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B2 realistic with Assimil?

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jae
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United States
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 Message 1 of 13
14 June 2013 at 9:39am | IP Logged 
I recently made a post asking about Assimil (for French) -- now that I actually have the
program, I am quite excited to start using it. I just had one question though -- while
Assimil claims to enable the user to reach a B2 level in the language, is this a
realistic goal? Or is it definitely necessary to use other resources to reach this goal?
Furthermore, does anyone actually have firsthand experience doing this -- and if so, did
you simply follow the normal Assimil process (with all the reading, listening, etc.
steps)? Thanks!
2 persons have voted this message useful



garyb
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 Message 2 of 13
14 June 2013 at 10:37am | IP Logged 
This has been discussed before, but basically: no. Maybe a B1 if you know the course inside out, but it's nowhere near broad enough and gives nowhere near enough exposure and practice opportunity to get anywhere near B2. Typical exaggerated marketing claim, which is a shame since it is a very good course.
1 person has voted this message useful



kanewai
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 Message 3 of 13
14 June 2013 at 11:21am | IP Logged 
I love this question! Mostly because I have some numbers on hand to answer it with
conviction:

Assimil New French with Ease: 112 lessons
Used as directed (30 minute passive lesson, 5 minute active lesson): 65 hours
A more realistic estimate (40 minutes passive, 20 minutes active): 112 hours

Estimates of hours of study needed to reach each level, from ILA France:
A1: 60 hours
A2: 160 hours
B1: 310 hours
B2: 490 hours

FSI estimates are even greater:

A2: 180-200 hours of class time, plus 135-150 hours of independent study


Verdict: Assimil might get you within reach of A2, if you supplement it with
outside work.   

Now. As has been discussed in other active threads, people really devalue some of the
"lower" levels. I both like and am frustrated by Assimil, but it still forms the core
of my studies of any Romance language.   And I think A2 represents a pretty solid
achievement, even if it doesn't sound as sexy from a marketing stand point.


Edited by kanewai on 14 June 2013 at 11:22am

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yuriFromRoma
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Italy
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Speaks: Italian*
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 Message 4 of 13
14 June 2013 at 11:40am | IP Logged 
I finished Assimil for Russian (i.e. 2002 Italian edition) a few months ago, and I'm
still not able to read a simple graded reader of 1500/2000 words with ease. Let alone
speaking with people or listening to the news. Even now I feel somewhere in between A2
and B1. So, in my experience, I seriously doubt you can reach B2 with a single course (no
matter what you do with it...), especially if we are talking of a language which is
unrelated to yours. A solid A2 seems more likely to me.
3 persons have voted this message useful



Cavesa
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 Message 5 of 13
14 June 2013 at 2:15pm | IP Logged 
I think Assimil could be a core which shows a path towards B1. Under the condition you take it more as a guide to what grammar, vocab topics and situations you should master from other sources as well. I find Assimil to be really good in some ways (the best introductory dialogues I have ever seen, good audio, quite a lot of grammar covered) but there are only approximately 2000 words. That is about as many as my A1 German course book introduces. Of course there is both beginner and more advanced vocab, that's why I suggest suplementing Assimil with something else.
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Arekkusu
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 Message 6 of 13
14 June 2013 at 2:46pm | IP Logged 
Cavesa wrote:
I think Assimil could be a core which shows a path towards B1.

I second.
1 person has voted this message useful



Crush
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 Message 7 of 13
14 June 2013 at 2:56pm | IP Logged 
The one exception might be the Catalan course, i think if you learned it inside out you would be well on your way (or already there) to a B2 level, possibly thanks to the similarities in grammar and vocabulary between Spanish and Catalan. Some of the final recordings are 8 minutes of pure dialog, without pauses.

EDIT: But in general, i agree with what Cavesa and the others have said.

Edited by Crush on 14 June 2013 at 2:56pm

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jae
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United States
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Speaks: English*, German, Latin
Studies: Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, French

 
 Message 8 of 13
14 June 2013 at 4:52pm | IP Logged 
Thank you so much for the fantastic feedback! I'd definitely be alright with reaching an
A2/B1 level by the end since I have no previous experience with French and this would
already be a big step for me. I am also planning to get together some other material to
supplement Assimil with.


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