New Assimil French 2020

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Re: New Assimil French 2020

Postby jonm » Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:32 am

To me it looks like this new edition has as much content or more as the 1998 edition, aka New French with Ease. I'm quite fond of the 1998 edition and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it, but I think the new edition looks good too, and it doesn't seem any less substantive than its immediate predecessor. (I can't speak to French Without Toil.)

Here are the sample lessons:

1998: text and audio
2020: text and audio

And there's a video comparing the two editions here (or you can scroll down, I'll embed it at the bottom of the post).

The 2020 edition has fewer lessons (100 compared to 113) but about the same number of dialogues, because it includes a dialogue in each week's review lesson, which the 1998 edition doesn't. And according to the video, the review lessons in the 2020 edition are significantly longer.

The Assimil site says that the 2020 edition has 3h40m of audio, whereas the 1998 edition has 3h10m.

The 2020 edition has a shorter and simpler first lesson, which seems to be the trend (one I personally don't mind and indeed appreciate when the target language is totally unfamiliar). But in the later sample lessons, it's the reverse:

1998 lesson 50: 13 lines, 5 notes
2020 lesson 50: 19 lines, 11 notes

1998 final lesson: 13 lines, 4 notes
2020 final lesson: 17 lines, 7 notes

The formatting in the two sample PDFs is similar, and the 1998 edition ends the lessons on p. 484 out of around 600 pages total, whereas the 2020 edition ends the lessons on p. 634 out of 828 pages total.

As I say, I really like the 1998 edition (for one thing, there's a lot of humor), but the new course seems just as substantive, maybe more.

Regarding the CEFR levels, I think the "A1-A2" on the website is meant to refer to the learner's level when they start the course, not when they finish. (But I agree that one "With Ease" course all by itself won't get you to B2.)

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Re: New Assimil French 2020

Postby Faust » Sat Feb 27, 2021 10:46 pm

Skynet wrote:Assimil has released a new €24.90 French course (book only) for English speakers with ISBN 978-2-7005-0854-3. The course comprises 100 new lessons with sample lessons (lessons 1, 2, 50 and 100) which are freely available here: sample lessons.

I compared lessons 50 and 100 of the new course to those of NFWE and FWOT and let me just say that the new course will get someone to an A2 at the very most. The B2 stamped on the cover is purely for marketing purposes.

One thing to consider is that Assimil has a recent A2 course (that actually seems to have been designed around CEFR rather than randomly assigned a level), so they couldn't very well list this new course as A2 as well. Maybe writing B1 would have been a reasonable compromise, but then they'd be releasing an "update" claiming a lower level than NFWE. So they are stuck for eternity claiming B1, most likely.

Here is the A2 I referred to above: ... 71053/ref=

ISBN-13 : 978-2700571059
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