Forum Rocket French Conversation in French Getting frustrated - its all going in one ear and out the other

Getting frustrated - its all going in one ear and out the other


Hi there
I could do with some practical suggestions of how to keep motivated please.
Can someone give me a success story for french? 
At the moment nothing seems to be being retained in my brain. I can understand the audio fine. I just can remember anything to try and build sentences on my own. And am just getting cross and frustrated.
thank you!


You should read some of the articles in the My Advanced Learning section, such as #2, "What type of learner are you?".  Sometimes just listening and repeating will not work very well.  I know writing the words and phrases down on a sheet of paper helps me if I just don't get it.  Also slowing things down by not trying to take it all in to quickly is best for me.  Try not to become frustrated by celebrating what you have already learned, not what is currently giving you trouble.  You are probably better at French than 95% of English speakers!


Thank you for the message. I decided to try writing things down, esp as I don't find the "write it "on the keyboard part of the course at all useful for me.
It is kind of you to say I am probably better than many. I doubt it!
I also realise that the course content is a bit too much about "travelling on your hols" Which is all easy to understand as very context based. Taking to real people about everyday things is what I need.
I am going to look elsewhere and keep on with this as well as I am hoping the course will help. 

toru e

Hi there! I tend to agree with you that the early modules on RF tend to be travel-centric, and I think you have the right idea about going out and actually talking about everyday things with Francophones. I started doing this a little over three years ago, first through emails with cinephiles, then later through conversation exchanges when my level was higher. It's a great way to take that leap from scripted dialogue to real world conversations.

As a note of encouragement, I will say that I started wih RF about five years ago and finished all the levels about three years ago. Today, I still do exchanges, use tutors to practice conversation (it's a great way to develop vocabulary and refine your oral skills), and have been going to different French cities at least once a year. I can definitely see the progression from one year to another.

For example, on my first trip after finishing RF, I couldn't explain the problem about my airport shuttle not arriving to the hotel staff and I had to explain in English. On my last trip to Strasbourg, I couldn't find the Entzheim Airport option on the SNCF ticket machine, so I went up to the service kiosk, explained the problem, and he explained that those tickets were sold from a different machine. The conversation was entirely in French in normal conversation speed. Later, I ended up having an amusing conversation with a lady who was also stuck at the station when the train took off without ever opening the doors (I don't recommend taking the ~7h20 train from Strasbourg to Sélestat. They seem to "forget" to open the doors at certain stops. :D ). So suffice it to say, it may not seem like you're making progress day to day, but in the long-term, you are. Just keep practicing, vary your routine every now and then to keep from getting bored (music, novels, penpals or chats, tutoring), and you'll keep improving.

Bon courage !


Bonjour à tous!

I realise that it is very difficult sometimes to see progress when you are learning a language and that can be demotivating. I had the same problem when learning English. Here is a tip that helps measure your progress: try writing a diary once a week, or even a video diary. Not only does this allow you to practice your language freely but over time, you will see progress in the amount you write, the breadth of vocab you use, the mistakes you used to make. This gives you a more tangible record of your learning that isn't based on textbooks or artificially coaxed content.

Let me know if this helps and/or if any of you already do this.

Keep up the great work!

   -   Marie-Claire


I do not keep a diary but I do write new words I have learned in a sort of dictionary with their English meaning.  I can go back now eight months ago and see the progress I have made in vocab at least.  RF does a similar thing with words and phrases that I also use to measure progress.


I think learning languages is hard.  But I did the complete Rocket courses in both German and French, and guess really does work.  Now, mind you, you are not going to be fluent (pas couramment), but assez bien (ok).  I used French exclusively when I was in the country last year (larger cities such as Paris, LaRochelle, and Nice) and what I found is that I tended to use a lot of the same phrases...such as "pouvez-vous me dire.." or "Pour aller a (sorry not that "a" but the one with the accent on it), "Je voudrais" and Elle aimerait (for my wife).  But the one I used most was "Excusez-moi madame (or monsieur), est-ce que vous savez ou (accent on the u) je peux trouver....".  Of course, I will point, despite what others may have told you, English is widely spoken in the larger cities by the native French.  

I found the French (almost without exception) were very appreciative of the effort to speak French.  And, by the way, Germans are appreciative of speaking of tourists speaking German.  I try not to get bound down by the small things (I am sure I don't use the subjunctive quite right for example and when in France I tried to stay with only present, past, and future tenses), so focus on the important stuff.  This summer I am going back to France and really concentrating on smaller cities and towns where I think I cannot fall back on English.  Should be fun and a bit scary as well.

Soeur Josefa

For me the write it part helps a lot, especially since if I go to France I will be taking classes there in the native language.  So I will need to be able to hear what is spoken and be able to take down notes on it.  It's not always easy, but that is why I take time time to work on it.  :)


Thanks for the info ans support. 
I am sticking with it and will keep trying various approaches and put the time in, hoping it will all come together at some point soon.

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