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Making the leap: B2 to C1

  Tags: Advanced Level
 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
bpasseri
Triglot
Newbie
United States
Joined 1475 days ago

2 posts - 2 votes
Speaks: English*, Spanish, French
Studies: Mandarin, Italian

 
 Message 1 of 6
05 October 2015 at 8:51pm | IP Logged 
Hello!

I minored in both French and Spanish in college and languages have always been an important part of my life.
When I studied abroad in Paris I was put in a B2 level language class and I would put my Spanish at about the
same level. However, now that I am out of school I have noticed them starting to get rusty. Even while living in
Paris I found it difficult to make real progress towards fluency. The program was run through my university so all
of us native English speakers were living together (all with varying levels of French) and so we weren't immersed
outside of our language classes and possibly being out buying groceries or exploring the city.

My question is, now that I am not actively taking courses or immersed in the language, what is the best way to
advance one's language skills? I would really like to increase my fluency in these languages before moving on to
my next project (I've studied a little Italian and Mandarin and would like to one day learn Portuguese and
Japanese as well). How do you all manage to get to advanced (C1/C2) levels (and maintain them) while constantly
adding new languages as well?!
1 person has voted this message useful



Cavesa
Triglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 3144 days ago

3277 posts - 6778 votes 
Speaks: Czech*, FrenchC2, EnglishC1
Studies: Spanish, German, Italian

 
 Message 2 of 6
05 October 2015 at 9:21pm | IP Logged 
Hi, welcome to the forums!

First of all, you may want to consider founding your log on the new forums instead, where majority of this community has moved to after the last round of technical problems here
forum.language-learners.org

And there are many ways to improve from where you are, I was around B2 a few years ago as well in French.

Actually what was the point of that university program, if you had quite no opportunity to immerse in the language? :-D

What to do: tons of options. Very efficient are tv series an movies, books and so on. There are resources for polishing your grammar as well, or widening active vocabulary. There are opportunities to use the language that can be found. I personally recommend the Super Challenge. Watching a hunred movies and reading thousands of pages can't fail to help you improve significantly. Especially the large amounts of tv series are the main part of my progress from B2 to C2 French during the last couple of years.

I recommend logs by Emk, Robierre, Stelle, James29 and many others for tons of useful information.
4 persons have voted this message useful



iguanamon
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Virgin Islands
Speaks: Ladino
Joined 3397 days ago

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

 
 Message 3 of 6
05 October 2015 at 9:31pm | IP Logged 
Welcome to the forum, bpasseri! In short- read, listen, speak and write. I can help some, with Spanish.

Try reading native material- novels, biographies, etc. Try watching series rtve a la carta has a wide selection of programs in Spanish available online from Spain. Try daily listening to a newscast, several are available as podcasts. For speaking consider a language exchange with someone at your level who wants to practice their English- italki and interpals are good places to look. For about $10 US an hour, nulengua.com and plqe.org offer online tutoring via skype. Graded exercises up to C1 are available at Centro Virtual Cervantes Aveteca from Spain. Gramática de uso del Español C1-C2 is a good grammar book with exercises.

The main thing is to use the language in a native context and with natives as often as possible and with explicit grammar study. Read as much as you can, listen as much as you can, speak as much as you can and write for correction on lang8.

Good luck!
5 persons have voted this message useful



James29
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3510 days ago

1265 posts - 2113 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: French

 
 Message 4 of 6
05 October 2015 at 10:52pm | IP Logged 
Going from B2 to C1 is the story of my life... or at least the story of the first our of every day for the last three years of my life. It seems to take forever. Anyway a ton of both audio and reading input is definitely necessary. I am also a proponent of studying some grammar too. The grammar book recommended by Iguanamon would be perfect. I think you cannot go wrong with a yearly goal to 1) complete that grammar book 2) read as many novels as possible and 3) watch a full telenovela or two.   
6 persons have voted this message useful



bpasseri
Triglot
Newbie
United States
Joined 1475 days ago

2 posts - 2 votes
Speaks: English*, Spanish, French
Studies: Mandarin, Italian

 
 Message 5 of 6
08 October 2015 at 2:10am | IP Logged 
Thank you so much guys!! All really useful info. At the moment I'm obsessed with Gran Hotel... hoping I can find
some French shows that are just as addicting!
1 person has voted this message useful



Cavesa
Triglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 3144 days ago

3277 posts - 6778 votes 
Speaks: Czech*, FrenchC2, EnglishC1
Studies: Spanish, German, Italian

 
 Message 6 of 6
08 October 2015 at 6:37pm | IP Logged 
There are tons of French shows to choose from, especially if you like crime series and comedies. Some recommendations:

Profilage: good crime series. Even though the authors should never have heard about cliffhangers, they learnt to make those too well. Crime series with some humour, pretty clear French.

Engrenages: very good crime series and drama, tons of prizes, popular abroad, hard French

Kaamelott: parody on the legends of King Arthur. Hilarious, awesome, sometimes harder French. Short episodes

Hero Corp: parody on the superheroes movies.Especially the first few seasons are great.

I've seen a few more but I'd need to think a bit.


1 person has voted this message useful



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