General Linguaphone Discussion

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AnthonyLauder
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby AnthonyLauder » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:09 pm

I have a pretty large collection of Linguaphone courses, across all generations. This includes many of the older courses that come with records. While collecting these, I have learned that, in addition to language courses, Linguaphone offered their own gramophone record player.

Perhaps more surprisingly, Linguaphone also sold their own needles, advertised as having special properties for reproducing the spoken voice as opposed to music.

What caught my eye on a recent box of Linguaphone needles on ebay is that each needle was suitable for a mere 20 minutes of playback time. How can that be correct? If it is indeed the case, a language learner would have to use a very large number of these needles to complete a Linguaphone course.

Getting customers on the hook for constantly having to buy more of these needles reminded me a little of the modern subscription service model for language learning products. Linguaphone was, perhaps, ahead of their time in this regard.

Linguaphone Needles.png
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Last edited by AnthonyLauder on Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Speakeasy
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Speakeasy » Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:01 pm

AnthonyLauder wrote: … Getting customers on the hook for constantly having to buy more of these needles reminded me a little of the modern subscription service model for language learning products. Linguaphone was, perhaps, ahead of their time in this regard.
In sales’ jargon, it’s called “creating the need and responding to it” viz. “A common (and frustrating) obstacle for salespeople is creating a sense of urgency with prospective customers … ‘Need to have’ products create urgency. ‘Nice to have’ products get the push off. Which is yours?” (copied from one of hundreds of websites offering advice to professional sales people). Something deep inside is telling me that this concept has been around since the dawn of time.
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Speakeasy
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Speakeasy » Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:54 am

Une occupation idéale, vous dites?
The English expression “double entendre”, which derives from a now obsolete expression in French signifying “double meaning”, might be rendered into contemporary French as “une expression à double sens.” Either way, the notion of a double entendre struck me rather sharply whilst reading the French WWII advertisement, below, presumably conceived (with a Gallic sense of humour) by the Sales and Marketing staff at Linguaphone’s Paris offices … une occupation idéale pour les longues soirées du temps de guerre …
Linguaphone Occupation Idéale.JPG
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EDITED:
Erreurs de frappe.
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Speakeasy
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Speakeasy » Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:02 am

Linguaphone Rapid Esperanto Course
Although Esperanto appears on a list of courses, above, which Linguaphone published during the period 1940’s – 1960’s, there are no references to it on either the HTLAL or the LLORG. Collectors and students of this language might wish to know that there is presently an offer on eBayUK for the “Linguaphone Rapid Esperanto Course” manual. I suggest that aficionados of this language consult the seller’s list of “See other items” as it contains some very interesting materials, indeed!

Linguaphone Rapid Esperanto Course - eBayUK
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Linguaphone-Rapid-Esperanto-Course/264451095670?hash=item3d92837c76:g:580AAOSwWhZdaN52

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Linguaphone Rapid Esperanto 3.jpg
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Speakeasy
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Speakeasy » Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:19 pm

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Ug_Caveman
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Ug_Caveman » Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:49 pm

Elexi wrote:I have most of the blue cover hardback/cassette era second stage courses, so I can confirm they exist.


Going back to this particular topic of discussion - I've managed to find copies of the first/second stage combination briefcase cassette courses for French and German, but nowt for Spanish. Does anyone know if the Spanish second stage course was published during the hardback-and-cassette era, or if it only exists as the edition sold today by Linguaphone?
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Elexi
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Elexi » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:47 am

Anecdotally, based on many hours searching ebay, I would say the Spanish advanced course came later and was not introduced during the baby blue hard cover book era. I might be wrong, though.
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby AnthonyLauder » Sat Oct 26, 2019 1:02 pm

If anybody is interested, there is a rather rare Linguaphone product on Ebay in the UK at the moment:

Linguaphone French and German For Business.

Six books and 30 cassettes, as far as I can tell

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LINGUAPHONE-GERMAN-AND-FRENCH-LANGUAGE-COURSE-FOR-BUSINESS-USE/143422711345
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AnthonyLauder
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby AnthonyLauder » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:21 pm

Another rare find has come up on ebay in the UK, which will appeal to real Linguaphone fans.

