General Linguaphone Discussion

All about language programs, courses, websites and other learning resources
User avatar
eido
Blue Belt
Posts: 586
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:31 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (B1), dabbling in others
x 897

Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby eido » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:12 pm

I got an email back. Some courses are available and some aren't according to the guy who communicated with me.
The price is £139.95 each + £7.90 for courier delivery to a UK address (if outside UK, it may be slightly more expensive to send)

I hope that helps somebody.
3 x

Skynet
Orange Belt
Posts: 184
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:37 pm
Location: Cyprus
Languages: BILINGUAL: Shona & English
PURSUING: French (B2?), German (A0)
ILLITERATE: Farsi Persian (listening, speaking)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=8686
x 393

Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Skynet » Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:49 pm

My experience with Linguaphone French 1950 (50 lessons) and 1971 (30 lessons).

I did both editions simultaneously during my recently-ended 6 week sprint and thought that my feedback would be helpful to those who are considering using LP for French. Before I begin, let me stress that I was not learning French for the first time, but was rebooting it after an eleven year, post-IGCSE hiatus.

I would view both editions as being excellent, with a preference for the 1950 edition because of the following:

1. The 1950 version has short, easy-to-follow lessons that do not strain one's attention. The notes are excellent at explaining the grammar (yes, I am a grammar pedant :lol: ), vocabulary and the cultural context in which colloquialisms are used. (In comparison, the 1971 ed has 30 long lessons divided into 3 sections. My OCD I could not help myself from wondering WHY LP would have three sections that are not equal in length? Why an uneven number? Who would go through 1 or 2 sections in a lesson and know that they left another section (or two) in the lesson incomplete?)
2. When LP created the 1950 version, it made all language courses in the same era the same. Ie, lesson 23 in French would be the same in Spanish, German, etc. This makes learning subsequent languages an absolute delight!
3. The LP 1950 course felt more comprehensive than the 1971 one, despite the former having taken me a shorter time to complete than the latter. LP 1950 is better for someone doing a language challenge than LP 1971.

One gripe that I do have with LP is the number of books that the courses come with. I would rather have two voluminous books, than four smaller books any day. I would have preferred it if they had adopted the Assimil method and had translations and grammar notes on an adjacent page (and not in other books!).

Using Assimil FWOT as the benchmark (ie, 10/10), I would give LP 1950 9/10 and LP 1971 8/10. (For reference's sake, Living Language Ultimate: Beginner-Intermediate gets 7/10 and Assimil NFWE gets 8.5/10.)

Would I use LP for learning subsequent languages? ABSOLUTELY! I have already bought editions for ten other languages!
4 x

Speakeasy
Brown Belt
Posts: 1447
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.
x 3772

Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Speakeasy » Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:38 pm

Skynet, thank you very much for your thoughtful review of the Linguaphone French courses from the 1950’s and 1970’s.

I suspect that many users would agree that Linguaphone’s practice of spreading their lesson materials, explanatory notes, and written and oral exercises across up to four separate books is bothersome. A more practical approach would have been to integrate all of the appropriate elements within each of the successive lessons, as is often done by many other publishers of home-study language courses. While it could be argued that, by separating the materials into distinct manuals, Linguaphone provided the student with an enhanced opportunity of concentrating solely on the target language, I suspect that their decision was based more on pragmatic reasons than pedagogical ones. That is, by grouping the elements into four separate manuals -- only one of which contained information in the learner’s language -- Linguaphone was able to lower their production and inventory costs.

In the event that this information might be of interest you, I have provided below a brief summary of the different “generations” of the Linguaphone courses which member Elexi posted on the HTLAL a few years ago:

"There are 4 generations of Linguaphone courses - all except the 1920s and 2000s courses split the native language bookl from the grammar and vocabulary book.

1. 1920s-1940s - Each of the 30 lessons are based around a picture and is split into 2 - The first part is a description of a common scenario set out in the picture (dining, shopping, travelling, etc) and then the second part is a dialogue on that scene. After this there is a grammar summary. Starts with a upper middle class family in a living room and then moves on the various scenarios. The 1920s courses have the vocabulary in the margins in small print like the modern Think Spanish/French/Italian online pdf magazine.

2. 1950s-1960s - Similar to above (i.e. a partial picture/direct method) The idea is to infer the vocabulary from the picutres before looking at the grammar/vocabulary book. Uses more colloquial language. The lessons are paired so that Lesson 1 is a descriptive monologue describing a family sitting room and then Lesson 2 is a conversation within that living room, etc (for this reason, I don't agree it is like a wordlist method - the first lesson of the pair introduces the vocabulary in context but the second lesson applies it to conversation). The audio to each lesson is about 2 minutes long. All courses in this era have the same format (50 lessons) and almost exactly the same 'base' text - so apparently polyglots can compare courses of the same language family.

