About Assimil Russian Courses.
Since Assimil courses are released by a French company they tend to be more popular in Europe. Also it is worthwhile to mention that there are far more series available for French rather than English speakers. When it comes to Russian, Assimil offers phrasebook and one main course to learn this foreign language for English speakers. By finishing Assimil’s with Ease series you can expect to learn about 2000-3000 Russian words and achieve B2 level at Russian language. In case you also speak French there are more series and dictionary available for learning Russian so you can achieve even higher level at this language.
Since Assimil is combined of one book and audio CD’s it can be said that this course offers to learn Russian through reading and listening. The whole book is divided into two main parts – passive and active phrase. In the passive phrase of this book you will only need to read the dialogues & sentences and listen to recordings. In the active phrase learners also need to complete different workouts after each lesson. The uniqueness of Assimil method is that it teaches Russian through sentences so you will learn grammar and the whole language structure organically.
In each lesson of Assimil you will find a text in Russian and then on the other side of the page there will be a translation into English language. In order to understand new concepts introduced in Assimil lessons easier learners are also given short notes. In the active phrase of this course (after 49 lessons) there are also some workouts included, which are helpful for practicing your Russian skills and enhancing retention rate.
Review of the Main Pros and Cons.
The Main Pros:
- Assimil courses for Russian and other languages have positive feedback from most users, which is a good proof that this method works for most learners;
- When studying via Assimil you can expect to improve all areas of Russian – speaking, listening, reading, writing and also learn basic rules & concepts of grammar. Also you can obtain some useful information about Russian culture through situations that are being covered in the dialogues;
- When learning via Assimil course it is not too difficult to immerse into Russian since audio CD’s include only your target language and book includes explanations in English only when it is totally necessary;
- In each lesson of this course you can learn quite a lot of new Russian vocabulary. After completing all of Russian with Ease series you can expect to learn from 2000 to 3000 new Russian words, which is quite a lot compared with other courses;
- After each lesson of Assimil you will find short notes explaining grammar and other concepts of Russian language that were used in the dialogues. This helps a lot to progress with each lesson and understand new material;
- Even though material in Assimil comes in a form of book it is still quite convenient course for studying Russian on the go. Included book is very tiny so you can carry it everywhere you go and you can transfer audio material to almost every device;
- Users of this course can learn how to pronounce Russian words correctly from Assimil. This mainly because you will hear native Russian speakers in audio CD’s and also letters that need to be stressed out are bolded in the dialogues.
- Dialogues in Assimil lessons cover everyday situations so you can learn essential Russian phrases and vocabulary from the beginning;
- It can be said that Assimil courses can be suitable for both visual and audible Russian learners because it includes audio and written studying material;
- To complete one lesson of Assimil you will need about 30-60 minutes of your time so it can be said this course is also suitable for busy Russian learners;
- Some lessons of Assimil include cartoon, which provides some humor and helps to enrich written content of this book. It can be also said that provided dialogues are quite engaging so you shouldn’t get bored when reading them;
- Assimil provides transcripts of dialogues in both Russian and English so there is no guessing involved with this course. Also you can greatly improve your Russian reading skills by constantly seeing written form of this language;
The Main Cons:
- Assimil doesn’t offer trial or sample lessons so you will not be able to test method of this course before buying it;
- Since Assimil introduces quite a lot of new Russian words and concepts in each lesson it might be quite difficult to remember everything. And translation exercises are being introduced only in active phrase of this course, which makes it difficult to keep retention rate high;
- Audios that are included in Assimil are not interactive so they don’t encourage you to speak Russian out load. Also this course lack more advanced features for practicing Russian pronunciation, which are included in competitor courses (Speech Recognition – Rosetta Stone, Voice Comparison – Rocket and etc.);
- There is only one series from Assimil available for English learners (Russian with Ease). More advanced level of this course is available too, but it is aimed for French speakers;
- In order to study via Assimil method and progress with Russian language you need to be very motivated learner. Some other online Russian courses offer features like quizzes, ability to rate difficulty of each lesson, badges and etc.;
- Even though Assimil includes some notes and explanations on Russian grammar it is definitely not sufficient if you want to learn it properly;
- If you are learning Russian for traveling purposes it might be a good idea to consider other courses. This is mainly because Assimil includes very little culture information and also it teaches new language through sentences so it might take a while until you will learn survival phrases or be able to form your own sentences in Russian;
- The price of Assimil Russian course is ~$195 so it can be said that it is not the cheapest way to learn this foreign language. Courses like Living Language offer more material & features for studying Russian and it is priced significantly lower;
What Do User Reviews Say?
Assimil Russian series for English speakers tend to get quite good overall feedback from both review based websites and learners. Most users compliment Assimil course since it offers short & simple explanations, include practical dialogues and teach a lot of new Russian vocabulary.
However some learners complain that lessons are quite monotonic, provided workouts are not sufficient for remembering vocabulary and etc. Read a few actual consumer reviews of Assimil Russian course bellow.
For more user testimonials of Assimil Russian course visit Amazon page here.
Summary of a Review.
To summarize this Assimil Russian review, it can be said that this course have both strong and weak sides. Some of the most commonly mentioned advantages are that in each lesson of this course you can learn a lot of new Russian vocabulary and also it can help to improve all aspects of Russian language. Since Assimil method teaches Russian through full sentences and examples you will be able to learn grammar naturally by noticing patterns in this foreign language (instead of learning lists of rules).
Some downsides of Assimil are that it doesn’t include sufficient exercises or features for keeping retention rate high. Also material might be not sufficiently engaging for some learners and it is difficult to keep track of your progress when studying via Assimil course. If you don’t mind these mentioned disadvantages it is definitely worthwhile to consider Assimil course for learning Russian or any other foreign language.
Where to buy Assimil Russian Courses?
Since Assimil courses are released by French company, their availability in USA is quite limited. Despite that you can order Assimil’s Russian with Ease course from retailers like Amazon, eBay and etc.
To buy a complete version of this course (book, audio CD’s, MP3) you might need to spend even up to $195. It is also possible to reduce the price of this course significantly by ordering only a book ($59.95), however it would be quite difficult to learn proper Russian pronunciation without audio material.