The second stage French course comes up rarely, and when it does come up it is almost always the version with blue covers.

This one is the very hard to find Second Stage French, with Russet Covers

So far, there are no bids for the item.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/193194063700
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby reineke » Tue Dec 24, 2019 5:50 pm

Speakeasy wrote:SEASONED USERS OF THE LINGUAPHONE COURSES
As you have already gained a degree of experience in the use of the Linguaphone courses, it is quite understandable that this discussion thread might appear to be of little interest to you. Granted. Nonetheless, this thread represents an opportunity for you to review this presentation, to critique and correct it, and to add your own advice to novice users of these materials. Please, feel at liberty to weigh in!

INTRODUCTION
I received a request for advice on how best to work with the Linguaphone courses. While variants of this question have cropped up a number times on the HTLAL and on the LLORG, owing to the large number of discussion threads in which “Linguaphone” appears as part of the topic titles, sifting through them in search of advice on this particular question is rather problematic. There are a few brief comments filed under the "General Linguaphone Discussion" thread; however, given that our cherished repository of all things Linguaphone now extends to 14 pages, locating the specific discussions on how to use the courses has become something of a chore. So then, with a view to responding to the request that I received, and of providing an opportunity for other members to add their own comments, I have opened a new (separate) discussion thread. In the presentation below, I have attempted to describe how the materials are organized, where I see potential problems, along with some suggestions on how to approach these. As I have not used any of the PDF or electronic editions of the Linguaphone, the information below might not be relevant to digitized versions of the courses which are apparently somewhat easier to use than their printed counterparts.

PRINTED MATERIALS
What’s There
Typically, the now-vintage Linguaphone courses of the 1970’s comprised four printed manuals: Handbook, Course Manua/Textbook, Written Exercises Supplement, and Oral Exercises Supplement. The publisher often included a Study Guide in the form of a slim pamphlet in their new course packages; however, these are frequently absent in used packages.

Economising Their Costs, Not Yours
The manner in which the dialogues, notes, and supplement exercises are spread across four printed manuals is, in my opinion, not necessarily the most efficient from the perspective of the user. A more practical approach would have been to group all of the materials pertaining to a specific lesson (dialogues, notes, exercises) into one unit as is done by numerous publishers of self-instructional language courses. As the total quantity of materials would not have changed, Linguaphone would have had to decide how many volumes should be used to contain them all (one huge volume, two fairly thick volumes, four slim volumes, thirty booklets to be stored in a binder, and so one). I suspect that Linguaphone adopted their manner of spreading the materials across four separate manuals as a means of minimizing/optimizing their costs of printing and inventorying the course manuals. The costs incurred by the user were additional time spent switching between the manuals and a bit of exasperation. Given the prices of the LInguaphone courses at the height of their popularity, the publisher could have, and should have, taken into consideration the needs of their customers.

PRINTED MATERIALS
Course Manual / Textbook
The Course Manual / Textbook, some 230-plus pages in length, contains the dialogues which form the basis for learning the target language. Divided into 30 lessons, it recounts the “story” of an expatriate family’s return to their homeland for an extended vacation, their reconnection with their oldest child who is presently at university and about to become formally engaged to his fiancé, and with other members of their extended family, neighbours and new acquaintances, their search for and establishment in semi-permanent lodgings, the enrolment of their youngest child in a college, and their participation in a wide range of activities which serve as a backdrop for exposing key elements of the language, as well as some local customs, the knowledge of which would be useful to a future visitor to the region. Each lesson is comprised of several short dialogues accompanied by a small number of exercises for which an answer key is available in the appendix. This “story approach”, which is not unique to Linguaphone, provides a sense of continuity and predictability in the progression of the lessons.

Whereas some publishers choose to include line-by-line translations of the dialogues in their course manuals, Linguaphone elected to present their materials in the target language only. While some novice students respond well to this “no translation” approach, others experience it as an obstacle and (incorrectly) interpret the Linguaphone courses as having been conceived for intermediate-level students. They’re not, these are novice-through-to-lower-intermediate courses. The approach adopted by Linguaphone has definite merits, assuming that the independent learner is capable of adapting their preferred learning style to these materials.

