J'ai finí mon arbre!
... et je suis très heureux :D
Ok, I know that it appears a discussion like this every day or so, but I hope you would understand my happiness ;) It took about 2 months for me to complete the french tree, and I'm far from being fluent. But at least I can understand at a basic level now, and it's a great satisfaction. I still have big problems in the "active" skills like writing and speaking, but I'm going to improve that.
What will I do next? I'll mantain my actual rhythm of study (~1hr/day) doing the following activities:
-keep my french tree gold
-(begin the reverse tree? Maybe, I'm not sure it's the best idea right now)
-read, read and read again: I'm actually reading some books in easy french, consisting of about 1500 different words, I'll try to improve my comprehension.
-finish my grammar book: I have already done the first half of Maia Gregoire's beginner book, I'll definitely finish that and, if I have enough time, I'll begin the intermediate one.
-improve my hearing skills watching tons of videos on youtube (Telefrançais and French Balls rule). In addition to this, I'm a big fan of Gainsbourg, so I already sing his songs loud under the shower ;) (ok, the shower it's a joke, but I think that singing in the target language helps both my pronunciation and the memorization of new words)
-find a way to practice speaking: yesterday I had my first french speaking at all, with my girlfriend. She was quite surprised, as she knew that I were studying french all alone, but she said that, for being the very first time for me, I spoke quite well. I wish I could practice in some manner, because at the moment speaking is my biggest gap...
What are my objectives? In two months I'll move to France, so I try to learn as much as possible now and, although I'm still in Italy, I'm trying to create a " french immersion atmosphere" to help me learn more. As I go there I'll sign to a french course, but, due to the fact that they are expensive, I would like to achieve a level that permits me to attend an intermediate course instead of a beginner one... let's see, I'm quite positive!
Sorry for the lenght, if anyone had the patience of reading all my words I would be happy to know his/her thought ;) (and sorry for eventual errors in my english, it's not my mother language)
Good learning to everyone!
You will definitely want to eyeball lingvist.com.
I didn't find the reverse tree that helpful. What I've toyed with and want to work on really hard is running my Duolingo lessons without looking at the screen so I have to interpret what I'm hearing. It's a bit of trouble since not every sentence is given to us verbally but it definitely makes you work your brain.
You have a French girlfriend or a girlfriend that speaks French and you can't figure out how to practice your speaking in French?
I finished my French tree after about 10 months and I absolutely understand your happiness at the accomplishment. I kept my buttons gold and did a lesson a day from each of the buttons on the current "row" I was learning. After all that time I found I could read French quite well but I couldn't speak even the most basic sentence.
If I had a dream tutor it would be someone that could work from baby-talk on up. Start with the most basic of subject+verb+direct-object and subject+verb+predicate-adjective sentences and questions. Do these until they are second nature. (As an adult I'd guess a couple of weeks at an hour a day.) After that start throwing in clauses and other complications.
Keeping up with studies; listening to movies, youtube, other resources; don't forget to practice your writing as well; these things you can do without much help from others. Speaking is all about human interaction and the hardest thing to manage without willing helpers.
Bonne chance et je te souhaite de bons voyages.
PS - Your English (my mother tongue) is very good.
Thank you for your response, I'll give lingvist a look! I have a french speaking (but not mother tongue) girlfriend, now living in France: yeah, I could speak with her, and last evening we did so, but, due to the fact that we don't see us often, when we are together we speak italian, because there is little time and many things to say :P You're right, I'll speak with her a little more in French, but I'd like to find an "independent" way of speaking, so I can boost my skills far more. Merci beaucoup de ta réponse!