Post # 1
I’ve taken a few years of French between High School and my university. After a concussion from a car accident in my senior year of High School a lot of my memory involving French was lost. I’m planning on taking at least one more college course, but I’ve noticed that my ability to read and write in French far excedes my ability to hold a conversation.
Have any of you used Rosetta Stone? If so did you love or hate it? Does anybody else have any ideas on how to improve my ability to hold a conversation? I have had French students live with me twice and have been to France once. Sometimes I just think I’m not confident enough to hold the conversation.
Post # 3
I’ve used Rosetta Stone for learning German…
I really like it for beginners, especially that you can use a microphone and check your pronunciation. But I’m at the level now, though, where I’m not a beginner anymore (not even close to fluent, but I can understand most things and carry on a not-too-complicated conversation) and I find that it’s not helping me much anymore. It might be great for you to start out with, though, especially since the repetition can help you retain the vocab better. But it is an expensive program, so…
Is your lack of speaking skills only because of your accident, or do you think it’s also out of fear?? I’m only asking, because this is my biggest problem… I can read and write German pretty well, but I totally blank when someone asks me a question and I have to think for a while before I can answer… but basically I’m afraid of making mistakes and being embarrased, so I don’t try as much as I should. (I teach English as a Second Language, and I find myself being guilty of the same thing I yell at my students for! And I’ve lived in Germany for three years so far.)
My fiance, on the other hand, can speak German much better than me because he’s very outgoing and doesn’t care if he messes up. He always tells me to think of children and how they learn… they don’t have shame and they just repeat and keep at it until it comes naturally.
It would help if you had constant contact with someone who speaks French who could correct you. Or maybe a penpal online? There are websites out there where you can skype with people too… Find someone French who is learning English – you can help each other, and maybe that way you won’t be so worried about making mistakes.
Post # 4
We used Rosetta Stone for learning French and it was… interesting. Most of it was pretty simple and user friendly but every once in a while you get a word that Americans (or atleast FI, myself and everyone else we’ve had try) just simply cannot pronounce right and it won’t let you continue. MAJOR pain in the ass. For us, that word was “voiture” (which apparently means car). Both FI and I tried to repeat it dozens of times and it kept telling us we were wrong. It got to the point where we had to video chat with FI’s business partner who’s from France just so he could repeat it and we could continue. I swear to god he said it the exact same way we were but I guess the software just wasn’t liking us.
Post # 5
I got mine on CL and have been using he Swedish. My conversational swedish is very good, according to my swedish friends. I don’t need to be fluent when we head to sweden next year, as most of sweden also speaks english. I just want to be respectful. I liked it well enough to as buy the mandarine (sp?). We are trying to go to china next year also with a clean water charity, the guy that runs the charity said it the system was more than adequate for conversation and he speaks the language fluently.
Post # 6
@flee: My speaking ability has always been partly out of fear. I know most people sound like a little kid learning to talk, but that makes me more self concious… In the last few years a lot of it has been the lack of vocab too. In the last few years I haven’t had anybody to speak French with. My FI wants to learn too so maybe practicing with him will help a little bit.
Hmm… I might just try to stick with college french courses and make myself some vocab worksheets and crosswords or something. As for the conversation hopefully I can find a French pen pal to webcam with. I’ve lost touch with the boys that stayed with us over the years.