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Language learning series video reviews

  Tags: Linguaphone | Video
 Language Learning Forum : Lessons in Polyglottery Post Reply
64 messages over 8 pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next >>
United States
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 Message 1 of 64
16 March 2008 at 7:40pm | IP Logged 
I am embarking upon a series of video reviews of those foreign language learning series that I have found most useful in my own language acquisition. In so doing, I am also attempting to demonstrate the fact that, across the board, language courses were more sophisticated and had richer content in the past, for few phenomena better document the general mental decline of societal dumbing-down than the systematic dilution of self-instructional language courses. .

The whole point of making these videos is to show you the pages of the texts, and in filming, I have focused upon them with triple magnification so they should be clear and legible on a full screen. If the “higher resolution” option is not available on YouTube, you can try adding “&fmt=18” directly to the end of the URL to get it.

If you find the information that I provide on these videos helpful, I recommend that you pause often to look at the text, availing yourself of the "zoom" feature to examine the pages.

The series consists of:
Teach Yourself Books (TYS)
FSI (Barron's Mastering)
Spoken Language Services (SLS)
Living Language
Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL)
Made Simple
Kauderwelsch, usw.
L'Harmattan et L'Asiathèque

Summary and Conclusions:
Paradigms of Language Learning
Classroom Foreign Language Teaching
Foreign Language Learning with Tutors
Foreign Language Learning without a method
Audio-only foreign language methods
Computerized foreign language learning
Typologies of foreign language manuals and student learning styles
Selecting Self-Study Foreign Language Materials
Spanish French Italian German

Edited by ProfArguelles on 16 January 2009 at 4:28pm

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New Zealand
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 Message 2 of 64
19 March 2008 at 5:31pm | IP Logged 
Good news: the video has finally appeared. I shall comment fully later, but I am frothing at the mouth at that mighty Assimil collection!

I was totally surprised at your edition of Russisch ohne Mühe, which I had always assumed looked something like this 1975 course and have been contemplating purchasing. Is this in fact an even older edition? The version shown in this video looks more like what is labelled on as their 514-page, "2004" release (or re-release?) and but only with cassettes. I e-mailed them a few weeks ago about it, but they were unable to provide further information as to whether the author of the course was Vladimir Dronov (even though the most recent edition has a different cover) or J. Bratousse/B. Balakhonov. If the recommended course is indeed the one in the second link, that is quite a relief and I will be able to purchase it brand new from Amazon directly.

Thank you for the videos!

Edited by Fränzi on 20 March 2008 at 4:18pm

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 Message 3 of 64
19 March 2008 at 5:55pm | IP Logged 
I must also say the first 30 seconds of this video made my jaw drop! I had always assumed that Assimil was updated through reworking an older version to reflect more modern usage. However, this video has clearly shown that the content is quite different, and the fact that a new version has come out almost every decade is clearly not long enough for a language to have changed -that- much. Therefore, I must seriously reconsider searching for older versions of the courses. Thank you for this insight, Professor.
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 Message 4 of 64
20 March 2008 at 9:47am | IP Logged 
Quick tip: If you lower your screen resolution the youtube videos will appear much larger to you, and you won't chop out half the video like when you zoom in.

For the not-so computer savvy (you guys should be fine, but just in case), to lower your resolution:

- Right click on your desktop background.
- Click "Properties".
- Click the "Settings" tab.
- Move the "screen resolution" bar to the left, and click "OK".

If you want to change it back, repeat the above steps but move the "screen resolution" bar to the right before clicking "OK".

Edited by Walshy on 20 March 2008 at 9:52am

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 Message 5 of 64
20 March 2008 at 11:11am | IP Logged 
I watched it with interest, and I must say that my own Assimil collection looks very pale in comparison.

I have a few questions though. Were there any instances where a newer version surpassed the previous editions in terms of quality? I'm asking with the 2004 L'Allemand in mind. It has some 700 pages, but I cannot compare it with Le nouvel Allemand sans peine.

I also noticed that you own different language versions of the same course. Do they vary in quality, or do you own them out of interest? Perhaps it is to be able to compare the grammar points geared at speakers of different languages?
I noticed many typos in Polish editions, but they might as well be present in others. Also, some sentences that are on the recordings are not in the texts. I wonder if that is the case elsewhere.

I'm interested to see the Linguaphone review.

Jakub W.

Edited by Kubelek on 20 March 2008 at 11:14am

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United States
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 Message 6 of 64
21 March 2008 at 3:29pm | IP Logged 
Thank you Professor Arguelles. That is a very interesting view into the four generations of Assimil and it is now more clear to me what you meant when you said there was a general diminution of the quality of language learning courses over the past several decades.

Edited by luke on 22 March 2008 at 6:09am

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 Message 7 of 64
21 March 2008 at 3:38pm | IP Logged 
This link states that the Arabic version of Assimil is not that good. Why is that?

Rewiew of Assimil by John McWhorter
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Russian Federation
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 Message 8 of 64
21 March 2008 at 5:13pm | IP Logged 
As far as I remember, this was discussed here a couple of times, and the problem with Assimil Arabic is the very unnatural speed of speech in it.

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