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Hello Everyone. Level of fluency.

edited August 2014 in French
Hello Everyone, I just wanted to know what everyone's level of fluency is and how long it took them to get through the three books? If you go up to the advanced, how much time a day did you spend to become fluent. Also do you attend francophone activities or groups? Thanks for the info in advance! 


  • Hi Roco,
    Sorry for the delayed reply. I am both an editor at Living Language and a learner of French using the Living Language French course. I started with very elementary French, and I've made my way through to the Advanced course.  The pace you progress at will depend on various factors: the time you can commit to studying, your exposure to French outside of the course, your previous experience with French and other related languages, and so on, but as a general rule I find that a lesson a week is a good pace for me. I can only spend about 30 minutes a day or 45 minutes every other day studying.  If you have more time, you can certainly move faster. You asked about becoming fluent. Fluency is a pretty ambitious goal. I know lots of non-native French speakers who have studied for years and are very proficient but would still not call themselves fluent. There are certain standards for language proficiency out there that you can compare yourself against, such as the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) for Languages which will be helpful in setting concrete goals. If you finish all three levels of our course, depending on whether you use eTutoring and expose yourself to French radio and other "real world" sources of French, you can achieve around a B1-B2 level of proficiency I think. As I said, proficiency is affected by lots of variables outside of just how far in our course you go, but with dedication and studying, I think this is a very attainable goal after finishing the course. If you have any further questions about French, post here! Our eTutor Sev can help you.  I personally find listening to RFI (Radio France Internationale) a good way to tune my ear to the sounds of the language.  And etutoring has also been very helpful.
    Let us know how it's going!
    Bonne courage,

  • Boujour everyone, I just started the French see how things work out. I don't have a French community I can interact with on a day to day basis. Once I get some basics down, I plan on reaching out to see if there are any French groups meeting in my general vicinity. Merci for the tip on Radio France....that seems like a real good idea and I plan on checking that out in a few moments.

    Au revoir !

    Jo :-)
  • Hi Erin,
    Thank you for the information on where I can find some additional help. Yes, when I said fluent, i meant comfortable enough to have a conversation with someone. I used to know French when i was younger, but without people to talk to, i completely forgot the language and am only able to speak 2 other languages fluently. I want to get back into the language to speak with my family and others for effectively. Thanks for the advice!
  • Hi,

    As Erin mentioned level of fluency / proficiency is mainly a question exposure and practice along with studying. I managed to get fairly good at French mixing self studies with Skype language exchanges and frequent listening exposure. I pretty much only listen to foreign language podcasts when I drive around town now.

    Tips for good exposure in French that helped me a lot:

    1. DVDs.

    Most US DVD movies will have a dubbed French audio track and subtitle track on them due to the Canadian market. French dubbing is a good way to start because dubbed language is "cleaner" and easier to understand than the original French dialog of French films. You've seen the movie, you know what's going on, now watch it in French.

    2. Radio Podcasts

    iTunes has a TON of radio podcasts in every language. For best results, temporarily turn your iTunes store region setting to "France" and search their podcast directory. Find a show about a subject that interest you to begin with. Listen every day.

    3. Radio Apps

    The above mentioned Radio France, along with RTL and some others, will have a dedicated App for your smart phone so you can listen either to their live feed, or podcasts of their shows.

    4. Start With the News (!)

    Chances are, you already know what's happening in the world, so listening to news shows is the best way to ease into everyday listening, because you'll often have advance knowledge of the events being described. This is especially true with TV news (video podcasts) because the very thing they talk about it being shown on the video.

    Doing these things daily -- even when you don't understand any of it at first -- will do wonders for your proficiency. Again, this is assuming you're also actively studying the language with a primary method such as Living Language.

    Hope this helps.

  • Thanks TMax for posting these helpful tips! These are great.  I wanted to add on a related note that our e-Tutor Sev provided a list of podcasts for French language learners here on our blog: 
    I really enjoy Coffee Break French, personally. It' s a great way to expose yourself to more colloquial fluent French. 

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