New blog entry here: http://haisell.net/2016/02/14/french-week-6/
Week 6 target: 4766 known words.
Week 6 result: 4873 known words.
Rolling through into my sixth week of French – now not in the UK but in Turkey. After reading a few bits and pieces read by Marianne I started to get itchy feet to start to read a whole book in French. I knew exactly which book I was going to start with – the first one I read in Spanish, Steve Kaufmann’s book. This is a perfect challenge for a first book: it is not too long, it is not complex but is interesting and I have already read it in one of my languages. And it is going to feel great to have read my first book in French.
Listening lags behind of course. I’ve made a couple of playlists of beginner 1 and beginner 2 material to listen to using the LingQ app, and for now I will just aim to keep my listening above 6 hours a week. Bit by bit it will start to get easier.
Six weeks in and feeling very pleased with my progress – even more so because I haven’t gone anywhere near a flashcard or a text book.
Week 7 target: 5473 known words.
I envy the dedication. Keep going!
Likewise. “Consistancy is key!”
Your progress reminds me my current steps in Spanish. The biggest surprise for me is the Steve’s book. I had read it in other languages and I’ve just started it, too. What a coincidence!
There’s something really powerful about starting your first book in a language. In fact I have very old memories of reading my first books in English on my own. At the time my Mum told me “now the world’s your oyster” - which if a nice little expression which means the world is yours to enjoy and explore. So true in your first language, and just as true in your second…third…fourth…
I have less than 200 known words in Spanish and was thinking about starting this very book myself.
I guess I’m overreaching.
Probably… but not definitely. It all depends on your interest, determination and tolerance towards unknown words. No one but you know when you’re ready for a particular text.
I’ve started working with longer texts (audio is usually 13 minutes, at least ) that are for intermediate students. These texts are waaaaaay more interesting but going through them takes ages. There are many parts where I’m totally confused and I have no idea who is doing what or what the heck is going on. But I get most of them while going through the text word by word. I have some words that are known to me but still there’s yellow all over the page. I used to mark words as known only when I was like 1000000% sure I know its meaning but recently I watched a Steve’s video where he was talking about passive vocabulary. I no longer mark words as known if I think I can actively use them but I make them known if I see them and immediately know their meaning. Now I add known words more rapidly and it a) motivates me a lot, b) helps me go through texts faster because I don’t have to look up each and every single word.
The only problem with these texts is that after I finish reading one I’m so exhausted I don’t have the motivation to listen to it and go through the text once again… I tried listening to them on my phone but without seeing the text, I understand close to nothing huh. I guess I’ll stick to reading, for now, to build up some vocabulary because it’s not like I don’t recognize words I hear but I simply have so few of them.
I completely understand the desire to start reading intermediate material, even the very best beginner material is still pretty boring. If you are enjoying the intermediate texts I suggest you continue reading them - but maybe break them up into smaller parts so you don’t tire yourself out! For example do one lesson over a number of days. The biggest danger is losing motivation and giving up - so watch out for that!
Also, you could do a combination of beginner and intermediate texts. Or focus on beginner texts for just a couple of weeks. Just to build up your knowledge of all the common words and expressions. This is partly why I am reading so intensely in the first few months of my French: I wanted to become independent from artificial texts as quickly as possible, and I think that inevitably involves a bit of time reading beginner material.
Great idea, I will try mixing more advanced and long texts with some simpler and shorter ones.