Structured French learning on Duolingo?
I am hoping to start learning French very soon on Duolingo. I currently use Duolingo to refresh myself on Spanish. I have had formal instruction in school for Spanish for several years, and for the purposes of refreshing, Duolingo is perfect. However, with French, I would be starting with no prior education on Duolingo.
For anyone who has learned a language from scratch on here, did you supplement your learning with anything else? I find that in one practice I did on French, I was starting to do exercises without any firm grounding or notes on conjugations,alaphabet pronounciation,etc. How did you guys cater the format of this site to help you create a structure in your learning? Thanks in advance for your help!
I would definitely recommend the Easy French youtube series to supplement your French studies. The series takes place on the streets of France as a person asks various people questions. It gives you a good example what regular every-day french sounds like ( subtitles are included for both French and English ).
They also have a Super Easy French series, where everybody talks with simpler grammar, basic vocabulary, and at a much slower rate. It's good for complete beginners.
I had some tuition in french at school a few years ago so possibly in a slightly different situation. However what I would say is that although I think duolingo is fantastic for learning vocab the grammar isn't great for new languages. I found this when I started Danish. For french I would say you should be alright but you should learn the regular verb conjugations as well as 'to have' and 'to be' first as they come up all the time even in the first few subjects. Good luck!
When learning languages for which I've had no formal instruction, I've found it helpful to start out with watching videos on the alphabet and pronunciation on Youtube.
For conjugation and some grammar notes, Bescherelle La Conjugaíson 12000 verbes is a good reference book. Beyond the notes and tips for each lesson, I search online for specific questions or refer to a grammar book. My grammar books for French are ancient, so I don't have one specifically to recommend.
I've not tried Frenchpod101, but liked it for Japanese and Portuguese. There are a number of other people making videos and podcasts for language learners and I've found some that I've liked mostly through poking about and trying different things to supplement Duolingo.
I had several semesters of university Spanish, and like you I have found Duolingo a good way to stay connected to the language.
Duolingo was how I started studying French. I'm about half through the French tree. About a month ago I started a university course in introductory French. I find the two approaches complement each other very well. The university course is more structured around grammar, vocabulary and contextual dialogue whereas Duolingo gives me the opportunity to learn / reinforce vocabulary and practice the written language.
Each of us learns languages in different ways. We also all likely have different ideas of what it means to "learn" a language. For me, Duolingo falls more into the category of language review instead of language learning. I have the ability to accurately type a lot of random sentences on a wide variety of topics in both Spanish and French, but I don't think this has really translated into improved real life spoken language.
I think that reading comprehension is a good benefit of the Duolingo approach because of the wide range of vocabulary and the focus on the learner reading and typing responses. Good supplements to using Duolingo for self-study are a French grammar workbook and listening to native French speakers engaged in situational dialogues. YouTube is actually quite a good resource as there are many French lessons available.
I started French here from scratch, got to the middle of the tree and felt like I had to stop there to reinforce the information before continuing. I then started to go through official memrise courses (there are 7 parts). Here is the first part: https://www.memrise.com/course/1098357/french-1/ .. I find that I know most of the vocabulary from Duolingo, but Memrise course does a better job in teaching me the structures of the sentences (for example I finally understand how to structure questions) and in putting each word in better context. I am now starting the 3rd course (finishing this should put me to level A1), after that I will probably be ready to continue here on Duo, but I will still continue with part 4 etc on Memrise. I feel they are a great supplement to each other and I wish the new Memrise courses were here when I was learning German. Good luck and happy learning.