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.
Currently Reading: Harry Potter et le Prisonnier d’Azkaban
Last Watched: Dix pour cent (Call My Agent!)
10 Month Update:
Dealing with both university and work has been a bit difficult. My French studies had to take a back-seat for a little while (though not a complete halt). The good news is, I’m done with university (🥳).
My Anki streak is the longest it has ever been. I’m reviewing my flashcards regularly and slowly (but surely) getting a strong grasp on tenses and conjugations.
- I’ve managed to get a great deal of immersion done by playing the new Pokemon Legends: Arceus completely in French. This game has a LOT of un-skippable dialogue.
Apart from that, I’m very nearly finished reading Le Tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours by Jules Verne. My reading speed is now fairly rapid. I’m able to understand the content well enough (even the tenses!) without needing to consult a dictionary too often.
To supplement my reading on days when I don’t get time to read any novels, I’ve subscribed to a few French newsletters. One of them is delivered daily, while the rest are weekly. They talk about a variety of topics, from food to politics. It has been a joy to read these.
I’m having regular conversations with my French tutor twice a week. I also hop onto Discord where I’ve made some friends (French and Canadian), who I try to talk to often while playing some Rocket League. Over on IRC, I occasionally talk in the #français channel on Libera. One of my friends regularly sends over French music they enjoy (Hi jvoisin!), which I then attempt to understand (and occasionally sing a cover of).
At this stage, all my devices have their language preferences set to French.
I more or less exclusively listen to French music nowadays (though still struggle to understand hearing it the first time).
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.
- 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:
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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.
- 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.
Current Study Plan
- Study 20 new flashcards a day in Anki to build my vocabulary:
I use a pre-made deck called “5000 most frequently used French words” which has served me well so far.
- At least 30 minutes of immersion a day (be it passive or active)
- I’ve started using Linguno.com every day for their excellent conjugation drills.
- One module of Michel Thomas’ French audio course
- A few cards of ”Assimil New French with Ease”
- 2 hours of French conversation per week with a native speaker (I found a great tutor from https://www.italki.com/)
- 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).