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Assimil

 Language Learning Forum : Language Programs, Books & Tapes Post Reply
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fanatic
Octoglot
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 Message 89 of 278
03 April 2006 at 4:12am | IP Logged 
Shusaku wrote:
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?


It certainly is possible because you don't actively commit the words to memory. You just note the new words and their meanings and just recognize them when you hear them and read them. The context will generally help so recognizing the words is not difficult.

You are reminded each day from then on as the words are repeated in future lessons or you repeat them as you review the previous lessons each day. It is not long before the words have found their way into your active vocabulary, and you have learnt them and revised them in context.

All I can say is, the method works well in practice.

I remember feeling cheated when I came across new words in German (while living in Germany) that hadn't been included in my Assimil course. The vocabulary is the vocabulary you use in real life under ordinary circumstances. I remember having to learn a technical vocabulary and a religious and philosophical vocabulary to indulge in religious and philosophical arguments.

And, so far as I have done a word count, the words are either all different or maybe the same root word used in a different form. For instance, the word used as a noun and as a verb. That is, two different forms of the same root word. So far as my early counts were concerned, I think they were all different words and not different forms of the same verb. You also couldn't count an adjective qualifying a masculine, feminine and neuter noun as three different words.

I would say the word counts and the vocabularies claimed by Assimil are the dictionary forms.
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fanatic
Octoglot
Senior Member
Australia
speedmathematics.com
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Speaks: English*, German, French, Afrikaans, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Dutch
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 Message 90 of 278
03 April 2006 at 4:18am | IP Logged 
braveb wrote:
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 think it would defeat the purpose of the passive/active waves. The idea is that through the passive wave you don't do any drills. A lot of drills I have seen and heard are not true to real life anyway. I think the ability to say what you want in the target language should be your goal in the active wave anyway.

Maybe I just don't like drills.

My children learnt German in Germany and didn't do a single drill but spoke like natives without any trace of accent.
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axe02
Triglot
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 Message 91 of 278
05 April 2006 at 2:40pm | IP Logged 
Hi everyone. Does anyone know what the basic Assimil programs (the "With Ease" set) teach in terms of verbs? I'm wondering if the "With Ease" series would at least teach the subjunctive forms or is that only in the second level programs? I assume compound forms of the subjunctive, conditional, the past definite, etc. would be taught in the "Using ..." series.
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Farley
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 Message 92 of 278
05 April 2006 at 3:41pm | IP Logged 
axe02 wrote:
Hi everyone. Does anyone know what the basic Assimil programs (the "With Ease" set) teach in terms of verbs? I'm wondering if the "With Ease" series would at least teach the subjunctive forms or is that only in the second level programs? I assume compound forms of the subjunctive, conditional, the past definite, etc. would be taught in the "Using ..." series.


Just as you suspected, French with Ease just introduces the present subjective, Using French covers the subjunctive and other advanced verb tenses in detail. I would assume the same goes for other Assimil Language courses.
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mike245
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Hong Kong
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 Message 93 of 278
06 April 2006 at 3:19pm | IP Logged 
Farley wrote:
Just as you suspected, French with Ease just introduces the present subjective, Using French covers the subjunctive and other advanced verb tenses in detail. I would assume the same goes for other Assimil Language courses.


So to clarify, the "With Ease" sets are not, in themselves, complete in terms of grammar? For many languages, especially from an English base, there is no Advanced book set available, so this would be a big obstacle to fluency for those languages if this is the case.
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Farley
Triglot
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 Message 94 of 278
06 April 2006 at 9:00pm | IP Logged 
mike245 wrote:
So to clarify, the "With Ease" sets are not, in themselves, complete in terms of grammar? For many languages, especially from an English base, there is no Advanced book set available, so this would be a big obstacle to fluency for those languages if this is the case.


The “With Ease” series takes you to the intermediate level and the “Using” series to the advanced level. I mentioned elsewhere (I can’t remember where) Assimil is a vocabulary heavy course. You learn more words in the “With Ease” series than with most other courses for the given price so for some languages this may not be a problem depending on your goals. Judging from you profile, you might be able to take advantage of your German and use the German language versions of the “With Ease” and “Using” courses where they are not available in English. As for fluency, you have to supplement the course with something else to get the “it sounds right” effect. Fanatic, above, recommends using three different grammar/text books with exercises along with Assimil, others prefer using Assimil with FSI.
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Farley
Triglot
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 Message 95 of 278
06 April 2006 at 9:11pm | IP Logged 
fanatic wrote:
I think it would defeat the purpose of the passive/active waves. The idea is that through the passive wave you don't do any drills. A lot of drills I have seen and heard are not true to real life anyway. I think the ability to say what you want in the target language should be your goal in the active wave anyway.

Maybe I just don't like drills.


Judging from your book, you do a lot of reading out-loud from textbooks and phrasebooks learn high frequency words and structure? Perhaps that is just a drill by a different name?

Anyway I agree on the active/passive of Assimil, trying to make the method “interactive” would destroy the method. What I find interesting is that compared to FSI, Assimil is just a dialog drill and variation drill all crammed into one – with the active passive wave. The method takes some adapting but I think the elements of drill are still there – just with a “global” context.

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Asiafeverr
Diglot
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 Message 96 of 278
26 September 2007 at 1:41pm | IP Logged 
I was just wondering about the "editing the pauses" part using Audacity. I tried to do it. It was quite long for a single lesson and when I tried to listen to it, there was literally no pause: the voices spoke one after the other and it didn't seemed natural.

Should I leave a mini-pause so that it still looks like a real conversation? Do I have to do it by hand for every lesson at every place there is a pause? What is the best way to do this?

I also cut off the beginning when it says "Lesson X - Theme of the lesson" and the exercises, that way I only have the conversations. Is it the way it should be done?

Thanks in advance.

Edited by Asiafeverr on 26 September 2007 at 3:24pm



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