A-LM Series by Harcourt, Brace & World Center

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peterkendall
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:32 am
Languages: English (N) French (Intermediate)
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Re: A-LM Series by Harcourt, Brace & World Center

Postby peterkendall » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:54 pm

Daristani wrote:Welcome to the forum, Peter!

And I also have to say how nice it is to see some of you youngsters showing appreciation for the older language materials!


Thanks, Daristani! To me, French class seems like it was yesterday :)
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Speakeasy
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2524
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:19 pm
Location: Canada (Montréal region)
Languages: English (N), French (C2). Studying: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Polish, and Russian; all with widely varying degrees of application, enthusiasm, and success.
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Re: A-LM Series by Harcourt, Brace & World Center

Postby Speakeasy » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:39 pm

peterkendall's revival of this discussion thread, and his fond memory of the A-LM French course, caused me to conduct yet another Google search under this series. I recognize that the audio-lingual method and other structural methods were supplanted by the communicative methods. Still, I thought some readers might appreciate the following Amazon Customer Reviews that I came across recently:

A-LM Spanish Level Three
(4 stars) Worth a second look on their 50th anniversary – December, 2011 – by Amazon Customer

Audio-Lingual Materials - A-LM... While many students remember the headaches from the heavy headphones, hours of mindless repetition drills, multiple choice tests that were ambivalent at best, I remember a series of textbooks that presented the grammar of 5 languages clearly and succinctly. If you dedicated a modicum of time to the listening comprehension tapes, you could develop a darned good accent, and since the materials in 5 languages were almost mirror images of each other, you could progress from one language to the next with relative ease, becoming not just bilingual but multilingual. The Level Three and Four books offered a wealth of reading materials of a caliber not found in today's modern textbook or classrooms. I think we have a few things to learn from A-LM before we dismiss them on this, their 50th Anniversary.


A-LM French Level 2 Second Edition
(5 Stars) a back to basics French grammar book -- July, 2010 -- by Sandy

I will try and make this review as complete as possible. The A-L-M foreign language series received "a bad rap" over the years because of the memorization aspect (memorizing the dialogs). But on further inspection of the book, one sees that in addition to the memorization piece, there is a wide array of open ended questions, conversation builders, paragraphs, and question/answers. My guess is that the concentration was only on the memorizing, to the detriment of the the other parts of the chapters. What I like about these books is the no-nonsense approach. The pages are not "busy" and overly filled with pictures, themes, and explanations. In this series, the grammar is very clearly explained, with explanations, and many examples to back up the explanations. I used the French 2 with some advanced students, expecting the 4 students to reject the book because it was so plain and simple. The opposite happened. They really liked the clarity of the book, the "drills," and the written work. They stayed away from the dialogs, which are such a small part of the chapters. What is also interesting is that the A-L-M series obviously did not actively break up chapters into "themes" the way more modern series do. And, in book 2, don't look for a "review" chapter. There is none. The 4 book series simply continued where the previous book left off. This is a great addition to to my French book library, and I found myself using the style as an enhancement to my class work. I would not use this exclusively, as I use backwards design in my classes, but sometimes adding a small, simple grammar section was very helpful to me. And having a very clear explanation of grammar points has proven a bonus.
p.s. this series is from the 1960s and early 1970s, so expect some cultural aspects that have changed! (francs, for one) This series is also a "time capsule" for me, and we do discuss the differences over the years, from clothing, to hair styles, to political changes.


PS to peterkendall: Yesterday? It was "only yesterday" that I witnessed the bottom of the television screen being blacked out so as to hide Elvis Presley's gyrating hips from the public. Well, perhaps, it was the day before yesterday.

EDITED:
Typos.
Additional Customer Review.
Tinkering.
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parlezvous
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:06 am
Languages: English (N), French (4 yrs high school), German (beginner), Spanish (beginner), Russian (beginner)
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Re: A-LM Series by Harcourt, Brace & World Center

Postby parlezvous » Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:13 am

The splitting of the Level One books into two parts was to facilitate
their use in junior high school courses. For example, I took the
Level One A-LM French course (1st edition) across 7th and 8th grades,
then Levels Two, Three, and Four in the first three years of high school.
Probably not coincidentally, one of the members of the Advisory Panel
for the series was from my public school system--Fairfax County in Virginia.
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zedxcsc
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:34 am
Languages: English (N), Spanish (advanced), German (advanced),
Italian (beginner)
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Re: A-LM Series by Harcourt, Brace & World Center

