My classes with Mme. B start again tomorrow. I missed the first class because I had a wedding to go to last weekend. I sent her an email but never got an answer… Last time I missed a class we went over the subjonctif, which would have been the first time I heard anyone really talk about the subjonctif since 11th grade. I’m hoping that we didn’t go over anything super interesting, but you never know.
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Mary Hawkins has written 7 entries about this goal
I’ve had lists going for a while in several different places, but a friend of mine showed me a new site on Friday called smart.fm and I think I’m going to shift most of my learning over to there. The current flash card site I use is perfectly fine, but you’re really limited to your own lists. The new one is weird about conjugated verbs and plurals, but it has set up a great community where you can share words and lessons. You can also add video and text, so I set up a list to one of my favorite Yelle songs and plan on doing more little projects like that.
Whatever I use, I need to be more consistent about it. I’ve been really scattershot about learning lately.
I planned on not taking French class for two semesters once I started cheering, but I miss it and decided that I wanted to jump back in for the summer. Alas, my class is not available this semester. They have no classes on Saturdays and once again, there is nothing on Thursday after work that I can take. Frustrating.
I am debating doing this. It’s a bit expensive, especially since I don’t exactly get vacation days, but it’ll take my French up a level and is highly recommended by my French teacher. Plus, it’s a month on the Rivera for cheap. It’s definitely a working vacation, but my French will jump up afterwards and that school attracts serious students at my level. It’s not exactly sitting on the beach, but since when have I liked sitting on a beach?
Here’s a quick list of things I need to improve…
1. Le subjonctif. Always, always something I don’t use well. It’s confounded me for years. I always feel like I’m on the verge of getting it when we move on in class, so I need to spend some time learning it from several different sources and keep coming back until I get it right. If I get this right and learn to untie my tongue, I’ll be well on my way to leveling up in class.
2. aurais dû. I forget what this tense is actually called, but it’s something I misuse a lot. I think it roughly lines up with “would have been doing”...
3. Ils se sont téléphoné. I need to review verb agreement with COIs and CODs. Sometimes I get it right, sometimes I mess up completely.
4. Les inversions. “Parlez-vous” is easy, “Comment la chatte, a-t-elle fait cette bruit?” is rough, and I didn’t even throw in a COI or negative in there. I could use a refresher.
5. L’ordre des pronoms. Il n’y en a pas. That’s all I remember so I don’t always use “it” and “he/she” properly. I know there is an order, but I can’t remember it. This is one of the things that will stop my sentences dead in their tracks.
6. Des pronoms COI et COD. I could do with a review here. I’d forgotten that lui is also used for women…
7. Difficult conjunctions and prepositions. I’m starting to see conjunctions that are more like “however” and “yet” than if/and/but. My teacher constantly has to feed me les mots exactes in these categories. It would behoove me to learn ‘em.
8. “dont”. I misuse “dont” at every turn. Last time my teacher corrected my “dont”, she gave me “sinon laquelle”...
9. vocabulaire, comme toujours. I used to keep good lists and really work on this, but it’s fallen by the wayside lately.
10. Écouter. My AP French book came with a CD of listening exercises and I should go through them. Since I’m not going to be talking to my French teacher each week, I should listen to something. This plus the news will definitely help my French listening along.
...of course, I also have a bunch of books and workbooks lying around.
This Saturday is the last of my Conversation and Grammar classes for the semester. I like my new teacher and I’m pretty happy with the class overall, but Saturday is going to become a very busy day as soon as the roller derby season starts, especially with our new video plans. I couldn’t find a class on Thursday after 7pm, which is my remaining open time, schedule-wise, but I’ve cooked up an alternate plan…
The phonetics workshops on Saturdays are open to any level and you can pay as you go and miss as many as you need to. They’re early in the morning, which is sad, but they’ll keep me learning. I have a pretty good accent [it’s one of my strengths, actually], but I figure anything that gets me more confident as a speaker is a good thing. I also bought a few self-study guides for intermediate and advanced students. They cover things like the passé simple and the subjonctif, which are things I need to go over again anyway. I also have a whole cache of books to read, so I definitely have materials, I’ll just need to keep myself going. I figure with my current class, I’m spending at least 4.5 hours either doing homework or being in class, so that’s my goal. My teacher also suggested a language learning class in the south of France near Nice, so that’ll be my carrot. It’s expensive, but if I do well with self-study, I’ll consider going to that as my “summer” vacation. I’ll pick up my current class in the fall season.
It’s not ideal, but it’ll keep me busy and engaged. I still have a lot to go before I’m truly comfortable in French, but I get better all the time. I just need to stick with it.
I’ve made a list of nearly 60 words that I learned or ran into this week. I should maybe… you know… actually practice them so they stick. We also don’t know what our homework is just yet, so I may have to study things on my own. I have plenty of things I want to study on my own and a whole day to do it, I just need to exercise some willpower.
That said, I think it’s time I took a nap, and then maybe after breakfast…
Well, since I accidentally “accomplished” reprend la langue française I’ll have to start again with améliorer-ing. My new class starts Saturday!
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