Where I Stand Today (And where I want to be…)
My French learning till date has been pretty much erratic..all in bits and pieces. I started learning French in school for 2 years... Then after a gap of almost 10 yrs I decided to pick up from where I left off to continue the learning process..
Where I Stand Today
I initially started leaning by myself through the About French for Beginners E-Course mailers and YouTube videos (there are plenty out there, but what I liked the most was YouLearnFrench . This was so that I could recollect whatever I had learnt all those years back. I then took the DELF A1 exam and hope to get my certification by this Feb.
All this while along with AF classes, I was on the look-out for some interesting courses online. And I must say I've found a few good ones! Here are a few courses I have been doing parallel to my classes
1. BBC Ma France course http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/french/mafrance/flash/#
This is an interesting course to also get familiar with French culture and everyday life in France
2. Carnegie-Mellon Open Learning Initiative - Elementary French l http://oli.cmu.edu/learn-with-oli/see-our-free-open-courses/
This is a course divided into various lessons of around 50-100 pages. It has a lot of listening and writing practice. At the end of each lesson there are a few pages about French culture.
3. Livemocha - I used to love Livemocha and used to do a new lesson every day...that was before they changed to the new format. The new format might have more information but I cant seem to find a structure to all the material. So I've dropped it as a regular activity and instead check it out occasionally for any further updates.
4. Radio channel for beginners - http://www.rfi.fr/
5. Duolingo It has just been a week since I have started using it. It is an app available on Android as well as the PC. It seems to be more of a game..but I am picking up quite a bit from it.
Where I Want to Be
This has been a long-term goal of mine..and it is surely not something that can be achieved in a short time even if you put all the extra effort. It just takes time and practice and a complete exposure to all thing French.
A few things I would like to be are
- Able to think in French - instead of currently thinking in English and converting to French
- Able to understand normal communications - I would like to be able to read books, listen to the radio and watch movies in French without any aid.
- To have better fluency and improve my pronunciation
- DELF B1/B2 certified - The B1 I suppose should take around 3 yrs and B2 around 5 yrs
- To be able to teach French in schools/offices or beginners courses in AF
The Way Forward
The main thing which will help me in my goals is a complete French immersion. Something like listening to French radio which I have begun now. Even if I don't understand most of it, it will at least familiarise me with the accent and pronunciation.
Some thing which I feel will help me are ( will keep adding to this list)
- Radio - already started
- Resources/Open courses from various sources - right now I'm following BBC's Ma France & CM's French 1 (I've listed more details above). I also have Texas Univ course in the pipeline.
- Pinterest French folder
- Youtube tutorial videos...plenty available