General Linguaphone Discussion

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eido
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby eido » Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:45 pm

I found this in the version I'm considering using online.
You can now make yourself easily understood when you speak it; your accent is good and you have a sufficient vocabulary for all the ordinary needs of daily life. Moreover, you will have no difficulty in understanding the language when others speak it, and can converse fluently with natives and enjoy the broadcasts from foreign stations. Most thrilling of all, perhaps, you are well-fitted to set out on a voyage of exploration in the literature of the language you have mastered.

I don't know if I'd be able to read books after 50 lessons, but I suppose it would be possible to read news articles. The language at the end of the program looks pretty advanced. Reading Morgana's post was certainly helpful. If any of you would like to share about how effective you thought this course was, I'd like to hear (read) it - either here or through PM. Thank you for your input and insight.
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Speakeasy
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Speakeasy » Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:06 pm

Levels Achievable with Self-Study Language Course Materials
The questions of whether or not intermediate/advanced materials exist for the independent study of foreign languages, and what levels can be achieved with them, have been discussed a number of times in the HTLAL and in the LLORG.

As neumanc reminds us, many (most) publishers over-state the possibilities of their language courses, using terms such as “Intermediate, Advanced, Expert, Mastering, and Fluent” with wild abandon. The mere fact that a self-study course presents a particular grammatical concept in a dialogue is no guarantee that the student will be able to manipulate this concept of the target language with a high level of fluency in the real world. Furthermore, without wishing to derail the Linguaphone thread, I would submit that, despite the exaggerated claims of the publishers, achieving a CEFR B2 level relying solely on such materials represents a goal that is, for all practical purposes, unachievable.

The only second-stage materials for independent learners that I have ever come across are as shown below. Please note carefully that my attribution of B2 is “theoretical”; that is, while a portion of the materials presented in these self-study courses may cover issues that are also addressed in reputable university-level upper-intermediate courses, there is no guarantee that the repetition of these materials will actually lead the independent leaner to the B2 level.

Assimil
First-stage courses: A2-B1
Second-stage courses: B1+ ... B2?

Living Language Ultimate
First-stage courses: A2-B1
Second-stage courses: B1+ ... B2?

Linguaphone
First-stage courses: A2-B1
Second-stage courses: B1+ ... B2?

Combination: Assimil, Living Language, Linguaphone
Second-stage courses: B1++++ ... B2?

I did this with both German and Spanish and I am not quite convinced that it was a fruitful exercise. Yes, covering all three of these courses did reinforce my lower-intermediate skills, but doing so did not move me any closer to the upper-intermediate level. At some point, we simply have to remove the training wheels and get into the traffic; that is, we have to move on to native materials.

I have not come across any other "genuine" attempts by publishers at marketing intermediate-level materials for the independent study of foreign languages. I agree with neumanc that there are no advanced-level materials specifically designed for independent learners.

EDITED:
Tinkering (OCD).
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Speakeasy
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Speakeasy » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:32 pm

Midsummer 2018 - News from Linguaphone, U.K.
I received an Email from Linguaphone, U.K. earlier today containing information that fans of these long-in-the-tooth language courses might appreciate knowing:

Price Discount of 50% Continues
The price discount of 50% continues, whereas prices for refurbished courses are somewhat lower. I checked the Linguaphone U.S.A. website and, while their 90% price discount is still in effect, many of the items are sold out.

Transition to Digital Versions?
The Email that I received announced the availability of downloadable digitized version of Linguaphone’s French Complete (Beginner to Advanced) course, suitable for computers, tablets, and smart phones. The price is £99.95 which is a little more than a third of the regular price for the printed/CD editions which are still available. Although unstated in the Email, I would imagine that this announcement implies a slow transition to digital versions for the complete/advanced courses for other languages in their catalogue.

