Lesson Transcript


Kyejin: Welcome to the Inner Circle. This is the monthly newsletter….
Peter: 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.
Kyejin: How are you, Peter?
Peter: Well, I think you could maybe hear my voice. Getting over a cold.
Kyejin: Oh, no. Yeah, it's getting cold here.
Peter: Yeah, and so unfortunately, when we make our plans for the year, or we make our plans for the week or our plans for the day, there are always these unexpected things that pop up. And yeah.
Kyejin: And this is one of the examples.
Peter: This is one of the examples, and a cold can take out five days in a month, which is a massive amount of time.
Kyejin: Indeed.
Peter: So, before we talk about that and the effects, let's kind of just go over last time. So Kyejin, did you want to tell us, just remind us what we did last time?
Kyejin: Sure. So, last time you learned about the power of consolidating your routines.
Peter: And Kyejin, you're working on getting your motivation back, right?
Kyejin: Right. So I tried to get back my one-on-one lessons, and I tried to writing messages to my Premium PLUS teachers. And also I tried to find some interesting ways to learn French plus make learning French a part of my life.
Peter: I like the way you said that, and it seems like you were successful.
Kyejin: Yes. Well, yes, I think I could do better, but still, it's on the way. I found an interesting way to integrate my French learning into my daily life. And I want to introduce that today.
Peter: OK. So, let's talk about introducing French or language study into your daily life. That's a really, really, a very interesting topic. But before that, let's just quickly touch on our monthly goals.
Kyejin: What was your monthly goal last time?
Peter: Last time we were talking about getting back to that regular routine…. Couldn't, couldn't do it. In fact, I wanted to reintroduce the live classes back here in Tokyo, but that didn't work because I could not go out of the house. Yeah, when you're sick, even if you get tested to make sure that you don't have COVID or the flu, there's people that, that, that close proximity so people still can potentially, they prefer if people are not sick when doing these things.
Kyejin: So, especially during this period.
Peter: Exactly. So, the routine I was not able to achieve. However, the DELF book that you gave me. Thank you so much. That was very, very good.
Kyejin: Interesting. Was the book too hard for you, or is it perfect for your level?
Peter: Well, I wasn't able to test the listening. I think I need the audio component to that. I meant to follow up with you about that. But the reading and the writing were very good, but the listening and the speaking again, I haven't had a chance to really test that very well. However, the two sections I did looked quite good.
Kyejin: Wow. Are you confident in passing those skills in DELF?
Peter: That's an interesting way to phrase the question because currently I cannot sign up to take the test because all the seats are full. So I have two possible alternatives to doing this: finding a different location outside of Tokyo to take the test, or the worst case, I can have my school prepare a serious practice exam where they grade it and I get my results. The benefit of that is that I'll get my results very quick. So I'll be able to make the announcement before the end of November, whether I would have passed or not.
Kyejin: That's true. And I have news too. I also failed to get the DELF. Well, I think I checked the page after a few days, maybe like a week later, the open date, and it was full. I couldn't join the B1 test. So, wow. I was really surprised, and I'm very happy that I already took the test before.
Peter: Took and passed the test.
Kyejin: Yes. Yes. And you know, if you take the exam in November, actually, you get the result in maybe late December or January. So I was well prepared.
Peter: Yeah, you are very remarkable.
Kyejin: Thank you, But now I need to find a different goal instead.
Peter: Well, you hit your goal. So you're doing so well, and I'm at a bit of a low point, just getting over being sick, not being able to sign up for the test, and being behind in many areas. So Kyejin, you and I both don't have a seat at the exam.
Kyejin: That's right. I'm really sad.
Peter: So originally, we had planned to talk about how to condense. Well, the stretch, the stretch to your goal, like how to prep for the final test, how to get ready. But right now, we currently don't have seats for this, and Kyejin, you already reached your goal, correct?
Kyejin: Correct. And yeah, luckily, I took the test already, so I reached my goal. Well, that was a practice. But, well, luckily, I reached the goal, and now my new goal is to maintain my French proficiency.
Peter: Maintaining a language. So yeah, you've already reached your goal. You kind of set a new goal just because it was convenient. But yeah, you've already reached your goal. So, maintaining a language.
Kyejin: Yes. Maintaining language. My French,
Peter: Let's talk about your introduction to your daily routine or, like basically integrating language, studying with your daily routine.
Kyejin: Yes. Actually, I have a question before that. Peter, you studied?
Peter: Denied.
Kyejin: Ok. Bye. Thank you for listening. No, no, no. You studied many languages. And how do you keep up with all the languages you have learned so far? May I ask?
