J'ai fini mon arbre la nuit dernière
I finished my tree last night! I was too exhausted to post then so I'm doing it now :)
It took me 11 weeks in total, and I was strengthening as I progressed. I now feel that I have a very good grasp of the basics (especially in reading) which I will build on with more advanced resources. Duo was exactly what I needed to get started and I will be using it as an introductory tool for learning new languages for the foreseeable future.
I want to pursue more languages on Duo immediately but I think I will have to implement a strategy so as not to get the languages confused with each other. I'm thinking I will alternate between language families and this should serve to better separate them in my brain, so I've decided that my next tree will be a Germanic language, I'm still deciding which one lol.
To improve my listening ability, I have begun watching French films with French subtitles. I decided not to bother with English subtitles as I have trouble paying attention to the spoken words when there is English on the screen for me to read. Initially it seemed impossible to find French movies with French subtitles but then I discovered this website (http://www.opensubtitles.org/) which has French subtitles for many French films, and has subtitles in multiple languages for countless films and series.
One of my favourite novels has a chapter written entirely in French, written from the perspective of a French character. I was never able to read that chapter but thanks to my newly acquired French skills I can now understand it well. The grammar and tenses were fine but I had to revert to a dictionary for words I had not come across on Duo. I think I will order Le Petit Prince and La Belle et La Bête to further improve my reading ability and hopefully one day I will be able to read more advanced French literature!
Thanks very much to the course contributors and the community! Good luck with your future language learning endeavours!