Week Five Episode Six
Welcome to the last episode of French Conversations for Beginners. We hoped you learned some very useful French words and phrases to go shopping, meet people, get transportation, go to a restaurant, and make new friends. We wanted to share some free resources to move forward with French.
Dr. Stephen Krashen is a leading professor in SLA (second language acquisition) who proposes that people learn languages by understanding messages. Janina is a Krashen follower and the power of input in learning languages. She also believes in the power of output, and that practicing speaking and writing gives you confidence and gets you in the right mindset, used to making errors, and figure out what you don’t know. Keep looking things up in the dictionary and asking for help to fill in those gaps and keep moving forward.
(01:45) Practicing making language yourself is very important, but Janina also understands that we have two ears and one mouth. Focus doubly on what you hear. Your life may not be able to change long enough to learn a language to fluency in one set period of time, so use your time driving, cooking and cleaning to use that time to improve your language skills.
(02:45) Janina listened to many audio books to improve her Spanish, especially self-help books since they contained many commands. She used her commuting and exercising (walking) time to improve her language skills and boost her confidence. She was able to move to intermediate Italian and improve from only words and phrases, into constructing whole sentences in Italian. One of her secrets was using audio books.
(03:50) French is a category 1 language. It’s one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn. The Foreign Service Institute trains diplomats to go on missions aboard and are focused on practical language. It takes people who go through this program about 750 hours of focused learning and input to reach B2 level (fluent), intermediate-high or advanced-low level.
(05:00) You can go to reallifelanguage.com/reallifelanguageblog to get a free course that explains how to measure your progress and fluency. But as a rule of thumb, people take 750 to 1000 hours to reach that level. Use that commuting, walking, cooking, cleaning, shopping time into language learning time. Listen to novels, classics, self-help books, and language programs to boost your French.
(05:45) Get a free trial from Audible. Google it or sign up via AudibleTrial.com/frenchconversations to get a free trial membership. They’re very portable and load from your mobile device so you don’t have to deal with books on tape or audio CD’s.
(07:00) Specific titles that helped to learn Italian…
Pimsleur Method program by Dr. Paul Pimsleur. He talks a lot about spaced repetition and are delivered daily in 30 minute increments.
“Earworms” has three levels. It is not as focused but is more fun and is great for beginners. Music can make language stick, the same way a tune or song lyrics get stuck in your head.
Paul Noble is a great polyglot and language teacher. He has great programs on Audible.
Another fantastic teacher is Michel Thomas. You get to hear his students’ responses. There’s also “Learn in Your Car” which isn’t as exciting as the others, but works.
(09:50) You can hit those 750 to 1000 hours using audiobooks without it being an extra stress or burden in your daily life. It can really accelerate your path to mastery in any language.
Thank you for joining us. We wish you the best of luck in your language learning endeavours. Please be sure to visit us at our blog where we share language lessons, clips and podcasts in 11 different languages.
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