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Assimil

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czech
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5364 days ago

395 posts - 378 votes 
Studies: English*

 
 Message 49 of 278
09 September 2005 at 6:26pm | IP Logged 
Fanatic, I think you said in one of your previous posts that you are not "fluent" in any language but English. Courses based on drills take you farther than any course in terms of fluency, and some right to it. So I can not see how an Assimil program could beat it. I would like to believe that your method works and am not doubting that it does, but how are you supposed to "assimilate" words when you only hear them once in one context through a particular dialog? How are you supposed to be fluent if you are never required to produce a word, but simply imitate it?

Assimil programs are just dialogs, other "guided-imitation" drill-based programs give you plenty of real life dialog and more. I can't believe that they added all those pattern drills for nothing.
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 50 of 278
10 September 2005 at 4:08am | IP Logged 
czech wrote:
Fanatic, I think you said in one of your previous posts that you are not "fluent" in any language but English. Courses based on drills take you farther than any course in terms of fluency, and some right to it. So I can not see how an Assimil program could beat it.


You are quite right. I wrote that if you define being fluent as being able to speak a language as well as your own native tongue then I am only fluent in English.

The first language I learnt with Assimil was German and I spoke the language fluently by most criteria. I studied in the language, taught and lectured in the language and even dreamed in the language. In some subjects (which I learnt in German in Germany) I was even more confident and fluent than in English. However, I still feel more comfortable in English.

If other programs give you a level of fluency equal to your own native language then I am enthusiastically in favour of them. Assimil gave me the level I desired without too much hard work.

czech wrote:
I would like to believe that your method works and am not doubting that it does, but how are you supposed to "assimilate" words when you only hear them once in one context through a particular dialog? How are you supposed to be fluent if you are never required to produce a word, but simply imitate it?


With Assimil you hear the same word in many contexts. If you only heard the word once you would have a mammoth task remembering it. This is how the method works. You hear the word many times during the passive stage and then translate it during the active stage. My drills consisted of using what I had learnt from Assimil in real situations.

I realize we have different learning styles. That is why I recommend using several textbooks to study any subject, including languages. If another program works better for you, then by all means, use it.

I think that I play at learning languages so I am inclined to avoid anything that looks like hard work. That way, I keep at it and don't give up or get discouraged.

I am certainly not on a crusade to convert people to Assimil or even to my methods of learning. My methods suit me and give me the best return for my efforts. However, it seems that most of us on the forum are still looking for the elusive program that will perform miracles. I will adopt any method that works.

Edited by fanatic on 10 September 2005 at 4:10am

2 persons have voted this message useful



Farley
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5262 days ago

681 posts - 738 votes 
1 sounds
Speaks: English*, GermanB1, French
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 51 of 278
10 September 2005 at 2:54pm | IP Logged 
Fanatic, I started using Assimil New French with Ease, based on comments from this thread. It reminds me of the way I learned German at the Goethe Institute, first a lot of listening and then a lot of re-assimilating. I passed the ZDF with “gut” (good) marks without doing the first self-study drill or using any note cards. I think Assimil is a good recreation of immersion learning.

After using Assimil for the past 75+ days it seems that Assimil is nothing more than a pattern drill on the language itself, as opposed to a pattern drill on grammar. It seems to me that Assimil and FSI both use pattern drills, but with two different methods, to get the language to sink into your brain. Assimil is more fun; FSI is more efficient. Would you agree with this? I also think that Administrator is right in saying that Assimil requires you to be on the honor system while using the method. If Assimil performs any miracle at all -- it is with the passive-active waves, not with shortcuts. Would you agree with this as well?


Edited by Farley on 10 September 2005 at 2:55pm

1 person has voted this message useful



Mick
Newbie
United States
Joined 5194 days ago

8 posts - 11 votes

 
 Message 52 of 278
11 September 2005 at 1:00am | IP Logged 
Fanatic, thank you for your interesting feeback. I have already ordered assimil to study French along with Pimsleur. I can already tell that Pimsleur will not take me far but what it does do, it does well. To Czech and Seth, who expressed an interest in my Vietnamese training, I am sorry i have not responded to you yet as I have been drunk the past three days. Tomorrow I will respond to you in a way that your inquiries deserve. Thanks

Edited by Mick on 11 September 2005 at 1:02am

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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 53 of 278
18 September 2005 at 6:23am | IP Logged 
Farley wrote:
After using Assimil for the past 75+ days it seems that Assimil is nothing more than a pattern drill on the language itself, as opposed to a pattern drill on grammar. It seems to me that Assimil and FSI both use pattern drills, but with two different methods, to get the language to sink into your brain. Assimil is more fun; FSI is more efficient. Would you agree with this? I also think that Administrator is right in saying that Assimil requires you to be on the honor system while using the method. If Assimil performs any miracle at all -- it is with the passive-active waves, not with shortcuts. Would you agree with this as well?

I don't really feel qualified to answer your questions. I was going to spend time trying some of the free FSI lessons available on the net but I haven't had time over the past week. I don't know why you say that FSI is more efficient. Why do you think so?

I learn my daily vocabulary in minutes with Assimil and review it several times a day. That seems more efficient to me. It only takes a few minutes to review a week's lessons.

Again, I think it comes down to your personality and what works for you. I find Assimil to be a pleasant and efficient way to learn a language. I think it is also maybe the lazy way to learn a language. FSI, with its drills, sounds like hard work. Pimsleur seems like too much time and effort for too little return and too much money.

Also, I like the fact that Assimil is entirely in the target language. I think this encourages you to think in the language.

These are just my observations. This is my experience. If you get the results you want using another method then I would say, by all means, stick to it. If something is working for you, why change it?

Edited by fanatic on 18 September 2005 at 6:25am

2 persons have voted this message useful



Farley
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5262 days ago

681 posts - 738 votes 
1 sounds
Speaks: English*, GermanB1, French
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 54 of 278
18 September 2005 at 8:26pm | IP Logged 
fanatic wrote:

I don't know why you say that FSI is more efficient. Why do you think so?

On second thought efficient and fun are both subjective, depending on the learner. The real point I was trying to make is that Assimil (I think) is nothing more than a pattern drill. I think that FSI and Assimil have the same strategy, drills that make you think in the target language, but they vary on the tactics. FSI builds the language by isolating structure in the drills; Assimil builds structure by isolating the language in the exercises. If anything, I am trying to build on your argument that Assimil works.


Edited by Farley on 18 September 2005 at 8:28pm

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Duke
Groupie
United States
Joined 5189 days ago

76 posts - 79 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Mandarin

 
 Message 55 of 278
19 September 2005 at 11:51pm | IP Logged 
Does anyone know of a retailer that has posted a short audio sample of the Spanish With Ease course? I could not find any on Assimi's Web site.

Not only do I want to know if I can hear the voices clearly, but I want to make sure that I won't have to put up with a painful voice for many months of study (just listen to some of the old FSI courses and you will know what I mean).
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 56 of 278
20 September 2005 at 12:03am | IP Logged 
Assimil in Germany has examples of the Spanish program as mp3 files to download. The URL is http://www.assimil.de/languages/Spanish.htm

The Assimil programs have a variety of speakers, both male and female.

Edited by fanatic on 20 September 2005 at 12:04am



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