https://www.duolingo.com/Drbernar

Getting to C1 Level From Low/Mid-B2 ASAP

Hello everyone,

I'm living in Paris working as an au pair since January of this year, and I'll continue to do so until June of next year. I studied French for more than 6 years prior to coming here, albeit with a 2-year break at one point. I took a French course that was 6h/week from January-June this year also. I estimate my level to be low or mid-B2, I believe that my writing and comprehension are above my speaking level also. I want to do a masters program here next fall, and unless I choose a program in English, an official score of C1 will be needed to apply to many of these programs. I believe applications for most programs are open from late winter to early spring. I am going to sign up for French classes again but unfortunately I cannot take a very intensive course because of my au pair schedule. I think I could do a 9 or 10h/week course at the most. I do not speak much French with my au pair family as I'm supposed to speak English with the kid, but I can speak a little with the parents. I'm trying to meet French people also, though this is a bit difficult. Do you think it is too unrealistic to hope to be able to pass the C1 exam?

September 15, 2018

33 Comments


[deactivated user]

    I assume you've already learnt a lot of grammar and got some practice during these years, and you want to enhance your fluency, am I right?

    If my assumption is correct, then I suggest not signing up to any french language class, but you should sign up to a class where you can learn about the topic of your interest in french. Maybe there are preparational courses at the university or somewhere, that's the best. I went to school in France for a month, and participating in regular schoolwork was the most intensive language course that I can imagine. Another point for that: they studied some subjects differently than we did at home. Maths, for example: they were doing things we were told to be university stuff, and they hadn't learnt things that were evident for me by then. Maybe you should look into that before applying to a masters course.

    If you can't find such classes, then you can still join an art club or go to the gym, because even a yoga class can teach you new stuff and you can also meet french people at such places, who may also help you with relevant information.

    September 16, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Drbernar

    That's a really good suggestion, I hadn't even thought of that. My only worry is that these classes would require evidence of a certain level of French.

    Gym is a really good idea, although I only make 330 euros per month! :(

    September 16, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss

    Hi,

    have you tried: www.meetup.com

    Even in my smaller German city there is a weekly local exchange table.

    Have you checked https://events.duolingo.com/paris/ ?

    I see two French exchange groups and one English group.

    September 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Drbernar

    Meetup is actually where I found this international group, it's called TripMeeters! There are a couple groups on there I'm hoping to get involved with, for example, there's one where people meet to pass out food to homeless people.

    I will check out the Duolingo events, thank you!

    September 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/serialspeaker

    Je pense que tu rencontrera bien des Français… Il y a tellement de gens différent dans mon pays ! D'ailleurs, tu est tellement fort en français que tu comprends tout ce que je t'écris ! Bon courage, Danni

    September 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Drbernar

    Je crois que je comprends bien les personnes mais j'ai du mal à m'exprimer bien et avec confiance. J'ai passé trop de temps dans les cours où on a du temps pour réfléchir avant de parler.

    September 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Deodso

    Ce serait bien de vérifier votre orthographe avant d'envoyer votre commentaire. Tu rencontreras, de gens différents, tu es, forte. Quand j'étais en 3ème, une faute = 4 points et les dictées étaient nettement plus longues que votre commentaire. Ne faire aucune faute est une marque de politesse envers la personne qui vous lit.

    September 19, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Deodso

    DUOLINGO is not enough but go on and do English for french people it is more difficult in this way (you have to change your language on your profile, and choice after English for French) after you can change your language. Im sure that you . You can find on the internet and Youtube free courses. bonjourdefrance.com, to meet people paris.onvasortir.com. Try to speak often when you are on the street (quand vous rencontrez une personne qui promène son chien, parlez-lui de son chien, Il est beau, quel âge a-t-il ? ou dans un magasin demandez où se trouve les yaourts à une cliente... même si tu sais où ils se trouvent, remercie-la, il y a beaucoup d'occasions de parler, les gens adorent parler du temps le plus souvent pour se plaindre...), regardez la télé ou des videos sur internet, écoutez la radio, lisez les journaux et lisez les livres des enfants que vous gardez, vous pouvez aussi vous inscrire gratuitement dans les bibliothèques municipales ...

    September 16, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Drbernar

    I'm not sure I follow, change my app language to French and try learning English will be helpful?

    I do need to be more confident about speaking with people, I just have a fear of saying something they don't understand or with a bad accent (I know my accent is overall good but there are words I don't pronounce comfortably). Thank you for the links! I've heard of On Va Sortir but not the other site, it looks really useful. I'm going to try immersing myself more thoroughly in French, I already listen French music :)

    September 16, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Deodso

    Ajout à mon commentaire. N'oubliez pas de lire chaque jour à haute voix. Chantez des chansons en français est aussi conseillé. La confiance en soi s'acquiere : "jetez-vous à l'eau" ! (expression française) dans meu de temps vous direz « J’avais peur de parler le français, je n’osais pas parler français en public, mais un jour, j’ai décidé de me jeter à l’eau et aujourd’hui, je parle français avec confiance. » Là, vous avez pris la décision : vous ne parliez jamais français en public et une fois, vous avez pris la décision, vous vous êtes littéralement jeté dans l’eau et vous avez commencé à parler français en public avec des gens.

    September 16, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Drbernar

    Merci beaucoup pour plus de conseils. J'écoute presque exclusivement la musique française mais je dois passer plus de temps à lire les paroles et chanter à haute voix. La semaine dernière j'ai eu ma première opportunité d'avoir une discussion avec des français inconnus et j'ai reçu beacoup de compliments sur mon accent et tout, ça m'a encouragé. Je me sens plus confiante maintenant :) donc je vais chercher plus de situations où je peux parler

    September 17, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/MaryAnne993219

    Bien écrit en français!

