, but
because he didn't notice them when he did hear them.

As for language learning, he does well with written material, remembering details, and
so on. He has liked Pimsleur, and I think the fact that things keep repeating gives it
a chance to sink in.

He is doing well in French in school, but I think the focus in school is too narrow.
I'd like him to get good enough that he could begin to enjoy native material. Once you
get to that point, there's no stopping you! But schools tend to do very little to get
kids using the target language for their own interests.

For all of these reasons, I've been looking for ways to boost his language studies in
school. I would like to support the grammar and vocab they are learning, but at the
same time help him to build up real world French skills. Pimsleur will help because it
will review the basic points of grammar, and help him to gain a bit of automaticity and
fluency. When the summer holidays begin, I was thinking about starting to work on
Assimil with him, because that will get him used to reading decent chunks of text.


Well it sounds like you're really making an effort to do all the right things with
regards to your son's French learning.

Jeffers wrote:

Now to answer you question about German, Peter.


I must say it always seems a bit strange (although I'm getting used to it) that people
on here call me Peter. I know it's absolutely logical, and I'm a tad rediculous for
even mentioning it. It's just weird as it's not my real name. For some reason on
occasion I've often referred to a comic version of myself as Peter Mollenburg despite
that not being my name at all. However don't let my drawing attention to this fact make
you change, it makes perfect sense to be called Peter on here. I didn't want to use my
real name on the forum, as most don't for obvious reasons, and just went with it.

Jeffers wrote:

I started with a Berlitz textbook, but
quickly got bored of it. I bought the Living Language German course and worked through
it completely, as well as two other textbooks with cassettes I borrowed from the
library. One of them was really good because every chapter featured questions sessions
with people on the street; very much like those segments on the FIA videos.
Unfortunately, I have no idea what the course was called, but I have a vague notion
that the author was female. I also listened to InTense German until it came out of my
ears, learned all the vocabulary from a 1000 card box of cards I bought, and was just
on the verge of using native materials (I was reading Asterix) when I got the chance to
move back to India, so I dropped it to start reviving my Hindi. All of that study was
over the course of a year.

About 6 years later I decided to try German again. A bookstore was getting rid of all
their Michel Thomas at 75% off, so I got the German foundation, advanced and vocabulary
courses. I also got TY German, but that quickly got difficult (too steep a curve, very
dense in terms of content), so I switched to TY Beginner's German. I also bought
several A2 readers with CD, listened to some Germanpod101, and Slow German podcasts.
About halfway through all of that, I caught the French bug, and have kind of let German
go. I'm planning to slowly start to pick it up again once I'm more comfortable with
how my French/Hindi/Greek are going. I think I will target a full revival to be
underway for the gap between the Super Challenges, and then sign up for 4 languages for
the next SC. By that time I'm hoping my French will be more a matter of fun and less a
matter of effort.


Thanks for sharing again Jeffers. I look fwd to the day when you revive your German,
simply because it means you're 'on track' and it would be nice to see you pick it up
again. However by no means am I encouraging you to do so sooner than required. I know
what it's like trying to learn multiple languages and suffering from wander lust. One
day in the very distant future I will also revive my German, but that's not before
being very satisfied with a very high functioning level of French and close or similar
level in Dutch and being able to progress in Spanish. ie the only way I can foresee
picking up German myself (which I do want to do, I wouldn't even mind starting
Portuguese but where the hell will I find the time for that?).. well I don't want those
other three languages to fall into a cesspool of stagnancy. I've given up trying to
kill too many birds with one stone as you end up missing one, scraping one and hitting
one or two if you're luck {not that i encourage the killing of birds ;) } Oh and a
course I invested in for German was (still own it) Fokus Deutsch as I thought it was
prob the closest thing in German I could find to FIA or Destinos. So keep up your good
French, Hindi and Ancient Greek progress and we shall battle on somewhat together but
worlds apart :)


1 person has voted this message useful



Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3019 days ago

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

 
 Message 52 of 164
21 June 2014 at 1:05pm | IP Logged 
Er, is your name Steven? Is Peter just your stage name?

Thanks for the mention of Fokus Deutsch. Is it anywhere as good as FIA? Is there an audio component, textbook, etc? One German resource I forgot to mention is Deutsche Welle. I wish there was a collection of resources anywhere as good as this for French.

The mention of Fokus Deutsch reminded me of a short video course called Extr@, designed for beginning students in the UK. They have it in French, German, Spanish and English, and they can be watched with or without native subtitles. They are designed for beginners, but are a sort of sitcom about 2 girls in an apartment, who house an American guy for some reason I can't remember. There are lot's of "common" situations, but the language is fairly simple. The series has 13 episodes of about 25 minutes each (I think the English series has more). I watched the first two, and then things happened and I forgot about it. I have a new series for the Super Challenge. :)
1 person has voted this message useful





songlines
Pro Member
Canada
flickr.com/photos/cp
Joined 3319 days ago

729 posts - 1056 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: French
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 53 of 164
22 June 2014 at 7:27pm | IP Logged 
Jeffers wrote:

I bought the Living Language German course and worked through it completely,


I really like the Living Language course - used the French one very early on, and again as a refresher from
time to time, especially before a couple of my vacations. I own the German and Italian ones too (bought
deeply discounted second hand/remaindered), and hope to get round to them some day...

