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Assimil

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Helvetico
Diglot
Groupie
Switzerland
Joined 5182 days ago

40 posts - 47 votes
Speaks: Spanish, English*
Studies: German

 
 Message 81 of 278
04 November 2005 at 12:20am | IP Logged 
Bart,

     Thanks for the kind response. I do plan on continuing Assimil, as my comprehension of German (even Swiss dialect) has increased considerably. It's interesting to read that you had similar feelings about Assimil halfway through the lessons. I plan on finishing the book in order to give the course a fair shot.
     Brent--for what it's worth, I found that doing a new lesson in one big shot (30 minutes in the morning) and reviewing past lessons later in the day worked better than putting off the exercises. The exercises always employ new vocabulary and new grammatical structures, so I find it easiest to do them right after I've read the notes on the dialogue.
1 person has voted this message useful



fanatic
Octoglot
Senior Member
Australia
speedmathematics.com
Joined 5316 days ago

1152 posts - 1814 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, French, Afrikaans, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Dutch
Studies: Swedish, Norwegian, Polish, Modern Hebrew, Malay, Mandarin, Esperanto

 
 Message 82 of 278
04 November 2005 at 3:11am | IP Logged 
Maybe it has to do with learning styles. I have used the Assimil courses more or less how they recommend with excellent results. I haven't bothered to learn verb conjugations - they have come naturally in the passive wave. The first two languages I learnt with Assimil were french and Assimil. I don't really count French as I had already learnt the language at high school. I was speaking German within two months, just using Assimil. I was fluent, if not perfect, in six months.

I have used Assimil programs to learn a number of languages and some (including Russian and Polish) in conjunction with other courses. I have found Assimil to be effective if used as they suggest. Work at a fast pace through the passive stage. I have never tried to memorise the lessons or vocabulary. I found the repetition causes you to learn the vocabulary anyway.

Most of my programs arer of the language without toil series and have none of the gaps you describe. My Dutch With Ease is painfully slaow for the first seven lessons so after I reached lesson eight, I simply refuse to review them. I now simply regard them as introductory.

I have found the courses to be complete so far as learning to get by in the language is concerned. Ther German course even allowed me to put quite elegant sentences together as I used the Assimil formula I had learnt, even though some of my sentences were rather mangled. I was able to hold conversations on a broad range of subjects when I lived and worked in Germany.

The method has obviously worked for me. I am surprised by the degree of hostility that some members seem to feel about Assimil. I worked actually designing language laboratories in Europe and I found the Assimil course to be much more effective that drills and much more pleasant.

It seems unfair to use the Assimil courses differently to how Assimil advise and to then say they don't work.

All I can say is, I have Assimil French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Russian and Hebrew courses and have found them all to be excellent.

They give a much greater return for your time. The lesson for each day is quite short. I get frustrated sitting through half an hour of Pimsleur with most of the audio in English and only a small vocabulary to show for your time. Because Assimil is entirely in the target language I find it much easier to think in the language. I am not constantly translating what I hear.

I am not saying that Assimil is the best way to learn a language. In fact, my major program for learning Russian is a Russian course I bought in east Berlin in the seventies. Use whatever method works for you. Assimil has certainly worked for me. I have no hesitation in recommending it. If another program works best for you I am not going to criticise it.

All I ask is that people be fair in their evaluation and not to fight over the relative merits of the different programs. I personally don't like Pimsleur. I have two courses that I feel do the job I want, but I don't regard them as serious language courses. But, I don't regret buying them. I bought them to do a specific job and I believe they have fulfilled their purpose.

I will still continue to buy more Assimil courses. I haven't stopped learning yet.
13 persons have voted this message useful



Shusaku
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5270 days ago

145 posts - 157 votes 
1 sounds
Speaks: English*
Studies: Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese

 
 Message 83 of 278
04 November 2005 at 8:18am | IP Logged 
Quick question - from what I've read, a typical Assimil course teaches 3000 words over approximately 100 lessons. That works out to around 30 new words each day if you follow the one lesson per day recommendation. Is it really possible to assimilate this much vocabulary so quickly? Are all the words unique, or are they counting inflected forms of the same word, etc, in their total?

1 person has voted this message useful



braveb
Senior Member
United States
languageprograms.blo
Joined 5367 days ago

264 posts - 263 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, French

 
 Message 84 of 278
04 November 2005 at 9:56am | IP Logged 
For some reason with Assimil courses I find that I'm able to understand and read the material just fine. When it comes to expressing my own ideas, and if I don't have the program with me, I'm kinda lost. I wonder how effective the program would be if it had the response drills like the FSI programs. Considering that each lesson is about 2 min long anyway, don't see why the company couldn't add another 4 min of audio to each lesson for resonse drills.

I guess I could simply just pick a character and shadow him only and then switch roles.
1 person has voted this message useful



vincenthychow
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Hong Kong
Joined 5274 days ago

136 posts - 145 votes 
Speaks: Cantonese, English, GermanB1, Japanese
Studies: French

 
 Message 85 of 278
04 November 2005 at 10:31am | IP Logged 
It seems that I have read some book reviews in the online bookshop. It is always mentioned that Assimil should be used exactly the same that suggested by Assimil. You have to play the game as required. Never more than 1 lesson/day. Never stop. Never be tempted to read the grammatical notes prior to the lessons etc. I have the French series with me and am planning to use to after having my JLPT test in December. Perhaps I should write a review on it as well after several months learning with it. I hope I can learn it with success.
1 person has voted this message useful



InsanePenguin
Senior Member
Wales
Joined 5041 days ago

248 posts - 248 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 86 of 278
02 April 2006 at 3:54pm | IP Logged 
My current method with Assimil is to listen and read the lessons until I understand most of what is spoken in the dialogs, I am starting to try something similar to the Aradshir(sp) method by repeating or shadowing the audio while reading the texts.

Does this sound an ok way to use it? I'm not trying to memorize the lessons as that would drive me mad, I aim to understand most of it, shadow it a few times and repeat the setences after reading them without the book (this is sometimes harder than you think!)

I have mon - fri to myself now but instead of trying to do more lessons, I'm going to try and internalise each lesson as much as I can, hopefully this will pay me back during the active phase

1 person has voted this message useful



Helvetico
Diglot
Groupie
Switzerland
Joined 5182 days ago

40 posts - 47 votes
Speaks: Spanish, English*
Studies: German

 
 Message 87 of 278
02 April 2006 at 4:56pm | IP Logged 
Seems fine to me. I have started to use Assimil again, since FSI German just doesn't cover the amount of vocabulary I'd like. It's fine for oral grammar drills, but Assimil is better for vocabulary, idiomatic German, reading and listening practice.

One suggestion I have is the following: look up new words from the Assimil dialogues in Langenscheidt's "Basic German Vocabulary" and make flashcards using the sample sentences provided. The book uses a basic 4,000 word vocabulary for all sentences, so it's easy to understand. I find the flashcards to be very, very useful.


1 person has voted this message useful



InsanePenguin
Senior Member
Wales
Joined 5041 days ago

248 posts - 248 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 88 of 278
02 April 2006 at 11:39pm | IP Logged 
I need to start using flashcards, never seem to get around to making some


1 person has voted this message useful



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