Replacement Manuals, CDs, Early Editions (?)
From time-to-time, some forum members have expressed an interest in purchasing replacement manuals, audio recordings, or even early editions the source of which is most often eBay and the like. As evidenced by their latest Email and their website, it would appear that Linguaphone is now in a position to supply such materials. I would imagine that the course manuals are soft-covered print-on-demand versions and not the hard-covered versions of the past.

Email
Linguaphone Replacement Materials 1.PNG
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Website
Linguaphone Replacement Materials 2.PNG
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EXITED:
Typos, of course.
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Andy E
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Andy E » Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:04 pm

Speakeasy wrote:Transition to Digital Versions?
The Email that I received announced the availability of downloadable digitized version of Linguaphone’s French Complete (Beginner to Advanced) course, suitable for computers, tablets, and smart phones. The price is £99.95 which is a little more than a third of the regular price for the printed/CD editions which are still available. Although unstated in the Email, I would imagine that this announcement implies a slow transition to digital versions for the complete/adv

I'd noticed this the other day (Spanish is also available).

This whole thread has brought back fond memories of these courses - I have the French on cassette and the Spanish one on CD - both of those are early 70s and I well remember borrowing other older Linguaphone courses from the library. They were the only items that you could borrow for three months at a time and they weren't out on the shelves but had to be requested from the main desk.

I'm thinking about purchasing the second-stage Spanish course. I wouldn't pay full-price for it but at the current sale price I may take a punt.
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Φιλόσοφος
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Φιλόσοφος » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:26 pm

Speakeasy wrote:Replacement Manuals, CDs, Early Editions (?)
From time-to-time, some forum members have expressed an interest in purchasing replacement manuals, audio recordings, or even early editions the source of which is most often eBay and the like. As evidenced by their latest Email and their website, it would appear that Linguaphone is now in a position to supply such materials. I would imagine that the course manuals are soft-covered print-on-demand versions and not the hard-covered versions of the past.

Email
Linguaphone Replacement Materials 1.PNG


Website
Linguaphone Replacement Materials 2.PNG


EXITED:
Typos, of course.


Do you have a link to the specific page where this is offered? I was not able to find it. Although my Linguaphone collection is almost complete, the ability to obtain old rare and out-of-print courses would be fantastic for newer learners as they are generally great.
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Speakeasy
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Speakeasy » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:33 am

Replacement Manuals, CDs, Early Editions (?)

Φιλόσοφος wrote: ... Do you have a link to the specific page where this is offered? I was not able to find it ...
It is quite reasonable to assume that Linguaphone would display their offer of providing replacement materials and early editions in some clearly-marked, centralized place on the Home Page of their website, particularly as this offer would seem to apply to all of the languages in their catalogue over the past 50 years. Well, no, they imbedded the Query Form in the individual pages for each language. So then, …

Home Page
Go to the Home Page and select a language for which you wish to submit an query concerning replacement materials or early editions (actually, it doesn’t matter which language you choose as they all seem to contain the same query function).
Linguaphone Replacement Materials 3.PNG
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Scroll Down to the Bottom of the Page
To locate the query function, scroll down to the bottom of the page.
Linguaphone Replacement Materials 2.PNG
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Submit Your Request
I recommend that you compose your request in some other part of your device and, when you are satisfied with what you have written, that you copy/paste your request into the space provided (Language & Comments)


Keep a Copy of your Request
Earlier today, I submitted a request to Linguaphone and, as you can see from the Query Form, I provided my Email address. Curiously, I did not receive the habitual automated Email copy of my request. So then, I suggest that you keep a copy of your request in the event that, following a reasonable delay, you not receive a reply and should you wish to "relaunch" your request.

EDITED:
Tinkering with the text.
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Speakeasy
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Speakeasy » Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:49 pm

Linguaphone PDQ Incarnations
As there has been very little discussion, either here on the LLORG or on the HTLAL, of the “Linguaphone PDQ Courses”, I thought that a few comments might be order, particularly in light of this product’s numerous incarnations including the recent repackaging of these materials as the “Linguaphone eLearning Online Course”, circa 2017. A number of years ago, I purchased the Linguaphone Complete courses from Linguaphone U.S.A. for the FIGS languages and received, as a bonsus, the corresponding Linguaphone PDQ courses; hence my familiarity with the series.

