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Home Study Courses


LJB

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Not sure if I should have started a new topic or continued with the thread for the OU courses / Alliance Francaise...?! Anyway, I did O-Grade french at school approximately 15 years ago and since have only really got to practise my french skills on annual holidays. We are now moving to France (24) in March...Help! I am not a beginner in the language but I am not quite at the next level either. The evening classes in my area are not suitable as the Beginners french is too basic (teacher's words - not mine!!) and the Intermadiate class too difficult. I currently have one private lesson per week but have no material to study in between lessons. The books provided are completely in french and so are not really much use as there is lots I don't understand. I feel I need a home study course where there are set goals to work towards etc. Having read some of the posts the OU beginners french course appeared to be the answer however the next start date isn't until November 2005! Does anyone know of any other similar home study courses (Alliance Francaise?) - preferably not expensive - or any other ways to study at home such as software for the computer or any books, videos which are good? Please help, I'm getting desperate!!!
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Have a look at the BBC's French Experience course. It comes with a book, audio visual CD and many other add on's. Many evening classes use it as their course materiel but it can also be used independently. As you are not a complete beginner I would imagine with the help of the materials what you learnt 15 years ago will jog your memory enough to be able to handle the grammer etc. If you like the course why not get your private french tutor to work though it with you.

 

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Just got the BBC French Experience 1 ( to jog deep down memories as you say Diana!), and also 2 to prompt me to the nect level. Chose them because I noticed lots of evening classes use them (again, as mentioned) and also found the new editions at our local library - but I know you can get them via Amazon (which I'll get the supplementary workbooks from to keep me and OH going). Good Luck (to me I think!).

Ewa
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  • 1 month later...
Bit of a late reply, sorry! I was in the same situation a couple of years back. I tried a few things, what particularly worked was:

I bought a CGSE revision course from Lett's and worked through that pretty quickly (a few weeks) which brought a lot back and gave me an idea of what I had forgotten.

I also got a simple everyday vocab book (Collin's Wordpack, about UKP 5) and did a few from there a day

The next big thing was a course called "Hugo's Advanced French" which seems to be something between O-level and A-level but with a good emphasis on listening comprehension.

I would also recommend you spend some time with something to improve pronunciation and fluency at the same time, radio or channel 825 on Sky, for home use Fluent French Audio seems to be the best home study thingy for this I've seen but it is quite expensive (100 euros).

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  • 3 weeks later...
I am also in the same position and so is my dad. Was hoping you could give me some more info. on the "hugo" course (sorry don't know who posted it!!) as sounds like what we need. I would also suggest that there is a programme on bbc2 on tuesdays about am called talk french i recorded it last week and it was basic but good for practise as its six lessons and starts with greetings and ends with meeting people and having (basic) conversations so maybe good to know for brushing up! But it's only on once a blue moon so you have to keep a look out! Would appreciate the info. and good luck everyone with the french we'll all be able to "parler francais" soon.
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The Hugo course follows on from their "French in 3 months" course, however I didn't do that. The old edition I used (it has recently been rereleased with CDs) consists of 4 tapes , and a book with about 10 chapters.

Each chapter contained a listening/reading comprehension based on the theme (say, public holidays in France, or the freedom of movement in the EU), followed by on and off tape exercises etc. There is review of grammer points you should already know as they arise, and new grammar points but which I found well handled, didn't distract too much and weren't too heavy.

I would say to get the best of this you should have done something relatively formal at some point in time before, you will need to have a grasp of different tenses and a fair bit of vocab to make headway here.

You can see the product detail here: http://uk.dk.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,11_1405304855,00.html

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Thankyou to the member who responded i have managed to order a copy from the website and hopefully it should arrive soon so we'll give that a bash!! and thankyou to the other member for telling us about the bbc I went onto bbc and they also have some good "activities" that were helpful, so I'd recommend it to others. 
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  • 3 weeks later...

I'd agree re the Michael Thomas CD's, they're excellent. We're definitely getting on much faster than any other method tried. Although we're now doing 1-2 hours every day, so it could well be due to more focus than in the past.  It's great just to be able to sit there without text books. 

However, I'd advise against using them when driving, I tried it to help pass the time on a 6 hour UK journey  and (a) missed my turning and (b) ended up having to stop after only an hour as felt extremely tired due to all the concentration. 

Find it best to use just before going to bed as more relaxed and an excellent tool for any insomniacs out there!

Good luck

 

Deb

 

 

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Has anyone had experience with both Michael Thomas and Pimsleur? If so, what are the differences?

I have the entire Pimsleur French course (units I, II, and III) on two mp3-CDs. I like them quite a lot; the listen and repeat stuff can get boring but I certainly learn it, and it's more practical than what I learned in my French classes in high school...

Anyway, I'd be interested to know if the Michael Thomas courses are far better or something... I'd look into them!
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