PRINTED MATERIALS
Handbook
The Handbook, some 300-plus pages in length, is composed of 30 units, each of which supports a lesson of the Course Manual. Written in the L1 language, each unit presents a brief description of the activities which take place in the corresponding numbered lesson, a glossary of new vocabulary items appearing in the lesson, summary notes on grammar, and a selection complete or partial sentences and phrases drawn from the dialogues accompanied by translations and commentaries. A complete line-by-line translation of the dialogues is not presented. The appendices contain a good, albeit concise, summary of the target language’s grammar plus a bilingual glossary listing all of the roughly 2,000 vocabulary items which appear in the Course Manual.

The Notes (grrrr!)
The notes form something of a “running narrative” on the dialogues, exposing grammatical features and, occasionally, cultural comments. In my opinion, the very manner by which the editors chose to present the L2's grammatical features is confusing, lacks organization, and causes unnecessary problems for the novice user. First, the notes themselves often leave me with the impression that they were written with the needs of someone who already has a good grasp of the L2’s structure in mind.

The Notes (not referenced to the grammar)
Second, these notes frequently make reference to similar notes in previous lessons, notes which are just as opaque as the present ones.
Linguaphone Notes (referencing previous notes).JPG
This “running narrative” renders a clear understanding of the grammatical issues more difficult than it need be. Third, quite often, the notes treat only the immediate grammatical issue which is exposed in the specific phrase (for example, a specific pronoun in a given case) without addressing wider issues (for example, all of the pronouns in that specific case). Compounding this error, the notes do not direct the user’s attention to grammar which is available in the appendix where he will discover an expanded, and decidedly more complete, presentation of the issues at hand.

In my view, Linguaphone would have better served the needs of the novice learner had they adoped the approach used in the Cortina courses. The Cortina courses suggest that the user begin a given lesson by reading specific numbered sections of the summary of grammar which appears in the appendix. This prepares the student for the grammatical issues which will be deployed in a specific lesson. Thereafter, somewhat in the manner of the Linguaphone and Assimil courses, each lesson contains notes (appearing at the bottom of the page in the case of the Cortina courses) which are referenced by number BOTH to the specific entry in the dialogues AND to the summary of grammar in the appendix. This provides the novice learner with an opportunity to review all of the materials pertaining to a specific (and wider) point of grammar. In contrast, the user of the Linguaphone course notes is left in the dark of the wider issues (unless he as an excellent memory, can extrapolate without error as to associated issues, or can make the connection between the specific issue and the summary of grammar without need of assistance).

In my opinion, these aspects of the Linguaphone notes lack efficiency and effectiveness and make the course materials appear both harder and more advanced than they really are. It is for this reason that many novice users (incorrectly) view the Linguaphone courses as having been conceived for intermediate-level students.

The Notes (Look Elsewhere?)
So then, how should one compensate for what-are-from-my-perspective poorly organized notes? I have frequently suggested that a novice user of these courses purchase a “simple grammar”, become notionally familiar with manner in which the information is organized, read through the chapter on the conjugation of verbs in the present tense, read through the chapter on cases (without attempting to digest everything or becoming an expert on the subject), and then put the book aside for consultation as required. In retrospect, the summary of grammar which is available in the appendix could serve the same purpose. Nevertheless, a number of “simple grammars” are more approachable, the series “English Grammar for Students of XXX” comes to mind. I would be pleased to hear from other members who have experience with the Linguaphone courses, particularly as I am simply unsure about my own advice.

The Notes (Help!)
All well and good! It is of little comfort to the novice to suggest that they should consult a grammar as required. How can the novice determine “which” sections of a grammar should be consulted if the Linguaphone notes, themselves, are rather opaque and, at most, reference previous notes which also lack clarity? I am sorry to say that this is not at all evident to the novice. All I can suggest is that the user read through the available notes for “clues” as to the “wider grammatical issues” (pronouns, prepositions, cases, adjectives, verb conjugations, et cetera), consult the appropriate sections of the grammar, attempt to develop a solid understanding of what the notes were attempting to reveal, and try to see how the issue at hand might be deployed in other sections of the dialogues. Ya, I know, this is not an easy task! Should other members having experience with the Linguaphone courses actually make it down to this section, they are invited to provide their own advice!!!