Name Variants
I am not quite sure in which year the series first appeared. Nevertheless, as Linguaphone continued to reprint the original course manuals throughout the years, based on the hair styles and clothing of the actors who modelled for the full colour photographs which appear in the course manuals, coupled with the fact that the original series included audio cassettes rather than CDs, I would guess that the series first appeared in the late 1980’s or in the early 1990’s. My searches suggest that variants were published under the titles listed below (which might be slightly out of sequence):

Linguaphone Fast Lane
Linguaphone Travel Pack
Linguaphone In Action*
Linguaphone PDQ
Linguaphone eLearning Online* (refer to final section)

PDQ 1.PNG
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PDQ 2.PNG
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Materials
Materials have included: (a) for the physical versions, one course manual (guide book) and either four audio cassettes or four CDs, and (b) for the electronic/computerized* versions, either one CD-ROM or online access to the course via Linguaphone’s website.

Languages
As far as I can tell, the original series covered the conventional FIGS languages; that is, French, Italian, German, Spanish, and that other languages were subsequently included in the PDQ series as Arabic, Chinese Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Thai, and Turkish. At present, the "online eLearning" series includes the FIGS languages only.

Course Description
The series is, for all practical purposes, a somewhat-expanded phrase book designed to meet the minimal communication needs of a short-term traveller to a region where the target language predominates. The usual themes are covered: Greetings, Hotels, Restaurants, Shopping, Minor Emergencies, and the like. As might be expended, a minimal “transactional” vocabulary of barely 200 words is introduced along with some stock phrases for use in predictable situations without any attempt at explaining the grammatical issues involved.

In my view, the “expansion” of the phrase book style was conceived so as to provide a form of interaction or practice with the materials which are themselves rather limited. That is, the fact that the materials include four audio CDs should not be taken as an indication that the course approaches the depth of coverage of the Assimil courses or even that of the Routledge Colloquial courses, for that matter.

The course manual, which is printed on high-quality, heavy, glossy paper, is approximately 65 pages in length, inclusive of a brief glossary in the appendix. The texts, which include situational dialogues, are accompanied by information in block/tabular form and by numerous coloured photographs meant to engage the student and to help him visualize himself in situ. Regrettably, the actual placement of the information (the words, phrases, and dialogues) on the pages is somewhat confusing and difficult to follow both as reading material and in conjunction with the audio recordings. By way of comparison, I have a copy of what-I-believe-to-be Linguaphone’s “ill-fated redesign” of their French and Spanish courses from the early 2000’s (which member Elexi has likened to the Berlitz method) and, quite frankly, I think that they really dropped the ball with this approach.

The audio recordings contain a mixture of (a) English instructions and explanations, (b) words, phrases, and dialogues in the target language, and (c) music which announces the beginning and ending of lessons and parts of lessons. As expected, the target language recordings were prepared by voice-trained professionals. Their speech is clear, highly-articulated, at a speed somewhat slower than that of normal conversation amongst native-speakers, but easily understood by a beginning students. The English instructions and explanations are, to my way of thinking, utterly superfluous as they do nothing more than repeat the written instructions and, worse still, inject unnecessary sound tracks amongst those of the target language which the user must either listen to or find a means of avoiding by using the FastForward features of his playback device. In addition, and I fully admit that this is purely a matter of personal taste, the English speaker’s voice is so irritatingly “cheery” that it truly grates on my nerves. Added to the mixture is the totally unnecessary triumphal, stately, martial music (played on a cheap, late 1980’s-era synthesizer) reminiscent of the musical scores of the late-1940’s black-and-white “costume dramas” the plots of which turned on the clever roturier’s efforts to thwart the evil duke in this attempts at seducing the beautiful princess and thereby illegitimately assume sovereignty over the latter’s beloved and adoring folk.

