Is this speed of talking really normal? Is this a good way of testing listening skills at B1 level.
Dictation exercise B1
This recording, actually, is not that fast by French standards. There's a lot worse than that! ;)
Try to listen to it several times. Don't pressure yourself into getting it right the first time. Once you know what is being said, go over it again. Repeat until you can understand her every word. It's a painstaking process, but in the end it pays off.
Have to agree with Chris on this one - this is by no means rapid French! I am in France at present - my wife and her family speak waaaaaaaaay more quickly. There will be lots of places to find some authentic examples, but if you look up 'Scénes de Menage', you may be able to check some situational comedy skits that will 'blow you away'. The older acts are not too bad but the younger ones - well, incomprehensible comes to mind. There are several who are so fast, I am lucky if I can recognise a sound, let alone syllables, words, phrases; and as for processing it in real-time - not a hope! In the lessons here, I listen at least 2-3 times and get as much as I can by just listening before going into the exercise. Some more processing will occur then, which is when the realisation hits that what you think you heard doesn't make sense or fit grammatically. I just keep trying to reassure myself that it is true (as educational research shows) that more is learnt by testing, doing and making mistakes, than other methods. Remember, we are comparing ourselves, after a relatively short exposure to French, against life-long speakers. FRUSTRATING but (oh so much) ...fun ?
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