The Notes (suggestion)
Okay, while you’re awaiting advice from other members, here is a suggestion. First, as Linguaphone hasn’t helped you, you’ll have to help yourself. Now then, assuming that you have been able to establish a link between the Linguaphone notes and the grammar in the appendix, you might consider creating a reference between the two in the manner that the Cortina provides the users of their courses. That is, as you come across issues of grammar which you believe might require reinforcement, simply write (in pencil) a numbered reference (of your own design) in the margins of the Handbook, linking the specific notes back to the specific (already numbered) sections of the grammar in appendix. Bob’s your uncle!

PRINTED MATERIALS
Written Exercises Supplement
Of some 120-odd pages the Written Exercises Supplement contains 30 units of written exercises, keyed to the Course Manual/Textbook, which are to be completed once the user has worked through the dialogues and the accompany notes in the Handbook. The exercises themselves, as well as the answer key which is located in the appendix, appear in the target language only.

Oral Exercises Supplement
The 250-odd paged Oral Exercises Supplement contains 30 units of written exercises, keyed to the Course Manual/Textbook, which are to be completed once the user has worked through the dialogues and the accompany notes in the Handbook. The exercises themselves, which resemble sentence-pattern drills frequently encountered in courses based on the audio-lingual method (viz., FSI/DLI courses), as well as the answer key which is located in the appendix, appear in the target language only.
Linguaphone Oral Exercises.JPG


So?
The major problems that I encountered in using these supplements were the cursory instructions for their use and a lack of any sense of how these exercises were linked to the dialogues, the notes, and the overall programme of instruction. They’re just there! Do them! But, why? How are the connected to the programme of study? What I am supposed to be learning?

After having struggled through a couple of Linguaphone courses, I came to the realization that these exercises were designed to reinforce specific elements of the language's structure which are not highlighted either in the dialogues or in the notes. They seem like an afterthought. The editors missed an opportunity to assist their students by not including a brief explanation at the beginning of each exercise set; such as: “This set of exercises demonstrates (1) how ‘x’ conjunctions are used to introduce subordinate clauses, and (2) the word-order which must be used in such clauses. Please refer to: (a) Grammar, Section ‘a.1’, and (b) page xxx, line yyy of dialogue.” Doing so would have been so simple and it would have dispelled a lot of mystery!

A novice Linguaphone user a may have to review the dialogues and the supplemental exercises several times before determining how the two are linked one to another. There is such a link, I assure you! Furthermore, it is worth the effort of tracking down the phrases where these structural issues appear in the dialogues, of reviewing the underlying grammatical issues, and of completing the exercises (several times in the case of the oral exercises). In addition, users might consider creating a numbered reference (written in pencil) between the exercises and the corresponding sections of the grammar in the index.

RECORDED MATERIALS
Main Dialogues: Course Manual / Textbook
When the now-vintage Linguaphone courses first appeared, the audio recordings of the dialogues were presented once and once only. I am not sure when, or for what reasons, but it would appear that Linguaphone decided to “expand” the audio recordings of the dialogues. The manner in which the "expanded" audio recordings are sequenced can be perplexing for the novice user, causing him to wonder how best to work with them.

The audio recordings present the dialogues in the sequence as they appear in the Course Manual / Textbook. The native-speakers delivery is clear and articulate and the cadence speech proceeds at a leisurely pace. Although there are no pauses for repetition, one can easily use the "pause" option on one's playback device to stop the recording temporarily and move on when prepared to do so. At this stage, coordinating the audio recordings with the printed texts presents no problems whatsoever.

Thereafter, "expanded, incomplete extracts" of the dialogues appear in the audio recordings. Although there are no instructions on how these additional (repeated) recordings are to used, as they include pauses, I would imagine that the publisher included them as “practice dialogues” in support of the main dialogues. From my perspective, as these recordings were not prepared to support the textbook as originally published, their unanticipated presence seems rather sporadic and unpredictable and, initially at least, renders the task of coordinating them with the printed texts an unnecessarily confusing challenge, particularly for the novice user.

