Lesson Transcript


Peter: Welcome to the inner circle. This is the monthly no holds barred newsletter giving you tried and tested learning methods to help you reach your language goals this year. My name is Peter Galante, founder of innovative language and I'm here with…
Kyejin. Hi everyone.
Peter: Okay, so Kyejin and I are on a mission to pass a test. Kyejin, what's the name of the test?
Kyejin: The name is the DELF, the official French proficiency test.
Peter: And it's a very interesting test that tests all aspects of language learning, reading, writing, what else, Kyejin?
Kyejin: …listening, speaking
Peter: These four elements, some of them where you're actually producing language, where you're speaking and writing, and then where you're kind of passively understanding the language where it's reading and listening.
Kyejin: Right, So I have a question for you. Peter
Peter: Yes.
Kyejin: Have you taken the test?
Peter: Yes, that was one of my, one of the parts of my homework. So, as we mentioned our goal for this year, Kyejin and I will both take in November, correct, Kyejin?
Kyejin: Yes, november.
Peter: We will take B1 level, the C E F R B1 level. And B1 level is quite a high level, I would say lower intermediate, correct.
Kyejin: Yes.
Peter: So Kyejin last year, what level did you pass?
Kyejin: I passed A2 level
Peter: So it goes like this. A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2 and A1 is the lowest level and C two is the highest level.
Kyejin: Yes.
Peter: And how many hours are recommended? We research about 300 hours for our B1 test, correct.
Kyejin: Yes.
Peter: So I have not taken an official test like Kyejin. Kyejin took the official test. So my homework was to kind of take a practice test and actually was quite good news, Kyejin. I took the A1, the basic, the lowest level test and my score was not passing but not too bad on the failing side.
Kyejin: Wow, congratulations. So how was the result?
Peter: Not passing.
Kyejin: Not passing, but did you find out your weaknesses and strengths from that test?
Peter: Yeah. Well two things one, I'm not as far behind you as I thought. So that was good news. So I actually think my chances of beating you have gone up from zero to about 15%.
Kyejin: Wow, and what’s number two?
Peter: My areas of weakness, so I was actually quite good at the reading section and quite good at the listening section. So these are kind of where all the information is already given to you. It's very good at putting those together. The hard ones with the kind of producing the language where I'm speaking and writing. These were the toughest areas.
Kyejin: Interesting. For me, my weakness areas are speaking and listening. So I'm good at with all the text but not the speaking and listening part.
Peter: Okay, so wow, maybe we can work together to help each other.
Kyejin: Sure you can help me with some listening, I can help you with some writing.
Peter: Alright, so yes. Right now Kyejin. I would say there's not so much competitiveness in our approach. We're trying to work together. So this is very good. Let's see… do you think it's going to last?
Kyejin: Of course we have to pass this test, not just me, not just you, we. We have to pass the test together. So let's collaborate.
Peter: Yes, wow, so so nice. So let's go back and recap what we promised last month. So last month was our first month to prepare for this and we estimated that we need about 300 hours. However Kyejin was that number correct?
Kyejin: Well, I would say no because I already studied French before our challenge. So the hours should be included there
Peter: And so did I. Although it was many years ago. So we actually have a few hours so that 300 hours is cut down, which helps us a lot because I think last month we estimated we need about 30 hours per month. Maybe even more. 35 or 40 hours per month, correct. 33 hours per month.
Kyejin: Right..
Peter: And you and I both set goals, correct?
Kyejin: Yes.
Peter: What was your goal?
Kyejin: My goal is to study French for 10 hours a month. And also I want to look for some native speakers to practice French with.
Peter: And specifically you want to focus on your areas of weakness, correct?
Kyejin: Exactly. Speaking and listening.
Peter: Okay, so first did you reach your goal?
Kyejin: Yes and no. So first, yes. This month I studied French over 20 hours, not 10 hours. I doubled it. So I studied over 20 hours this month but I had to go to Korea for a week and I was sick for a week. So I actually didn't have a chance to speak with native speakers so well I half reached it but I recovered so hopefully I can talk to and practice my speaking with native speakers soon. How about you, Peter?
