lundi 12 octobre 2009

Reading comprehension

Something weird (but fantastic!) happened over the past few days. I suddenly felt like I could read (and understand) a lot more than before. I bought the French version of the Very Hungry Caterpillar and the Cat in the Hat and when I first looked at them I thought it was 'too hard' but now they seem too easy, especially the former. I also bought a book (with CD) called French Idioms and picked it up last night and had no trouble understanding it! Sure there were a few words here and there I didn't understand but it didn't prevent me for getting the meaning of the short paragraphs.

It feels strange because whilst I realized I was picking up grammar, I didn't actually think I was picking up that much vocab. I mean, I don't even use flash cards! I don't write vocab lists and memorize them. I keep telling myself I should get around to making flash cards but I never do.. I have used a great website Quizlet before though, which are virtual flash cards I guess.

I even saw The easy French Reader (with CD ROM) in the bookshop the other day, a book I've been wanting to get for a while - and realized it was now too 'easy' for me! I think only the last third of the book would've been useful (when they started using past/future tenses) so I didn't buy it. I have read so many good things about it though.

So I estimate I must know almost 1000 words at the moment. Assimil claims to teach you between 2000-3000 words (vocab) so I think that is fairly accurate. I am starting to get the hang of past and future tenses (although knowing how to spell them all by heart is another matter to tackle). I still have to look up conjugation lists.

But I'll get there :)


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