While there does seem to be a discernible "pattern" in the selection of which portions of the dialogues are repeated, I find these (incomplete) extracts of little value. Nothing new is presented to the user, apart from the insertion of the occasional pause. In my view, working with the “practice dialogues” only reduces one’s exposure to the “complete dialogues" which appear at the beginning of the the audio recordings for each lesson. My advice? Just work with the “complete dialogues” and forget about their incomplete repetitions.

Frankly, I suspect that the insertion of these “practice dialogues” in the audio recordings was nothing more than a cheap (in every sense of the word) ploy on the part of the publisher to give the impression that they had "augmented" their already-ageing courses. But, then again, it is in my nature to be sceptical!

RECORDED MATERIALS
Oral Exercises Supplement
In many cases, the Oral Exercises were developed several years subsequent to the publication of the first edition of the corresponding Course Manual/Textbook materials as were the associated audio recordings which are often distributed across a separate set of audio cassettes, compact disks or, now (I presume) sets of mp3 files. As such, they exist separate-and-apart from the main audio recordings of the Linguaphone courses. It is up to each user to decide how they wish to work with these recordings. For example, with a view to facilitating their use on my Sony Walkman MP3 Player, I chose to digitize the audio recordings and classify them in a manner such that they form part of a “unit” representing one lesson. Whatever method you choose, coordinating the audio recordings with the corresponding Oral Exercises Manual represents no difficulties whatsoever.

LINGUAPHONE VERSUS …
Dispelling a Myth (Maybe)
As mentioned a couple of times above, some novice language-learners develop the impression that the Linguaphone courses are “harder” and “more advanced” than those of many of their competitors such as Assimil, Cortina, Living Language Ultimate, and many others. What might be the sources of such a notion? A quick comparison between the typical Linguaphone lesson and those of Assimil might teach us something.

Quantity of Materials per Lesson
Whereas the Linguaphone courses referenced above are divided into 30 lessons, those of Assimil are separated into nominally 100 lessons. The physical dimensions of the Linguaphone course manuals are approximately twice those of the Assimil course books. The font size and density of text are reasonably similar. Both contain drawings which add little of value to the lesson materials. In addition, the Linguaphone lessons terminate with one or two exercises/games of negligible pedagogical value which take up an additional page or two in the main course manual.

Putting aside the drawings and the end-of-lesson exercises, the typical Linguaphone lesson contains about 4 pages of dialogues, 10 pages of notes and commentary, and 10 pages of written and oral exercises including their answer keys, for a total 24 pages. In contrast, the typical Assimil lesson, putting aside the drawings, contains no more than 5 pages of dialogues, translations (absent in Linguaphone), exercises, and notes. Taking into consideration the dimensional differences of the printed materials, the typical Linguaphone lesson contains about 10 times the textual information of the typical Assimil lesson. If the difference turns out to be only 8 times, we should not quibble; the difference in the quantity of materials is still appreciable.

These large differences in the quantity of materials per lesson lead some novice learners to conclude (erroneously) that the Linguaphone courses are “harder” than those of Assimil. Similar comparisons with the materials of many other courses would lead to the same (incorrect) conclusion.

Avoiding Indigestion
To avoid feelings of indigestion which might be brought on by working through a Linguaphone lesson, simply separate the dialogues (particularly the main dialogue) into smaller segments. More specifically, I would suggest that the student read and listen to the entire main/introductory dialogue a couple of times so as to develop a level of familiarity with the vocabulary and the rhythm of the language. Then, break the introductory dialogue down into smaller parts for more detailed analysis and practice and, having done so, review the entire dialogue a few times. The subsequent dialogues are often of shorter duration and should be practiced individually. Having developed a level of comfort with the dialogues, move on to the supplemental materials. There’s no need to rush! Bear in mind that it will require time to read through all of the notes and to develop a good appreciation of the grammatical issues. Given that each Linguaphone lesson contains roughly 8 to 10 times more printed materials than a typical Assimil lesson, it would be reasonable to spend significantly more time working through a Linguaphone lesson.

