Cortina Languages "Closing" Sale

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Speakeasy
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Cortina Languages "Closing" Sale

Postby Speakeasy » Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:48 pm

Earlier today, I received an Email from Cortina Languages advising me of their "Closing Out" Sale. Many of us have been anticipating this development for at least a year. Prices for their comprehensive courses have been reduced to 60 $US, plus shipping and handling charges.

Comprehensive Courses
http://cortina-languages.com/index.php?cPath=29

Shipping
http://cortina-languages.com/shipping.php

EDITED: Changed title from "closing out" to "closing"
Last edited by Speakeasy on Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Seneca
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Re: Cortina Languages "Closing Out" Sale

Postby Seneca » Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:54 pm

Here are some reviews on the old site.

Are you the same speakeasy that would not recommend these now? Or at least not the German one?
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Speakeasy
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Re: Cortina Languages "Closing Out" Sale

Postby Speakeasy » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:39 pm

Seneca, good catch!

verba volant, scripta manent

Extract from the HTLAL:
Seeking opinion on Cortina Master Courses
Speakeasy wrote ... Overall Impression

The course is well-structured, but dated. The dialogues were written at sometime in the early 1950's and have not been updated. The overall quality is quite acceptable and you can, indeed, learn some basic German from this course, but you will NOT be "wowed" by the material. I really hate giving negative reviews, but you should consider almost any other of the literally hundreds of better, more up-to-date courses available, at comparable or lower prices. If you had bought this course in 1960, you would probably have been impressed. Buying it in 2013 could leave you saying "now isn't that quaint!".

My opinions have not changed since I wrote the above review (I have underlined a portion of the original text). In my reply to the recent query on this forum, "How to get started with German?", I did not make mention of the Cortina German course. Nonetheless, as I have a "fetish" for older self-study language-learning materials, I am quite pleased to have included in my personal library the corresponding Cortina Master Courses for all of the languages in which I am interested. While the materials are, indeed, somewhat dated, they are not devoid of interest or of value. While it would be unwise to enter a Formula One Grand Prix competition with a 1950's era MG, who wouldn't want to have such a vehicle in his garage just for the pleasure of admiring it and, perhaps, of taking it out for a spin?

EDITED:
Formatting and typos.
Last edited by Speakeasy on Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Cortina Languages "Closing Out" Sale

Postby Cainntear » Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:09 pm

By "closing out", are they saying they're ceasing operations, or are they liquidating the physical stock and going digital?
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Re: Cortina Languages "Closing Out" Sale

Postby Speakeasy » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:10 pm

The Email that I received was entitled "Cortina is Closing. Courses now $60.00 While Supply Lasts."

I am not in a position to speak on behalf of Cortina International and I suggest that anyone wishing to explore Cainntear's question communicate directly with the company either by telephone at 1-800-245-2145 or by Email via their website portal "Contact Us."
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Cainntear
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Re: Cortina Languages "Closing Out" Sale

Postby Cainntear » Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:29 pm

Thanks -- "closing out" isn't a term we use on this side of the Atlantic, so I wasn't sure.
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Re: Cortina Languages "Closing Out" Sale

Postby Xenops » Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:33 pm

Would you say that these courses are comparable to FSI?
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Speakeasy
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Re: Cortina Languages "Closing Out" Sale

Postby Speakeasy » Wed Oct 12, 2016 3:49 pm

No, the Cortina courses are not comparable to the FSI Basic courses.

FSI Basic versus Cortina: Similarities
Each lesson unit contains a "situational" dialogue which (a) introduces new vocabulary and (b) illustrates a selection of specific grammatical features of the target language. Both courses contain a certain amount of vocabulary that no longer has the purchase that it once did; in addition they display a formality of discourse that is now uncommon both in English and in the target language.

FSI Basic versus Cortina: Major Differences
(1) The FSI Basic courses adopted the "audio-lingual" method of instruction. That is, the materials include thousands of sentence-pattern drills the massive repetition of which is designed to assist the student internalize the grammatical structure of the language and the new vocabulary. This additional practice material* accounts for the large difference in the quantity of audio recordings (Cortina: 8 hours, versus FSI Basic: about 60 hours). (2) The Notes on Grammar in the classroom-destined FSI Basic courses tend to be somewhat sparse whereas those in the self-study Cortina courses are more complete. (3) The cadence of speech in the FSI Basic audio recordings is very rapid, whereas that of the Cortina courses tends to be artificially articulated, notably slower than conversational speech, and rather stilted.

Addendum: Cortina Exercise Sets*
Cainntear's post below served as a reminder to me that some of the Cortina courses include "exercise sets" that are, for all practical purposes, sentence-pattern drills. However, aside from the model sentences, these exercises were not recorded by Cortina. Of course, every rule has it's exception and, in the case of the Cortina Russian course, the exercises were indeed recorded, not by Cortina, but by unknown persons and these recordings were uploaded with the originals.

Cortina: Previous Discussion
Seneca wrote:Here are some reviews on the old site.


EDITED: Addendum, formatting
Last edited by Speakeasy on Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Cainntear
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Re: Cortina Languages "Closing Out" Sale

Postby Cainntear » Wed Oct 12, 2016 5:14 pm

Xenops wrote:Would you say that these courses are comparable to FSI?

You can see examples of the Cortina courses online at [url=https://fsi-languages.yojik.eu]Eric's FSI/DLI page[/quote] if that helps.
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Speakeasy
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Re: Cortina Languages "Closing Out" Sale

Postby Speakeasy » Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:28 pm

Cainntear's post above serves as a reminder to me that some of the Cortina courses include "exercise sets" that are, for all practical purposes, sentence-pattern drills. However, aside from the model sentences, these exercises were not recorded by Cortina. Of course, every rule has it's exception and, in the case of the Cortina Russian course, the exercises were indeed recorded, not by Cortina, but by unknown persons and these recordings were uploaded along with the originals.
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