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ChiaBrain
Bilingual Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3974 days ago

402 posts - 512 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish*
Studies: Portuguese, Italian, French
Studies: German

 
 Message 209 of 278
04 February 2010 at 5:41am | IP Logged 
Buttons wrote:
If you are finding that not knowing 'exactly' what and how everything
works together with using Assimil for Italian isn't working for you, you might benefit
from doing some grammar work. The grammar work will then explain the structure and
patterns of the language and Assimil will then show you the ways the language are used
plus idioms etc.

A lot of people on these forums who only use Assimil as their main tool have usually
already studied languages before hand. Therefore, these people will need to study less
grammar because they can spot patterns in a target language a lot more easily than
people who are attempting their first.


I agree. I like Assimil a lot but found myself wanting more explicit grammar
instruction since I haven't studied languages in 20 years. I'm doing a grammar workbook
which has helped a lot. I use Assimil as a sort of guided immersion. Instead of just
blundering through native language material with Assimil I have target language
material designed for learning (they demonstrate concepts progressively) along with
translations and grammar notes.

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tractor
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 3619 days ago

1349 posts - 2292 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, English, Spanish, Catalan
Studies: French, German, Latin

 
 Message 210 of 278
04 February 2010 at 10:22am | IP Logged 
magictom123 wrote:
Thank you for the advice. It is excellent advice. The linguaphone course, for those
who don't know, comprises of cassettes (it's old) and 4 books, the main book with
lessons in, another with notes on the lessons with explanations of grammar etc, then 2
books with exercises in (orali e scritti). To my surprise (having only ever seen their
'listen, repeat, forget' adverts the course is excellent.

The drills in the exercise books are good, and I have read somewhere on here that this
course includes over 2000 words and can take you to intermediate level. The lessons
are long and a guide I find on how to complete each lesson suggested that such
directions would take around 2 hours to do. Therefore, I am only only lesson 4 of 30
(having only had the book out of the library for a week).

So, I think this might cover the grammar aspect as you rightly suggested. Maybe once I
have gone through the linguaphone course a bit more I can brush up on the meanings in
assimil as I proceed through the active wave. My disappointment with assimil comes
from the scant explanations on grammar. Of course the idea is to assimilate the
language. I have always been a person who hates terminology of any kind (in I.T. or
cars for example) so I thought assimil would be ideal (as was michel thomas with all
his diving board stuff etc) but maybe I need to reassess things. Maybe I need things
explaining clearly and dryly. I wonder how people who have taken the same path as me
(MT then assimil) have found the change in technique of how the material is presented.

Anyway, another ramble over with. Lesson 42 tomorrow.


I think these older Linguaphone courses are very good. Currently I'm learning German using both Assimil and Linguaphone. Each day I try to do one lesson from Assimil With Ease, one lesson from the old Assimil Without Toil, and if I've still got time and engergy left, I'll do some Linguaphone.

The Linguaphone course explains the grammar in more detail than Assimil. On the other hand, Assimil's approach is more fun and enjoyable.
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magictom123
Senior Member
United KingdomRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3759 days ago

272 posts - 365 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French

 
 Message 211 of 278
04 February 2010 at 10:51pm | IP Logged 
Yes Tractor, I remember seeing somewhere a review by professor Arguelles of an old
linguaphone course where he said it was excellent as well. Luckily, my local library has
old Italian, French, and Spanish versions of the old linguaphone courses. These, along
with German are the languages I would like to learn in my lifetime (starting with Italian
first of course).


I think it would be nice if this site had a video section (or even just embedded youtube
video's) of various people learning their languages. We could see then how effective
different programs are in terms of pronunciation, grammar etc. Well, even if we couldn't
it might be fun.
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tractor
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 3619 days ago

1349 posts - 2292 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, English, Spanish, Catalan
Studies: French, German, Latin

 
 Message 212 of 278
04 February 2010 at 11:13pm | IP Logged 
magictom123 wrote:
Yes Tractor, I remember seeing somewhere a review by professor Arguelles of an old
linguaphone course where he said it was excellent as well.


I think he was referring to even older Linguaphone courses from the 1950s and 60s.
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magictom123
Senior Member
United KingdomRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3759 days ago

272 posts - 365 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French

 
 Message 213 of 278
04 February 2010 at 11:19pm | IP Logged 
Ahhhh thank you, The one I have borrowed are later of course but the notes book in
particular is excellent in my opinion.
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noriyuki_nomura
Bilingual Octoglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
Joined 3506 days ago

304 posts - 465 votes 
Speaks: English*, Mandarin*, Japanese, FrenchC2, GermanC2, ItalianC1, SpanishB2, DutchB1
Studies: TurkishA1, Korean

 
 Message 214 of 278
10 May 2010 at 4:22pm | IP Logged 
Since I am currently using Assimil to learn Russian, somehow, I can't help feeling that the method is pretty similar to that of "learning 10,000 Japanese sentences". Basically, 100 lessons in each Assimil course (with the exception of some languages) contain quite a significant number of sentences, which we are supposed to 'internalize'. In a way, we are learning vocabulary (and grammar/sentence structures) with context, instead of isolated words.

    
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pineappleboom
Groupie
United States
languageloft-ashley.
Joined 3419 days ago

66 posts - 76 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Japanese, French, Russian

 
 Message 215 of 278
02 August 2010 at 5:22am | IP Logged 
I have found assimil to be wonderful with Japanese. I had a friend ask me if they should use New French with Ease or try to find French with Ease. I didnt use assimil for french so i was wondering what you guys thought
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Elexi
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3731 days ago

937 posts - 1835 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: French, German, Latin

 
 Message 216 of 278
02 August 2010 at 9:33am | IP Logged 
I have both and I don't think New French With Ease is in any way a deterioration from French With Ease (Unlike New French with Ease, I have the older (early 90s?) French with Ease, but have not used it) - in fact much of the course seems to be the same as New French with Ease.

The very different course is French without Toil from the 1950s until about 1981. Lots of people say the modern courses are a deterioration compared to this course - I am not sure of that - but it is sufficiently different that you can study it with or after New French with Ease.

I also think the 1970s-1990s Linguaphone dialogue courses (which are the same sold today for all but French and Spanish) are far superior to the 1950s versions in terms of content and approach. The benefit of the older versions is that they were the same course for all languages, so if you internalised one, you could do the same for another language.

Edited by Elexi on 02 August 2010 at 9:35am



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