Saturday, April 22, 2017

Learning French Vocabulary Again

Hello again from Singapore!

I was astonished to find that I hadn't updated my blog for 2 years! I'm writing this post to update you on what I have been passionate about lately.

In early January of this year, I decided to study French again in earnest, as it was getting quite rusty due to lack of use.

I've decided to focus on vocabulary this time, and purchased a French-English dictionary to study from cover to cover.

The dictionary that I am studying now is called Collins French to English Essential (One Way) Dictionary (Collins Essential) (French Edition).  I purchased it from Amazon in a Kindle E-book format.

The paper format of the same dictionary comes with 448 pages.  I think it's targeted for intermediate learners like me, and I find it quite suitable for my current level of knowledge in French.

According to my tweet, I began to study this dictionary on January 10 of this year. As of now, I am about 73% done, and I expect to finish learning the entire dictionary around the end of May if I can keep up the current pace of learning.

I am increasingly of the opinion that studying vocabulary is one of the most critical aspects of developing functional skills in a foreign language, along with grammar and pronunciation.  When I finish learning this dictionary I intend to switch to another more comprehensive dictionary to further increase my vocabulary.

In order to retain what I learn from my dictionary, I also make a point of reading a novel in French, although I can only manage a few pages a day.

Just yesterday, I finished reading Affaire de coeur, which is the French translation of a Danielle Steel novel. Given that I study numerous French words from a dictionary every day already, when I was reading this book I didn't stop to look up the words that I didn't know and focused instead on enjoying the story.  This is a very well-written novel and I had fun reading it. I enjoyed the novel so much that I restarted to read it from the beginning today. I believe that reading French novels is an effective way to consolidate my knowledge of French vocabulary.

As for French grammar and pronunciation, I am not focusing on these areas now, but I will need to seriously re-learn these areas eventually. I watch French television news and listen to French podcasts from time to time, but not on a regular basis.  I will set up a more rigorous routine when I get more confident about my knowledge of French vocabulary.

So, that's about it for a quick update on my current learning activities. I don't know when I will be able to post the next update. Hopefully soon.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend! :-)

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