About Assimil Italian Method.
Assimil courses tend to be more popular in Europe since they are being released by French based company. If we would compare Assimil to other language learning courses, it can be said that its teaching approach is quite different. This is mainly because Assimil introduces new language in full sentences & dialogues and it doesn’t try to divide it into smaller parts. This way learners are able to notice patterns in a new language on their own. This approach is useful, because Italian words are not being taken out of context. Additionally learners are able to see how this language is being used in full conversations. Of course, this also means that it might take more time to learn essential Italian words and phrases.
One of the most popular courses offered by Assimil for Italian learners is called Italian With Ease. This particular course contains 4 audio CD’s (~3 hours of recorded material) and one book (105 lessons). Each lesson of Assimil contains a short dialogue in Italian. Besides there is also a translation of this conversation in English provided on the other side of the page. In addition to that there are also some notes provided in each lesson. They will explain grammar rules and new concepts that are being used in these dialogues. It can be said that these series are aimed at complete beginners of Italian. By finishing an entire course you can expect to achieve high-intermediate level at this foreign language and learn ~2000-3000 words.
One quite unique feature of Assimil method is that there are two different phases of this course. The first half of the book follows a passive phase. This means that learners only need to read dialogues & notes that are provided and listen to the audios. The second half of the book follows active phase. In addition to listening and reading you will also need to complete exercises and there are reviews provided on the previous material. So it can be said that active phase is a bit more challenging. It can help to boost your general studying efficiency and retention.
What Do User Reviews Say?
If you will spend time reading user reviews of Assimil Italian, you would find mostly positive feedback. Most learners compliment this program, because it teaches phrases and words that are practical. Hence you can start taking part in conversations quite quickly. Also most people are happy about the price of this program since it includes quite a lot of material to study from.
One of the most commonly mentioned drawback of this course is that provided notes at the end of a lesson are not sufficient to learn Italian grammar properly. So you would either need supplementary material or previous Italian learning experience. Read a few actual consumer reviews of Assimil Italian course bellow.
For more consumer testimonials of Assimil Italian visit Amazon page here.
Review of the Main Strong and Weak Sides.
- Assimil has quite positive feedback from Italian learners. It is a good proof that this method is effective and this course contains quality content;
- It is not too difficult to immerse into Italian language while using Assimil course. This is because audio CD’s are only in the target language and although there are English explanations provided in the coursebook, it is not too much;
- This course provides learners with practical Italian words and sentences from the beginning so you can start taking part in basic conversations quite fast;
- Both visual and audible learners can benefit from Assimil course since it includes visual and audio material to study Italian from;
- Even though each lesson of this course is quite short, it includes quite a lot of new vocabulary so after completing Italian With Ease your vocabulary will consists of 2000-3000 words;
- While there is not too much explanations or English language in this course, provided notes are enough to understand grammar and new concepts that are being used in the dialogues;
- One unique feature of Assimil Method is that teaches new language by introducing you to full sentences of Italian instead of separate words, so you can understand how this language works and notice patterns on your own;
- You can learn correct Italian pronunciation from these lessons since letters in words that need to be stressed are bolded. In addition to that speakers in the audios are native so you can learn how to talk Italian with a good accent. Also by listening to native speakers you will be able to train your ear to this language, which in turn allow you to communicate with real Italians easier;
- Assimil is quite a suitable Italian course for busy learners, since you can complete one lesson within just 30-60 minutes. So by dedicating one hour of your time daily you can complete Italian With Ease within just 3 month time.
- Assimil provides learners with basic explanations on grammar. Nevertheless you would definitely need more material in order to learn it properly;
- There is only one part of Assimil available for Italian learners (Italian With Ease). More advanced levels only comes in French language (not in English);
- Assimil provides learners with very little culture information. This can be seen as a downside by some Italian learners;
- It can be said that competitor courses like Rocket or Fluenz offer more advanced features for studying Italian. Also they are more convenient to study while on the go;
- Since material in Assimil course is very text based, you will not find any colorful pictures in the book. Also this course lacks games or other similar features that would make Italian learning more engaging and fun;
- Italian With Ease is not very expensive book (~$50-$90). Nevertheless courses like Living Language offers even more material to study from. Also these series are priced even lower (less than $50 for Complete edition);
Summary of a Review.
To summarize this review it can be said that there are a lot of benefits of Assimil Italian course and also a few drawbacks. Some of the strengths of this course are that it teaches practical vocabulary that can be used in everyday situations. Also gammar is explained through examples so you can understand it naturally. The other benefit of these lessons is that it offers quality audios with native speakers in them. Hence you can perfect your pronunciation and train your ear to Italian language.
When we compare Assimil to similar Italian Learning Programs it can be said that it is not the most convenient course to study while on the go. Furthermore there are no advanced features for tracking your progress. Also some learners might find this course too monotonic and not engaging enough to follow. Besides Assimil doesn’t include sufficient workouts for practicing Italian. So it might be difficult to keep retention rate high when studying via this course.
Where to buy Assimil Italian Courses?
Since Italian With Ease is not as popular in USA as it is in Europe, it might be difficult to find this course it in local stores. If you are interested in ordering English version of this course you can find it on a few online websites like EBay or Amazon.
The price of Assimil depends on which version of this course you will choose to buy – MP3 or CD edition. At the moment the price of first mentioned edition is ~95 USD and you can buy CD edition for as little as $53 on Amazon.