Peter: Okay, so I want to give a bit of a breakdown of what I did. So my goal was to study two or three hours a week. Now what I will do is I will add a calendar, a weekly calendar of when and where I study and I think this is the most critical part of starting a new language. So in the first month when I start a new language, I often don't carve out new time to study. What I'll do is I will find spots in my schedule where I can multitask and the reason I start with multitasking because I'm already doing something such as a commute to work or I eat at a certain restaurant at a certain day of the week and it's easy for me to start studying when I'm already doing something and even though it's not a very good way; multitasking isn't the best way to study it at least gets me into routine and creating a routine in my opinion is the key to actually succeeding.
Kyejin: I agree. Yeah, and I did exactly the same thing. Whenever I commute to work or come back home on the train, I always listen to some podcasts, FrenchPod101 of course. And also I took some assessment on our pathway.
Peter: Yeah, it's a very, very, very good way to build these very good habits. but let's just kind of talk about what I did last month. So on my commute to work, I would listen to a lesson… Now remember based on my test scores, my listening was okay, my writing not so good. So what I did was after each lesson I used the Premium PLUS tool to send a message to my teacher. So I will, we will share something inside of the pdf about this. Now the test actually has the length of the answers or kind of gives you… looking at the test examples, you understand what's needed. So I started to practice in accordance what I need to pass the test not the B1 test yet, but now I'm focused on the A1 still test, still focused on the A1 test. So this has become a really powerful way for me to improve my skills in February.
So January was about adding studying to routine that existed, I started to listen to lessons on the train and while eating during my lunch break. I'll show you that on the calendar. Now this month. What I did was I added listening and following up by texting my teacher to help me practice the writing. So these are the steps that I took in february and yeah, once you get into this habit, once you get into the routine now it's routine that I'm doing this. It's a very, very powerful way to reinforce the learning, right?
Kyejin: That's very interesting. Maybe I should share my learning strategies to then
Peter: Yeah, please please.
Kyejin: So of course I use the Innovative Language 101 app to listen to our lessons or watch some videos and I texted with my Premium PLUS Teacher too. And I joined the zoom classes from FrenchPod101. I use the zoom app and also I have some french speaking friends. So I text with them on WhatsApp. So these are the tools that I used and for this month. Actually I want to improve my listening and speaking, which are my weaknesses. So I'm going to use the main dialogue on our group class slides. So I found our dialogues are very useful. These are not just conversations from a textbook. I feel like these are the actual dialogues that I can have in real life. So I want to master these dialogues. So after each lesson I'm going to record myself with the dialogues and practice my pronunciation and send it to my teacher. That's my goal.
Peter: Let's work with the graphic design team and we'll add some of these elements into the pdf. So you can see how we're using these tools, you know?
Peter: One of the challenging things about having a friend and speaking is that the topics change so fast and sometimes it's why at different levels, lower levels, I prefer a teacher. So Kyejin, I must admit I'm a little bit ahead because I did find an online teacher and for me it was quite difficult to find a teacher that I like. Particularly French because many French teachers have a particular approach to pronunciation. They like to spend a lot of time on getting the pronunciation right and there's nothing wrong with that. But for me, I prefer not to focus so much on pronunciation when I start. It's just a personal preference. Have you found that the teachers will sometimes really want you to pronounce things correctly?
Kyejin: Yes. Actually many of my French teachers do exactly the same thing, especially the R part and the vowels whooo french pronunciations are hard.
Peter: Yeah. So you know when you find a teacher, you don't have to take the first teacher and find the teacher that works best with you. So it took me some time, but I found a really excellent teacher that is forgiving of my pronunciation. So when I pronounce things wrong, she repeated back correctly but she won't stop the lesson and say we have to work on this pronunciation. There's no right or wrong. It's just simply a personal preference and my preference is to push ahead and reinforce pronunciation later.
Kyejin: I see. So how many hours have you studied with the tutor?
