|Peter: Welcome to the Inner circle. This is the monthly no holds barred newsletter giving you tried and tested learning methods to help you reach your language goals this year.
|Kyejin: Hi, I'm Kyejin, and I'm joined by my co-host, the founder of innovative language, Peter Galante.
|Peter: Hi, everyone, Peter here.
|Peter: So Kyejin, last time we talked about routines, making time for learning French, and I used something called piggybacking to expand my routine.
|Kyejin: Peter, can you remind us what piggybacking is?
|Peter: Sure, piggybacking is when you add language learning on top of another existing routine, you piggyback on it. But the catch is it must be a routine where you can multitask.
|Kyejin: For example, if commuting to work is a routine, you can learn on your commute and that's piggybacking.
|Peter: The whole point is, instead of trying to carve out time, which is really hard to do.
|You look for time where you can fit the language in, and you start there.
|Kyejin: Yes. And last time, we also set some goals for this month, Peter.
|Peter: Yes. Let's talk about last month's goals. Although you might have to remind me, I'm very good at setting them and very bad at remembering them.
|Kyejin: So, OK, so I can remind you. So your goal for the month was to do four hours of French a week. Do you remember that?
|Peter: I remember, and this was not an easy goal. However, I was able to reach this goal. Should I tell you how I did it, or do you want to go first with your goal?
|Kyejin: Well, I would love to hear how you did first.
|Peter: So, I think I mentioned that I was going to focus a bit on something called a portfolio where I kind of show you a collection of my work, my recordings, my graded assessments, and actually handwritten things. Correct?
|Kyejin: Yes, that's correct.
|Peter: Yeah. So I remember now. Ok, Kyejin, your goal. Why don't we go over your goal now?
|Kyejin: Yeah. My goals were to find a teacher and put in 30 hours of French for the month, and I went a bit above…
|Peter: 30 hours, and you went over. Hang on, 4 times 4. I'm at 16. So you're, wow, you're double the time I am.
|Kyejin: Right. Yes, I did 32.5 hours in a month, and I found two online teachers.
|Peter: Wow. So you're already double my time.
|Kyejin: Right. I'm much above your level now, I guess.
|Peter: So, not that this is a competition, but you seem like you are going to clear this test relatively easily, and maybe I'm not such a good bet to pass this test? Oh boy. All right.
|Let me think with that new information. Let's get in a little while. I'll think about how I need to adjust my goals to give me a better shot because B1 is quite challenging.
|Kyejin: It is. And do you know why I put this much in for this month?
|Peter: I think you understand how many hours it's gonna take?
|Kyejin: Right. And to motivate myself more, I actually applied for the DELF B1 exam this coming June.
|Peter: Wow. So you're gonna, you're doing what we're planning to do in November in June.
|Kyejin: I might fail, but I just want to try and see how the test goes, and I want to understand what are my weaknesses. So this June, yes, I'm taking DELF B1.
|Peter: So what if you pass? Now you have to fail on purpose.
|Kyejin: No, no, no, no, I'll do my best. And if I pass, I see the numbers, my scores first, and I aim for the higher numbers in November.
|Peter: That's a good strategy. I was gonna say you can also just not open the envelope until we get our results in December.
|Kyejin: Well, I'm a curious person. So I have to see the numbers and scores. I want to know.
|Peter: You can hold the envelope up to the light and whatever you can see from there.
|Kyejin: No, no, no, no, no, I need motivation and that’s the DELF exam.
|Kyejin: And I also hang out with my French friends every week, every weekend. So I spoke French the whole time.
|Peter: The whole time.
|Peter: How many hours?
|Kyejin: Like three hours at a time? So, 6-9 hours this month. So I was speaking French.
|Peter: Wow. That's actually a very, very tough, kind of challenging thing to do to find a friend who you can speak in their language with. That's not such an easy thing to do. How did you do that?
|Kyejin: Well, she was my friend's friend, and we've been friends for many years already.
|Peter: And previously, when you met, did you speak in French or before that? Were you speaking in a different language?