Translations and Notes
As do many publishers of self-instructional language courses, the dialogues in the Assimil courses are accompanied by line-by-line translations. In addition, the Assimil courses contain notes which, in my experience, suffer somewhat from the same problem as those of Linguaphone; that is, the notes often leave me with the impression that they were written to meet the needs of someone who already has a good grasp of the L2’s structure. As for the Linguaphone courses, the notes are not referenced to the summary of grammar located in the appendix which, in my opinion, is so cursory as to be of little use to the novice.

In contrast, the Linguaphone Handbooks present extracts drawn from the dialogues (not complete line-by-line repetitions of the dialogues) for which partial translations, commentaries, and lengthy notes are provided. I have already commented, above, on the Linguaphone notes.

In my opinion, the notes of both the Linguaphone courses and those of Assimil are problematic. Those of the Cortina and Living Language Ultimate / Living Language Spoken World courses are vastly superior in that they present the structure of the language without ambiguity. Nevertheless, there are definitely differences of “approach” between the Linguaphone courses and those which present line-by-line translations of the dialogues and these differences can influence the novice student’s appraisal of the “relative difficulty” of the two courses.

Comparisons of “approach” are complicated by (with my apologies to those amongst you who see no problems with the Linguaphone course) the appalling-to-me nature of the Linguaphone notes. That is, do the differences in approach lead some novice students to conclude that the Linguaphone courses are “harder” than those of Assimil, or does the nature of the notes themselves adversely influence the student’s perception of the approach? Hard to say! Either way, in my view, both approaches are quite valid in and of themselves. Furthermore, it would be difficult for me, in the context of this presentation, to argue the superiority (in terms of effectiveness) of one approach over the other. It is suffice to say that some novice students react more favourably to the Assimil courses than they do to those of Linguaphone.

So?
It seems to me that the Linguaphone courses present very roughly the same amount of new vocabulary, approximately the same quantity of dialogues, and cover the same issues of grammar to the same depth as do the Assimil courses. However, the Linguaphone courses separate these materials into 30 lengthy lessons whereas the Assimil courses spread the materials over 100 much shorter lessons. In addition, the Linguaphone courses present a significantly greater quantity of supplementary exercise materials which are not available in the Assimil courses. I suspect that these differences in sheer quantity-of-materials-per-lesson adversely influence some novice students appraisal of the relative difficulty of studying with the two courses.

Likewise, the differences in “approach” could have a significant influence on how a novice student views the Linguaphone and the Assimil courses (or those of many other publishers). Are the Linguaphone courses “truly” more difficult? In my opinion, they are not. Nevertheless, I will confess that, many years ago, when I began studying German and was working simultaneously with the Assimil, Cortina, FSI, Linguaphone, and Living Language Ultimate courses, I felt that the Linguaphone courses were more difficult than the others. In retrospect, I no longer think so. But, who am I to say?

SO, NOW WHAT DO I DO?
Good question! Now that I have (hopefully) demystified the Linguaphone materials, I would recommend that the novice user approach them as they would any other set of self-instructional language materials. Work through the dialogues until you are comfortable with the materials, read through the notes and work your way towards a fairly sound but not necessarily perfect grasp of the underlying grammatical issues, complete the written and oral exercises. Take a break. Start on the next lesson. And most of all, do not give up!

WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE
Here is a selection of previous discussions that I have been able to locate on the HTLAL. There must be (many) others.

How best to use Linguaphone German - HTLAL - July 2013
http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=31485&PN=16&TPN=2

Linguaphone Start Time + Completion Time - HTLAL - September 2012
http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=33773&PN=29

Pace with Linguaphone? - HTLAL - June 2010
http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=21227&PN=68

SEASONED USERS OF THE LINGUAPHONE COURSES
To reiterate then, as you have already gained a degree of experience in the use of the Linguaphone courses, it is quite understandable that this discussion thread will have been of little interest to you. Granted. Nonetheless, this thread represents an opportunity for you to review this presentation (if you got this far, you just did), to critique and correct it, and to add your own advice to novice users of these materials. Now is the time to jump in. Jump all over me if you wish, but please contribute to the discussion by adding your own advice.

...
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