Gemuse commenting on Linguaphone Portuguese (first published in 1987) wrote: I went through most of the Linguaphone PT course and I was not happy with it.
1. In the beginning lessons, the audio is just too fast for beginners. I had to supplement it with Hugo Portuguese (I managed to get a used copy of Hugo together with audio).
2. After the beginning lessons, it covers materials too fast without giving the readers enough practice. I would read many constructs but I would not assimilate them. A proper course, covering the same material would have 3x the number of pages…
Two quick comments:
As I remarked in my own review of the Linguaphone Portuguese, this course is very demanding
. However, I was not referring to the cadence of speech. Rather, I found that the manner by which the authors chose to introduce the language was something of a departure from what seems to have become the standard in commercially-prepared language courses (dialogues, exercises, notes). While I cannot quite put my finger on it, the effect almost seems to be that of a “total immersion” course; that is, from the outset, the user really has to “think” in the language. While this means that progress through the lessons will be slower than with competing approaches (viz., Assimil, Cortina, Linguaphone from the 1920’s through the 1970’s), it should result in a higher level of integration of the materials or, so I assume.
Prior to tackling the Linguaphone Portuguese, I had studied Portuguese with a number of other courses. As a result, I was prepared for the cadence of speech. Nevertheless, there are two schools of thought on this aspect; that is, either introduce the spoken language: (1) at a speed that is laboriously slow (viz., Assimil) and, while it increases, it never achieves the conversational speed between native speakers, thereby causing problems of adaptation later, or (b) at a speed which closely resembles that of conversational speed between native speakers (viz., FSI Italian FAST, Linguaphone Portuguese) which risks terrorizing the students who may react by abandoning all efforts at learning the target language. Personally, I would favour an approach which gradually increase the cadence of speech throughout the course, with the dialogues of the final third of the course delivered at a speed resembling that of conversation between native speakers.
Although “double posting” is discouraged on the forum, given Gemuse’s strong reactions to the Linguaphone Portuguese course, I will be inserting a copy of this post into the “General Linguaphone Discussion” thread (Page 10: Linguaphone Portuguese).