Can I speak french yet?
Haha – sadly no. I was able to spend some time this week doing many extra lessons. Due to the holiday, I missed speaking french with a friend this week, and I’m set to read some more french stories tomorrow (it’s a practice week- not a video week!)
Some positives this week:
I’ve had a streak to meet my Duolingo goals for 7 days again. I moved up to a level 11 on the app (still not sure what that means), and lastly, I’m at 33% fluency (not sure what that means either). I spent some time writing out lists of different words I could recall under specific headings – and I’ve gotten 3 pages worth already!
As discussed by Ashley and Vanessa this week I also found myself questioning the how much I’m getting out of Duolingo – and if the language I am learning in that forum is indeed enough to get me ‘speaking french’. I do like the app, it’s ease of use the way I can complete my lessons during my ‘down time’ in a day on my phone, and the fact that my goal of 50xp is completed in a short period of time is helpful too. All is not lost because (I think of the way I work within many mediums to reach my goal – but given my extra ‘time’ to focus on the app itself this week did have me looking to see if the grass is greener with other apps!
It all started with searching for french songs/stories being read with the words, and I was led to an app called FluentU, the description was everything I was looking for – real life videos with french captioning, songs etc! I read several blogs on the top apps for learning French, and FluentU was listed on one of them – so I signed up to give it a try. It says ‘free trial’ however, you have to give the details for payment ($30/month) once the 15 day trial runs out (you can cancel at any time). The thing is, I tried it on multiple devices and I just found it too busy. There were so many things going on – AND the videos (at least the ones I was watching) had nothing to do with the phrases I was practicing! Needles to say, I quickly deactivated my account – it was not the app for me.
I finally had the chance to sign up for and practice with the Mango language learning app. If you have a Regina Public Library card – you have full access to the app for free (this is my favourite kind of app!) My concern with Duolingo was more about my ability to recall and speak the words (I find it to be very contrived and the words are almost always available to you while you are practicing. I was looking for an app that would push me to speak the words without spoon feeding them to me, and I’ve found it in Mango! So far I really like the format, repetition and recall skills used to cement the phrases. I also really like that at any given point in time, you can complete an assessment and see what lesson you should be on.
This week I plan to shift my focus to Mango- I will continue to keep my ‘bars full’ on Duolingo, but won’t necessarily work to learn new skills on that app. I will get back into listening to French radio on the way to and from work. I will complete a minimum of three french conversations a week and lastly I will continue to practice reading French books.
Until next week, happy learning everyone!