Assimil workbooks for false beginners

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Stefan
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Assimil workbooks for false beginners

Postby Stefan » Wed Aug 17, 2016 5:33 pm

I couldn't find anything about this but a few months ago Assimil released workbooks:
This easy-to-use workbook has been designed specifically for false beginners. It includes 170-230 fun-filled exercises (with answers) which follow a logical progression. You will be able to self-access your level at the end of each chapter. Every aspect of the language has been covered, including grammar, spelling, vocabulary, syntax, pronunciation and accentuation. Tasks include: matching, fill the blanks, find the odd one, unscrambling exercises, crosswords, riddles and more.

They seem a bit thin (4-6 pages per subject) but I've found it for $14 with free shipping which I guess isn't bad for a book. The main question is how useful a workbook really is now when you can find hundreds, if not thousands, of free exercises online.

Released languages so far:

- French (9782700507119)
- German (9782700507133)
- Spanish (9782700507140)

There are no previews but the author of the french book (Estelle Demontrond-Box) published a photo:

Image
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Re: Assimil workbooks for false beginners

Postby aokoye » Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:56 pm

I've been wondering about those as well. They actually have them for Japanese, German, Spanish, French, Arabic, Korean, English, Italian, Portuguese, Mandarin, and Russian. All of them are available from a French base but four of them, Spanish, French, German, and Japanese, are available from an English base. You can find the whole collection on their website. I am curious as to the layout of the book - that is what sorts of exercises are in them. There are a ton of exercise books out there for German, Spanish, and French but far far fewer workbooks for Japanese grammar.
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Re: Assimil workbooks for false beginners

Postby ilmari » Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:00 pm

I had a look at them in bookshops, but never bought any. They seem to be well-made written exercise books, but not much different than other ones you can find on the market, and personally I am not a great fan of this kind of grammar-only exercise books with no voice recording. But if you like this approach, the Assimil booklets may be worth having a look at. Just note they are not connected to their standard courses. These are stand-alone books.
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Re: Assimil workbooks for false beginners

Postby mercutio » Sat Sep 03, 2016 11:11 am

Shame there's no official samples to see inside

Would be curious if these are better than the "practice makes perfect" series
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Re: Assimil workbooks for false beginners

Postby mercutio » Thu Sep 08, 2016 6:37 pm

I bought one and already i like it more than practice makes perfect series books, its more colourful, more fun, more kooky, more assimil kooky, good little features like spiral bound and a book marker, just more fun and interesting and stimulating
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Re: Assimil workbooks for false beginners

Postby Stefan » Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:46 pm

I had to buy another book and ended up picking this as well to get above free shipping. Figured that I'd rather buy this for an additional $7 than spend money on a shipping fee. I'm not sure what I'm allowed to show but thought I could write down what's included in a chapter.

Chapter 4: The simple past

x) Introduction to the simple past (half a page).
- Complete the table with the simple past forms of bauen and sagen
- Complete the table with the simple past forms of laufen and lügen
- Complete the table with the correct verb forms (infinitive -> simple past)
- Complete the table with the correct simple past forms.
x) Some spelling and pronunciation tips.
- Conjugate the following verbs in the simple past in the person indicated.
- Derive the infinitive from these nouns and then translate them
x) Info on special cases.
- Complete these sentences with rennen, nennen, etc.
- Give the third-person singular simple past and past participle of these verbs.
x) Info on when to use als, wenn and wann.
- Complete these sentences with als, wenn or wann.
- Translate these clauses introduced by als.
x) Info on asking and giving time.
- Write out these times with nach/vor and then with the 24-clock.
- Circle the correct response.
x) Info on saying yesterday, today and tomorrow.
- Translate these time phrases.
- Translate the following words to fill in the crossword.
x) Self assessment.

Here's the German content

Image

I got it today so I've only skimmed the book but it seems fairly comprehensive. Some answers are simple to figure out from the introduction but others give you no help whatsoever. In chapter 13, you're told that there's no definitive rule for loanwords and then you're supposed to write down der/die/das for 14 new words such as Informatik and SMS.

It highlights one of the issues with traditional workbooks. You're recommended to go back and redo exercises but it's difficult to erase written answers. I really wish Assimil would include some kind of digital product such as pdf/flashcards so you could study them. Obviously it's like buying a car and then complain that it doesn't fly but my point is that there's room for improvement.

I reckon it works well both as a quick summary of the language and as a self assessment test for false beginners. It's tempting to go from one course to another to make sure that you know everything but it's probably wiser to go through a book like this and figure out exactly what you need to improve. I lack experience of similar workbooks so I can't really grade it.

I wouldn't mind another 200 pages but maybe it would lose its uniqueness and just become a workbook among others.
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Re: Assimil workbooks for false beginners

Postby aokoye » Sat Jan 21, 2017 3:08 am

Stefan wrote:It highlights one of the issues with traditional workbooks. You're recommended to go back and redo exercises but it's difficult to erase written answers. I really wish Assimil would include some kind of digital product such as pdf/flashcards so you could study them. Obviously it's like buying a car and then complain that it doesn't fly but my point is that there's room for improvement.

And this is just one reason why I don't write in my books. It's a simple (and perhaps obvious) way to mitigate the issue you stated above. That said I also don't write in any sort of textbook, with very few exceptions, so writing out answers on a separate sheet of paper isn't hard for me to grapple with.

That said thanks for the brief review. I haven't gotten a chance to look at the books though I think Powells bookstore has them. Though I don't need any more grammar books for German and I need to not start another language until, at the earliest, this Fall (unless I plan a quick trip to France while I'm in Europe this Summer but that's somewhat doubtful).
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Re: Assimil workbooks for false beginners

Postby arthaey » Sat Jan 21, 2017 4:49 am

aokoye wrote:I think Powells bookstore has them

:drive-by salivating over Powell's: ;)
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Re: Assimil workbooks for false beginners

Postby aokoye » Sat Jan 21, 2017 6:17 am

arthaey wrote:
aokoye wrote:I think Powells bookstore has them

:drive-by salivating over Powell's: ;)

You're in Seattle - you could even literally drive by and salivate ;) (or drive, park, and spend five hours there)
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Re: Assimil workbooks for false beginners

Postby arthaey » Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:07 pm

aokoye wrote:
arthaey wrote:
aokoye wrote:I think Powells bookstore has them

:drive-by salivating over Powell's: ;)

You're in Seattle - you could even literally drive by and salivate ;) (or drive, park, and spend five hours there)

If you think I don't do that from time to time, you would be mistaken. ;) My brother-in-law lives in Portland now… and sometimes I even stop by to see him while visiting Powell's. :P
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