New here! Wanting to learn French!

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Lawyer&Mom
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Re: New here! Wanting to learn French!

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Sun Jun 19, 2022 3:25 pm

I think Assimil and the CLE Progressive Grammar would complement each other nicely. Different approaches, both very well done. The CLE book is very good at giving small digestible bits of grammar, it doesn’t hit you with a wall of information that makes you want to give up. (I tried those books too!) I personally only used Assimil to teach myself listening. I preferred to actively study grammar separately.
7 x
Grammaire progressive du français -
niveau debutant
: 60 / 60

Grammaire progressive du francais -
intermédiaire
: 14 / 52

Pimsleur French 1-5
: 75 / 150

Teun
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Re: New here! Wanting to learn French!

Postby Teun » Sun Jun 19, 2022 3:54 pm

Lawyer&Mom wrote:I think Assimil and the CLE Progressive Grammar would complement each other nicely. Different approaches, both very well done. The CLE book is very good at giving small digestible bits of grammar, it doesn’t hit you with a wall of information that makes you want to give up. (I tried those books too!) I personally only used Assimil to teach myself listening. I preferred to actively study grammar separately.



This was what I wanted to suggest actually.

So to round this post up, I was planning to buy the Assimil course with the CLE grammer book (A1 ofcourse, perhaps later down the line the other mentioned CLE book aswell). The Assimil book also has a extensive “words list “ I can use for my flash card programs. And I think we have a pretty solid all-round plan don’t we?

If there are more suggestions, you are always welcome!

And please if you agree with my idea. Could you let me know as well? I really value that allot, thanks!

Have a nice day everyone, and thanks allot for all the info!
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BeaP
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Re: New here! Wanting to learn French!

Postby BeaP » Sun Jun 19, 2022 7:32 pm

A lot of people have had success with both books, they're a safe choice. Just make sure you buy the orange grammar, there's a new one called A1.1 (very light brown, butter colour) and I think it's not worth the money. The original A1 (the orange one) is good for beginners, it starts with the basics. Youtube is full of free videos about informal spoken French and useful expressions. These are also helpful because textbook French is a bit different. I've found pronunciation especially tricky, but these videos explain things in detail. I hope you'll enjoy learning French and come back to write about your experience.
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Lawyer&Mom
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Re: New here! Wanting to learn French!

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Sun Jun 19, 2022 8:01 pm

BeaP wrote:A lot of people have had success with both books, they're a safe choice. Just make sure you buy the orange grammar, there's a new one called A1.1 (very light brown, butter colour) and I think it's not worth the money. The original A1 (the orange one) is good for beginners, it starts with the basics.


I agree. I would only use the A1.1 book with a child or younger teenager. The orange A1 book is fine for an adult beginner.
6 x
Grammaire progressive du français -
niveau debutant
: 60 / 60

Grammaire progressive du francais -
intermédiaire
: 14 / 52

Pimsleur French 1-5
: 75 / 150

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PeterMollenburg
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Re: New here! Wanting to learn French!

Postby PeterMollenburg » Sun Jun 19, 2022 10:42 pm

Teun wrote:
Lawyer&Mom wrote:I think Assimil and the CLE Progressive Grammar would complement each other nicely. Different approaches, both very well done. The CLE book is very good at giving small digestible bits of grammar, it doesn’t hit you with a wall of information that makes you want to give up. (I tried those books too!) I personally only used Assimil to teach myself listening. I preferred to actively study grammar separately.



This was what I wanted to suggest actually.

So to round this post up, I was planning to buy the Assimil course with the CLE grammer book (A1 ofcourse, perhaps later down the line the other mentioned CLE book aswell). The Assimil book also has a extensive “words list “ I can use for my flash card programs. And I think we have a pretty solid all-round plan don’t we?

If there are more suggestions, you are always welcome!

And please if you agree with my idea. Could you let me know as well? I really value that allot, thanks!

Have a nice day everyone, and thanks allot for all the info!


Since you're looking for opinions...

Yes, your above suggested combination (Assimil + CLE) appears to be a very good mix. Good luck!
5 x

jackb
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Re: New here! Wanting to learn French!

Postby jackb » Tue Jun 21, 2022 3:07 pm

The Progessives are very good, but they have one glaring problem.....The answers are sold separately for all of the books. It may not make a difference if you are the kind of person that doesn't need the correct answers. If you are, you'll have to add $/£/€ 20-30 per book for each level. It will get expensive if you want to go through all of the levels.
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SCMT
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Re: New here! Wanting to learn French!

Postby SCMT » Tue Jun 21, 2022 3:40 pm

The essentially mono-lingual French in Action:

https://www.learner.org/series/french-in-action/

It's free, it's terrific, and I find it enjoyable. There are extensive written materials available with a quick search that make this a complete course.
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BeaP
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Re: New here! Wanting to learn French!

