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Linguaphone Russian Complete Course

  Tags: Linguaphone | Russian
 Language Learning Forum : Language Programs, Books & Tapes Post Reply
11 messages over 2 pages: 1 2  Next >>
DaraghM
Diglot
Senior Member
Ireland
Joined 4283 days ago

1947 posts - 2922 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: French, Russian, Hungarian

 
 Message 1 of 11
27 September 2011 at 11:29am | IP Logged 
In a slight moment of madness, I picked up the 'latest' Linguaphone Russian Complete Course, as yet another complement to my Russian studies. I ended up purchasing it directly from Linguaphone, as I really like their Indonesian course, which is out of print.

Ironically, the latest Russian course seems to be older than the Indonesian course. The audio material and associated books are from 1971. They've added an additional guidance CD in 1989. I've seen the 1961 course and it does use different material. I was initially concerned about the audio length, but the 8 CD's are each about an hour. My other concern was the audio quality, but my initial impression is that it's fine.

While the books are glue bound and look brand new, the print quality inside seems to be a scan of the 1971 course. I was surprised how little English is used in the course books, with only the handbook containing any English text.

I'm still well within my 21 days to return the course. Will I ? Probably not, as I like the course, even though it's dated.


1 person has voted this message useful



jazzboy.bebop
Senior Member
Norway
norwegianthroughnove
Joined 3550 days ago

439 posts - 799 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Norwegian

 
 Message 2 of 11
27 September 2011 at 11:51am | IP Logged 
One of the things I really like about the Linguaphone courses is the fact the coursebooks
generally contain only the target language. I find this makes for easy reading practice
and review and I don't get distracted by any descriptions in English.

I have the Linguaphone Norwegian course from the mid 1960s and though the language used
is a little dated in places it is still very useful and thorough and works well in
combination with my other materials.
1 person has voted this message useful



fanatic
Octoglot
Senior Member
Australia
speedmathematics.com
Joined 5278 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 3 of 11
27 September 2011 at 1:10pm | IP Logged 
I have always been in awe of Linguaphone. When I was young the courses cost about two month's pay and were generally paid off through a repayment plan. It was THE language course you bought if you were serious about learning a language.

I have bought several now through eBay and secondhand bookshops and I treasure them. I still prefer Assimil but I will still take a Linguaphone course any time I can.
3 persons have voted this message useful



Cainntear
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Scotland
linguafrankly.blogsp
Joined 4143 days ago

4399 posts - 7687 votes 
Speaks: Lowland Scots, English*, French, Spanish, Scottish Gaelic
Studies: Catalan, Italian, German, Irish, Welsh

 
 Message 4 of 11
27 September 2011 at 1:59pm | IP Logged 
DaraghM wrote:
I was surprised how little English is used in the course books, with only the handbook containing any English text.

I think that's more a logistical choice than a pedagogic one.

By having the discs/tapes and their transcriptions without any first language, they could make one huge batch of them cheaply, then print smaller batches of the language-specific notes only. This not only saved on printing costs, but it allowed them to be more flexible on stock and responsive to demand.
1 person has voted this message useful



Elexi
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3697 days ago

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

 
 Message 5 of 11
27 September 2011 at 2:52pm | IP Logged 
With the exception of French, Spanish I think all the current Linguaphone courses are the ones offered from the 1970s. The new French and Spanish are not worth bothering about but the 70s-90s courses are excellent. I think the French course is probably my favourite of all French courses that I have worked through.

I am not talking about the All Talk series here, but the 'Beginner to Advanced' book course.
1 person has voted this message useful



DaraghM
Diglot
Senior Member
Ireland
Joined 4283 days ago

1947 posts - 2922 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: French, Russian, Hungarian

 
 Message 6 of 11
27 September 2011 at 2:59pm | IP Logged 
Elexi wrote:
The new French and Spanish are not worth bothering about but the 70s-90s courses are excellent.


Are these courses very different from the previous formats ? I almost caved in and bought the French one.
1 person has voted this message useful



Haukilahti
Triglot
Groupie
Finland
Joined 3096 days ago

94 posts - 126 votes 
Speaks: Finnish*, English, Polish

 
 Message 7 of 11
27 September 2011 at 3:40pm | IP Logged 
Is this the one course with the description of the sitting room as one of the first lessons, and the visit of grandparents or uncles' family as another? In that case I tried it, but soon dropped, as I found it to be more similar to a wordlist method than to my favourite Assimil.
1 person has voted this message useful



Elexi
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3697 days ago

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

 
 Message 8 of 11
27 September 2011 at 7:34pm | IP Logged 
There are 4 generations of Linguaphone courses - all except the 1920s and 2000s courses split the native language bookl from the grammar and vocabulary book.

1. 1920s-1940s - Each of the 30 lessons are based around a picture and is split into 2 - The first part is a description of a common scenario set out in the picture (dining, shopping, travelling, etc) and then the second part is a dialogue on that scene. After this there is a grammar summary. Starts with a upper middle class family in a living room and then moves on the various scenarios. The 1920s courses have the vocabulary in the margins in small print like the modern Think Spanish/French/Italian online pdf magazine.

2. 1950s-1960s - Similar to above (i.e. a partial picture/direct method) The idea is to infer the vocabulary from the picutres before looking at the grammar/vocabulary book. Uses more colloquial language. The lessons are paired so that Lesson 1 is a descriptive monologue describing a family sitting room and then Lesson 2 is a conversation within that living room, etc (for this reason, I don't agree it is like a wordlist method - the first lesson of the pair introduces the vocabulary in context but the second lesson applies it to conversation). The audio to each lesson is about 2 minutes long. All courses in this era have the same format (50 lessons) and almost exactly the same 'base' text - so apparently polyglots can compare courses of the same language family.

3. 1970s-1990s (and with the exception of French and Spanish these are the ones still sold by Linguaphone). These books have a 30 lesson format with about 6 minutes of dialogue audio plus 6 minutes of exercise audio that follow the trip of a native speaking family who are holidaying in the home country after living abroad (e.g. the French family are Parisians but they work in Quebec, the German family work in Brazil). The course is divided into 3-4 books (dialogues, grammar and vocabulary, written exercises and from the 80s FSI like drills were added). Each lesson is divided into 3 parts - a) a monologue from one of the characters, b) a conversation section where a number of characters speak to each other and a c) disconnected section that illustrates the points being taught in the lesson.    

There are some variations here - for example the Danish, Dutch course and Latin American Spanish courses don't follow this format exactly.

4. 2000s - for French and Spanish only - these following the 'communicative' approach like the modern Berlitz or BBC 'tourist' courses (not the phrase books). So instead of a narrative or a dialogue you have basically common functions like saying hello, ordering a meal. It is also heavily interspersed with English. The Oxford Take Off series is smaller and takes you further in my opinion.

There is also a French and German 'for Business' series from the 70s and 80s which is more like FSI-lite than anything else consisting of a dialogue and drills. This course came with a tape deck that lets you record your voice in the right channel to shadow the left channel of the cassette.


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