3. 1970s-1990s (and with the exception of French and Spanish these are the ones still sold by Linguaphone). These books have a 30 lesson format with about 6 minutes of dialogue audio plus 6 minutes of exercise audio that follow the trip of a native speaking family who are holidaying in the home country after living abroad (e.g. the French family are Parisians but they work in Quebec, the German family work in Brazil). The course is divided into 3-4 books (dialogues, grammar and vocabulary, written exercises and from the 80s FSI like drills were added). Each lesson is divided into 3 parts - a) a monologue from one of the characters, b) a conversation section where a number of characters speak to each other and a c) disconnected section that illustrates the points being taught in the lesson.

There are some variations here - for example the Danish, Dutch course and Latin American Spanish courses don't follow this format exactly.

4. 2000s - for French and Spanish only - these following the 'communicative' approach like the modern Berlitz or BBC 'tourist' courses (not the phrase books). So instead of a narrative or a dialogue you have basically common functions like saying hello, ordering a meal. It is also heavily interspersed with English. The Oxford Take Off series is smaller and takes you further in my opinion.

There is also a French and German 'for Business' series from the 70s and 80s which is more like FSI-lite than anything else consisting of a dialogue and drills. This course came with a tape deck that lets you record your voice in the right channel to shadow the left channel of the cassette."
3 x

Skynet
Orange Belt
Posts: 184
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:37 pm
Location: Cyprus
Languages: BILINGUAL: Shona & English
PURSUING: French (B2?), German (A0)
ILLITERATE: Farsi Persian (listening, speaking)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=8686
x 393

Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Skynet » Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:03 pm

Speakeasy wrote:Skynet, thank you very much for your thoughtful review of the Linguaphone French courses from the 1950’s and 1970’s.

Most welcome!

Speakeasy wrote: A more practical approach would have been to integrate all of the appropriate elements within each of the successive lessons, as is often done by many other publishers of home-study language courses.

Living Language Ultimate executed this reasonably well. However, if LLU had made a course that was as detailed as LP's, LLU books would come in sizes that would rival Encyclopedia Britannica. Whilst you certainly can't have everything you would want in a single course (ie, despite LP's book-nado, LP is still a better course than LLU), you can absolutely hoard get several different courses to embark on your language journey.

Speakeasy wrote: ...Linguaphone was able to lower their production and inventory costs.

Sigh, it saddens me that language learning publishers are not altruistic in their business decisions. :(

Speakeasy wrote: In the event that this information might be of interest you, I have provided below a brief summary of the different “generations” of the Linguaphone courses...

Thank-you so much! :)

Initiating Smaug-esque language course hoarding protocol...
0 x

Elexi
Orange Belt
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:39 pm
Languages: English (N), French (B1), German (A2), Latin (eternal beginner), Dutch (Aspires to find the time).
x 449

Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Elexi » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:05 pm

'Initiating Smaug-esque language course hoarding protocol...'

A few of us have done that already - I can assure you that sleeping on piles of old 78 records, broken audio cassette boxes and breathing in book dust from other people's attics becomes comfortable after a while. Although, I would recommend a very large attic or basement to store the language stuff in.
6 x

Cavesa
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2877
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:46 am
Languages: Czech (N), English (C1), French (C2), Spanish (intermediate), German (somewhere on the path), Italian (passive advanced, active basic)
x 8076

Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Cavesa » Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:03 pm

Elexi wrote:'Initiating Smaug-esque language course hoarding protocol...'

A few of us have done that already - I can assure you that sleeping on piles of old 78 records, broken audio cassette boxes and breathing in book dust from other people's attics becomes comfortable after a while. Although, I would recommend a very large attic or basement to store the language stuff in.


And beware of the hobbits. Cave hobbitorum! (is the Latin ok?). You never know when they're gonna steal your Precious books.


Now a serious question: Are the early courses in public domain? And would they be worth getting?
2 x

User avatar
Zegpoddle
White Belt
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:29 am
Location: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Languages: English (N), rusty French and German (formerly B2 in each), Russian (beginner), Mandarin Chinese (beginner)
x 138

Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Zegpoddle » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:30 am

The last time I visited Linguaphone's UK website, they were offering their courses in digital download format. (Goodbye to those cute little suitcases that their courses used to be packaged in.) However, I'm not sure which is worse: trying to keep your place in three different books open at the same time on the table in front of you, or having to constantly click back and forth among three different open windows on your computer (plus whatever audio application you use to listen to the mp3 files) to follow the lesson.
3 x
---------------
Burn the politeness. After the paunch comes the dance.
(José da Fonseca and Pedro Carolinho, English As She Is Spoke, 1855)

Skynet
Orange Belt
Posts: 184
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:37 pm
Location: Cyprus
Languages: BILINGUAL: Shona & English
PURSUING: French (B2?), German (A0)
ILLITERATE: Farsi Persian (listening, speaking)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=8686
x 393

Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Skynet » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:56 am

Elexi wrote:
'Initiating Smaug-esque language course hoarding protocol...'


