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.
Kyejin: Hi, I'm Kyejin, and I'm joined by my co-host, the founder of Innovative Language, Peter Galante.
Peter: Hi everyone. Peter here.
Kyejin: For those of you who are new to the Inner Circle, we do this every year.
Peter: So I set a goal for the year, like 30 minutes of conversation and…
Kyejin: …and then we go month by month.
Peter: where I try to hit small measurable monthly goals, which eventually add up to 30 minutes at the end of the year.
Kyejin: And in these monthly Inner Circle lessons, you'll discover the learning strategies we use to learn the language, speak more…
Peter: ….how to stay motivated, and we show you how to apply these strategies as well.
Kyejin: So last year, Peter, you took on the challenge of learning…
Peter: Hindi
Kyejin: And before that?
Peter: Russian, Korean, French, Chinese, and some years before that, Spanish and Italian
Kyejin: And Japanese?
Peter: Yes. And Japanese.
Kyejin: Yes. So, which are your best languages?
Peter: So, unfortunately, so many languages didn't survive, but Japanese, Chinese and Italian are my stronger languages, and I still actively study Korean and a little bit of French.
Kyejin: That's awesome, and this year you are doing…
Peter: Well, this year, we're changing the format a bit. So, in the past, we've followed along in my journey, but this year we're going to follow along in our journey. Kyejin and I are going to, maybe better than competing, we're gonna try and help each other achieve a certain level of French measured by a test.
Kyejin: Okay. Interesting.
Peter: So, Kyejin, first, what is the name of the test?
Kyejin: It's DELF, d-e-l-f, DELF.
Peter: And this is an official exam to measure listening, reading, writing, and speaking.
Kyejin: Exactly.
Peter: Exactly. So this is a little different than what we've done in the past. In the past, we've kind of followed along as I tried to reach a goal tied to listening and speaking. Now, this is more of a comprehensive, complete approach that actually measures the progress.
Kyejin: Okay. So are you confident now to take this competition with me?
Peter: See, I tried to make it collaborative, Kyejin, like we're working together, but yes. Um, yes, I'm ready. So the first thing in order to measure progress is measure where you start. And so what we had to do was first take this exam, take the DELF exam. Now Kyejin, you took this exam last year, am I correct?
Kyejin: Yes, you're correct. And I passed. At this A2 level.
Peter: So to give the listeners some context here, the C E F R, it's the Common European Framework of Reference, and they set guidelines for what each level is, and A2 level is about 180 to 200 hours of French is what kind of you need to take and successfully recommended you take to successfully pass this exam.
Kyejin: Right. So as an English speaker, by the way, it's based on the English speakers' study time.
Peter: Ah, so what about, in your case, a Native Korean speaker?
Kyejin: Yes. I need to study a bit more than someone like you, an English speaker, but I know some English words, so, well, it wasn't too difficult, but still, it wasn't so easy. French is hard for me.
Peter: Okay. Um, what's the hardest part, the pronunciation, out of the four things you tested for, what was the hardest? Listening, speaking, reading, or writing?
Kyejin: Definitely speaking. I got the lowest mark on speaking, so the pronunciation was hard. And the vocabulary was also hard because I found French words are pretty long, longer than English. And the conjugation is very complicated. So that's what I need to practice more.
Peter: So, Kyejin, we're trying to help everyone out here. You're making it sound so tough.
Kyejin: But I'm improving. I'm improving. And I know, yeah, how we can improve together. So I'm so excited this year.
Peter: Yes. So, so am I. So while I haven't taken the exam yet, I can confidently say my level is A1, less than 150 hours of studying French. So the lowest level. So what we would like to do is Kyejin, and I will, during this language learning journey, tell you the strategies we use to work towards passing the test. There will be some kind of rules and things that, for example, we will be using FrenchPod101 as our main basis for learning. Now we are free to supplement that with outside FrenchPod101, of course. And Kyejin will tell you a bit about her strategy in a moment, and I'll tell you a bit about my strategy.
Now, what'll be fun about this is since we're trying to do four skills, we'll actually share with you some of possibly the shortcomings of the FrenchPod101 product. Does that sound good, Kyejin?
Kyejin: Wow, that sounds good. And now I'm taking FrenchPod101 group class. I joined this semester, so I'm learning French with my French teacher.
Peter: Wow. See, I couldn't get into the FrenchPod101. So I am taking the SpanishPod101 classes. So I think you have a bit of an advantage there.
Kyejin: But you know, we have a lot of lessons on FrenchPod101. You can take them anytime you want. You have an application, right?