|Kyejin: I spoke English and Japanese with her, but now I'm speaking French only.
|Peter: Kyejin, that's very, very impressive. It's a very advanced tactic to first get a friend in a target language and then to speak the whole time in that language.
|Kyejin: Yeah, I still need more vocabulary and more grammar structure, but still, I feel like I'm improving. Yeah, I feel more comfortable with French.
|Peter: That's a very, very big milestone. Congratulations.
|Kyejin: Thank you.
|Peter: So, when is the test exactly?
|Kyejin: It's on June third. Let me double-check.
|Peter: So that's not even late June. That's early June. So it's pretty much April, May. You have two months to go.
|Kyejin: Exactly. That's why I'm busy. That's why I need to put in more hours and put more effort.
|Peter: Wow. I'm very, very impressed. So for the 32 hours, 8 hours, roughly 8 hours a week. And that doesn't include the extra time that you met your friend. Correct?
|Kyejin: I'm sorry. That includes the time.
|Peter: Ok, I feel a little bit better now, ok.
|Kyejin: But I was speaking French.
|Peter: I feel a lot better. I was like, oh, boy. So you have a teacher now? 2 hours a week.
|Is that correct? Online?
|Kyejin: Yes. 1 to 2 hours a week. Yes, 2 teachers
|Peter: In that class, do you use a textbook, or how do your lessons progress there?
|Kyejin: So, one teacher is focusing on speaking. So he always prepares some materials like sometimes his presentation file or some audio files. So I can practice shadowing tactic. And the other teacher is actually an examinator of DELF. We actually practice the real DELF speaking and writing just like the DELF. So she gives me the exact feedback on how she checked the DELF as a teacher, as an examinator.
|Peter: Ok. So let's change the goal. So only Kyejin will try to pass B1, and I will support Kyejin now.
|Kyejin: Well, you have time, you have time. I'm taking it in June, but you are taking it in November.
|Kyejin: And I'm really serious. The test is not cheap, and I'm serious. I want to pass that test.
|Peter: So let's stop a minute here and just kind of appreciate the fact that sometimes when you make your goal concrete, and you're talking about something that's definitive, something that the goal is clear, Kyejin, you've built an excellent plan for passing this test. You didn't just go get a French teacher. You went out and found a French teacher that focuses on passing the test. Then you balance that out with just, you know, casual conversation.
|But a lot of times, if you don't have that goal, we wind up more just chatting with our friends about things we like. But setting this goal to pass the exam, that's why you decided to go find the teacher, and you, you, you had this requirement, right? That the person knew about the exam.
|Kyejin: Of course. Yeah. In the first lesson, I already explained why I'm learning French and what I want to achieve in June. So the teachers are also focusing on that and my biggest weakness is speaking, that's why I found one teacher for speaking only and the other teacher for specializing for my DELF exam.
|Peter: Yeah, this is a very, very strong strategy rather than just chatting about the weather and things like this. OK, so you have these classes, then what other things do you do? So if my mathematics are correct here, you spent 3 hours with your friend. Is it twice a month or so? That's 6 hours with your friend.
|Peter: Ok. So 32. I'm gonna get rid of that half. 32 minus 6, down to 24. And 2 hours a week in your class. Is it an hour and a half or 2 hours a week with your teachers?
|Kyejin: Yes. 1-2 hours a week. And it depends on my schedule.
|Peter: All right. So, six hours is a good number.
|Peter: So now we're down to 18.
|Kyejin: Oh, so the remaining time. Yeah, I spend the time for group class first, FrenchPod101 group class, as usual, once a week. And I also spend time for our pathway on FrenchPod101. So I need to take the lesson, audio lesson, and video lessons, and actually, I don't listen to or I don't watch the video just once. I watch like five times, six times over and over because I take these lessons on my commute time, which means I'm not 100% focusing on the lessons. Sometimes I have to listen, or I have to do some things I see or where I am now. So I repeat many times, and I take the assessment test, portfolio, and in total, there's over 10 hours.
