Ok, truth be told, I didn’t know how to decline ‘finir’ for that sentence and relied on the google translator. This should not deter from my main point, though. I finished Fluenz French 1, a 30 lesson computer program, in early October. I started the second program on October 16th and finished today – which comes out to more than one lesson a day, as there are 30 lessons on the second CD as well.
I’m also tired, so don’t expect this to be exceedingly well written.
The Fluenz program is designed for tourists – there aren’t many intro ‘teach yourself’ courses that aren’t. That being said, the program had some grammar lessons and is also designed to be a jumping off tool for people who’d like to delve deeper into the language. The lessons were designed with lots of repetition throughout different exercises so that the vocabulary would be learned well, which I found to be a very good thing.
On the same note, however, I feel that some things were overly emphasized while other things were brushed under the carpet. For instance, everything seemed to cost 20 euros, never forty or fifty – which means that while ‘vingt euros’ is stuck in my brain, it still takes some thinking to come up with the words for forty or fifty. Some interjections seemed to be introduced at the beginning of the session (conversation and ‘lesson’ time) without being used in the practice exercises – meaning we never had to produce the words on our own. Also, occasionally there seemed to be words which floated around according to some grammar rule which was never explained, so I was never sure where to put said words.
These are all pretty small complaints. Judging from reviews of other programs and trying a few myself, I think I made a good choice. But where to go from here? I’m not advanced enough to start The Ultimate French Review and Practice, as I had hoped I would be. I have the Easy French Reader, which is a good supplement but certainly not a course in itself. I think this week I’ll start going to Livemocha more to get more pronunciation help. I’ve also just ordered Ultimate French Beginner-Intermediate from Living Language – it sounds like a program that would be a PITA if it were the first exposure one had to French, but it sounds like a great program to boost oneself from the beginner to the intermediate level. Here’s hoping it works!