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Learning French (efficiently) 🇫🇷
Sun 26 September 2021

With this document, I plan to record my progress in learning French. I began my studies sometime in July on 2021. My purpose and motivation of learning is to achieve a minimum level of B2 proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing.

Days of Study       :

Currently Reading  : Harry Potter A L’Ecole des Sorciers

Last Watched        : Dix pour cent (Call My Agent!)

5 Month Update:

  • Had to take an extended break from my French studies for a while. Paused for about 3 weeks or so but I was able to get through my backlog fairly rapidly.
    Broke my 62 day streak. Back at it now.
  • Surprisingly enough, my comprehension feels a lot better than before. Even without constant consumption of French media or active studies (apart from my Duolingo streak).
  • I feel I'm ready to begin consumption of French literature and media again. I'll try to finish Dix pour cent before the end of January.
  • I also managed to record a cover of one of my favorite French songs, Les Champs-Élysées by Joe Dassin:

3 Month Update:

  • My reading speed is fairly rapid at this point. I'm able to "read" without pausing too much to think about the meaning of a sentence/word. I say "read" in quotes because I tend to neglect the tenses but I'm able to get the general idea understood.
  • I still need to work a lot on generation. I have the words present in my head but joining them together is still a bit difficult. I think I'll start regularly posting on /r/WriteStreak now.
    Need a lot of work on using the correct tense, as well as keeping in mind the 16 être verbs.
  • Here's my speech after ~95 days of study. Still needs a lot of work.

  • My French tutor conducted a reading comprehension test, along with quizzes about the content. I was able to read and understand it fairly comfortably, without needing too many hints. He later told me that's a B1 level comprehension test.
  • I'm also able to get in ~30-45 minutes of reading a day. Nowadays, it takes me about 10 minutes to read a page of Harry Potter (while occasionally looking up a couple of words).
  • I'm getting proficient in consumption of French media, though I still find generation a bit difficult. I'll begin maintaining a journal in French soon. I manage to speak 2 hours of French with my tutor (who is a Native French speaker) every week. The vocabulary is there, but the grammar is a bit lacking.

Current Study Plan

Potential Improvements

  • Using the pre-made deck has been great for kick-starting my vocabulary, but I believe I’m at the point of diminishing returns. I’m going to slowly transition from using a bilingual pre-made deck to a strictly monolingual deck of cards that I make myself. I’ll be using a technique called “sentence mining”. Essentially, I immerse myself in French media, writing and conversations and everything I don’t understand, I make a flashcard for.
  • Duolingo is of very little help, but I keep using it to maintain my streak (and also see at a glance how many days I’ve been studying for).