Postby zedxcsc » Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:03 am

I took A-LM Spanish Level One thru Level Four in High School between 1964 and 1967. I thought that this method of
learning was amazing. This included trips to the language lab for 4 years. After high school, I self taught A-LM German Level One thru Level Four. Last year, I ordered the A-LM Italian Level One booklets with all 15 records plus the Level Two textbook. I was surprised how similar Italian is to Spanish. It's been rather easy to pick up. I'm almost completed with Level One and ready to start Level Two. I'm trying to find an A-LM Italian Level Three student textbook by Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc. circa 1964. Any assistance in this area would be well appreciated. Thank you.
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brad-alm
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:52 pm
Languages: spanish, french, german, italian
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Re: A-LM Series by Harcourt, Brace & World Center

Postby brad-alm » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:20 pm

I consider myself an "ALM Nerd" in that I know a great deal about the series. I used it throughout middle and high school (197401982)
and learned three languages with the ALM system (Spanish, French, German) as well as a little Russian. I myself have a large collection
of texts from both the first edition (1962-1966) and second edition (1969-1974). I attended secondary school in both Tenafly NJ and
Miami Beach, FL where ALM was being used by both school districts. In the early 1980s they began to phase out ALM in a general
effort to dumb-down school textbooks. It was replaced by another series (also published by HBJ) which was in my opinion inferior.
As a collector of language texts, I subsequently obtained quite a few student text as well as teachers' editions (in which I read the purpose
and pedagogical theory and development of the ALM series). I went on to study foreign languages and philology at Columbia, and then
applied linguistics and language teaching at CU Teachers College. I also studied theoretical aspects such as phonetics/phonology and
morphology and syntax of different languages (including those i studied in school) as well as ESL. I must say honestly that in all of my
university courses in languages, NO textbook has surpassed the system of the ALM program. I have doubts whether I would even have
discovered my latent talent for languages had it NOT been for the ALM series (although my teachers assure me that I would have anyway,
I still have doubts)! If anyone would like background info about the series feel free to message me directly. It may take me a little while to answer as I am NOT AT ALL good at computers!! I was searching for the two ALM texts which I do not
have when I discovered the website and article entitled "A Language Learners Forum: A-LM Series by Harcourt, Brace & World". (The
second edition mentioned above was published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.) I certainly look forward to inquiries and feedback from
those of you who attended school around the same time and used this excellent series! NOTE: If anyone has ALM Italian Level 1 First
Edition or Russian Level 3 First edition I would be interested in purchasing them. Thank you!
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Speakeasy
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2524
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:19 pm
Location: Canada (Montréal region)
Languages: English (N), French (C2). Studying: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Polish, and Russian; all with widely varying degrees of application, enthusiasm, and success.
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Re: A-LM Series by Harcourt, Brace & World Center

Postby Speakeasy » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:04 pm

Welcome to the forum, brad-alm! Thank you for your contribution to this discussion thread. When I read your comments a few days ago, I sent you a “Private Message” concerning your specific request for the Italian and Russian materials. Now then, …

The controls on this forum, which are designed to reduce spamming, prevent newly-registered members from responding to Private Messages. For the controls to be deactivated, new members must post a total of three (3) comments, duly approved by the Moderators. So then, should you wish to respond to the private message, you must post two (2) additional comments somewhere on the forum. They need not be related to the A-LM series, adding or making comments anywhere else on the forum counts.

I will leave the message that I sent you in my “Outbox” until the end of this month. If, at the end of the month, you still haven’t opened it, I will delete it.
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brad-alm
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:52 pm
Languages: spanish, french, german, italian
x 19

Re: A-LM Series by Harcourt, Brace & World Center

Postby brad-alm » Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:58 pm

@speakeasy

Thank you for your message re the Italian and Russian materials. I think it is easier for both of us to forget about
the Italian. I would be interested in obtaining the Russian 3 text whenever you or anyone else might decide to sell it to me.

