Assimil Question

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David1917
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Re: Assimil Question

Postby David1917 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:40 pm

It's true that by purchasing the Assimil course you are not contractually bound to follow their method explicitly! In fact, many people who don't speak French have reported success using their courses (which do not have English versions) effectively as graded readers. Typically, that of course works best by having a background in the TL.

If I were to use Assimil strictly as a set of 120 dialogues for intensive listening, I would do something like this:

- Listen once to the dialogue
- Listen again, now reading along with the transcript
- Analyze the transcript by comparing with the base language, making use of the notes and, in the case that they are opaque, filled with riddles, or otherwise incomplete, some other small reference grammar
- Listen again, reading along with the transcript, now with greater understanding
- Take dictation line by line. Compare with the original. You could listen again if you like.
- Next day, listen to the dialogue without the transcript

Of course, this leaves you bereft of work on speaking, as well as any sort of built-in review system beyond the 2nd day listen. Therefore, I would suggest making sure you have some other materials to work with, especially with 1.5 hours per day.
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siouxchief
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Re: Assimil Question

Postby siouxchief » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:14 pm

Food for thought David, thanks. I'd be doing Pimsleur in parallel using a multi-track approach mentioned previously which sounds ideal so that should take care of speaking.

As mentioned I will try the Assimil 10 steps for a bit to see how I get on but may switch to a more intensive listening approach if I feel it would work better for me given that's what I've experience in.
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ilmari
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Re: Assimil Question

Postby ilmari » Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:55 am

I may add to all the thoughtful answers above that one of the main qualities of (most of) Assimil courses is how idiomatic the dialogues are. Assimil offers you, right from the beginning, a chunk of natural language that very few other courses offer you. I was always amazed, when going somewhere after having done 4, 5 or 6 weeks of an Assimil course, to hear and see around me so many sentences and words I have already met thanks to Assimil. And Assimil manages to present you this natural language in a progressive manner, so that it is also a real language course.
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siouxchief
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Re: Assimil Question

Postby siouxchief » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:54 am

Yes that seems to be the beauty of it. Looking forward to starting French with ease next week.
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Completed Pimsleur 1-3, Assimil French, Using French (1-40)
Working on Verbs & Pimsleur 4
Next: May try FSI & iTalki again

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joecleland
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Re: Assimil Question

Postby joecleland » Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:28 pm

I'm really curious to see how the progress is coming? :)
1 x
    Complete
  • Pimsleur French 1
  • Fluent Forever 625 Word List
  • Assimil NFWE - 77/113 Lessons (68%)
  • iTalki Conversations - 26 Hours

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    Lingoda Level A1 - 100 hours
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PeterMollenburg
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Re: Assimil Question

Postby PeterMollenburg » Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:21 pm

I hadn’t seen this thread when it was originally started....

It seems a lot of good advice has been given. Like joecleland, I’m curious to see how you are going with your French at this stage.

I may as well add my thoughts on the courses. I used Pimsleur French levels 1 through V, Assimil New French with Ease and Assimil Using French.

Pimsleur was excellent for training the pronunciation of basic French vocabulary, enough to get one up and running with an understanding of French pronunciation. It falls well short in vocabulary, as has already been mentioned, but is great for speech production.

I really enjoyed both the Assimil courses (NFWE and Using French). I really found UF to be like an extension of NFWE in some ways and with the two courses together, the length of it all was really nice. Using French was the icing on the cake for me. I shadowed (=imitated the pronunciation) all the dialogues with every single lesson, not moving onto the next lesson until I could completely duplicate the lesson’s audio at the same speed without errors. While I don’t expect others to apply the same methods, it helped me a LOT. I ALWAYS spoke every single French word aloud in the courses I have used, always shadowed all the course dialogues. Today, speaking is one of my strengths.

Hope your studies are going well, siouxchief!
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siouxchief
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Re: Assimil Question

Postby siouxchief » Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:00 pm

Hi all,

Just seeing the posts as I don't seem to get email notifications. In regards my progress I have been doing Pimsleur and Assimil French in parallel. I'm on lesson 18 of Pimsleur 2 and lesson 15 of Assimil French.

I found Pimsleur 1 quite easy but 2 is challenging enough so I pause bits to answer. Assimil is really great and is quite similar to what I was doing with Beelinguapp but it being graded brings me comfort that someone has thought about the scale of the stories rather than me just picking random stories on Beelinguapp.

Hopefully I finish Assimil French by Christmas and Pimsleur 1-3. I'll try out italki then in the new year with Using French and Pimsleur 4-5 assuming I'm still interested.

All good so far with my study. Just to add I'm not massively strict so 1 day I might do Pimsleur alone, another Assimil alone, some days both, other times take 2 or 3 days off if sick or hungover etc. It's not a race so I don't mind doing that.

Hope this helps

p.s. With Assimil I don't have strict methodology either. Listen a few times, read a few times until I can hear it and understand it without reading. Then cover the French and try in my head to translate English to French. I periodically review older lessons too. I think also after every 20 lessons I'll start writing out the French looking at English as waiting until lesson 50 seems too long and I'd have no hope. Like the words for gloves and wool in the first few lessons only appear once so waiting until lesson 50 would mean I'd forget them I'm convinced.

p.p.s As part of the multi track approach I'd also not rule out adding Instagram to your armoury. It's not all just about pics of cats falling off tables. The account 'A cup of French' is particularly good and her graphics are a work of art which makes it easy to learn from. Example attached which you get every day or 2.

