Sunday, February 6, 2011

Goal setting

I've been having a lot of success with goal-setting this year. Goals are fantastic if you do them right. There is a sort of "check" system you can run your ideas through to see if your goals are "smart" ones. Google "SMART goals" or checkout websites like this one for more information on goal setting.


Therefore, because of my success in my daily life attempts to keep my apartment fairly clean, I will make a language goal in French.

Long-term French goal:
By this time next year (2/6/12), I will have gone to a French language meetup group. I would like to be able to hold my own in a very basic conversation. Right now, I would never put myself in an immersion setting, because I simply don't have the means to express basic things.

Short-term French goal:
By the end of this week (2/13/11), I will be comfortable in the French number system, numbers 1-100. I will be able to look at the number form and both (a) say the French name of the number aloud and (b) be able to correctly write/spell the French words for the numbers on paper.

As I just mentioned, there are a lot of holes in my French knowledge. I am starting to really piece the puzzle together bit by bit, but need some of the basics. Here is a list of language tools/abilities I will need to be conversational in French (the list comes largely from what I find very useful conversationally in Spanish):

  • Familiarity/practice with basic verbs: Need, want, be able to, think, make, do, like/love, wish, have, come, go, give, say, tell, see, hear, know, find, look for, study, teach, learn, etc.
  • Knowledge of common small-talk expressions and questions as well as common responses to these comments and questions
  • Topic-specific vocabulary to talk about my job, my hobbies, my life, my family, etc.
  • Colors, numbers, alphabet, months, days, etc.
  • Words/phrases that come in handy when vocabulary holes prevail: Stuff, something, thing, kind of/sort of, a little, you know, how do you say... ?, what is this called?, like this, etc.
  • Very important, highly used words: Maybe, if, however, but, together, far, near, everywhere, everyone, everything, next, last, first, now, later, again, still, yet, yesterday, of course, etc.
  • Already-constructed sentences to express facts about your progress (how much of the language you know and don't know) as well as ability to ask for clarification from others: What are you saying? Could you repeat that? What does _____ mean?
As you can see, I have a quite lengthy list, but I will add to it as I think of things.

I just took a multiple choice quiz on my knowledge of numbers 1-100 and got 88 (quatre-vingt-huit) out of 100 (cent) questions right. Fantastic.

Hasta pronto et au revoir, mis amigos.

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