|Peter: So with the 18 and then one hour a week, you're down to 14 and then about 10 hours on these pathways while you're commuting and then another 4 hours miscellaneous stuff. Wow. So one of the things I'm learning here is that the approaches are so different. Kyejin is very focused, centered on a very clear goal, and building a strategy to achieve that goal. I would say in comparison. My strategy is a little more relaxed and definitely not as focused as you are. So Kyejin, did you change your strategy at all when you set the date for your June test? Before that, you were a bit more casual, but then once you paid for that test or applied for that test, did you get slightly more serious?
|Kyejin: Definitely. Yes. After paying for the DELF exam, I realized my weaknesses are speaking and writing. That's why I needed to find teachers who can actually help me with these areas.
|Peter: OK. This is very interesting and I think it's one of the benefits of doing this together.
|I'm changing my position. Let's do this together. It's not a competition anymore, Kyejin. Let's work together.
|Kyejin: Yes, we are working together. We are influencing each other, and Peter, I want to know how you studied in March.
|Peter: Yeah. Wow. I feel like I'm going after the person who just gave a very great speech in class, and now I'm next with no preparation. Oh boy. So I kind of went back to a technique I like, where in the past we spoke about this, this is the number one way to force you to learn, and that's going to a brick and mortar school. And we have one thing in common that you paid for the DELF test, and then I paid for the in-person classes, and once there's money out of your pocket, how deep you care should really increase. So if you're listening to this, it means you paid for something. So you should listen to this and take inspiration that, yeah, you're just like us when we're paying for something, it matters more, or it should matter more, right? Because that's your hard-earned money. So I started by going to brick-and-mortar school twice a week, which is quite a big commitment because it's paying for the classes and then showing up. But I do like face-to-face quite a bit. So I have these two classes on Tuesday and Friday. Then, in addition, I have my online teacher, which is one hour. Then, I use the site slightly different than you. We both use the pathway. But because I'm so far behind, for example, when I started live classes, I started on their textbook page one. So I am way A1 page one. So I have a very, very big mountain to climb if it's even possible to get to the top. So I'm starting from very, very basics. Then I have my online class. But I used the pathways very differently. I, because I need to cover as much ground as possible, I'm starting with the assessment questions. So I skip the lessons, and I go to the assessments and depending how I score on the assessment. If I pass the assessment, I'll move forward. But if I don't pass, then I'll go back and review the lessons before that assessment. So on our site, the pathway has questions, and you can just jump straight to the questions and try to answer them in multiple choice. And if you get, if your score is high enough, then if my score is high enough, I just move on to the next assessment. And I keep going until my score is low enough, and then I'll backtrack.
|Kyejin: That’s a good strategy.
|Peter: Well, it's not thorough like yours, but I feel like I learn that it sticks a bit better if I have a question and then I get it wrong. It seems to stick a little better in my brain. So, when I'm in front of my computer, that's how I like to use the pathway when I'm commuting to the office. I'm listening like you. I think we have a very similar method that I'm listening but not so focused, kind of looking around to see what's going on, taking in the crowded train again. So, again, it's kind of multitasking. So actually Kyejin, doing the quick math here. I'm over four hours for my week.
|Kyejin: That's interesting. And my favorite thing about your learning strategy is that you skip some lessons, and if you pass the assessment, then you move on and if you don't pass, then you focus on that topic again and listen or watch the video. That's great.
|Peter: Yeah, it helps me, it helps me go a little faster, and it's.
|Peter: And then there's one more technique that I've been using, and I think you can see it inside of the PDF. This month is…. Again, I feel like, wow, I'm back to the basics. I'm in a generation of all this tech. I'm handwriting out my answers and then sending them to my premium plus teacher.
|Kyejin: Oh, I love that
|Peter: Really, are you doing this too?
|Kyejin: I did it for other languages, and also, when I practiced French writing, I actually write it down because, during the DELF test, I don't write it on my computer. I have to write down on the paper. So I do that.
|Peter: Wow. OK. So then, you know, but it's so funny the different approaches.