Peter: So I studied one hour a week now with my tutor. So this was something I added this month where I actually carve out time for my lesson. Now there's a few problems that I have with my lesson. My teacher uses material that she feels is best. It's an old French textbook so there's kind of a bit of a gap between what I'm learning on FrenchPod101 and what we learned in the class. So that's right now kind of the biggest challenge. I asked if she would use the FrenchPod101 material but she's very happy with the material. She knows very well and she's been using it for quite a long time. So I think there's no right or wrong, that's the way she prefers. So the classes are very enjoyable. I look forward to them. But my second problem is that the way my schedule is set with my family, job, etc, that unfortunately the classes start and the times at 12 sorry, at 10:30 at night and finish at 11:30. So they're not the ideal time yet, I'm kind of forcing this into my schedule. However, it's good practice, although I cannot prepare for the lessons yet, because my schedule would not have been adjusted, but at least I'm now carving out time to learn. So I went from multitasking to carving out time, which is a very big jump in a routine, in a schedule.
Kyejin: Right. And actually that's a very good way to learn a language. As I mentioned, I talked with my friends on WhatsApp sometimes, but nobody actually correct my French because they are not teachers and they might think it's very rude whenever they point out my mistakes. So I'm trying to get a native speaker, native French teacher online too. I want to really practice speaking and listening…who can correct me. Of course, I'm doing that with my teacher on my teacher messenger, but I need more
Peter: Wow Kyejin. I'm so not used to collaborating with people, I'm so used to competing with people. So you, I believe have one advantage over me, you're using the FrenchPod101 live classes, correct?
Kyejin: Yes, you are right.
Peter: And the advantage is that your classes are integrated, correct?
Kyejin: Yes, integrated.
Peter: Can you just talk a bit about that?
Kyejin: So I joined a group class via zoom once a week. Each lesson lasts for an hour. So before the lesson I get some materials to study. So I studied first a little and I have a full class with the teacher so I practice my pronunciation. I also ask a lot of questions whenever I have some questions. And in the group class of course I have our other students and actually I learned from them a lot too.
Peter: So you, so when we say integrated, the class materials related to the site material, the site materials related to the tests on the site, the site's related to the app. So everything is integrated. So, someone's reminding you what to study. This is super powerful. I'm using a third party platform. So a different company. The company is called preply. Very nice company. And I really really enjoy my teacher. However, there is that disconnect. The material she uses is her preferred material and she shares it for our lessons. So there is no connection with other elements. So, there… the vocab is disconnected. The grammar is disconnected so we use it inside of the class but there's no reinforcement that you have.
Kyejin: So I guess there won't be an assessment test.
Peter: No assessment.
Kyejin: I see
Peter: …but the advantage is that I have the class by myself. Maybe we could do the class together. Maybe our level is too high, but yes, we can, we can look into that. But the point is that each thing has its own advantage here. I get a private lesson and she's very good at leading the class through the material she's familiar with. It takes time for a teacher to understand the material. And again, there's no right or wrong. Just personal preference.
Kyejin: I see. Yeah. For these group classes on FrenchPod101, the good thing is there are many classes for the same level. So sometimes my schedule changes, then I can choose a different time, but the teacher might be different, but materials are the same, so I can continue the study.
Peter: Yeah. And my materials are kind of based on just a dialogue. What about your classes? They're based on actually completing a task, right?
Kyejin;: Yes. So of course we have dialogue and some practice quizzes, but after that we always have some assessment test to see if I achieved my goal for the week.
Peter: And I think based on what I've seen, your classes are a little more designed for the speaking section and also the writing section of this DELF test, right? Where you're challenged to do some type of task, right?
Kyejin: Yes. My teacher really makes me speak a lot during the class.
Peter: And my classes more traditional, it's a little focused on the listening, like for example, we're supposed to figure out, you know the traditional, I think everyone who studied a foreign language has seen this, there's a map and you start here and then they give you instructions, you go straight, turn left, go right, circle back and now what's on the left side and then it's like you just like the bakery, the hospital. It's a little more focused around these types of things. We're giving phone numbers. So, a little more passive so I need to get into this FrenchPod101 class.
Kyejin: Yes please. I think our next semester starts in May.
Peter: Okay. Alright, so let's recap here. We seem to have both reached our weekly hourly goal, correct? Although I think yours is way higher than mine.