I am new to using computers and am trying to learn, and will be participating in the forum to discuss both the ALM
series (about which I know a lot) and also other foreign language texts and language learning. I hope to use the
forum to learn more about ALM from those who also used the system and liked it, and also more about how to use
a computer to communicate in the forum. This is the first time I have ever participated in any kind of forum. I am
looking forward to further communication on such related topics.
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dhart52
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2019 5:18 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish
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Re: A-LM Series by Harcourt, Brace & World Center

Postby dhart52 » Thu Oct 31, 2019 5:27 pm

I was first exposed to the Spanish language in around the 3rd grade. The method of instruction was ALM Spanish and what I remember is reel-to-reel tapes and large headphones, with pre-recorded dialogues. There was a lot of repetition, with an emphasis on producing an exact replica of the sounds we heard. I remember a couple of the conversations to this day, and would love to remember the rest more fully. For example, there was one with a line like this: "Chico no se, mama quiere que le acompane a la tienda." I cannot remember the lines before and after that one. (Sorry, I cannot insert the needed accents and tilde). A person on this thread who did so much research mentioned he or she will be making mp3 recordings of the records bought. I would so VERY much love to have access to these. I no longer have a record player and so won't be buying a set of records, though it is good to know they are still around. I did order and purchase the Level 1 Spanish textbook with the hope that when it arrives, the ancient dialogues will be in it.

Though I don't believe I went past Level 1 with ALM, I did continue to study Spanish throughout grade school and high school, and ended up living in a largely Latino neighborhood in NYC for many years. That is where I really began to speak the language. Much later on in life, I returned to school to earn an endorsement to teach Spanish in the public schools where I live. I have always wondered what happened to ALM, and believe my older sister may have had her start in French through ALM as well.
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Speakeasy
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2524
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:19 pm
Location: Canada (Montréal region)
Languages: English (N), French (C2). Studying: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Polish, and Russian; all with widely varying degrees of application, enthusiasm, and success.
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Re: A-LM Series by Harcourt, Brace & World Center

Postby Speakeasy » Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:21 am

Welcome!
Welcome to the forum, dhart52! I look forward to following your comments on what-appears-to-be your renewed interest in studying Spanish. Before responding to your questions concerning the A-LM audio recordings, I would suggest that you familiarize yourself with the following:

Spanish Group
One of several study groups on the forum wherein members share their experiences in studying a specific language, ask questions, et cetera. As of this writing, the file is now 63 pages in length; so, settle in and enjoy yourself.
https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=5035

Spanish Resources
Launched a couple of years ago by the much-regretted member, reineke, this file continues to serve as a point of reference when searching for resources for the study of Spanish.
https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=5377/

Yojik.eu website
Developed about a decade ago, initially to host the U.S. Government’s excellent DLI and FSI language courses, it now hosts the Cortina courses, as well.
https://yojik.eu/

A-LM Materials: Copyright Issues
We might as well deal with this matter right off the bat: all of the Harcourt, Brace & World “A-LM Language Materials” are still under copyright protection. As such, the copying of these materials, the transformation of them into different media, and the sharing and/or publishing them is subject to the express permission of the copyright holder. Just to be clear, I would draw your attention to the following extract from the forum rules governing copyright violations: "Encouraging the use of illegal copyrighted material is also prohibited."

Now then, about four years ago, I wrote what-I-believed-to-be a polite request to the legal staff of Harcourt, Brace & World requesting authorization of (a) my planned digitization the audio recordings which I had in my possession and, (b) the subsequent hosting of these without restriction on the (since then renamed) Yojik.eu website; silence! I waited a few months and re-submitted my request, underscoring my understanding that their staff was quite occupied with more current issues; silence! Following a lapse of an additional 6 months, I submitted an entirely re-written version of my original request. That was four years ago, I’m still awaiting a reply.

To be fair to the publisher’s legal staff, given that there was never any question of my purchasing the copyrights to the A-LM materials and, given that I was not representing the Modern Language Association (M.L.A.), any more than I was one of the numerous American Universities known to have vast language studies faculties, nor was I representing the interests of many American Learned Societies, then there was very little of substance in my request which might be of interest to them.

Despite my lack of success in obtaining permission from the publisher of the A-LM series, I will be asking a local legal firm to prepare a revised version of my request (using the correct legal terminology and phrasing) and will be asking them to submit it to Harcourt, Brace & World on my behalf, on their letterhead, in about a year from now. This will be my final attempt. Only upon receipt of written permission from the publisher would I proceed with my project of digitizing my sets of A-LM audio recordings for their subsequent hosting on the Yojik.eu website.