Following a “description” like that, I do not feel the need to provide an "evaluation."

Linguaphone eLearning Online
Last fall, while surfing the Linguaphone U.K. website, and having some money to burn, I purchased a subscription to the “Linguaphone German eLearning Online Course”, a decision which I subsequently regretted. I had hoped that this course might represent an entirely new approach to teaching German or that it might at the very least provide dialogues and audio recordings with which I was not already familiar. Well, no, the course files are drawn directly from those of the "Linguaphone German PDQ Course" and, worse still, the onscreen presentation is PDA … Pretty Darned Amateurish. Added to the insult is that the subscription, for which the regular price is 39£, is valid for 6 months only, whereas the publisher offers a PDF/MP3 download of the original course for a regular price of 25£. Grrr!!! Just thought that ya’ll might wanna’ know about this.
5 Linguaphone German eLearning online.PNG
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EDITED:
Typos, of course!
Additional images
Last edited by Speakeasy on Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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eido
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby eido » Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:32 pm

Not related to the above post, but I'm looking into purchasing some older Linguaphone courses and trying my hand at them. There's a site I found that sells digital copies of some of the rarer ones like Hindi, Welsh, and Malay, but they only seem to come with the course book and the handbook, as well as the audio files. Isn't there a couple other books that are supposed to go with them? Where are some good sites to purchase these older courses, if there are any? Does anyone know about the Japanese and Korean courses? Do they teach with full on syllabaries/alphabets or do they romanize?
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Speakeasy
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Speakeasy » Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:05 pm

Hello, eido.

Linguaphone Course Manuals
My understanding is that the Linguaphone "complete" courses dating from the 1950's included (a) one course manual containing the texts of the dialogues, and (b) a handbook containing the notes to the lessons, a glossary and, occasionally, a summary of grammar. The courses dating from the 1970's included the foregoing manuals plus (c) a manual of written exercises. In the mid-1970's, Linguaphone added to the aforementioned materials (d) a manual of spoken exercises / sentence-pattern drills similar to those used in the FSI (audio-lingual) courses for a number of languages (German, French, Spanish, and possibly one other). Thus, it is likely that the courses to which you are referring are complete as to the number of manuals.

Sources of Vintage Linguaphone Courses
As far as I understand, Linguaphone continues to be the legal holder of the copyrights to their course materials or at least to those materials dating as far back as the 1950's. As I reported above, Linguaphone, in their Summer 2018 communiquée, announced their willingness to sell reprinted copies of their older course manuals and audio recordings for their courses going as far back as 50 years.

I believe that I am aware of the website to which you are referring. From what I understand, there are legal issues concerning their offer to sell digitized versions of the older Linguaphone courses. As a reminder, the Forum Rules governing copyrighted materials state, in part: "The administrators of this website will not tolerate the illegal distribution or links to the illegal distribution of copyrighted material. Encouraging the use of illegal copyrighted material is also prohibited."

Texts in Target Language (Romanised?)
My understanding is that the Linguaphone course manuals (the texts accompanying the audio recordings) are in the target language language only. Unfortunately, I cannot answer your specific question concerning Romanised Japanese, et cetera; however, I am sure that another member will be along shortly with a definitive answer.

EDITED:
Tinkering.
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eido
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby eido » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:16 pm

Thanks for the info.

I didn't link the website or encourage the buying of illegal material, so I think I'm safe.

I'll have to investigate their website to see about their reprints. I thought they were only willing to sell to you if you had bought something already but were missing something, and would provide you only what you needed. I guess I misunderstood the post.

EDIT: I followed your directions, @Speakeasy, and I contacted Linguaphone. I asked them about the courses I'm interested in. Let's see if they respond. I will update you on what they say if they do.
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