Kyejin: Yes, correct.
Peter: You were, you mentioned you were studying how many hours per week?
Kyejin: I studied 20 hours a month, so I would say five hours a week.
Peter: Okay. And I'm at 2.5, I'm at 2-3 closer to three now because in January what I did was I found one hour during my commute and one hour during lunch. And then in February I carved out one hour at night to do the lessons, the live lessons. So I'm up to three hours for February. Again, we'll add in the calendar, so you can see how January, what we did and then February what we did. Now we also promised to show you an example of how we're using the chat with our teachers. So we will add that to the pdf. Now we need our goals for March, Kyejin?
Kyejin: My goal is to study French 30 hours a month.
Peter: That's a 50% jump.
Kyejin: Yes. I'm going to add some more hours to practice speaking with my native French speaking teacher. So that would add 30 hours in total to my current routine.
Peter: Okay, I'm at three hours a week at 12, so I'll add one more hour a week. Now this actually is the hardest one to do the writing skill because the speaking skill is kind of fun, you're doing it with someone else. The writing skill, you're kind of by yourself if you're going to keep a journal. However, I guess the time has come because this test is very interesting, it's quite advanced by testing all four skills. So what I'll do is I'll add one hour a week of writing. So I will go to four hours a week. You can have a look at what my new schedule looks like. The hardest part when you plan out a schedule is finding out where that new time is going to go. So it's important that you already have a clear calendar with many of your important life events… family, work… already on there. So you're aware that, you know, weekends are changing so fast. If you have a partner or you have other people in your life, they change so fast. So I try to keep it to weekdays. So, it's kind of a strategy to find this new time. So if you have a look, you'll see where I'm adding the new hour in March. Maybe what I'll do is split it into 30 minutes and 30 minutes. That's actually quite nice too.
Kyejin: Yeah. For me, I'm going to the office more often from March, so I'm sure I will increase my commuting time, which means that's my study time. That's why it's totally doable because from my place to the office it takes an hour. So I'm spending two hours for commuting.
Peter: I’m sorry, Kyejin.
Kyejin: No, no, no that's fine. So yeah I can, I'm sure yeah I reach 30 hours easily. So I want to use my commuting time and spare time instead of making more time for studying.
Peter: You know Kyejin, at one point that I want to talk about, we always spoke, always spoke about shortcomings of FrenchPod101 and I think I found one. When it comes to the writing and I think this applies to your friends to speaking with friends. Again they're not trying to teach you something, they're just interacting with you. So it's kind of hard for you to build a skill without a roadmap or a path. Right? So when it comes to this Premium PLUS the teacher does your FrenchPod101 teacher give you a roadmap to for writing to improve this writing skill.
Kyejin: No, unfortunately. No.
Peter: Yeah and I believe we do have a product that helps you but I don't know how hard, I don't know how much it's tied to DELF. So this is the one fun thing about what we're doing here is I can go to the French academic team and ask hey can you please create for Kyejin and me a path that is tied to DELF.
Kyejin: Okay.
Peter: And then they can give us challenges tied to DELF and if it works well then we can roll this out as a product for everyone else to use. So I think we need that. Right, what do you think?
Kyejin: Yeah, that's a great, great, great idea.
Peter: So I think April would be a good goal for this to have this created and rolled out and please while we're doing this and anyone who's listening, please feel free to share. If you feel like we're missing a tool or a skill, give us feedback and then we can potentially work to implement it.
Kyejin: That's an interesting idea. Yeah, I always wanted to practice more writing because I like writing. Even in English or in Japanese.
Peter: And it's such a powerful way to practice seeing the characters while thinking. It's really, really powerful. Okay, so that is going to do it for this Inner Circle. Listeners, what about you? Let us know about your routine. So if you have a schedule, share it with us. If you don't, this is a perfect time to take a look at the pdf, look at my schedule.
Kyejin: And my schedule too
Peter: And email us at inner dot circle at innovative language dot com and stay tuned for the next inner circle.


Kyejin: Bye everyone.
Peter: Thank you for listening and we'll see you next time.