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Assimil French w/ Ease = B2?

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Desacrator48
Groupie
United States
Joined 3574 days ago

93 posts - 127 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish, French

 
 Message 1 of 17
24 August 2010 at 7:42am | IP Logged 
Hi,

I ordered Assimil French with Ease last week and it finally came in the mail. I am very excited to use this book because I am just about done with Pimsleur as my introduction, and am ready to move out of the beginner stage. I ordered this book/cd because of the good reviews on this forum and I liked what I saw on the Assimil website.

My question here is, if I use this book thoroughly and completely over a couple months, will it really take me up to the B2 level as it claims on its website after the 113 lessons? By it's own admission, can one assume this book on it's own can bring you to the B2 level?

Also, I am now looking to preorder the Assimil Using French for future use, because Assimil claims it's next book/CDs will take you to the C1 level. Is this also an accurate claim by the publisher? Would I be wise to continue on with Assimil Using French after the With Ease series, or it would it be better to just do the With Ease course and move on to something else after that? I am looking to also buy the Using French set now because of the reputation of Assimil and the claim of bringing you to C1, but I would like some feedback from users as to if it is a good idea to get the next book after the With Ease series in French.

Thanks!
1 person has voted this message useful



Faraday
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4384 days ago

129 posts - 256 votes 
Speaks: German*

 
 Message 2 of 17
24 August 2010 at 8:39am | IP Logged 
C1 is a very high level, and in my opinion no Assimil program can take you so far. I would say that B1 and B2 are more realistic descriptions of With Ease, and Using levels, respectively. Nor is it necessarily desirable to use a program until one is fluent and ready to pounce the world like Athena sprung fully-formed from Zeus's ear. Once you've reached intermediate level, it's time to take the training wheels off and begin diving in earnest into native material.

Having said that, I think Using French is quite good and is the best of Assimil's Perfectionnement series. Just don't fall into the common rut of being addicted to the false sense of security that structured programs provide.
6 persons have voted this message useful



Scratch
Groupie
United States
Joined 3501 days ago

45 posts - 57 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: French

 
 Message 3 of 17
24 August 2010 at 4:18pm | IP Logged 
From what I've read of the descriptions of the levels, I suspect that achieving B2 with With Ease is probably optimistic. Not impossible, but it probably requires diligence and some auxiliary study to get to B2. B1, I hope, is a reasonable outcome. I'll have a much better assessment of this when I complete my use of it. I'm doing lesson 24 today and was fairly pleased to find yesterday that I could flip through the earlier lessons, and translate them into English with little hesitation or mistakes.

But I've probably been averaging over an hour of study per day and I've also been using Pimsleur. And I also completed a first run through of listening-reading to Le Tour du Monde en 80 Jours by Jules Verne this past weekend, thanks to the Gutenberg Project.

I'd hold off on ordering Using French until you've done at least a fair bit more with With Ease. It makes sense to make sure it suits your learning style rather than potentially ordering something which you may not want to use learn later on. Plus, if you get to B1 or B2 with With Ease, there may well be other reasonable options to use.

Edited by Scratch on 24 August 2010 at 5:27pm

1 person has voted this message useful



noriyuki_nomura
Bilingual Octoglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
Joined 3606 days ago

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

 
 Message 4 of 17
24 August 2010 at 4:50pm | IP Logged 
From my personal experience, I think that the Using series would get you to a firm B2 level, or even to a low-C1 level. Just last friday, I took the Spanish B2 exam after having completed the With Ease series and a third of the Using series of Assimil Spanish, and I hope that I could pass the exam, since I used solely the Assimil courses to prepare for this DELE B2 exam. Among the most difficult sections (grammar, listening, writing, speaking) of the DELE exam, I felt that the listening part was the most difficult. In the first 2 questions of the listening comprehension exam, the speakers in the CD spoke so fast and short, which sounded like a 4-word sentence, that everyone in the exam room looked at once another with stunned/helpless facial expression as to what was being spoken! And from that, we had to select one out of 3 possible replies to this 4-word sentence...

