I’m now up to lesson 56 in Assimil’s French with Ease, and, having done about a week’s worth of the “active wave”, I wanted to comment on it.
As I’ve mentioned before, Assimil’s approach consists of a passive wave and an active wave. The passive wave consists of listening to the dialogue, reading over the transcripts and the translations, as well as the notes. The active wave, which starts when you reach lesson 50 in the passive wave, has you go back to lesson 1 and translate from English to French. Before doing so you’re supposed to listen to the lesson.
I’ve had no trouble at all in doing these, but I must say – I think the second wave needs to consist of more than just translating from English to French, and doing a few exercises like filling in the genders of nouns or putting the right ending on adjectives. For an “active wave”, it seems too cursory, a mere add-on to the passive wave rather than a stand-alone part of the course.
That’s not to say that Assimil is bad; on the contrary, I still love the course, and intend to keep using it as my primary material for French. However, I think I may end up altering their prescribed approach rather drastically. I may add all of the sentences to Anki to strengthen my vocabulary, as well as write them all out by hand (which I’m finding helps me remember things much easier). I may also start working through The Ultimate French Review and Practice, a book I received recently. In short, now that I’m in the “active phase” of Assimil, I think I need to dig into things a little more; my passive understanding of the French lessons I’ve done is excellent, but my production skills are more-or-less nonexistent, and I’m not sure Assimil’s official “active phase” approach is going to change that much.
Has anyone worked through an Assimil course exactly as they recommend? If you have, could you comment on the end results?