geekmama: (Default)
Mama Geekiness ([personal profile] geekmama) wrote in [community profile] linguaphiles2009-05-05 12:21 pm

Independent Study? Not my forte!

 Right now any type of formal education is not an option for me but as I said in my introductory comment I'm in the process of studying French. I've run into some roadblocks that have to do with the way I learn and I figured I'd ask everyone for some suggestions to overcome these roadblocks.

My problem is that I'm not able to grade myself. Right now I'm using some old high school text books from a French teacher who knows my partner, a workbook we picked up at the bookstore in the mall and a couple of reference materials - my partner's French-English dictionary and a big book of French verbs. I'm in the process of going through the textbooks and workbook from front to back but I'm not really able to check for myself to see if I'm doing the exercises correctly and if my answers are coming out right. My partner tries to help but he's not a very good teacher or at least he's not able to explain things in a way that I can understand.

The solution I thought of myself was to buy a teacher's version of the text books where it'd have all the answers listed so I could grade my papers myself. It'd be easier for me to pinpoint areas where I'm having troubles comprehending and allow me to focus more on those but I don't know where I'd be able to get a teacher's manual or version of the textbook (it's pretty old).

Do any of you have suggestions on where to find a book like this or other ways to help me with my independent study?
ennika: (Default)

[personal profile] ennika 2009-05-05 04:38 pm (UTC)(link)
Are you familiar with livemocha? It can take a while to find a good teacher on there (someone willing to actually explain hat you're doing wrong instead of just correcting), but there are a few around :)
mamculuna: (Default)

[personal profile] mamculuna 2009-05-05 07:46 pm (UTC)(link)
For me, it worked fine in Spanish not to worry about every tiny detail, but to focus on fluency and comprehension and conversation. But (not to stereotype, but this is my experience)Spanish speakers are more forgiving of errors than French speakers, to make a huge overgeneraliation.
sollers: me in morris kit (Default)

[personal profile] sollers 2009-05-05 07:50 pm (UTC)(link)
I know I keep on pimping this series (I wish the publishers paid me for recommending it, I really do), but as usual my suggestion is that you get hold of Hugo "French in 3 Months". In all of the ones I've used, the grammar explanations are excellent, the exercises are good AND THE ANSWERS ARE IN THE BACK. If you get it with the CDs that will be good for you too, particularly for the drills and listening skills.
orchidfire: White flowers with "poesía... eres tú" caption. (Default)

[personal profile] orchidfire 2009-05-07 05:12 am (UTC)(link)
Just a suggestion, but you might want to click "reply" to the individual comments—not all users will periodically check entries for comment updates, so the most direct way to contact users would be via comment reply. :)
franzeska: (Default)

[personal profile] franzeska 2009-05-14 03:17 pm (UTC)(link)
In addition to all the other stuff you're doing, you should definitely try to get some reading material in French that interests you. Reading (professional) writing by native speakers is a great way to check comprehension, build vocabulary, and get exposure to correct (or at least standard colloquial) grammar. It doesn't replace practicing the grammar yourself, but it really helps you develop a sense of what looks right and what doesn't, which is especially important when you're on your own and don't have a teacher peering over your shoulder all the time.

I wouldn't worry too much about teaching your offspring bad grammar. If you give them the basics, they'll pick everything else up from their classmates as long as they aren't too old.

As for what in particular you should read, I loved Diva in English translation, so if you liked the movie of that, you might check out the book series. They're all quite short from what I remember. Tintin is always a popular choice for study, as is Asterix (though watch out for the accents and speech impediments in some volumes). There are some manga available in French translation that have never been translated into English. (Onmyouji is a notable example, though I have no idea how hard the French is.) You could also look for translations of books you liked in English.

I also second the comment about replying directly. I almost never see responses unless I get a comment notification.
mijra: (Default)

[personal profile] mijra 2009-05-16 04:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Depending on what your actual level is, the Schaum's Outline of French Grammar/...Vocabulary could be a good resource. All answers to exercises are in the back. However, the books aren't organized by level, so they tend to be frustrating for beginning learners. They're very useful for brushing up on a given topic, though, and the vocab used in the grammar book is manageable at a fairly early level.