Peter: Okay. This is very, very true. So we're both taking FrenchPod self-Study 101. We both have our teachers, Premium PLUS teachers. Now, for those of you that don't know what the Premium PLUS teacher is, this is your own teacher that you can communicate with, and that will help you improve your pronunciation, your writing, your speaking with actual feedback on the communication you send to the teacher.
So we both have FrenchPod101 self-study courses. We both have the teacher, and then Kyejin has also the group classes, which is…. Kyejin, how long are these classes?
Kyejin: It's one hour long. Weekly class. And before the class, I need to take a Pathway, our FrenchPod101 Pathway. Inside the Pathway, there are French audio lessons, video lessons, plus assessment. So I study French. I take the course with my teacher, and after that, I also do some homework. So there are some things to work on.
Peter: So this is already a two-hour, roughly two-hour week commitment to this, right? In addition, that's not including any other self-study you've done on the site.
Kyejin: Yes. So I'm a little ahead of you,
Peter: Oh boy. Already, already ahead in the level, so let's talk about a little more about your strategy, then I'll talk about my strategy for January. So what is the rest of your strategy?
Kyejin: So for January, I'm just following the FrenchPod101 pathway. So I use my application, I use the my teacher Messenger that Peter just mentioned, and I take the audio lessons and video lessons, and I also take the group class. Other than that, I don't do anything else. But I still see a lot of improvement.
Peter: And with February coming, will you add anything to your February agenda?
Kyejin: Yes. I want to actually speak with French speakers in person. So now I'm just having a lot of input to learn the grammar, vocabulary, and in February, I'll start speaking with some French.
Peter: Okay, and will that be through a school or a platform or just friends?
Kyejin: Friends plus, if possible, I want to find someone from France online too.
Peter: French friends, you have too many advantages.
Kyejin: Exactly. I'm sorry, Peter.
Peter: Yeah, I'd probably bet on Kyejin to successfully achieve B1. So my January's a bit slower. Um, I'm following the same Pathway as Kyejin. I've been putting in about one hour per week, which is quite slow. So from February, I'll add a teacher that will help me with my speaking and listening. So someone I could talk to I would like to teach. I would like the teacher to use the same material that Kyejin is using.
So I have to work on finding a teacher that will help me do that. So for January. Very, very slow start to January, only one hour a week. And if we take a look at the recommendations and why what we're doing this year is so different than in the past, in order to pass these exams you're going to need to put in a certain amount of hours. To pass B1, you're gonna need 350 to 400 hours recommended for an English speaker. Kyejin is slightly more. So if we do the quick math here and we have, let's do the 400. 400 divided by 12, and we're gonna have a total recommended of 33 hours per month. So my four hours in January is not a good start.
Kyejin: Mm-hmm. , you need to study more.
Peter: Yes. Kyejin, you're at 8 to 10 hours, which is not too bad. Plus, you have some time that you put in last.
Kyejin: Mm-hmm. Right. But still, that's not enough. Okay. That gives me a lot of motivation, actually, the exact number. Okay. So 33 hours per month. Okay.
Peter: Yeah, that's gonna be quite tough. But, I firmly believe that you can start nice and slow, but you build a base, you start and now this studying one hour a week based around this Pathway, as part of the schedule, I can add the next hour, get to two to three hours per week next month. What's interesting about this compared to the previous challenges, is that there's something finite. The test score will come back.
Kyejin: Exactly. The test will show you how much, how many scores you got for speaking, writing, listening, reading separately.
Peter: This is gonna be quite some effort this year. And in addition, I think one thing that Kyejin and I had spoke about is, wouldn't it be nice to do an intensive course, a nice one-week course? Have you, do you have any experience doing this type of intense course?
Kyejin: Yes, I actually did last year. I did some intensive course in France for a month, and that helped so much. I had lots of chances to speak French with French people everywhere, and I experienced a lot of French food culture, and seriously, it improved my French dramatically.
Peter: So it would be quite nice if we could plan to, actually. Have this intensive course at some point, maybe during the summer that would really help us get towards our goal.
Kyejin: That's so cool. That gives me even more motivation now.
Peter: Okay, so let's do this. So this month, Kyejin and I will plan out our year. We understand that we are both behind, right? In what we need to.
Kyejin: Yes, unfortunately, I have to agree with that.
Peter: So I think what we can do and we'll announce next month, is our full plan for the year.
Kyejin: Okay.
Peter: How we plan to get this. Now, do we know when the DELF exam is? We have one in March before summer, probably May or June, and there's another one in November if I remember correctly.
Peter: It looks like the last one should be November 17th. Oh, boy. So we have even less than a full year. No, no, actually there's a December one. I'm sorry. The deadline for registrations is in November, but the exam should be from the eighth to the sixth.
Kyejin: Okay. But we wouldn't get the result before this year ends.
Peter: So then we have to take the November exam. We might need that extra month.