Jeffers wrote:


...As well as two other textbooks with cassettes I borrowed from the library. One of them was really good
because every chapter featured questions sessions with people on the street; very much like those segments
on the FIA videos. Unfortunately, I have no idea what the course was called, but I have a vague notion
that the author was female.


That cracked me up, and reminded me of a book display at my library. The display was themed "I don't
remember what it was called, or who wrote it, but it was a yellow book..."

On a less trivial note, that was an interesting post about your son, and prompted me to think about how we
process info and language - thanks.


1 person has voted this message useful



PeterMollenburg
Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3586 days ago

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

 
 Message 54 of 164
25 June 2014 at 10:54am | IP Logged 
Jeffers wrote:
Er, is your name Steven? Is Peter just your stage name?


Something like that I guess

Jeffers wrote:

Thanks for the mention of Fokus Deutsch. Is it anywhere as good as FIA? Is there an
audio component, textbook, etc? One German resource I forgot to mention is Deutsche
Welle. I wish there was a collection of resources anywhere as good as this for French.


Yes Deutsche Welle I own some of that material as well Deutsch Waarum nicht? and
Deutsch Wieso nicht? books and audio, altho I think it's prob accessible online too.

I have no idea if Fokus Deutsch is as good as FIA. I have never started it. I own the
entire course tho, all levels, all books, video could only find for download, which i
did but the quality loss is around 15-20% but still definitely useable. I really don't
know what the course is like. It's one of those 'one day' courses which for me actually
does mean I will do it, but just not for a looong time yet. I believe it has audio as
well, the CD's I think are... hang on, i'm going to get them out of their dark hiding
spot and
take a look...

... okay so there are 3 workbooks, three textbooks, three audio CD's (one for each
level), one student viewer handbook and 36 15min video episodes with occasional
additional 15min review episodes. The course seems smaller then than FIA or Destinos.
The three levels are Beginner 1, Beginner 2, and Intermediate.

It's a shame Dutch doesn't have a course like FIA, Destinos or Fokus Deutsch, but there
are logical reasons why such a comprehensive course in Dutch is yet to exist.

Jeffers wrote:

The mention of Fokus Deutsch reminded me of a short video course called Extr@, designed
for beginning students in the UK. They have it in French, German, Spanish and English,
and they can be watched with or without native subtitles. They are designed for
beginners, but are a sort of sitcom about 2 girls in an apartment, who house an
American guy for some reason I can't remember. There are lot's of "common" situations,
but the language is fairly simple. The series has 13 episodes of about 25 minutes each
(I think the English series has more). I watched the first two, and then things
happened and I forgot about it. I have a new series for the Super Challenge. :)


Yeah I'd recently responded to Mohave regarding this series. I have seen it in both
German and French. I really wanted to order it for French, Spanish and German but found
it became too costly when purchasing the complete course (i think from memory was
mainly only access/subscription) and the series alone was too expensive. I have viewed
it on you tube but wasn't impressed with the quality. Thus i'm prob best off to get my
hands on it once my French is a little better this way I won't need the additional
material but will still get something out of it. Mohave is yet to mention tho how
decent the quality is via youtube. I wish I was I had a lot more free time on my hands
(ie win the lotto!) so that I could not only do all the courses I wanted but could live
in the countries as I did them. Ahhhh wouldn't it be nice.

PM

Edited by PeterMollenburg on 25 June 2014 at 11:00am

2 persons have voted this message useful



Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3019 days ago

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

 
 Message 55 of 164
26 June 2014 at 8:18am | IP Logged 
As you thought, Warum Nicht? and Wieso Nicht? are both available online for free. But besides those courses they have a load of other free material, all arranged by level.

As for Extr@, what is the complete course? From what I understand, if you have the DVD, it has PDF files of the transcript and some worksheets. But since you can watch with French subs, you don't need the transcript. I watched the first two episodes after I posted about it, and I looked up one word in each episode. The language is really pretty simple. Unfortunately, the video quality on YouTube is pretty poor for most of the episodes I've found. I found two channels with the full course, but both were equally poor. This guy has HD versions of the first two episodes, then poor quality for 3 & 4, and then nothing. Maybe if a bunch of us pester him about it, he would put the whole series up in HD?
1 person has voted this message useful



PeterMollenburg
Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3586 days ago

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

 
 Message 56 of 164
28 June 2014 at 6:51am | IP Logged 
Jeffers wrote:
   
As for Extr@, what is the complete course? From what I understand, if you have the
DVD, it has PDF files of the transcript and some worksheets.


I don't remember it very well but I thought I'd come across some website for the series
in which games and grammatical exercises and such could be carried out. I'm almost as
vague on the fact that whoever it was run by was asking for an arm and a leg to gain
access. I don't want all that rubbish anyway, i'm simply wanting to watch the series
and maybe have access to the transcripts if I don't have subtitles in whatever version
I might wind up with. The youtube version (as you noted Jeffers) if it hasn't improved
can go jump as far as I'm concerned as the quality when I last checked it out was
absolute rubbish. Why would someone even bother uploading such crap?

Jeffers wrote:

This guy has HD
versions of the first two episodes, then poor quality for 3 & 4, and then nothing.
Maybe if a bunch of us pester him about it, he would put the whole series up in HD?


Maybe, but i'll leave it up to you to lead the way if you wish, as I couldn't be
bothered at this point. So if you want to sure, i'll back you up :) However it's not a
great loss to me if I don't get to see the series, although it would be nice :)


1 person has voted this message useful



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