Sunday, November 8, 2015

French progress via video

When I took my 6-week intensive French course back in May and June, every couple of weeks I filmed myself speaking in French (cringe).

This way, I'd have something tangible I could look back on to see improvement. Rewatching these now, I can pick out lots of errors, so that's something—even in the most recent video from October! I now know some words that I didn't know then (like flamingo, it's flamant rose, not "flamingo" like I say in the latest vid!)

Even if you don't speak French, I think you'll notice a big difference between the very first one and any of the more recent videos.

I'm now in the intermediate stage, and it's hard to see progress—even though I've been operating in French for the past month after moving here (minus work and blogging). So I'm planning to keep doing a video every month, in the hopes that I'll have evidence of some progress.

I'm sharing them here to show others that language learning is most often a long, gradual journey. Heck, I took my first French class ever five years ago during my senior year of college. After graduating I very lightly dabbled in French from time to time, but didn't make another concentrated effort until my recent course in Montpellier (finally).

So while I'm aiming to reach an advanced level by springtime (a life list goal), it'll have already been a 5+ year journey. Spanish was way longer, from little 12-year-old me in 7th grade to the present. Fourteen years.

Knowing the best ways to learn a language via immersion (rather than classroom/textbook) has definitely made me learn French much faster than when I learned Spanish. This is thanks to the two years I lived in Madrid, plus all of the language-learning strategies I've read on the FluentU Blogs for the past year and a half while working.

But I'll save those tips for another day, so here we go. The first four clips were filmed on my old, slow MacBook Pro, so please excuse all of the freezing and poor picture. Also, I think it'll be pretty clear, but these are all unscripted. No planning is done, I just hit record and go.

May 5, 2015

May 27, 2015

June 5, 2015

(First video totally froze, the next one didn't save after I recorded, which is why the second video (actually the third I recorded) picks up mid-sentence):

October 17, 2015

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