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Your favorite language program?

 Language Learning Forum : Language Programs, Books & Tapes Post Reply
375 messages over 47 pages: 1 2 3 4 57 ... 6 ... 46 47 Next >>
Al-Malik
Bilingual Heptaglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
arabicgenie.com
Joined 5029 days ago

221 posts - 293 votes 
1 sounds
Speaks: English*, German*, Spanish, Arabic (Written), Dutch, French, Arabic (classical)
Studies: Mandarin, Persian

 
 Message 41 of 375
08 October 2009 at 4:10pm | IP Logged 
Assimil (mostly the old courses that have a story-line such as Assmil Arabic).
1 person has voted this message useful



Gray Parrot
Diglot
Groupie
United Kingdom
Joined 3491 days ago

41 posts - 44 votes
Speaks: English*, Mandarin
Studies: Portuguese

 
 Message 42 of 375
09 October 2009 at 4:48pm | IP Logged 
Pimsleur & Michel Thomas for Portuguese.
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Michael K.
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3624 days ago

568 posts - 886 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish, Esperanto

 
 Message 43 of 375
10 October 2009 at 3:39am | IP Logged 
I bought a few courses for Spanish, but I really should have gone to the library first to see what was available. Good thing to know if I decide to go after French once I'm advanced in Spanish.

So far I've tried and somewhat liked:

*Pimsleur Latin American Spanish: I'm listening to it an hour a day right now driving to and from school.

*Michel Thomas Spanish: I will use it after I finish Pimsleur, or need a break from Pimsleur.

Honestly, I really don't like audio only methods that much because I don't feel that I accomplish that much as opposed to a written drill course. It does give me to do during my daily commute, so it isn't too bad. I also got them from the library, so it was free.

*Assimil Spanish: I like the layout and the method, but again I don't feel like I'm really accomplishing anything. I haven't completed too many lessons, though.

*Practice Makes Perfect: Basic Spanish: My favorite one so far, I bought it a few months ahead of my summer school Spanish course and it helped me refresh what I learned in high school. I really need to go back and finish it. :) I'll use their other material when I'm farther along.

*Berlitz Self-Teacher, 1949 ed.: I like it so far. Dr. Arguelles suggested it in his YouTube video SpanishFrenchItalianGerman

*Spanish Made Simple, c. 1950 ed.: Also pretty good, also recommended by Dr. Arguelles.

I also have, but have not used:

*Linguaphone, c. 1970

*Practice & Improve Your Spanish

*Berlitz Think & Talk Spanish: I probably shouldn't have bought it, but it was cheap. The library had the German version in a used book sale for $5 and I thought about buying it, even though I have no intention of learning German at this time, although I might attempt it during my lifetime.

I'm also getting Hugo's Three Month Spanish program from the library to see what it's like.

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lecorbeau
Diglot
Senior Member
Croatia
Joined 3915 days ago

113 posts - 149 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Serbo-Croatian, Turkish

 
 Message 44 of 375
10 October 2009 at 5:42am | IP Logged 
After a lot of tinkering with different programs, I've realized that I work best with the Living Language and
Assimil programs in concert. I am currently using the Assimil Allemand and Serbo-Croate coupled with
Living Language's Ultimate German and Spoken World: Croatian. Personally I love the structure of Living Language
and Assimil does a great job of introducing colloquialisms and facilitating conversation.

Pimsleur is very overrated, in my opinion. I have done all three volumes for both German and Italian
and found them to very superficial and only good for building up a base with which to jump into a language.

Edited by lecorbeau on 10 October 2009 at 5:43am

1 person has voted this message useful



zorglub
Pentaglot
Senior Member
France
Joined 4895 days ago

441 posts - 503 votes 
1 sounds
Speaks: French*, English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: German, Arabic (Written), Turkish, Mandarin

 
 Message 45 of 375
10 October 2009 at 9:29am | IP Logged 
lecorbeau wrote:
s a great job of introducing colloquialisms and facilitating conversation.

Pimsleur is very overrated, in my opinion. I have done all three volumes for both German and Italian
and found them to very superficial and only good for building up a base with which to jump into a language.


Well, I'd say that most people here who love Pimsleur think it is not overrated and that it gives a very good base for a start. But it is overpriced, or rather, quite expensive.
1 person has voted this message useful



zorglub
Pentaglot
Senior Member
France
Joined 4895 days ago

441 posts - 503 votes 
1 sounds
Speaks: French*, English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: German, Arabic (Written), Turkish, Mandarin

 
 Message 46 of 375
10 October 2009 at 9:41am | IP Logged 
Wow, my feeling is that this is too many.
About the audio ony methods: I woul dnot worry about feeling nothing is being acomplished: is it because it's almost painless ?
But what about being able to get along for basics in the country after 3 months of the program ? (Spanish is quite easy since there are so many words you can identify) ? Or having the base and the pronunciatin base for improving easily afterwards ?

