An intensive course in French
Thread poster: Masoud Kakoli

Masoud Kakoli
Iran
Local time: 16:23
English to Persian (Farsi)
+ ...
Jul 10, 2013

Hi! Greetings from Iran

I'm going to do an intensive course in Frech at an institution. The instittution covers D'accord 1&2&3 in the course. Imagine that I have also studied all these books very well. I'd like to know after passing this course, what is my level of Frech? Am I an advanced user of French or not?


 

Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
Hi Masoud Jul 10, 2013

I personally think that a course is good for language learning, but it probably represents about 20% of the language learning process. In a course you'll learn the grammatical structure of a language and practice with certain vocabulary but the rest you have to do yourself.
This will include having conversations with French-speaking people, watching French language TV, reading French language books or comics, reading French language newspapers etc. You don't mention whether your course is in a French-speaking country or not or how long the course is.
I do believe that someone can go from zero knowledge of a language to fluid in a year (I made "fluid" up but I think that it takes a lot longer to become fluent. To me, "fluid" is the ability be involved in a variety of different conversations without halting to have to think of a word - so basically the ability to have a conversation at a rhythm that is normal for natives).
Good luck with learning! If you want it enough, you'll definitely succeed.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:53
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I know just what you mean Jul 10, 2013

Marie-Helene Dubois wrote:
I do believe that someone can go from zero knowledge of a language to fluid in a year (I made "fluid" up but I think that it takes a lot longer to become fluent. To me, "fluid" is the ability be involved in a variety of different conversations without halting to have to think of a word - so basically the ability to have a conversation at a rhythm that is normal for natives).

The problem is that even when you can form 'fluid' sentences in French (when you aren't tired or feeling off-colour), native French speakers will continue to surprise you with vocabulary you haven't come across yet.

Good luck with the course, Masoud. I could do with one in Spanish as it's taking me a long time to pick it up non-intensively.


 

Masoud Kakoli
Iran
Local time: 16:23
English to Persian (Farsi)
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The book's level Jul 10, 2013

Thanks for your replies and for your kind words.

The course is held in Iran and it takes some 6 months. What I really want to know is that for what level are these books designed? Are these books designed for advanced level or not? Usually, the level of books are mentioned on the page cover. Is this single course enough for me if I myself continue my studies in French after finishing the course?

[Edited at 2013-07-10 09:22 GMT]


 

Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes that's true Jul 10, 2013

English people would invariably ask me how long I'd taken to "learn Spanish" which I always found really difficult to answer because I think that learning a language is an ongoing (and neverending) process. I can't remember a particular moment in time at which I thought "Great. That's it. I have now learned Spanish". I don't think that happens with languages.

 

Natursprache
France
Local time: 14:53
German to French
+ ...
It depends! Jul 10, 2013

Hi Masoud,

Well I don't know the books so it's really hard to say. If I compare with the books I use as a french teacher, I assume your level after this course could be A2+ / B1. Enough for small talk, not enough to work. But no one can say for sure without knowing the books and the duration of the course.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:53
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Accord 3? Jul 10, 2013

Masoud Kakoli wrote:
The course is held in Iran and it takes some 6 months. What I really want to know is that for what level are these books designed? Are these books designed for advanced level or not?

As far as I can see, there are only 2 levels of this book: http://www.didieraccord.com/Accord2/
Each book has 4 sections. It says that when you've finished the second book, you should be able to take DALF 2. I don't remember exactly what level that is offhand, but I know I took levels 1-4 all together before I moved to France, and it was a further 5 years before I considered my level high enough to translate from French (but that's just me, and I was getting onicon_smile.gif).

So I would say it's doubtful you'd be anywhere near advanced level; more like "get by" level. But maybe I've got the wrong book as there doesn't seem to be a third one.


 

Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
I think the book is called d'accord Jul 10, 2013

as opposed to Accord.

http://daccord3.vhlcentral.com/demo/

could this be it?

If so, it does appear to have a level 3.

I have no idea about levels as I'm not a teacher and I did French at GCSE and 'A' Level so it's not the same. Maybe some translators who also teach could give you a better idea as to what level this book teaches up to...


 

Masoud Kakoli
Iran
Local time: 16:23
English to Persian (Farsi)
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That's what I want Jul 10, 2013

Natursprache wrote:

Hi Masoud,

Well I don't know the books so it's really hard to say. If I compare with the books I use as a french teacher, I assume your level after this course could be A2+ / B1. Enough for small talk, not enough to work. But no one can say for sure without knowing the books and the duration of the course.


