The Great Courses: Language Lectures Series

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Lianne
Green Belt
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Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:29 pm
Location: Canada
Languages: Speaks: English (N)
Actively studying: French (low int), Italian (beginner)
Dabbling in: ASL (beginner)
Wish list: Swedish, Esperanto, Klingon, Brazilian Portuguese
Has also dabbled in: German, Spanish, toki pona, Swahili
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?t=12275
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Re: The Great Courses: Language Lectures Series

Postby Lianne » Mon Nov 18, 2019 4:57 am

My public library recently got access to the Great Courses through Kanopy. And they don't even count towards your monthly Kanopy credits! So if your public library has Kanopy I recommend checking to see whether they have the subscription the Great Courses.

I started watching one on Ancient Mesopotamia, and the content was very interesting, but I am really incapable of absorbing information in lecture form. I may try again, perhaps while knitting? I kept falling asleep, so knitting would prevent that problem at least.
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: 2 / 100 French SC (Books)
: 4 / 100 French SC (Films)
: 1 / 50 Italian Half SC (Books)
: 3 / 50 Italian Half SC (Films)

: 377 / 2500 Reading 2500 pages of French in 2020 (updated June 5)

Pronouns: she/her

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kanewai
Blue Belt
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Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 9:10 pm
Location: Honolulu
Languages: Native: English
Current: French, Italian, Spanish
Past: Indonesian, Pááfang (Micronesian), Latin, Arabic, Epic Greek, German, Turkish
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Re: The Great Courses: Language Lectures Series

Postby kanewai » Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:01 am

Speakeasy wrote:Review of the Great Courses “Learning German” course.

Who Would This Course Appeal To?
Generally speaking, the Great Courses videos series offer viewers a minimally-informative, entertaining, and reassuring overview of a given subject of general cultural or historical interest (viz., yes, the subject matter is reputably difficult to grasp, but you can understand it). They are designed for a general audience, the members of which do not wish to feel over-taxed by a detailed, comprehensive, in-depth presentation requiring both their active participation and a great deal of personal application. The publisher’s “Learning German” course reflects this approach.

The notions gained in this course would provide a valuable foundation for someone seeking to explore the German language in greater depth. Users will have “broken the ice” and will have lowered possible feelings of anxiety as to their perceived inability to learn foreign languages. The knowledge gained in this course and the newly-acquired self-confidence should not be discounted: users of this programme would be prime candidates for a more comprehensive programme such as a combination of Pimsleur and Assimil.
This sounds like the kind of program I would recommend to friends who've been intimidated by Pimsleur and Assmil, but who are also convinced that they speak x almost like a native because they finished a DuoLingo tree.
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Super Challenge Reading:
Spanish: 18 / 100
French: 14 / 100
Italian: 7 / 100

Speakeasy
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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: The Great Courses: Language Lectures Series

Postby Speakeasy » Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:36 am

kanewai wrote: ... This sounds like the kind of program I would recommend to friends who've been intimidated by Pimsleur and Assmil, but who are also convinced that they speak x almost like a native because they finished a DuoLingo tree.
Pretty much sums it up! Still, I noticed that there is an employment opportunity at N.A.S.A.
Employment Opportunity at NASA.JPG
Employment Opportunity at NASA.JPG (21.95 KiB) Viewed 333 times

I have submitted my application and am convinced that I will invited to sit job interview. In preparation, I intend viewing the Great Courses lectures on "Understanding the Quantum World."
Understanding the Quantum World.JPG
Understanding the Quantum World.JPG (33.82 KiB) Viewed 333 times

Having just watched the free Demo, I'm confident that I'll be offered the job.
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kanewai
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Languages: Native: English
Current: French, Italian, Spanish
Past: Indonesian, Pááfang (Micronesian), Latin, Arabic, Epic Greek, German, Turkish
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Re: The Great Courses: Language Lectures Series

Postby kanewai » Wed May 20, 2020 9:55 am

I've been collecting the Great Courses over the years as the prices dropped (currently German, for example, is $50 US). Take this as a mini-review adjunct to Speakeasy's original post.

Learning French and Learning Spanish - I'm at an intermediate level in both, but still make too many mistakes. I thought that a review of the basics would be helpful, and so picked these two up. And while I enjoyed them at first, they were honestly too basic - my mind would drift off and I would lose focus. This isn't a critic of the courses, so much as I need help at the intermediate level. Conclusion: these courses don't work as a 'review and consolidation' course.

Greek 101 - I restarted Greek a few weeks ago, and it is exactly what I needed. In the past I made it through about half of the classic Clyde Pharr Homeric Greek course, and finished one round of Assimil's Le Grec (passive only). I am not a complete beginner, but felt like I forgot almost everything within a month or two of pausing in my studies. This time I thought I would do it right, and really focus on memorizing vocabulary, declensions, and conjugations. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Great Courses follows Pharr (as updated by Pharr and Dunbar)

There are a lot of exercises, and my current pace is to watch one video lecture, and then work through the accompanying exercises over the course of a day or two. The pdf that comes with the course contains all the vocabulary, lessons, and exercises. The discussion isn't as complete as the Pharr discussions were. In general, though, I love love love having a classroom lecture followed by homework.

I also forgot how much sheer nerd joy I get out of having to translate sentences like: The horrible roar of the sea was pleasing to the soul of the beautiful goddess.

Learning German - I've reached Lesson 50 of Assimil German, and was struggling. I like the course a lot, but need something more structured to move ahead. I need drills, and verb charts, and declension charts. It's not that I like them per se, but that I think I need them. Something structured ... like Greek 101. I resisted for a while, but after spending three days on one Assimil lesson I gave in. I just started Learning German, so I don't have a solid opinion yet, but I suspect that it will make an excellent counterpart to Assimil. I don't like doing multiple courses at once, so my plan is to return to Assimil once I'm done with the Great Courses.

This got me thinking about where I'd put Great Courses in my mental constellation of course-types. So far, I'd place it at the best of the traditional introductory courses like Living Language and Teach Yourself. This opinion, of course, is subject to change!
4 x
Super Challenge Reading:
Spanish: 18 / 100
French: 14 / 100
Italian: 7 / 100


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