What is Assimil?
Although you may not be familiar with the name, Assimil has been a leader in language learning programs for nearly a century. Founded by Alphonse Chérel in 1929, Assimil has produced over learning programs for over 100 languages.
What products does Assimil offer?
Assimil offers several products, including the following:
- "With Ease" series, which teach basic rules of grammar and a vocabulary of 2000-3000 words
- "Perfectionnement" series, which teaches more advanced idiosyncrasies and idioms of the target language
- Business series, which focuses on vocabulary related to international business
- Idioms series, which teaches common idioms
- "On the Road" series, which serves as a travel companion
- Slang series, for contemporary slang usage
- "For Kids" series, which is meant to introduce a language to 3-year olds
Assimil’s “With Ease” series is far and away the most popular product, and the one available to English speakers
What is the "With Ease" series?
Assimil’s “With Ease” series is far and away the most popular product, and the one available to English speakers. The “With Ease” series is simple but robust program aimed at beginners of a language. Each package in the series aims to teach the user a range of helpful vocabulary and expressions, as well as foundational grammar and cultural understanding.
What languages are available?
The Assimil “With Ease” series (for English speakers) is available in 10 languages; these include the following:
How much does Assiml cost?
The Assimil “With Ease” series typically retail for $125, and due to product availability, some vendors can charge up to 2x that amount. At OptiLingo, we have a direct retailer of all Assimil products, and we offer the lowest price available in the United States. All of our “With Ease” courses are available for $69.99 - $74.99. This is roughly 50% less than Assimil’s MSRP and up to 75% less than many other sellers of Assimil products.
How are able to sell for such a low cost?
OptiLingo is a direct retailer of Assimil products, so we get our inventory direct from Assimil. Many other sellers don’t have this direct relationship, so they’ll buy from multiple middlemen, driving up the price. Because of our direct relationship, we are able to offer Assimil products at the lowest cost available in the United States.
What's included in the package?
Most of the “With Ease” series was largely redesigned between 2012 and 2014, and the most up-to-date version available is the “With Ease Super Pack”. These packages typically include the following:
- Complete course book
- Over 100 comprehensive lessons
- Nearly 200 practice exercises
- Complete answer key
- Dual language glossary
- Grammar summaries
- Four audio CDs
- Additional CD with MP3 files
The inclusion of a CD with all audio files as MP3s is especially helpful, as it eliminates the time and frustrated associated with ripping audio files.
How do I use Assimil?
Assimil is a very robust and flexible language learning program. Each Assimil “With Ease” package includes vocabulary, helpful expressions, grammar lessons and introductions to the target language’s culture. Since audio files are also included, this means that it’s really up to you to decide how best to use the package. Some enjoy reading the dialogues; others want to immerse themselves in grammar. Some like listening to the audio files, etc…
Assimil’s prescribed approach combines all of these into the 100 lessons that are included, and breaks this up into two phases: Passive phase (first 50 lessons) and active phase (second 50 lessons). During the passive phase, Assimil suggests that the user:
- Read through the dialogues using the recordings as a guide, while reading the text
- Repeate each sentence in the dialogue out loud
- Read the English translation on the facing page
- Use the text notes at the bottom of each page to better understand what is being said (and why)
- Self-test using the practice exercises included in each lesson (along with answer key)
- Review what has been learned each week with a special review lesson (included)
At the halfway point, past lesson 50, Assimil users are generally able to move on to the active phase. During this phase, the user will be presented with material previously learned and asked to translate from English into the target language, and vice versa. This method ensures that all materials are reviewed and easily cemented into long-term memory in a natural way.
Is there an online subscription?
No, the beauty of Assimil is that you purchase the program and it’s yours forever. There are no monthly subscription fees.
How much time will it take me to learn a new language with Assimil?
This really depends on the user. Some people have reported completing Assimil in as little as three months. Typically, however, most people tend to complete Assimil in 3 – 6 months. The biggest factor is how often you make time to do each lesson and how well you assimilate the materials presented.
What will I learn with Assimil?
Assimil’s “With Ease” series is targeted at beginners and emphasizes a core vocabulary of 2,000 – 3,000 words. Each “With Ease” language program is designed to bring the user to a Level B2 (high-intermediate) of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL).
Speakers who achieve Level B2 are generally able to:
- Freely interact with native speakers of a foreign language
- Speak, read and write on a range of topics, general, technical and professional
- Understand the main idea of complex text
- Comprehend a range of concrete and abstract topics
- Produce communication (verbal or written) to explain a position or viewpoint on topical issues
How is Assimil different from other language learning programs?
There are a lot of different ways to describe language learning methods. Some approaches rely on audio vs. visual, reading vs. writing, listening vs. speaking, etc… From a teaching perspective, most language programs are either inductive or deductive.
Inductive: Teacher or text lays out a concept, explains it and then the student creates a sentence
Deductive: Student is given a sentence and left to understand its conceptual structure
What’s unique about Assimil is that it applies elements from all of the above and provides flexibility for the user to decide the approach that works best for him or her.
How are Assimil lessons constructed?
Assimil’s “With Ease” series are organized around 100 lessons. Each lesson consists of a brief dialogue that is structured around a set of core vocabulary, along with grammatical explanation and cultural foot notes. This approach is unique in that frames grammar in the context of real-world discussions. Assimil suggests spending 30-minutes per day to study the target language.
How long does the typical lesson last?
Some people spend 30 minutes on each lessons, whereas others might quickly breeze through several lessons, with the notion of reviewing them at a later date.
in hours, not years.
- Just 30 minutes a day
- Go at your own pace
- Any time, any place
- Proven method from Europe