Progress Report – 2 Weeks of French

It has been 2 weeks since we have started learning French seriously. Here is what we have achieved so far.

Courses

  • Completed Stage 1 of Babbel.com’s yearlong course which corresponds to A1 level. Though officially we have a certificate from Babbel.com that we know the material for A1, this course has not really given me the confidence and intuitive understanding of how the language works. It has equipped me with a good set of vocabulary along with some helpful rules of grammar.
  • Completed 2 modules (14 Lessons) of Assimili French courses. I started this only 10 days back after trying many online courses and by far, this is the best course that I have seen. I revised the last 2 weeks’ material yesterday and I am beginning to understand intuitively how the language works. Without the need to explicitly sit and memorize word lists, I have actually learnt a lot of words in their proper context.
  • Completed 5 stories in Easy French Reader. It is a joy to read this book as it is very easy and has very little vocabulary exactly suited for our level now.
  • I completed 2 lessons of Livemocha’s Basic French, but discontinued it after I found Assimil. My wife has completed the Level 1 of Livemocha’s Active French and she plans to complete all 4 Levels in that course. We decided that we can try different courses to see how they measure up.

Results

  • French pronunciation is not a mystery anymore and it is not as daunting or frustrating as it seemed to be in the first 2-3 days. Now, I am able to recognize a few words when I listen to a live conversation.
  • We had 2 outings where we tried to use what we learnt successfully. I was able to ask some basic questions in the market. It was such a great feeling last week when I was able to coin a question in French to ask ‘Do you have grapes without seeds?’. We are trying to actively apply whatever little we know so that we get into the habit of using the language, thanks to the advice of Bennie Lewis in his Language Hacking Guide.
  • We are trying to actively read the notices/billboards on the way and we are trying to decipher any French material that we get – it is an enjoyable process now as we are able to understand some sentences.

So far, it has been a wonderful ride. The best thing that has happened to me in the last 2 week is finding the Assimil course. It has been such an enjoyable course. It has taken all the frustration out of learning a new language. Thank you Assimil Team for such an incredible job.

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