Maison-dêtre2.png
Maison-dêtre2.png (42.53 KiB) Viewed 246 times
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Completed Pimsleur 1-3, Assimil French, Using French (1-40)
Working on Verbs & Pimsleur 4
Next: May try FSI & iTalki again

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siouxchief
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Re: Assimil Question

Postby siouxchief » Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:56 pm

PeterMollenburg wrote:I may as well add my thoughts on the courses. I used Pimsleur French levels 1 through V, Assimil New French with Ease and Assimil Using French.


Can I ask Peter how your conversational skills were after completing all of this, if you did conversational practice with real people and what you studied after these? Wondering about next steps.

Thanks
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Completed Pimsleur 1-3, Assimil French, Using French (1-40)
Working on Verbs & Pimsleur 4
Next: May try FSI & iTalki again

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PeterMollenburg
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Re: Assimil Question

Postby PeterMollenburg » Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:12 am

siouxchief wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:I may as well add my thoughts on the courses. I used Pimsleur French levels 1 through V, Assimil New French with Ease and Assimil Using French.


Can I ask Peter how your conversational skills were after completing all of this, if you did conversational practice with real people and what you studied after these? Wondering about next steps.
Thanks


My conversational skills were very strong in terms of holding a standard conversation without slang one on one in an environment that wasn’t too noisy.

It wasn’t the courses that got me there per sé. It was my daily consistent effort to improve my French and utilising these high quality resources happened to be my preferred method. There’s been plenty language learners who have learned languages successfully, by being consistent with their learning method that didn’t involve courses.

Speaking has always been an important aspect of the learning process for me, because speaking is what my main objective was, and speaking like a native speaker has always been the lofty aspiration. Without access to native speakers on a regular basis, I has to work hard to utilise every moment of study where practical to open my mouth and speak. I shadowed everything. I read each and every French word I came across out loud. I didn’t shy off with shadowing harder lessons because I wanted to advance through the content, because I got bored, or some other reason. It was a rule for me to speak aloud every word of French I came across. I would not pronounce words I was unsure of how to pronounce, so I taught myself IPA as well. This meant that by looking up an unknown word in a dictionary with IPA, I would know how to pronounce it correctly - no point guessing pronunciation, nor reinforcing incorrect pronunciation.

I did numerous courses before, some during and some after the Pimsleur and Assimil offerings. The course names matter little. What mattered was continuing my drive to improve. I also read - kids books aloud with my kids, news topics, other books. I watched the news and gradually branched off into other things (series, films, doco’s). I listened and shadowed lots more audio based courses during commutes and listened to podcasts.

Rarely I went to an occasional Meet Up, or conversed with a French person I’d come in contact with. I never sought out language exchanges or italki lessons/exchanges/chats until weeks before my Delf B2 exam. Speaking was my strongest score. I ought to disclose also that from the birth of my first child 5 years ago, I’ve made it a point to speak only French with our children. This has reinforced my spoken language and aided in me filling in some gaps, as I had to learn how to say some things courses had not helped me with at that point (lots of dictionary look-ups).
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joecleland
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Re: Assimil Question

Postby joecleland » Thu Sep 26, 2019 5:19 am

PeterMollenburg wrote:
siouxchief wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:I may as well add my thoughts on the courses. I used Pimsleur French levels 1 through V, Assimil New French with Ease and Assimil Using French.


Can I ask Peter how your conversational skills were after completing all of this, if you did conversational practice with real people and what you studied after these? Wondering about next steps.
Thanks


My conversational skills were very strong in terms of holding a standard conversation without slang one on one in an environment that wasn’t too noisy.

It wasn’t the courses that got me there per sé. It was my daily consistent effort to improve my French and utilising these high quality resources happened to be my preferred method. There’s been plenty language learners who have learned languages successfully, by being consistent with their learning method that didn’t involve courses.

Speaking has always been an important aspect of the learning process for me, because speaking is what my main objective was, and speaking like a native speaker has always been the lofty aspiration. Without access to native speakers on a regular basis, I has to work hard to utilise every moment of study where practical to open my mouth and speak. I shadowed everything. I read each and every French word I came across out loud. I didn’t shy off with shadowing harder lessons because I wanted to advance through the content, because I got bored, or some other reason. It was a rule for me to speak aloud every word of French I came across. I would not pronounce words I was unsure of how to pronounce, so I taught myself IPA as well. This meant that by looking up an unknown word in a dictionary with IPA, I would know how to pronounce it correctly - no point guessing pronunciation, nor reinforcing incorrect pronunciation.

I did numerous courses before, some during and some after the Pimsleur and Assimil offerings. The course names matter little. What mattered was continuing my drive to improve. I also read - kids books aloud with my kids, news topics, other books. I watched the news and gradually branched off into other things (series, films, doco’s). I listened and shadowed lots more audio based courses during commutes and listened to podcasts.

Rarely I went to an occasional Meet Up, or conversed with a French person I’d come in contact with. I never sought out language exchanges or italki lessons/exchanges/chats until weeks before my Delf B2 exam. Speaking was my strongest score. I ought to disclose also that from the birth of my first child 5 years ago, I’ve made it a point to speak only French with our children. This has reinforced my spoken language and aided in me filling in some gaps, as I had to learn how to say some things courses had not helped me with at that point (lots of dictionary look-ups).


THIS IS GOLD!!! ...and music to my ears.
2 x
    Complete
  • Pimsleur French 1
  • Fluent Forever 625 Word List
  • Assimil NFWE - 77/113 Lessons (68%)
  • iTalki Conversations - 26 Hours

    Currently Using
    Lingoda Level A1 - 100 hours
  • A1.1 - 45/50 Hours Complete (90%)
  • A1.2 - 7/50 Hours Complete (14%)


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