Postby BeaP » Tue Jun 21, 2022 4:34 pm

jackb wrote:It will get expensive if you want to go through all of the levels.

It's true. Especially if one chooses to study other lines as well, not just Grammaire. The Vite et bien textbook (2 levels, A1-A2, B1) is like a mixture of the Progressives (Grammaire, Vocabulaire, Communication). It's written by Claire Miquel, the author of the latter two. The solutions are included in a separate booklet, sold together with the textbook. It develops all 4 skills, and the answer key gives sample solutions for the writing tasks as well.
https://issuu.com/marketingcle/docs/extrait_2eme_edition_vite_et_bien__
https://issuu.com/marketingcle/docs/feuilletage_vite_et_bien_b1/1
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Cavesa
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Re: New here! Wanting to learn French!

Postby Cavesa » Wed Jun 22, 2022 12:22 pm

Welcome to the forum!

Teun wrote:To give you a small back story why I wanne learn French, I’m planning on moving to Belgium and going to school there. And if that all works out probably work aswell. And i know French is like a second mother language there, and they get it since they where 6 years old. So I have some catching up to do.


As others said, it totally depends on where you are going. Most Belgians don't speak the other native language of their compatriots. Well, some people even joke that "Belgium" doesn't really exist, everything is simply too different and not only on the Vlaams vs Wallonie level, but also the individual regions, even towns. Differences in culture, organisation, education, transport, etc. I spent a year and a half in Belgium, so I've got quite a lot of experience and tons of opinions, if you are interested in any of them :-D

It is totally a good idea to learn French, but don't stress about it, it is not a survival thing (unless you want to live in Wallonie or Bruxelles). Only some jobs require both French and Dutch.


So to round it up… I’m sorry for this rand, but I’m really just looking for a all round French beginner course with like everything from A to Z. But mostly the ground rules for the use of grammer (you can learn words everywhere). I don’t mind paying a small fee each month btw (if I can test it out first!). I prefer apps of sites I can use on my phone.

Assimil is overall a good course, but the grammar presentation doesn't suit everybody.

Grammaire Progressive is the golden standard. I totally agree with others that the light brown A1 book is not worth the money for most people. A few generations of learners had been using the normal orange one just fine right from the start.

While the point about separate key to exercises is definitely a good one, I don't think it should prevail over other arguments. Such as the GrProg being the best on the market by a league!

But as you prefer online tools, I recommend Kwiziq. It is excellent, the best bilingual grammar tool on the market. And unlike trash toys like Duolingo, it actually uses bits of gamification well.

Both GrProg and Kwiziq can be used in any way you need, you choose the order of the chapters. So, they can be perfectly combined with Assimil or any other "self contained" coursebook, and they let you reach for something else anytime you may need it.

P.S. my personal petpeeve: it is grammAr :-D
9 x

jeffers
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Re: New here! Wanting to learn French!

Postby jeffers » Thu Jun 23, 2022 9:29 am

I agree with the consensus that Assimil + Grammaire prog is a killer combination. I was going to suggest Kwiziq as a supplement, but Cavesa got there before me! Kwiziq can be used on your phone with a web browser, and it isn't bad although it's not fully optimized for small screens. However, I'd strongly recommend focusing on Assimil, don't rush through it, and use Kwiziq to review when you have finished. If at any point you're feeling like Assimil is getting over your head, there's nothing wrong with going back 5-10 lessons and working back up to the point where you were getting stuck. Remember, the goal is to learn French, not to finish a book!

There is a risk of getting stuck into too many resources and ending up doing too little with each of them. However, I would recommend one additional thing: listening. Assimil will give you a lot of listening practice, and it's important to keep reviewing the Assimil audio of past lessons. However, you would do well to do some other form of listening from the start, and at least a bit every day. It is not a problem if it is way above your head at first, because one reason for listening from the start is to get used to the rhythms and sounds of the language.

My personal recommendation for the beginning would be to find something you want to listen to (or watch), which also has transcripts so you can check what you heard. TV shows with French subtitles are one way to do this, so if you have Netflix this is a good option. Another option is the news programme 7 jours sur la planète, which ordinarily has very accurate French subtitles. The great thing about 7 jours is that it has a mix of audio types: the main news is read in a clear and direct manner, but then there is usually an interview which is a bit more conversational (and the subtitles tend to be a bit less accurate of course).

[Edit: for some reason the 7 jours website does not include subtitles with their videos, but when you watch on YouTube they have the French subtitles. I don't understand why they don't have them on the website, since it is literally made for learners].
6 x
Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien (roughly, the perfect is the enemy of the good)

French SC Books: 0 / 5000 (0/5000 pp)
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