Beginners – Intermediate – Advanced

You’ve been learning French for a while now, and you’re pretty good at a language : you can communicate, you can go to the country, you can talk to the native speakers in their own language, but there is something holding you back from using the language for your work, for example or reading books. You’re not your French is not perfect yet. How do you go from the B levels to the C levels ? Keep watching. I’ve been learning French for a while myself and I’m now at this stage where I’m at a upper intermediate level maybe a b2. Some people say that I already have a C1. I don’t think that I’m da dairy yet but the question is how do you reach ? How do you basically go from the B level, so from b2 to c1 ? Or even see – now first let us talk a little bit about what does this mean ? What doesn’t mean B – B b1 b2 c1 ? What does it mean ? Let’s start at the beginning. So, I’m just looking here on Wikipedia, I had to google it. An A level basically means that you are a basic user. B independent user, b1 your intermediate, a b2 upper intermediate. So, what does it mean upper intermediate ? So, here the description of b2 can understand the main ideas of complex on both concrete and abstract talk, abstract topics including technical discussions in a field of specialization can interact with the degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speaker quite possible without strain. I think that’s an important one can produce clear detailed text on a ride range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of the various options. So, this is basically the level at way you can hold conversations with native speakers without having them to adjust too much to you basically to your level. I think I’m there with French, I think I can have very spontaneous conversations and the native speaker does not really need to slow down if they talk to me. Maybe if we’re talking about certain topics that I’m a little bit unfamiliar with. So maybe you have because you know and it’s of course this our YouTube channel and we’re talking about me all the time but I know that you are watching this video because you want to know how you can reach the C level. And, we are gonna get there but first let me try to indicate where you are so are you already at this B level or not, in case you are there and you want to reach the C level c1 which basically mean that at the c1 level you should be able to understand a wide range of demanding longer classes and recognize implicit meaning, can express ideas fluently and spontaneously without much of your searching for expressions. You can use the language flexibly and effectively for social academic and professional purposes. So, this sign is really the level at where you are really fluent you can participate in the discussion with native speakers and you can also start using a language for your career. Now, first things, first let be clear about it going from zero to a level away you can hold a simple conversation it’s not that difficult something that you can do in a few months and going from the A levels to the B levels. So, from the beginner to intermediate I would say you can do half year maybe a year but then going from B to C it’s very tricky and it takes time. As I said I’ve been learning French for almost three years now and I think I’m getting very close to c1, maybe I’m not there yet but I feel that making progress at this stage is just very slow some other language learners are talking about. So, they say that they feel like they’ve hit a plateau. They can’t go any further anymore, they basically don’t know how to improve anymore and now know that there’s the question that many of you have. So, let’s talk a little bit about this :  how can you reach a C-level ? How can you break through this language Plateau ? I think the question that you should ask yourself first is do you really need a C-level ? I mean if I want to learn a foreign language, my goal is always to reach a p2v2 as a level awakened whole conversation. You can travel to the county, you can could to the country and you have a degree of fluency. I think that’s like, if you want to apply the 20/80 rule and language learning and I think that with the b2 level you can do 80% of the things which you basically need to do in the language. Of course this depends a little bit on yours, on your personal ambitions. So, if you live in a country where that language is not spoken and you just use it for your trips. So, now and then or maybe you learn this language for a hobby or to socialize with people. Who’s with native speakers in your neighborhood. The other thing is often enough now if you live in a country like me for example I live here in Brussels where French is spoken. Or, if you need a language for your career or I don’t know if you want to pass an exam for example that’s also a reason for some people. Then it might make sense to reach a C-level because living in a country eventually you want to be independent, right ? You want to be able to do everything, you don’t want to rely on your friends helping you out all the time, reading forms that you get from the government, or contracts. You want to be able to do everything by yourself and then I think that it indeed does make sense to to go for it too you to study so hard that you eventually reach to see one level. And that’s basically my ambition for French. Now the big question is how to do that ? How do you go from B to C ?  