Peter: Yeah, that's a problem. I think I've spoken about this in the past. I try to get to a certain level and then maintain as best I can. And usually, the way I define maintaining is being able to speak for two hours rather freely 90% of the time. I don't need to look up the word, or I can have a 30-minute to an hour-long conversation, one on one. And I prefer to do that in a very casual setting, like either over a meal or over a coffee or kind of a very casual setting. So those two languages fall into… those are for me, those are Chinese and Italian. So, twice a week, I meet with my teachers, and we casually talk at maybe a high intermediate level. The other languages, some of them, you have to let them go because it's impossible to keep. I mean, it's very similar to working out. You kind of have to keep working at it, right? Even my Japanese, which we live here in Tokyo, is at a very high level. You could still work at it to make it better and better and better. So, Japanese is something I speak every day. The other two languages I maintain. Several languages, I had to let go. That means I don't study them at all. And then there are a few languages that are on very, very slow progress. That's Korean and Hebrew. So I was actually better at them years ago when I was actively studying hard, and now they're in slow maintenance mode. So I spend one hour a week with a teacher going over them. So, I think it's possible if you're really, really working at it to keep seven languages, maybe, like, you can study one a day. You have a little time for one language a day just to maintain it. But again, maintain, it means that you're, you're barely keeping up with it. Probably, losing skill is a better way to describe maintaining a language.
Kyejin: Yeah, actually, that was my problem. Well, I don't speak seven languages like you, but…
Peter: I don't either. There's English, Japanese, Chinese, and Italian in that order.
Kyejin: But still, that's very good. But I speak Korean, English, Japanese, and now I'm learning French. And for Japanese, I live in Japan, so I try to speak Japanese outside, or there are many chances where I can use my Japanese in Japan. And for English, luckily, I can use it at work. So I speak English every day. And for Korean, I try to read articles or watch some YouTube videos in Korean. I try to listen or read some things in Korean every day, read books or something. It's my mother tongue. But still, if I don't use it if I don't listen or watch anything or read, I feel like my Korean is not good. So I try to do that. For French, the problem is I feel like I don't make French a part of my life, just like Korean, Japanese, and English. So, I've been trying to find some interesting ways to integrate French learning into my daily life. And I already talked to you about several things like I'm watching some interesting, fun YouTube videos from FrenchPod101 during my lunch hours, or I listen to the podcast while I was walking, and I'm still looking for other ways, too. And this month, I started playing a game in French.
Peter: What game?
Kyejin: Do you know Animal Crossing?
Peter: No.
Kyejin: So it's a very cute game made by, I think, Nintendo. And basically, what I do is I talk to animals that I grow in the game, and I pick up some fruits. I catch some fish, and all the tasks were written in French. So, of course, I don't understand everything, but I think I understand maybe like 70%, and sometimes animals are talking like, “I lost my item. I don't remember where, but probably it's near the beach. And can you please find it?” Then I go to the beach and try to find something that my animal lost, or the animals talk like, “It's getting cold. So please cover yourself with a blanket at night; otherwise, you will catch a cold.” So I find it very interesting first, and I can complete some tasks written in French. And yeah, I don't feel like I'm studying, and I'm using my French in the game. So that's one of the thing, and the other thing is…
Peter: So Kyejin, let me just stop you here. So, just back up a few steps. So this is a Nintendo game. Which, so first, where did you find it? Which marketplace?
Kyejin: I used my phone. This is a Nintendo game, and I can download it online for free.
Peter: OK. So you use your phone, and your phone is an Android-based phone or an iPhone.
Kyejin: iPhone.
Peter: OK. So, did you get it through the app store?
Kyejin: Yes.
Peter: OK. So you downloaded Animal Crossing via the app store. Then, when you loaded the game, it allowed you to select the language?
Kyejin: Yes, I don't remember how many languages there are, but I definitely remember Japanese, Korean, Spanish, French, English, obviously, and some popular languages. So I chose French.
Peter: Very interesting. And then, now you play the game for a little bit each day, right?
Kyejin: I can't say each day but a few times a week, but I'm trying.
Peter: OK. Got it. Thank you. So that's super interesting. Would you say that you're able to do that because you're at a higher level or do you think any level can do this?
Kyejin: I think you need at least B1. Actually, I tried this game when I was a very beginner, French learner, and I couldn't understand anything. I could set the game for like Korean, English or Japanese. But, well, actually, my main goal of playing this game was to practice the language in more natural environment. So, that time, I kind of stopped. But now, well, my level is higher than before. So I could play the game in French.
Peter: Yeah, that goes back to this: maintaining a language. And once you get to a certain point, it allows you to engage in more fun activities, like passively watching a show in the target language or enjoying reading in the target language. And so you actually need the... the time you spend is actually more fun as opposed to sitting there with flash cards. And so it's an incentive to get good. So, yeah, that's a very, very interesting way that you're now enjoying the language. So I'll try to see. It sounds interesting.
Kyejin: Good thing is it's interactive. So it's not just read and finish. They give you a task, do this in French. Then I read it. Sometimes, I look up the words, and I complete the tasks, and I feel like, wow, I did something in French. It's not just studying. It's more like I used French.
Peter: So Kyejin, so you said a few times a week, right? So let's say three times a week.
Kyejin: Yeah, three times a week, maybe four times. Usually, I do that during my commuting hours.
Peter: And how long do you interact with the game for?
Kyejin: 30 minutes to an hour?
Peter: Wow. Oh, wow. So this is quite an investment here.
Kyejin: Indeed. And actually, time flies. So I spend around an hour to come to the office or go home, and time flies, and while I'm playing the game, I'm completing some work in French, and I arrive home quickly.
