Assimil Is a method of learning a foreign language developed by a French company back in 1929. This method was originally used by the French to learn English, but nowadays there are many different languages available for the English and French. Three languages are available for Russian students: English, French and Italian.
What is the Assimil method and how does it work?
By paying for the course (by the way, this can be done on the official website fr.assimil.com), you get a book and audio recordings. In the book you will find very fascinating, sometimes even funny dialogues in two languages - English and translation in Russian. The dialogues are given with small grammatical explanations in footnotes. In total, there are 146 lessons in the Russian-English textbook, the dialogues become more complicated from lesson to lesson. All audio is in English. This set costs about 70 euros.
Assimil is one of the favorite language learning methods of well-known polyglots, including Luca Lampariello, who now speaks 12 languages, and Robert Bigler, a professional simultaneous translator from Austria who speaks 10 languages.
Assimil at a glance
Assimil is focused on mastering phrases, sentences, not individual words. In this case, grammar must be learned in a natural way, automatically... First comes the passive phase, in which you only need to read and listen. Then active exercises are added. The Easy Series is very good for beginners. There is also the "Advanced" series, in which there is no longer a passive phase. Each lesson includes a short dialogue in English, its translation into Russian, followed by small exercises to test understanding.
It is recommended to spend as much time as possible on each lesson and review the lessons learned from time to time. Generally speaking, one lesson should take you from one to three days, depending on how much time you practice each day. It is advised to practice for at least 30 minutes a day, and preferably a whole hour. Then after about three months you will be able to speak English fluently on simple topics.
Positive aspects of the method
The word "Assimil" comes from the word "assimilation", which means assimilation. Hence, it is clear that the method encourages students to learn a foreign language in the same way as we learned our own language as children. Many polyglots enjoy using this method and find it very effective in order to learn the basics of a new language.
The strength of Assimil lies in the fact that we begin to intuitively understand how the language works, without any additional grammatical explanations. Grammar rules are learned through practical dialogues, and the subsequent brief explanations of these concepts help to systematize them. Look at the second lesson in the book and listen to the recording to understand what dialogue and explanations await you.
If you're tired of cramming endless grammar rulesthen this method is exactly right for you. You will enjoy learning the language in a fun and easy way.
The dialogues are usually very real, contain words and phrases that are very often used by native speakers in everyday life. After some time working with the material, you will start thinking in English.
You will learn new the words out of context and forget forever about long lists of vocabulary to memorize. Moreover, each word will be accompanied by a context. This is a very strong point of Assimil. Each word itself does not play a big role if you are not sure how you can use it correctly.
Lessons are enough short, can be learned in an hour (for some, less than an hour). These small pieces of information are easy to digest in one go, in one day of class. In addition, when the active phase begins (after 50 lessons), there is a review of the material given in the passive phase, in which you just listened and read. This is a great idea that strengthens vocabulary and helps speed up your fluency in spoken language.
Some disadvantages of the method
Nobody notes any serious shortcomings of the method. However, there are a few minor things to point out:
1. The choice of the studied languages is still very limited. If you only speak Russian, you can purchase Assimil only for learning 3 languages (English, Italian and French). But, having mastered English, you can already learn many more languages on its basis. This is a great opportunity - at the same time strengthening your English!
2. There are no colorful pictures in the texts, only black and white. If you are a visual, and pictures help you remember information better, then their absence can be disappointing.
3. In dialogues, names of people are not used, they are only numbered. Sometimes this is confusing, making it difficult to understand who said what. It doesn't really matter much, but it's worth mentioning it anyway.
Assimil is very popular in Europe but is still not widely known in North America. This can create some minor accessibility issues. But the well-known Amazon site sells most of the Assimil series available to native English speakers.
So, friends, go for it, join the team of the best polyglots in the world who successfully use the Assimil method.