Last week, a colleague from Spain said that he has just started learning French using Assimil French course. He said that his wife has used it few years back to gain conversational fluency in French in about 6 months. I checked it out and wow, what a great course. I am already doing the course in Babbel.com as part of my 2-week trial and also doing the courses in LiveMocha.com with the 1-year subscription I have purchased. However, I was so impressed with this course that I decided to start it immediately instead of Livemocha.com’s courses.
This course had almost all the things I expected:
- Real-life dialogue as a way to introduce the language rather than loose words and phrases that you have to memorize. I am a fan of learning vocabulary in natural contexts as it works so well and is stress-free.
- Very high-quality and impressive audio recording where the speakers talk in a way that makes it possible for complete beginners like me to get it
- The lessons are kept at a reasonable length. There are about 10 phrases in each lesson and the audio runs for 2 minutes. So, I get enough material to challenge my mind, but not so much to completely overwhelm me.
- There is a pronunciation guide which explains how the words should be pronounced. Even though the audio is available, having the pronunciation guide is so good, as it makes it crystal clear on what sounds are being produced. When I hear a French phrase, I may not be able to completely get all the sounds and stretches correct – this guide really fills this gap.
- The audios are funny – you end up laughing when you listen to it multiple times. Also, there is a rhythm in the way the speakers talk which also makes it sound better. I listened to the audio so many times, but it is not boring.
- Grammar is introduced slowly in bits and pieces after you have already encountered at least a few samples of the usages of the rules that are talked about.
- There are many notes which throw light on the French language and its usage.
Overall, I am very impressed with Assimil and hence I have switched to this course fully as I have completed the stage 1 course in Babbel.com as part of my 2-week trial of Babbel.com.