A few of us have done that already - I can assure you that sleeping on piles of old 78 records, broken audio cassette boxes and breathing in book dust from other people's attics becomes comfortable after a while. Although, I would recommend a very large attic or basement to store the language stuff in.


I am a student in a foreign country and have now bought 2nd and 3rd generation editions for French, German, Russian, Spanish, MSA and Danish; 2nd generations for Spoken Egyptian, Hindi, Norwegian and Italian; and 3rd generation editions for Swedish, Hebrew and Portuguese. I don't have the space to store them, so I am keeping everything (except German and French) at a friend's house. I simply can't take them with me, so I will have to digitise all of them! Fortunately, our school library offers these services.

Cavesa wrote: Now a serious question: Are the early courses in public domain? And would they be worth getting?

I have 2nd (1950s/1960s) and 3rd (1970s) generation books. The 1st generation (1920s/1930s) might be in public domain, but I have never seen them on any online retailer. I am concerned that this generation may be extinct in the wild. The 2nd generation (based on my use of the French course) is better than the 3rd generation.
1 x

Elexi
Orange Belt
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:39 pm
Languages: English (N), French (B1), German (A2), Latin (eternal beginner), Dutch (Aspires to find the time).
x 449

Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Elexi » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:32 pm

Digitising Linguaphone courses is the way forward (i.e. scanning them to PDF) - I worked through the German course last year and found having the two books open in a PDF reader on my Ipad was no problem.

Having used lots of Linguaphone courses, I disagree with your assertion that the 2nd generation is better than the 3rd generation - especially the French course. I found the 3rd edition French course to be 'the special course' that exceeded all others at its level - in terms of the language, the conversations and the method. The 2nd generation was just a bit of a word list slog for me. But as its all subjective I am sure we can agree to disagree :D

As to the first edition - I have most of them, at least for European languages - but digitising lots of 78s is fruitless work when the language is so old fashioned.
3 x

Skynet
Orange Belt
Posts: 184
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:37 pm
Location: Cyprus
Languages: BILINGUAL: Shona & English
PURSUING: French (B2?), German (A0)
ILLITERATE: Farsi Persian (listening, speaking)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=8686
x 393

Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Skynet » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:47 pm

Elexi wrote:Digitising Linguaphone courses is the way forward (i.e. scanning them to PDF) - I worked through the German course last year and found having the two books open in a PDF reader on my Ipad was no problem.

I am quite nostalgic about books, and prefer to read physical copies. Yes, Kindles and their e-ink are good imitations of books, but nothing can ever replace the feel and sound of turning a page. Now, before I am looked upon as a pariah, I will acknowledge that this is the only option that I have as shipping tonnes of books is unrealistic.

Elexi wrote:Having used lots of Linguaphone courses, I disagree with your assertion that the 2nd generation is better than the 3rd generation - especially the French course. I found the 3rd edition French course to be 'the special course' that exceeded all others at its level - in terms of the language, the conversations and the method. The 2nd generation was just a bit of a word list slog for me. But as its all subjective I am sure we can agree to disagree :D

Well, I have an OCD, so the best that I could come up was:
"In comparison, the 1971 ed has 30 long lessons divided into 3 sections. My OCD I could not help myself from wondering WHY LP would have three sections that are not equal in length? Why an uneven number? Who would go through 1 or 2 sections in a lesson and know that they left another section (or two) in the lesson incomplete?"

Seriously though, those lessons were just too long, and that family was not the most exciting one to follow. I do not think that the character development and side-plots were as enthralling and well executed as LP 1950. Paul Delon was particularly insufferable! :roll:

Elexi wrote:The 2nd generation was just a bit of a word list slog for me.

Agreed. LP 1950 did exactly what a course is meant to do: flood your mind with as much vocab, grammar, and conversational use in the absolute shortest amount of time as possible. I will admit that I was in a mad rush to finish 28 courses in 6 weeks, which is why I found LP 1971 to be "too much" to deal with in a rush. Let me take this opportunity to reiterate how long those lessons were! It didn't help that the lessons were boring (although not as bad as FSI).

Please feel free to share your thoughts in detail.

Elexi wrote: As to the first edition - I have most of them, at least for European languages - but digitising lots of 78s is fruitless work when the language is so old fashioned.

Please tell me that the copyright protection has lapsed on these? Where/how did you find them????? :o :o :o :o :o Perhaps some people would think that I am a rustic troglodyte, but I am certain that a language learner would be competent enough to distinguish between dated- and current speech. I would want the future generation to know and experience these things. Wouldn't you want the next generation to known German Gothic script (and its derivatives , Textualis, Schwabacher, Fraktur & Cursiva) and old German typefaces (Kanzlei-, Kurrentschrift and Sütterlin)? As you can see, I am trying hard to induce some semblance of nostalgia in you...C'mon! Throw a dog a bone here! :lol: :lol: :lol:
3 x


Return to “Language Programs and Resources”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bex and 1 guest