Peter: Yeah, Let's take the conversation in a different direction after a couple more things. And do you see the results?
Kyejin: Honestly, I don't see the direct result because I read and complete some tasks. But I feel more comfortable having a conversation with my animals. At first, I was like, wow, they all speak French, and their French is not the textbook style of French. There is some slang, or they use casual French. So, at first, I felt maybe this is still too much for me, but now I'm getting more used to it. So if that's the result, yes, I'm seeing some results.
Peter: That's, I guess one of the biggest, I mean, that's why AI has such promise, right? Because you're talking in a very controlled environment, right? It's sometimes hard to talk to people. Although when you talk to people, it's a lot easier to understand because a lot of body language, a lot of communication is body language, right? But it goes back kind of to this point, right? If we change this conversation, we're kind of getting away from the test results. But if we make this conversation about like the languages you study in the languages I study, right? So your native language is Korean, the work environment is English and you live in Japan, which makes those three languages important to your daily life. And for me, English is my native language, my wife is Chinese, and we live in Japan. So, these three languages are important to my daily life. And there's lots of connections or we call them anchor points across all the spectrum, cultural, survival, et cetera. That makes Italian for me and French for you the kind of this outlier. Well, why are we doing this and why are we studying French, and what do we want to get out of it? Right? So, I think we've done some really deep dives on this and some other lessons and other discussions. So yeah, the connections that you're trying to build. This is an interesting one. It's a very relaxing environment, right? Not very stress-filled or going overseas and living in the country, which is very… on a stress level, probably quite high, right?
Kyejin: Right.
Peter: So the game is great for getting you immersed in French, right?
Kyejin: Right.
Peter: But what, what is, what is a result you want to achieve from this? Just to improve your French to use in other situations or just to enjoy playing in a French environment?
Kyejin: First, I wanted to make it just part of my life because I believe language learning is a marathon. I have to do it forever. And as I mentioned, Korean, Japanese, and English, I already have a way to maintain the language skills. But for French, I feel like I'm lacking it. I don't have a way to maintain it in my daily life. So I'm trying to have fun with French, unlike other languages. When I want to have some game or when I want to watch fun YouTube videos or listen to music or movies these days, I'm trying to choose French or France-related because I like learning a language and I want to keep it up.
Peter: So the goal from this game, what you want to get out of it, is better French, right?
Kyejin: Yes. Yes. And this one is mostly helping me with reading French. And it's not the formal French that I see in the textbook with perfect grammar. But it's more like the natural French that young people often use on the internet. And that doesn't mean that they use broken French. But it's more like the shortened form or some popular words; maybe it's slang, but still many people use it in the country. So, for example, they often shorten with apostrophes. In the proper French grammar that I learned from the DELF textbook, that's wrong. But I see that kind of grammar a lot on YouTube comments and like normal French people online. And actually, this game used that kind of language. So I got really used to this.
Peter: Yeah. Any exposure to the language is excellent. But yeah, the time constraints, it starts to get so tough. The more languages and the more time you spend on these different things. But Kyejin, thank you very much for sharing. That's a very nice way of integrating it into your daily routine. Gives me an idea…
Kyejin: But still, it doesn't help me with my speaking. So, in October, I want to increase my one-on-one lesson hours because now we have FrenchPod101 private classes. So I'm going to learn with my FrenchPod101 teacher.
Peter: Wow. I'm still waiting for my private lesson from you for Korean. That's my ultimate goal. But I can never secure that. OK, so let's talk about this discussion, a little off topic. But I think the reason that today was or this discussion wasn't so focused is that well Kyejin already completed her goal, and we both had set new goals for November, but we both did not get a seat or at the examination. So, Kyejin, I think you mentioned earlier that we need to rework our goals. So you have to rework your goal, and my goal is still very much the same. This A2 test, and I will try to find a different location. I'm a little more motivated to find a different location because I would like to take the test like Kyejin has done. However, if I cannot, I will take the test. I'll ask the school here in Tokyo to create a sample test and just give their consensus on whether I would have passed or failed this test. So, in some ways, my goal remains the same. However, it's not the same as what Kyejin did sitting down and taking a test. But I'm still quite determined and ready to bounce back. But last month was, yeah, but every month, there's always something. But the sickness definitely affected my physical ability to work my way through. Kyejin, what, what about you? What, what do you think? What do you think your new goal would be? Have you given any thought or?
Kyejin: Yeah. So for October, as I mentioned, I want to increase my speaking hours by adding my FrenchPod101 private classes. And I also want to continue using my interesting, fun ways to learn French that I found to make it really the part of my life. And also, I want to find a different goal for the year because I failed to take B1 again this year. It was full so quickly. So, Peter, what is your goal for October?
Peter: So, yeah, I need to get back to my intense schedule because either way, I will be taking the test or practice test, which will have a score that I report back to complete our agreement… even though it's technically not the same. I trust that the school can do a very good job at this. So, I have about five weeks left to get into test shape. So my goal is easier than yours in a way because it has not changed. I'm still aiming for this, this passing a test.
Kyejin: Sounds good. So our deadline is October 31st, 2023 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. Bye.