As of a few days ago, I decided to learn French on my own. I just finished my university degree and during my 4 years I took 3 years of Spanish courses and 2 years of German. I found that the pace and program of these classes weren’t motivating me to self-study at home. I would go to class, memorize a few points, review those points before a test and score between 60-90% on these tests depending how motivated I was. However now that I’m done university, I want seriously learn a new language. My goal is to learn a not too difficult language, find which methods work best for me, prove to myself that I can stay motivated and persistent to learn a new skill, and transfer this to learning new skills (Advanced Mathematics) or touching up on other languages (Spanish & German) and skills (Writing Music, Photography). So, I believe learning French would be the best choice for my goal.
Other than wanting to learn French for many years now (since I was 17 and hoping to study in Montreal), there are many other reasons why I would like to learn French, but enough background. I am looking for some advice regarding my self-study French program I developed for myself. This is a 6 (or 7) month program. The goal is to become confident enough to have natural conversations with advanced leveled and/or native speakers and possible employers looking for bilingual applicants. My ultimate goal would to be able to teach French at a local tutoring school in my city. So here’s my program. [Take note, I took a novice course in French last year and I learned French in my primary school although I forgot everything I learned from back then. Also, since I know Spanish quite well, I am beginning French at almost an intermediate level (grammar-wise, not vocab-wise)].
[Pre-6 months - April]
Listen to French podcasts (beginner level - native speaker), music and watch French movies with English subtitles to familiarize myself with the sounds of the language. [Daily, at least one podcast a day, listen to radio daily, youtube, watch movie about weekly).
Read short dialogues with sound clips (beginner and intermediate) www,podcastfrancaisfacile.com is wonderful for this. 1-2 hours for intermediate dialogues per day, 15-30 mins on beginner dialogues per day.)
I am using www.lingq.com to add new vocabulary from these texts so I have a bank of words that I can memorize and test myself on daily (similar to Anki but better I think). I also use Duolingo for about 30 mins a day when I am commuting.
Practice spoken french (usually read the dialogues out loud to myself on the train or bus.) There’s a helpful video for each dialogue in which the podcastfrancaisfacile teacher speaks for one person and I respond with the other person’s dialogue.
If I have time I usually watch a youtube video on French grammar. I am planning to buy or download a grammar book soon to add to my daily exercises. Overall, this is around 3-5 hours daily of learning.
I will most likely continue my April program for May and June, as so far I am finding it effective. But this is also when I will shed my self-studying cocoon and engage with other language learners to practice my spoken french in conversation.
So far I am planning to look for language partners on italkie and lingq. I want to have a few people to practice with online. Realistically speaking, I would say I will probably speak with someone online 2 times a week. As time goes on, perhaps I can make that 3-4 times.
I have already RVSP’d to french exchange meetups in my city for May and June.
I suppose I could get some lessons during this time to work on my pronunciation and whatever else is needed too.
I assume I would have a mixture of self-study and conversation practice here. Nothing else planned other than perhaps an increase in going to meetups and skyping? Here’s where I need advice. In the later months of my learning, what else do you think I should do? Also, how does my program look to you? Should I move from dialogues to short texts or perhaps simple books in the later months? Should I move onto more advanced grammar, or get enough for conversation? Any advice would be welcomed!
If you read this all, merci beaucoup! (: