Intermediate French: Understanding spoken French
Intermediate French: Understanding spoken French

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Intermediate French: Understanding spoken French

8 Being a reflective learner

Described image
Figure 7 The Thinker, Auguste Rodin

The activities you have worked through in this short online course have introduced you to a number of strategies you can use to develop your comprehension skills when listening to authentic spoken French. Becoming a reflective learner is about developing an awareness of how you learn and using that knowledge to improve your learning. In your work on the video clips you have:

  • developed your understanding of what listening involves
  • analysed specific listening tasks
  • familiarised yourself with possible strategies to better understand spoken French
  • selected the best strategies for particular tasks
  • evaluated the success of these strategies

Activity 38

Go back to one or more of the video clips from this course and listen to them again.

Before you listen, think about why you are listening and what information you hope to understand. Are you listening to grasp the general sense, to pick out specific information or to help develop your knowledge of the French language? What pre-listening activities might help you achieve your purpose? These might include ‘word storming’ vocabulary that comes to mind related to the topic or setting yourself questions to answer in advance.

  • Which clip have you chosen?
  • What is your purpose for listening?
  • What exactly do you hope to understand?
  • What pre-listening activities have you chosen and why?

Now set yourself some tasks to do while listening. These might include:

  • ticking off words and phrases from your word storm
  • noting unfamiliar words to look up in your dictionary after listening
  • answering the questions you asked yourself in advance
  • making notes for a summary of the general sense of the clip
  • using visual or other contextual clues
  • using your existing knowledge of French or other languages to work out the meaning of unfamiliar language
  • focusing on a particular language area, such as pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar or discourse markers (linking words)
  • following the subtitles as you listen

After listening, review how successful your strategies were:

  • Did the strategies you chose help you achieve your aims in listening?
  • Did the strategies you chose help you do other things you hadn’t planned for?
  • Would the strategies you used have been helpful in another context?
  • What other strategies could you have used?

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