Kyejin: Yeah.
Peter: Okay. So but I think our listeners can then find out how we did in January. What do you think?
Kyejin: Sure. That's also a way. By the way, you said you are going to take a DELF. But what level?
Peter: I want to do the same as you.
Kyejin: Oh. Okay. B1. Yeah.
Peter: Better to aim high and not achieve, I think. I have a lot more work to do.
Kyejin: But you have some advantages as a native English speaker.
Peter: Yeah, so I, I think what we could do this time is we can potentially share some of our progress with the learners with our profile. See where we start? Uh, on the FrenchPod101. Okay. Share some of our exchanges to see how we're using this product, our FrenchPod101, and then we can by February share our plan for the year, which would include some type of intensive course.
Kyejin: Okay. Sounds like a plan. I'm ready.
Peter: All right. So Kyejin, if we sum up January, your goal was 8 to 10 hours, correct? 2 to 3 hours a week?
Kyejin: Yes. Yes. Okay. Using our FrenchPod101 lesson materials on the Pathway plus FrenchPod101 group class.
Peter: And through that, you were able to study all four skills, correct?
Kyejin: Yes. I practice a lot. All four skills.
Peter: The self study allowed you to do the reading, writing, and listening, and then the class helped you practice the speaking.
Kyejin: Yes. You are right.
Peter: Where my studying of one hour per week on the site was limited to listening, reading and writing. I didn't have quite a lot of speaking practice. So next month my goal will be to get to 2 to 3 hours a week, which again, is a massive jump when you really don't have the time. So these types of really, really big jumps are very, very challenging because there's not a lot of time in the week.
However, what's really, really motivating is not wanting to fail in front of Kyejin and the people following along. And in this time, it's a powerful motivation to have an actual numerical result.
Kyejin: You are right. I'm already speaking some French.
Peter: Yes, you're uh, you're, you're quite ahead. So alright. This is gonna be a very, very interesting year.
Kyejin: Yes. I'm so excited about it.
Peter: In addition, we'll share our progress each month in the form of how many lessons we've done, how many words we've studied, statistics from the site. Does that sound okay?
Kyejin: Yes, it sounds very good.
Peter: You know that sharing with someone else is quite a powerful motivator. All
Kyejin: Right. How embarrassing. I will not fail seriously, I'll not fail.
Peter: Yeah, maybe I should lower mine from a B1 to an A2.
Kyejin: No, no, no. You already said that . You cannot change it. Well then, I'll try A1 this year.
No, Peter.
Peter: Fair, fair, fair enough. Yeah, you know, for my JLPT the first year I came to Japan, they had the level, now they have five levels, but they had the four levels. 4, 3, 2, 1. And the first year, I arrived in January and December, I took the level one test. I just skipped right to one. I didn't pass, but I came so close.
Kyejin: Ah, yeah. If you have a goal, then that makes you study at least a bit. And even if you don't pass it, you get some result.
Peter: All right. 350 hours. This is gonna be interesting. Okay. Well, Kyejin. Thank you for joining this project and agreeing to study together.
Kyejin: Thank you too. Wow. This project gives me a lot of motivation. Actually, after the exam last year, I kind of lost my motivation, and I wasn't studying French so hard, but now, I'm ready. I'm ready to learn again.
Peter: And one thing we should try to include this year is how we can help each other study. And I think one way is seeing a partner's progress. If I see how much Kyejin has done, it can be motivating to me and vice versa. If Kyejin can see my progress, it might be motivating to her. So this is a new element, a new format that we wanted to try.
Kyejin: That's why I like learning French in group classes because I can actually see how other students are doing, and if I'm behind them, I study more to improve. So, well, it's a nice challenge.
Peter: So bear with us. This is the first recording together, and we were still trying to work out the framework as we went. So, next class, we'll have some really concrete details, and I think this time, we'll be able to chart our progress and see how it goes. Because again, in the past, my goals were centered around conversation, which is a little challenging to measure, where here, there'll actually be a proper exam result. Oh boy. It's gonna be a very stressful year.
Kyejin: Don't be scared. You are a language pro. I know you've been learning many languages successfully.
Peter: Ah, yes. But I think the definition is successfully. I often alter my goals. Life is tough, always getting in the way. But this should be a great challenge, an incredible learning experience, and it can put our system to the test.
Kyejin: Yeah, I'm sure the listeners will be very interested in seeing how we learn a language together. They can apply these strategies on their language learning journey.
Peter: Okay, listeners, how about you? What language are you learning this year, and what is your goal? Will you join us in a comprehensive goal on trying to take an exam this year? Email us and let us know at inner.circle@innovativelanguage.com, and stay tuned for the next inner.


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