Apart from that, the oral was OK, grammar OK and writing also OK. But of course, if I could manage to pass the exam, I would credit that to the Assimil program, and even if I fail, I would still think that Assimil has helped me alot to get exposure to lots of conversational Spanish!    

Edited by noriyuki_nomura on 24 August 2010 at 4:59pm

3 persons have voted this message useful



Elexi
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3831 days ago

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

 
 Message 5 of 17
24 August 2010 at 5:34pm | IP Logged 
In my view Using French is the essential second volume of French with Ease. However, I don't think that together they take you past the B1 stage. Together they would certainly set you up nicely to get to B2, however.

Edited by Elexi on 24 August 2010 at 5:35pm

2 persons have voted this message useful



Gatsby
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4428 days ago

57 posts - 129 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Dutch

 
 Message 6 of 17
25 August 2010 at 5:31am | IP Logged 
Sorry everyone, but I don't think any program made will take you to B2 level if you only use the one resource. With a combination of resources, you may reach this level in reading, writing, and just maybe listening (but even for listening I have my doubts). To really reach B2 level in all abilities (basic fluency), you need to be out there with native speakers carrying on lengthy conversations AND understanding their rapid-fire, unscripted responses.



Edited by Gatsby on 25 August 2010 at 6:49am

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noriyuki_nomura
Bilingual Octoglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
Joined 3606 days ago

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

 
 Message 7 of 17
01 October 2010 at 11:05am | IP Logged 
I just got my DELE B2 results, and I passed!!! What's surprising for me is, I got full marks for my oral section: 30/30 puntos! That's really surprising, given that I have never obtained full score for any of my verbal exams before, be it in English, Mandarin, German or any other languages...And as expected, my worst section was in listening: 9.55/15 puntos. Reading: 18/20 puntos; Written: 13.13/15puntos; and Vocabulary: 17.33/20 puntos. Altogether, I got 88.01%. It does seem that DELE are pretty generous with their evaluation...:)

noriyuki_nomura wrote:
From my personal experience, I think that the Using series would get you to a firm B2 level, or even to a low-C1 level. Just last friday, I took the Spanish B2 exam after having completed the With Ease series and a third of the Using series of Assimil Spanish, and I hope that I could pass the exam, since I used solely the Assimil courses to prepare for this DELE B2 exam. Among the most difficult sections (grammar, listening, writing, speaking) of the DELE exam, I felt that the listening part was the most difficult. In the first 2 questions of the listening comprehension exam, the speakers in the CD spoke so fast and short, which sounded like a 4-word sentence, that everyone in the exam room looked at once another with stunned/helpless facial expression as to what was being spoken! And from that, we had to select one out of 3 possible replies to this 4-word sentence...

Apart from that, the oral was OK, grammar OK and writing also OK. But of course, if I could manage to pass the exam, I would credit that to the Assimil program, and even if I fail, I would still think that Assimil has helped me alot to get exposure to lots of conversational Spanish!    

13 persons have voted this message useful



JimC
Senior Member
United Kingdom
tinyurl.com/aberdeen
Joined 3813 days ago

199 posts - 317 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 8 of 17
01 October 2010 at 12:52pm | IP Logged 
noriyuki_nomura wrote:
I just got my DELE B2 results, and I passed!!! What's surprising for me is, I got full marks for my oral section: 30/30 puntos! That's really surprising, given that I have never obtained full score for any of my verbal exams before, be it in English, Mandarin, German or any other languages...And as expected, my worst section was in listening: 9.55/15 puntos. Reading: 18/20 puntos; Written: 13.13/15puntos; and Vocabulary: 17.33/20 puntos. Altogether, I got 88.01%. It does seem that DELE are pretty generous with their evaluation...:)



Well Done, I am using Assimil to hopefully get me to the same level. Hope I can achieve these reults when the time comes!

Jim


2 persons have voted this message useful



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