Thanks everybody!!!!. You posted what I really want. The istitution's manager told me after passing the "D'accord 2" , my level will be B1. Taking into consideration this fact, can you guess what my level will be after passing D'accord 3?

And another question. Suppose that I have passed D'accord 2 and my level is B1, as the institution's manager told me, how many levels are still remaining to the greatest level? Can you mention the names of the levels from zero to the toppest level?


 

Masoud Kakoli
Iran
Local time: 16:23
English to Persian (Farsi)
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Check the books Jul 10, 2013

I think I should check the books with the institution again.

[Edited at 2013-07-10 13:37 GMT]


 

Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
Hi again Masoud Jul 10, 2013

I can't answer your question re the books you're using but as you say, perhaps the books themselves explain what levels the go up to.

However, the highest level in the Common European Framework for language learning is C2:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_European_Framework_of_Reference_for_Languages

You can see on the table what the expectations would be from someone who had reached C2 level.


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:53
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
Salaam Masoud Jul 10, 2013

I don't want to give you a cold shower, but as a former English teacher, I think it's impossible to reach translation level in 6 months, however intensive the course might be. Even living in France (which would include interacting with everybody in French, going to the cinema, reading books, newspapers, adverts, signs, maybe having a French girlfriend) you would be hard put to achieve that. I certainly didn't and I had achieved top marks at A level (ie 7 years study at school, the last two years in-depth). French is a particularly intellectual language, not for nothing was it the language of diplomacy, it's a language where beating round the bush and merely implying things rather than saying them outright has been turned into an artform.

Of course it is the case in Farsi too, but it's not done the same way... The love of wine is perhaps the strongest connection between the two cultures (I'm referring, obviously, to a pre-1979 culture in Iran).


 

Masoud Kakoli
Iran
Local time: 16:23
English to Persian (Farsi)
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Translation level Jul 11, 2013

Texte Style wrote:

I don't want to give you a cold shower, but as a former English teacher, I think it's impossible to reach translation level in 6 months, however intensive the course might be. Even living in France (which would include interacting with everybody in French, going to the cinema, reading books, newspapers, adverts, signs, maybe having a French girlfriend) you would be hard put to achieve that. I certainly didn't and I had achieved top marks at A level (ie 7 years study at school, the last two years in-depth). French is a particularly intellectual language, not for nothing was it the language of diplomacy, it's a language where beating round the bush and merely implying things rather than saying them outright has been turned into an artform.

Of course it is the case in Farsi too, but it's not done the same way... The love of wine is perhaps the strongest connection between the two cultures (I'm referring, obviously, to a pre-1979 culture in Iran).



Hi! Thanks for your informative post. I love learning new languages. Do you think how long does it take for me to reach translation level with taking into consideration that I live in Iran?
And one more question, which one do you suggest me, to do a intensive course or a non-intensive course?
In Persian ( more accurate word for Farsi and also Persia a more accurate word for Iran) wine has several meaning. Even in Hafez's poem wine is considered as something that has divine source.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:53
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
It appears to be a school book, Masoud Jul 11, 2013

If you look carefully on that Vista site that's linked to above, you'll find that they have two categories of book; higher education books for adult studies, and secondary education books. And this one is listed for schools. This series doesn't seem to be aimed at really young kids, but there are units about lycée and job prospects.

I taught English to French adults for 15 years and I can assure you that I often found students who had left lycée with the highest possible qualification in English (after 6+ years of school studies) to be of only intermediate level (B1) for reading comprehension, vocabulary and grammar, and no higher than A2 when tested for listening, speaking and writing. A2 is really "I can just about get by in tourist situations" - no more. Now, that's talking about French people learning English, but I have no reason to suspect that there's much difference in the opposite situation. I know my French, when I left school with the "A Level", was pretty much useless for anything other than getting me through exams. It certainly didn't help much when I bought my French house!

As for length of time an adult requires, again I can only really speak for English as a foreign language, but most of those textbooks are for about 80 hours of class study, with lots of extra work suggested and required to get the most from them. Starting as a complete beginner, you'd probably need to study 6 levels to become a proficient user. So you're talking of an absolute minimum of 500 hours. I've read similar statistics for French.

Of course, you'd only be able to use the vocabulary that the books had exposed you to. Normally the same subjects are covered time and time again through the levels: everything about you, your home life, your work/school life, people and places around you, plus topics suitable for the grammar work i.e. the past, the future, current events - or at least what was current when the book was published...

Don't ever expect to be able to learn the terminology of your specialisations from a general language learning textbook. That simply isn't going to happen.


 


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