In this post, I’m going to describe an offcois study method you can implement right away to learn the 1000 examples of Québécois French from the OffQc guide called 1000. (Offcois means offqc-ish.) This method is for dedicated and serious learners; it’ll require work of you and sticking to a routine.
Here’s what to do:
Your day will be divided up into five blocks of time. The five blocks are:
- dawn to 08:59
- 09:00 to 12:59
- 13:00 to 16:59
- 17:00 to 20:59
- 21:00 to midnight
At some point during the first block of time, you’ll read the first example sentence on the page and accompanying notes. Understand the example sentence, then repeat it to yourself several times until it sticks in your head. Repeat the sentence silently to yourself or aloud whenever you can for the remainder of the block of time — as you brush your teeth, as you wait for the bus, etc.
In the second block, you’ll learn the second sentence and repeat it silently to yourself or aloud for the remainder of the time in the block. You’ll do the same thing for the rest of the sentences and blocks of time.
- dawn to 08:59, example sentence #1 on the page
- 09:00 to 12:59, example sentence #2 on the page
- 13:00 to 16:59, example sentence #3 on the page
- 17:00 to 20:59, example sentence #4 on the page
- 21:00 to midnight, example sentence #5 on the page
It would be best to start at the beginning of each block of time so that you have as much time as possible to let the example sentence stay present in your mind. If you do it just before the block ends, it’ll defeat the purpose, so start as early as possible within the block.
If you miss a block, you’ll need to make up for it as soon as possible. For example, let’s say it’s 10:00 (second block of time) and you still haven’t done the sentence from the first block. In this case, you’ll need to learn sentence #1 and sentence #2 together, and repeat them both to yourself or aloud for the remainder of the second block.
Obviously, the more blocks you miss, the more difficult this exercise will become, so try to keep up. If you’ve missed the entire day and it’s now 21:00, you’ll have to do 5 sentences all at once and repeat them silently to yourself or aloud for the remainder of the block of time.
You must complete the day’s five sentences before midnight. Don’t learn new sentences between midnight and dawn. If you want to study French in that period of time, review older stuff or work on something else.
This routine will give you 200 days of work, which is good, and it will allow you to keep examples of French present in your mind all day long. You can even do this while you’re at work and nobody has to know.
This is the minimum you can do with this method. If you want to do even more because you’re especially motivated and serious, here are things you can do to reinforce what you’re learning:
— After you learn an example sentence, you can listen to several minutes worth of French (or as much as you can manage): radio, TV, real conversation, etc. The more colloquial the language the better. This way you will incorporate listening practice into your routine, which is excellent. You’ll hear the example sentences come up during your listening practice, so this will reinforce things;
— As you repeat the example sentence to yourself, you can add alternate versions to it. For example, you can change the nouns in the sentence to different ones, change the verb tenses, etc. Be sure to repeat the original sentence as a minimum, though. The alternate versions are extra;
— Try to find a way to use the sentence in a live situation during your block of time with someone who speaks French;
— Try to create a dialogue in your head or aloud that uses the example sentence;
— Before you go to bed, reread all the example sentences you learned that day;
— When you wake up in the morning, reread all the example sentences from the day before;
— As you listen to French, if you hear something you’ve come across before in 1000, make a note of the example. You can create a list of these usages and dedicate even more time to learning them because they’re high frequency.
Remember, learning French is a long-term endeavour. This method will give you 200 days of material to work with. If you’re regular and devoted in your efforts and do it over a long enough period of time, you’ll achieve what you set out to do (i.e., become a fluent speaker of French and more specifically of Québécois French).
You can get started with this method today. Even if you’ve read through a lot of 1000 already, you can use this method to go back over older stuff and review.