|And I think the most interesting kind of takeaway is that Kyejin is committed to taking the test and took steps, including payment, to register for the test. And based on that, her focus sharpened, and her strategy sharpened. And for me, I'm practicing writing. But to be honest, I didn't. I know he said that this is a part of the DELF test, but I'm doing it more for my own learning, but I don't have that tight focus. I'm just doing it more for myself. Which, hm, maybe from today's time together, what I'll take away is that I should refocus and sharpen.
|Kyejin: Yes. If your goal is DELF, but if your goal is just speaking or writing or just to improve French for your own satisfaction, I think your way is correct.
|Peter: Yeah. So, that is interesting because it challenges all areas, the standardized test challenges, all areas that you need to improve. But applying this to someone who's listening and they want to focus on conversation because they're traveling or something like this or they want to speak to their partner, go back and write your goal a little more detailed. I want to get better at conversation to speak about economics. And then by adding that little extension to your sentence, you can then start to research economic words, you can then read economic articles… However, you want. But by giving your goal more clarity, I think you can sharpen your strategy to get results faster. Wow, Kyejin. I learned a tremendous amount, in addition to the fact that I'm way behind you.
|Kyejin: But I learned a lot from you, too, because in the pathway, sometimes there are some things that I already know. But I listened to every single audio and video lesson, which was still helpful. But if I want to go faster, actually, I can skip that as long as I can pass our assessment. So I think that's a great strategy because I want to learn faster. The DELF exam day is coming.
|Peter: Ok. So today, yeah, we really help each other.
|Kyejin: Yeah, indeed.
|Peter: All right. So again, I think we have some details in here inside of this, the PDF that accompanies this. You can see how Kyejin is using premium PLUS, how I'm using premium plus. Maybe we can add some other things inside of here. Maybe some two key components, how to use the pathway, how Kyejin used the pathway, and how I use the pathway. I think these are some of the most important lessons from here. All right, Kyejin. Shall we talk about our next goals?
|Kyejin: Yes, I would love to hear your goals for April.
|Peter: So this might shock you. But I think I'm a little bit over four hours now. So I'm actually gonna go to five hours. I'm not gonna try and double down. I'm not gonna try and expand quickly. I'm gonna try and solidify my current schedule because, to be honest, it wasn't easy to go from 2 to 4 hours. I had to carve out two hours for the classes, plus the commute time. So I had to make a lot of sacrifices in other areas. So I'm not gonna get greedy even though I know I'm behind, and I'm gonna just focus on making sure this is part of my routine. So I'm gonna stay at five hours.
|Kyejin: That’s great. On my end, I want to review all the grammar rules for the B1.
|Peter: I kind of feel like that kid in class who wants to look over. Kyejin, could I see that grammar rule document when you're done with it?
|Kyejin: Of course, you know, Peter, I grew up in Korea, and in Korea, I studied a lot. I worked a lot for the exam. So I personally think I'm very good at taking exams. I know how to take exams. And maybe that's why this time, I'm having a very clear strategy to pass DELF B1.
|Peter: Kyejin, it's such an interesting way that you approach this. My brain doesn't work the way you're approaching this. So for me to learn from you, actually, I would say gives me the best shot at passing this test. So I wanted to thank you for that. Because I have been doing this for many, many years, but I've never ever approached my learning from such a way that you have. So this has been very, very interesting to learn from you.
|Kyejin: Yeah, it was very, very interesting for me, too, to learn from you.
|Peter: OK, and it's taking every fiber within my competitive soul to not say, OK, 10 hours, but I'm going to pace myself. Let's see if the turtle, the tortoise, can keep up with the hare here.
|Kyejin: Please remember that we are collaborating. We are not competing here.
|Peter: Yes, collaborating.
|Kyejin: Yes. So listeners. What about you? Let us know what your small measurable monthly goal is. Email us at inner dot circle at innovative language dot com, and stay tuned for the next inner circle.
|Peter: Bye, everyone.
|Kyejin: Thanks for listening, and we'll see you next time.