Je suis heureux to tell you I’ve finished Newbie Season 1 of FrenchPod101.com. It took me about 2 days.
You can do it too. Trust me, my memory is nothing special.
Here was the plan, posted at How an Introvert Can Master an Entire Season of FrenchPod101.com in 2 Days.
Here is the result:
I mastered every significant skill and item of content in those lessons, using this method.
It’s worth pointing out: your memory for French is much more powerful than you may think.
If you’ve struggled to remember enough French to get off the ground in a basic way, then you just haven’t known about the most effective tool for shoveling content into your memory — spaced-repetition flash card programs.
(The material included about 140 French vocabulary words and about 60 to 70 survival phrases and sentence patterns.)
The power of spaced-repetition flash card programs
For deeply memorizing a lot of material quickly, then maintaining it over a lifetime, spaced repetition flash cards are the tool you need.
Want a very long, full discussion of why spaced-repetition works so well? Read this.
Spaced-repetition flash cards are a powerful, relatively new technology for virtually downloading content into your brain. (FrenchPod101.com has a Mercedes of a turn-key system, including an awesome, intuitive, spaced-repetition flash card system). Using a spaced repetition flash card system, you can learn vast amounts of material quickly, and retain it indefinitely.
For vocabulary, use the FrenchPod101.com flash card system. It’s irreplaceable if you want to learn French as fast as possible. Add an entire season of vocabulary to a flash card deck at FrenchPod101.com with just a few clicks, and dive in.
For fluency in using the survival phrases (“Ou sont les toilettes, s’il vous plait?”) and the functional language patterns (“Bonne soiree!”, “Avez-vous …?” etc.), use Anki.
Create dozens (covering the whole season) of three kinds of flash cards:
- English front-of-card and French translation back-of-card. For example:
- Side one: I’d like some water, please.
- Side two: Je voudrais d’eau, s’il vous plaît.
- Front-of-card: situation in which you need some French, and you must begin the conversation. Back-of-card: a way to begin the conversation. Example:
- Side one: You are looking for some location but you can’t find it.
- Side two: Pardon, savez-vous où je peux trouver un bar , s’il vous plaît ?
- Front-of-card: French prompt. Back-of-card: French natural response. These help you practice fluent responses to random pieces of French conversation.
- Side one, the French prompt: Bonsoir! Comment-allez vous?
- Side two: the French response: Très bien, merci. Et vous?
- Do NOT create simple vocabulary flash cards. You already have much better ones at Frenchpod1o1.com.
Next up: Newbie Season 2 at FrenchPod101.com. I plan to master it by Saturday or Sunday night. Here’s the game plan for that:
Item 1: Continue to review the material from Newbie Season 1, following the spaced-repetition flash card schedules in FrenchPod101.com and the self-created Anki deck. (If you don’t know what I mean, see the game plan for Newbie Season 1, and it’ll become clear instantly.)
Item 2: Create a FrenchPod101.com Vocabulary Flash Card deck for the entire Newbie Season 2. (See the video below.)
Item 3: Create an Anki flash card deck with dozens of key phrases from the Lesson Material section of FrenchPod101.com AND from easy example sentences taken from the FrenchPod101.com vocabulary flash card deck. (See the video below.)
Item 4: Study the flash card deck at FrenchPod101.com until it’s mastered over two days. (I’ll of course need to review it on schedule in the coming days and weeks, but the heavy lifting is done during this first day or two.)
Item 5: Study the Anki flash card deck with the new phrases until Anki says I’ve mastered it. (As with the vocabulary deck, I’ll also need to review these phrases in the days and weeks ahead, on Anki’s automatic schedule. But the heavy lifting is done in this first one or two days.)