By Published On: March 27th, 2023Categories: Assimil Posts, Review

Assimil Using French Review

Assimil Using French is a language learning course designed to help learners improve their French language skills. In this review, we’ll explore the course content and methodology to give you an informed understanding of the course and its effectiveness. Assimil recommends that you have a good intermediate knowledge of French, and a vocabulary of roughly 500 words in order to do this course.

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.  Assimil is a popular language learning method that uses a combination of listening, reading, and speaking exercises to help learners acquire a new language. Many people have had success with the Assimil method and find it to be an effective way to learn a new language.

With Ease vs Using series

Assimil offers two main series for language learners: the Assimil With Ease series (nowadays Assimil seems to be dropping the ‘With Ease’ and is bringing out courses with just the language name i.e. Assimil French) and the Assimil Using (Perfectionnement) series.

The Assimil With Ease series is designed for beginners and provides a step-by-step approach to language learning, starting with basic vocabulary and grammar and gradually building up to more complex language structures. The series uses a combination of audio recordings, dialogues, and exercises to help learners develop their language skills in a natural and intuitive way. The Assimil With Ease series is available in numerous base languages and target languages, including French, Spanish, German, Italian and many more.

On the other hand, the Assimil Using series is designed for intermediate to advanced learners who already have a solid foundation in the language. The series provides more in-depth and specialised content, such as discussions on specific topics, authentic texts, and advanced grammar structures. The Assimil Using series is ideal for learners who want to deepen their knowledge of the language and achieve a higher level of proficiency. The series is also available in a variety of languages however not to the extent of the ‘With Ease series’

Table of Contents

Using French contains 70 lessons with 350 pages in total. While there are fewer lessons in Using French the lessons tend to be longer than in the Assimil French base course.

  • Introduction
  • Lessons 1 to 70 (pages 1-336)
  • Irregular verbs (pages 340-350)


Image of a page from lesson 26 of Assimil Using French language learning book featuring a French language lesson with a dialogue between two people, accompanied by English translation and notes.


Similarly to what I said in my Assimil French review, the 1998 edition of Assimil French and 1985 ed. of Using French (by the same author) feel dated, especially when reading either in 2023. And whilst, to some the 80s and 90s might only feel like yesterday, it’s interesting to see how the language has changed, even in a ‘controlled’ language like French (see here for more). The world has also changed a lot since then, along with technology. It would be great to see Assimil give the ‘Using French’ course an update to make it more relevant in today’s world.

Exercises / Grammar Explanations

If you have already completed the ‘French with ease’ course or any other Assimil course then you will be familiar with the concept as there is no change. Each lesson in the course includes two types of exercises: a translation exercise where sentences are translated from French to English, and a fill-in-the-blank exercise. If you are after a course that has a lot of challenging grammar exercises and tests then Using French will probably not meet your needs and you will be better off getting something else.

The grammar explanations are provided as notes following the dialogue, referencing specific parts of the dialogue as needed. Every seventh lesson includes a review, which reinforces grammatical concepts and vocabulary from the previous six lessons and may include a translation dialogue.


The Audio quality is good, like most of the Assimil courses.  Because it’s an older course I have only seen it in a super pack with 4 CD’s plus 1 CD mp3.  The audio starts off quite slow in the beginning but then steadily speeds up to a more natural native pace.

I did also find the page to buy only the audio (download) via the Assimil website.


Pricing will also depend on where you live and whether you can find it, as Using French is an older course it is reasonably easy to find it second-hand.  As I mentioned in the Audio section above, I have only seen Using French for sale as either the book by itself or in a Superpack that comes with 4 Cds + 1 Mp3 CD.  Assimil no longer sells the Using French book or Superpack on their website, so the best place to look is online booksellers or places like Amazon. It’s still possible to buy the audio from Assimil (in downloadable format) but at €49,90 it’s a pretty hefty price and you can probably find it cheaper elsewhere.

Book –  Used  ~ €10-24 (Amazon)
Super Pack –  Book + USB stick + 4 CDs. ~€60-100 (Amazon)
Audio Only – Downloadable (via Assimil website) — €49,90

ISBN 9782700501094


Assimil Using French is a language learning course that provides a comprehensive approach to learning French. Whilst the course was first published in 1985 and the language used may feel slightly dated, it still offers a solid foundation in the French language and is worth considering for anyone looking to improve their language skills. While it may not be the most up-to-date resource available, its affordable price point (if you can find it cheap new or used!) and valuable content make it a worthwhile investment for anyone looking to improve their French.

In addition to the above, it’s important to note that while Assimil Using French offers a comprehensive approach to language learning, the course’s claim to take learners to a C1 level in the French language may not be entirely accurate. While the course provides learners with a strong foundation in the language, achieving a C1 level of proficiency requires a significant amount of practice, exposure to the language, and immersion in the culture, which is impossible to fit in a small book of only 360 pages.  While Assimil Using French may help learners achieve a solid intermediate level of proficiency in the language, additional resources and practice are necessary (in my opinion) to reach C1.

Overall, Assimil Using French can be a valuable resource for French learners, but it’s important to be aware of its limitations and to supplement your learning with additional resources to achieve a higher level of proficiency in the language. Whether you’re a low-intermediate or an upper-intermediate learner, Assimil Using French can help you develop your French language skills and achieve your language learning goals. Therefore, if you can find it cheap I still think it’s worth picking up.

If you want to learn more about how to use Assimil then check out how to use Assimil