Possible (Legal) Sources
Modern Language Association (M.L.A.)
In addition to submitting my requests to Harcourt, Brace & World described above, at the same time, I entertained an encouraging exchange of Emails with the staff of the Modern Language Association (M.L.A.) concerning their then-recently-launched project to digitize their vast collection of audio recordings and to render these sound files available freely available to the public. Their Archivist expressed her belief that the M.L.A. collection included a complete physical copy of the A-LM audio recordings. However, as they were then in the initial stages of their project, she requested that they be accorded the time to prepare a Plan of Action for review by the M.L.A. directors and members and, subject to the latter's approval, it would be put it into operation and to brought to fruition, before responding to individual requests for access to materials from members of the public (one can hardly blame them!)

So then, the Modern Language Association (M.L.A.) represents a “possible” (legal) source of the A-LM audio recordings. Given the passage of time, you might wish to check this out and report back to the members of this forum.

American Universities and other American Learned Societies
Many American universities and Learned Societies have large collections of vintage audio recordings to which they may be, or may not be, holders of the copyrights. Of these, many have on-going projects for the digitisation and publication of these materials via the websites, either uniquely or in consort with other institutions. In some cases, access to these materials is restricted to registered students, to alumni, to faculty members and to their staff. Although I find that peculiar world very difficult to navigate, you might try knocking on a few year doors. Should you discover a portal through which the A-LM audio recordings can be accessed, please let us all know!

Recovering Physical Copies of the A-LM Recordings
The “language laboratory” audio recordings were most-often available as large collections of reel-to-reel magnetic tapes. At times, these recordings were available as large sets of 33-1/3 rpm LP vinyl records (I have a set in my possession). As far as I understand, as the audio recording industry (and more particularly the publishers of educational materials) transitioned from reel-to-reel magnetic tapes and sets of 33-1/3 rpm LP vinyl records to audio cassettes and thence to audio compact discs, most of the educational institutions’ “language laboratory” play-back equipment was progressively replaced, the previous equipment having been scrapped. Several commentators on the internet believe that the recorded materials were jettisoned at the same time. In addition, given that the “audio-lingual method” (on which the A-LM courses were based) had fallen out of academic favour, this might have encouraged a number of institutional librarians and archivists to trash the associated recordings. One thing is for sure, physical copies of the A-LM recordings as well as those of numerous other audio-lingual courses are now rare as hen’s teeth!

My Collection of A-LM Recordings
My collection of A-LM recordings presently includes many (but not all) of the Student Practice Records for most of the languages in the series (the Italian and Russian recordings are amongst the rarest and have resisted my attempts at chasing them down). In addition, I have one or two years of the reel-to-reel magnetic tapes for the French or German courses (they’re piled up in boxes in my basement … much to my wife’s chagrin). And, …

My Collection of A-LM SPANISH Recordings
About a month ago, I stumbled upon an offer on eBay for an almost-complete set of the A-LM SPANISH recordings and, of course, I snapped them up! Levels One, Two, Three are complete, whereas Level Four is incomplete. I have the intention (the road to Hell is paved with good intentions) of digitizing these materials for subsequent hosting on the Yojik.eu website. However, as I noted above, such an endeavour will not be launched in the absence of written authorisation to do so by the copyright holders, from Harcourt, Brace & World. I do not see myself embarking on this project before 2021.

Alternative "audio-lingual" Spanish Courses
While you're waiting, you might wish to consider working through the "FSI Spanish Basic" course. It is freely-available via the Yojik.eu website.

EDITED:
Typos, I'm getting worser and worser!
Tinkering.
2 x

Hellfrick
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:12 am
Languages: English (N), Spanish (2 years in high school)
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Re: A-LM Series by Harcourt, Brace & World Center

Postby Hellfrick » Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:28 am

Hi. I'm new to the forum. I'll admit that I'm here more for my mother than for myself. A few years ago, I saw one of these cards, framed in someone's house. The owner didn't know its history, except what is noted in the corners. The card was large, much wider than an LP, perhaps 18 inches wide by 12 inches high. I took this picture and showed my mother. It brought back memories of when she learned Italian in the 60s. (She took a class in college.) I immediately thought of getting her some of these, from the Italian series, and frame them for her.

Can anyone tell me what these cards are from? Were they for schools? Is it possible to find any now? (If there's a better place on this forum to post this, I'd be most grateful to be pointed in the right direction.)

Grazie!
Attachments
A-LM German Level 1 language 3 small copy.jpg
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A-LM German Level 1 language 2 small copy.jpg
A-LM German Level 1 language 2 small copy.jpg (228.08 KiB) Viewed 556 times
A-LM German Level 1 language 1 small copy.jpg
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