102 days to complete the tree : next steps

For those just starting out and curious how long the tree takes… well my journey on completing the tree took 102 days, 9,871 points and half-way through level 16 but it is now done.

I have seen many people complete it in a shorter time frame and at much earlier levels but I kept going back and kept the tree golden most of the way through which definitely made it easier toward the end to keep the same pace going.

I would say that my standard is midway through A2 but definitely not B1.

Next steps:

  1. Reading and translating: get stuck into immersion and improve my vocabulary and follow some of the very helpful translators we have on this site.

  2. Listening: I am halfway through level 3 of Pimsleur so I will keep going with that and expect that will take another couple of months to finish off all 4 levels. This is done on my daily commute to work so I usually get in a full lesson most days. I have also started listening to Radio RFI on the days when I don't feel like Pimsleur and I thoroughly recommend it. The announcers speak clearly and formally and I even pick up some news stories that don't get any coverage in Australia.

  3. Speaking: I joined italki at almost the same time I started DL and I now regularly talk to several French natives for an hour or two each week (in total, not each). This has been very helpful and I have gone from not being able to speak for more than a minute without dropping into English to where I can probably hold a basic conversation around simple topics for pretty much most of the hour now. Sometimes to speed up explanations or new vocabulary we will drop into English but that is getting less as the months roll by.

My goal is B1 by the end of the year in time for a planned trip to France in April next year.

Au revoir et merci

May 21, 2014


I joined and also post my continuing lessons on a blog, but would like to know more about your experience on italki, as well as hear from anyone else who has tried that method. Thanks.

May 21, 2014

I joined italki more for the opportunity to speak with native french speakers which is what I have been doing. I have a professional teacher that I usually have a 1 hour lesson each week over Skype and we work through a set program. I have also used a few "informal/community" teachers who are quite cheap (I think it works out to $7/hr for me) and this is more just conversational chatting or I might get clarification on something I am trying to master (say passé compose etc.). This is a bit hit and miss in terms of quality but I seem to have found a couple of teachers that have some structure and I feel like its progressing.

I haven't really got into the Notebook journal part of italki but will do so more now that one of the community teachers I am using really encourages it, and my french has improved significantly enough to actually write more than just a couple of sentences.

As an English speaking member of italki I have received numerous requests to be "friends" and usually accept these and have some limited email correspondence with various people but nothing that has been consistent or very educational.

I also attend Alliance Francaise classes each week and there are 10 in the class and I can say that the 1-on-1 of a Skype session with a native speaker is far more intense and challenging than the 3 hour class at Alliance Francaise. That's not to criticise AF - they serve very different markets, it just gives you a comparison of what to expect. I can also say very confidently that because of italki I have progressed far more than anyone else in my AF class (and I was close to the worst when I started) to the point where my teacher is now saying I can skip a level at the end of this term.

Overall I am very happy with italki and can see me using it for a long time to come although I may cut down on formal teaching and replace it with more informal teaching as time goes by.

May 21, 2014

It seems that italki has helped you a lot, you make it sound like you've substantially improved after using it. Interesting point of view, I will keep this in mind! :) Congratulations for what you've achieved so far and good luck!

May 22, 2014

Mes félicitations ! Vous êtes très motivé, à ce que je vois. :) De mon côté, j'apprends l'anglais. Pour cela, je suis aussi motivé que vous mais pas aussi décidé que vous l'êtes. :) Je fais ce que je peux avec duolingo et avec mes lectures, les journaux anglais en ligne comme BBC news ou encore des romans en anglais etc. Par exemple, en ce moment, je suis en train de lire Da Vinci Code de Dan Brown que j'ai déjà lu en Français.

Bref, je fais tout pour apprendre l'anglais mais il faut que cela soit gratuit ! :) Et surtout à mon rythme, quand je veux et comme je veux... :)

C'est pourquoi je trouve duolingo parfait. C'est exactement ce qu'il me faut... :)

May 22, 2014
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