And with Assimil, after 6 months you'll be amazed at your abilities. But Assimil does not reward you early. And again, "shadowing" in a loud voice is essential to getting the best benefit. 9 months of Assimil+ Pimsleur does "accomplish" something : speaking Spanish so well you get complimented ("Where" did you learn ? they ask, rather than "How" ? Most Spanish speakers assume you've been living in some Spanish speaking country. I stuck to the PImsleur latino pronunciation when doing Assimil, but Assimil does give a Spanyard touch nevertheless)

Those programs are almost painless that may be why you deem you're "not accomplishing".

Michael K. wrote:
I bought a few courses for Spanish, but I really should have gone to the library first to see what was available. Good thing to know if I decide to go after French once I'm advanced in Spanish.

So far I've tried and somewhat liked:

*Pimsleur Latin American Spanish:..
*Michel Thomas Spanish:..

Honestly, I really don't like audio only methods that much because I don't feel that I accomplish that much as opposed to a written drill course. It does give me to do during my daily commute, so it isn't too bad. I also got them from the library, so it was free.

*Assimil Spanish: I like the layout and the method, but again I don't feel like I'm really accomplishing anything. I haven't completed too many lessons, though.

*Practice Makes Perfect:
*Berlitz Self-Teacher, 1949 ed.:
*Spanish Made Simple, c. 1950 ed.: Also pretty good, also recommended by Dr. Arguelles.

I also have, but have not used:
*Linguaphone, c. 1970
*Practice & Improve Your Spanish
*Berlitz Think & Talk Spanish:;;;.

I'm also getting Hugo's Three Month Spanish program ...

2 persons have voted this message useful



lecorbeau
Diglot
Senior Member
Croatia
Joined 3915 days ago

113 posts - 149 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Serbo-Croatian, Turkish

 
 Message 47 of 375
10 October 2009 at 10:19am | IP Logged 
zorglub wrote:
Well, I'd say that most people here who love Pimsleur think it is not overrated and that it gives
a very good base for a start. But it is overpriced, or rather, quite expensive.


I suppose I should have clarified. I think, especially for the price, Pimsleur does not deliver as much as it
promises. Obviously, à chacun son goût, but it just doesn't provide the depth that I would expect from a
program that costs almost $1,000. For that kind of money I want to know how to say more than just pleasantries
and phrases to pick up women. By the end of the third volume you are, according to Pimsleur, supposed to be in
the "ACTFL Intermediate–high proficiency range, (a FSI –1+ rating), [and] able to participate in casual
conversations and conduct everyday transactions with success and pleasure in your achievements" which I think
is a gross overstatement.

But of course, everyone has different learning methods and just looking at the responses on this thread can
speak to that pretty clearly.
1 person has voted this message useful



Michael K.
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3624 days ago

568 posts - 886 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish, Esperanto

 
 Message 48 of 375
10 October 2009 at 9:30pm | IP Logged 
Thanks, zorglub. Yes, I do have to admit that I got carried away. Most of the programs I got Dr. Arguelles suggested in his video SpanishFrenchItalianGerman on YouTube, although I couldn't find the Berlitz comprehensive course he suggested. I think he covered everything I mentioned in my previous post is in one of his videos. I should have checked out what the library had before buying anything and asked around on this forum.

As far as the audio-only methods go, maybe my timing was a bit off. I started getting into them after two summer school Spanish classes where I was in class for two hours a day, 5 days a week, and then had homework afterwards, so a half-hour Pimsleur lesson was a bit anti-climactic. I actually do like them, as it gives me something to do during my commute, but I don't know if I would have used them if I weren't in my car for so long. Then again, if I would have heard about them a semester before I wanted to take Spanish classes, I may have really liked them. As far as them being painless or being stress free, I really never found language learning or classes to be painful or too stressful. I think that's it's just different from what I'm used to as far as classes go and since I'm not writing anything down and have no notes to review as I go along, that could be why I feel like I'm not accomplishing anything. Perhaps the best of both worlds for me would be a combination of an audio method while doing written drills.

As far as Assimil is concerned, I never really felt like I was using it correctly and it seemed like I was getting through it too quickly, even if I repeated the lesson two or three times. Maybe I should try Dr. Arguelles's shadowing method with Assimil. I like how there are some fill-ins at the end of the lesson, which I could write down if I wanted to. I'll really have to give Assimil another try since it seems like such a solid method.

Anyway, I really should have used library resources first and then ask around to see what really would have worked for me.


1 person has voted this message useful



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