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FSI "Programmatic Spanish" vs "Basic"

  Tags: Platiquemos | FSI | Spanish
 Language Learning Forum : Language Programs, Books & Tapes Post Reply
68 messages over 9 pages: 1 2 35 6 7 ... 4 ... 8 9 Next >>
czech
Senior Member
United States
Joined 7035 days ago

395 posts - 378 votes 
Studies: English*

 
 Message 25 of 68
20 July 2005 at 9:25pm | IP Logged 
I'm really enjoying this course. It is way harder than I expected, and it requires a lot of daily work, but it takes you to fluency.
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luke
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 7046 days ago

3133 posts - 4351 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Esperanto, French

 
 Message 26 of 68
06 August 2005 at 4:00am | IP Logged 
It seems to me there's a market opportunity for someone
to enhance Programmatic Spanish in a some ways like
Platiquemos did with FSI Basic Spanish. The course
already exists, so development costs would be reduced
compared to coming up with a new course. The
enhancements I'd like to see are:

1) Record a bit in the style of Michel Thomas.
However, instead of having two beginning students, have
a couple native speakers. The narrator should have a
good English voice. In places where today, the student
is dependant on the book, the text could be read aloud
by the narrator. Responses, rather than written in the
book would be performed by one of the native speakers.

2) Use a little inventiveness with the practices that
are overly repetitive. A few could be modified into
substitution drills for instance.

3) The application section (final portion) of each unit
would also be recorded with translations where
appropriate, questions, and dialogs.

4) Remove the numbers from oral exercises to keep the
pace up. The course would no longer be setup for a
student to ask a teacher "about number 5 in practice
3", since it would be a complete self study program.

5) Digital distribution.

FSI also has programmatic courses in German, Italian,
and Portuguese, which could be candidates for similar
treatment.   

Then again, perhaps the U.S. government should update
the courses with the changes above and distribute them
via ftp.
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czech
Senior Member
United States
Joined 7035 days ago

395 posts - 378 votes 
Studies: English*

 
 Message 27 of 68
06 August 2005 at 11:31am | IP Logged 
Are there many of the replacement/ substitution drills in the Programmatic version? Or is it all divided up into practices? What's the variation section?
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luke
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 7046 days ago

3133 posts - 4351 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Esperanto, French

 
 Message 28 of 68
06 August 2005 at 12:27pm | IP Logged 
Compared to Basic Spanish, there are not many
replacement nor substitution drills.

Contents of "variations" vary from unit to unit, but
some common exercises:
1) Variation sentences (not recorded).
2) Sentences for comprehension (recorded, but not
translated).
3) Response drills - recorded.
4) Written sentence correction. No answer given, but
usually pretty easy nonetheless.
5) New vocabulary - recorded.

Most of the variation sentences are not recorded.   

Most lessons have a comprehension section, which are
recorded variations of sentences. They are not
recorded for you to repeat though. They are a test to
see if you understand. The variations are not
translation drills as they are in Basic. In the
comprehension section, I manipulate the audio to remove
the number of the sentence and provide enough time to
repeat the phrase.

Units after 20 or so sometimes have a few paragraphs in
which you are to figure out new vocabulary from the
context of a recorded passage. Most of these words I
already knew, so it wasn't always obvious to me which
were the "new" words. These sections are fine as a
comprehension exercise though.
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czech
Senior Member
United States
Joined 7035 days ago

395 posts - 378 votes 
Studies: English*

 
 Message 29 of 68
06 August 2005 at 1:41pm | IP Logged 
Do you think the translation method is more effective though? Maybe people that only did Basic aren't able to create conversational sentences easily, relying on what they learned in the Replacement sections. Whereas the Programmatic learners have been translating for a while. I think I'm a better book learner but Basic has been working fine so I'm sticking with it, 1 lessons every 2 days. With Programmatic you can probably move faster, because of so little recorded portions which you can mindlessly repeat over and over. And then reviewing in the book takes very little time.
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luke
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 7046 days ago

3133 posts - 4351 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Esperanto, French

 
 Message 30 of 68
06 August 2005 at 2:08pm | IP Logged 
czech wrote:
Do you think the translation method is
more effective though?

Perhaps it's more effective for learning to translate.
When I'm sitting in a meeting, I sometimes amuse myself
by taking the minutes (unofficially) in Spanish. Also,
in non-business meetings, I'll try to translate what
the speaker is saying in my head. I don't know if it's
specifically PS that's helping, or other things I do.
For instance, Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish has a lot
of translation exercises as well. I'm about 2/3 of the
way through that book.
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pentatonic
Senior Member
United States
Joined 7088 days ago

221 posts - 245 votes 

 
 Message 31 of 68
06 August 2005 at 3:50pm | IP Logged 
FSI Basic German has a big, non-recorded translation section each lesson. It sounds like the Spanish version is quite a bit different.

Edited by pentatonic on 06 August 2005 at 8:17pm

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luke
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 7046 days ago

3133 posts - 4351 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Esperanto, French

 
 Message 32 of 68
06 August 2005 at 5:42pm | IP Logged 
pentatonic wrote:
FSI Basic German has a big,
non-recorded translation section each lession.

The first half of Basic Spanish (BS), as available
through Barrons is quite complete as far as recordings
are concerned.

In the "FSI French vs Barron's Mastering French"
thread, Seth said Barrons left out some recordings that
were available from the expensive vendors. I wonder if
that's true for German as well, or if Basic German just
didn't record some of the text.

Programmatic Spanish didn't record some of the text.   
BS has some readings that were not recorded. BS has an
extremely short recording of the "conversational
stimulus". The conversational stimulus in BS may be
only 2 minutes long, whereas Platiquemos turned the
conversation stimulus into a complete 11-15 minute
exercise.


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