What is Assimil ? Assimil is a France based publishing company that specialises in publishing foreign language courses. Created by Alphonse Chérel in 1929, the company has grown into a household name in France, however outside it isn’t nearly as well-known.
The Method ? The assimil method is based on Intuitive Assimilation which was created by Alphonse Chéral. The method consists of working your way through the first half of the course known as the passive phase, during which you immerse yourself in the language simply by reading and repeating each lesson. Once you’ve completed the passive phase you move onto the active phase where you go back over the previous lessons while continuing learning the new lessons. The whole process of Assimil is meant to mimic the natural process of how we learn our mother tongue.
Table of contents : The book contains 113 lessons and includes a Grammatical reference and Vocabulary finder at the end.
Layout : The layout of the book is similar to a parallel text, you have the target language on the left and the L1 on the right. The lessons follow a uniform approach comprising of :
- Notes – usually explaining grammar points
- Translation exercises translate L2 into L1
- Fill in the blank exercise.
- There is a revision lesson every seventh lesson which goes over various grammar points and expressions that were introduced in the previous lessons.
The image below shows the layout for the first lesson.
Have a listen to the audio below:
I was really impressed with the audio that came with this book. Nowadays audio for a lot of courses out there are unnecessarily filled with English, Assimil gets straight to the point with quality recordings purely in French. The speakers at first speak slowly and as the course progresses they speed up to a more natural pace. You can also get the course with an MP3 CD which breaks up the audio even more and allows you to listen to the dialogue line by line.
Assimil New French With Ease is a good course, not great but good. The dialogues are good and provide a lot of information about life in France and the culture. However some can be a tad random. The method wasn’t my cup of tea, I preferred to alter it to my style of learning. In my opinion the audio is the real star of this course. One major gripe I have with the course is that it states after finishing you will have reached a level equivalent to B2 (upper intermediate), I certainly didn’t have that level after finishing this book.
65,90 € – Book + Mp3 CD or CD.
24,90 € – Book
Overall a good course, if you like learning from dialogues and having a light approach to grammar when it comes to learning then this course is for you.