    September 17, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Deodso

    Bravo pour votre excellent français écrit. Comme vous visez le niveau C1. Juste quatre remarques. Pour ces conseils supplémentaires. On écoute de la musique. A lire les paroles et à chanter tout cela m'a encouragé. Je sais que Duolingo emploie sans cesse "ça" qui est du registre familier et du français parlé ( ça ou c'la) alors qu'il est indispensable pour vous de connaître le français formel. Attention C1 est un niveau très élevé, C2 est quasiment le niveau bilingue. Quel examen devez-vous passer ? celui de la Sorbonne ? ( j'ai appris à L'Alliance française l'enseignement du français pour les non-francophones. Si vous voulez vous pouvez m'écrire : deodso.blanc@wanadoo.fr, je retirerai cette adresse dès que vous l'aurez lue).

    September 18, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/MaryAnne993219

    Without knowing your skill weaknesses, it is hard to say. You are right to take a class (some will ask you if you are applying for DALF) and you are right to find a conversation group. Duo is not going to give you C1 grammar, but kwiziq.com has it. You can also review all your levels with that site. Good luck. It seems like you are making great progress.

    September 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Drbernar

    Isn't it DALF that's for C1 and C2 tests? I think I've used that site once before but I'd forgotten about it. Thank you for your advice!

    September 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/MaryAnne993219

    Actually, it seems to be both. http://www.ciep.fr/en/dalf/overview

    September 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/MaryAnne993219

    Yes, my mistake. I will edit.

    September 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/ppelk

    Might be a good idea to hire a personal tutor to assess your level and make a study plan for passing DALF in time.

    September 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Drbernar

    That's true, I worry that would be pretty expensive, unless our meetings were infrequent

    September 16, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Giovanna-Louise

    you say in your post.. "I am trying to meet French people also , though this is a bit difficult.."

    I find very hard to understand this part of your post..maybe you can clarify? ...Why is it difficult to meet French people in Paris (!!), the french city, where you actually live...? Is your au pair schedule too busy or are you living in a predominantly foreign language speaking neighbourhood/house/suburb and there are absolutely no native french speaking Parisians around in coffee shops and restaurants?

    Also..have you thought (just a small suggestion)of changing your job and finding something in a more french speaking environment..

    I think that your goal is quite realistic, but it depends on how much you are willing to put an effort and time into improving /speaking.. you just need to shift your priorities so to speak.. Bonne chance!

    September 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Drbernar

    Well so far the people I've met have been only other foreigners, like other au pairs from my classes (I took a class for au pairs early this year), and through my agency I met au pairs too. I am pursuing doing volunteering with an international group that aims to bring international people/locals together to have fun, and also do language exchanges. Through that I have met a few people, they are also foreigners though. There are French people at this group, the other night I met some, however I'm not sure they're interested in friendship...if you get my drift. I am also using this dating application which has a setting for meeting women for friendship, I have met one person this way but she is also not French, though I think she speaks French very well.

    As for my job, I signed a contract, so it would be very disrespectful to leave. Also, my visa is a student visa so I doubt I could do enough work with that to live here. I probably need to find more ways to meet French people, it just seems that it's largely other foreigners who are searching for friends, not French people.

    September 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/renato_f

    Paris is a very touristic city, and people think that all foreigners remain only a short time; and it is better not to invest time in friendships without future.

    I think the same happens in NYC.

    I saw this when I was in Paris; Also that I and the other tourists had time when the locals had to work, so it is easier to make international friendships than to meet local people in Paris.

    Search friendships with Italians, Spaniards or Germans; With which you are obliged to speak in French, more than with Americans or English.

    Try to know French people that have the same interests as you, Share yours interests for your university master.

    September 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Drbernar

    Thank you, I'll keep that in mind!

    September 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Giovanna-Louise

    @renato f. all very good points..!

    September 16, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Giovanna-Louise

    thank you so much for clarifying.. OK , i see now.. yes, I do agree with you ,that it would not be very nice to leave an employer with whom you signed a contract..

    All I can say is, do your best to engage with the French speakers everywhere you can and see what happens.. Wish you best of luck..Bon courage! :-))

    September 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Drbernar

    Thank you for your advice all the same, I'll continue with my efforts! Perhaps if I add a few hours of self-study per week for the exam, it will help.

    September 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Giovanna-Louise

    You are welcome and try those other meet-up groups on Duo events as @Thomas Heiss suggested above, I think it is a good advice.. your French in writing is very good.. I am sure you will be able to succeed.

    September 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/christiangd

    After reading your comments (i am French native with a B1 level of English) , your writings are remarkable only few typing errors.

    If you want to meet French et speak to them, without money et time, it is very easy. Choose an associated activity near your place and go on. http://w35-associations.apps.paris.fr/searchasso/jsp/site/Portal.jsp?page=searchasso

    When i passed my french Baccalaureate, I did the evening classes of photographs of the Mairie de Paris. By the way, later, write it in you "Curriculum vitæ" ;-)

    If you can read the most of "francetvinfo.fr" articles or watch their videos, you are ready for the C1 level.

    September 20, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Drbernar

    Thank you! My writing is better than my speaking since I have more practice writing. I will check out that website.

    Thank you for the suggestions!

    September 26, 2018
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