When I actually show that video with Luca on PLO a very talented polyglot one of the most famous here on YouTube. I showed a video with him last year in Thessaloniki at the polyglot conference and I basically asked him this question as well it became a very popular video. Maybe you can what you find it here somewhere on my channel but he basically said that you need to start doing new things. So, if we start learning a new language you often start learning with language books we I don’t know we practice with apps or flashcards, we take lessons online and we talk about our daily routine. If you want to reach the C levels you need to do new things, you need to push yourself out of your comfort zone, and you need a lot, a lot of input on topics that you are not very familiar with. So, if you’re used to talk about your daily life, then if you want to improve your speaking skills and take lessons with the tutor online or in person and instead of talking about your daily routine or what you’ve done or about your plans, your ambitions, talk about something else. You’re interested in but which is a little bit more complicated, for example, well like international relations or politics you can talk more about you can talk about that and you will notice that you’re gonna reach your gonna need vocabulary, you never had to think about, you’re gonna need for Cavalera you don’t know and this way you push yourself out of your comfort zone and now going from B to 2 c1. Basically means that you need to know a lot of you need to expand your vocabulary. You can do that of course by speaking, but I think speaking is a better way to activate the that you have already seen before. Another way is and I think this is the final answer, this is what you really need to do and that’s a lot of you need to read a lot, you need to do a lot of reading and of course comprehensible input is important. So, you should at least be able to understand 80 or 90% of the text that you’re reading, this way the text is interesting for you, you can enjoy reading it and you can learn. You don’t like this 10% of vocabulary that you don’t get maybe you can understand from context or you can look up those you can look those words up in a dictionary. Now, I know this takes a lot of time having a book and then maybe marking the words that you don’t know look it up at a dictionary. This is a hassle of course, if you read things online, you can copy-paste it in google translate. I myself since last year I’m a big fan of link in the platform of Steve Kaufman also has a YouTube channel. I started using it last year for my French and the reason I like it so much is that you cannot just read things or read text that you are interested in. You can actually also click on the words and instantly see the meaning. Now, it also counts the words that you know after are Wow and I think like up until now I’ve built like a vocabulary of I think ten thousands words in French or something. Of course, this workout is not always accurate because it also counts the different forms of a verb for example, but still I think that it works very motivational to see like your vocabulary increasing all the time. Now, the biggest benefit of a platform like link for example is that you can not only read but you can also play along the audio. So, this way you basically train your brain to you basically hear the words at the same time and it’s easier to remember new vocabulary if you see it and hear it at the same time. At least that’s how it works for me. I guess also worked for most of you guys. So, I find that a very effective way to really get to the higher levels in your target language. Now, there are more products out there on the market. You can also listen to podcast and read along with the transcript and study the transcripts afterwards and look up the words that you don’t know. These are really the things that you need to do you basically need to do a lot of reading, a lot of inputs and also activates the activate these new words you that you have learned by reading or by listening to these podcasts by speaking, by taking speaking lessons. What I’ve been doing twice per week over the last month and yeah the final rest. The final ingredient that you need here is patience because as I said in the beginning of this video it takes a while to go from B to C. I think from B 2 to C 1 takes at least. I would say at least a year maybe two years. I’m fortunate enough I live here in Brussels my wife is French speaking I don’t speak French with her but I hear it all the time over the phone so if you want to read C laughs you basically need to surround yourself with the language. Now, if you’re not fortunate enough to live in a country or to live with someone who speaks the language then those activities that I just mentioned before are the perfect replacement of being here in this in this French environment. So, lots of reading, lots of listening and I think that actually doing these things can be even more effective than just being in the country and being overwhelmed by the language all the time because although I live here in Brussels most of my French I actually learn from books and from podcasts, from link. And, of course if I learn new things I try them out on the streets or with my friends here I do language exchanges with yeah so a little bit universal advice is not just for French you can of course also use these tips for all the language that you are learning that was a for now and let me know have you ever reached a C level in a language that you are learning and how did you do that ?