The results, for me at least, have been fantastic - in less than 1 year of study I have far exceeded what I was able to achieve in 3 years of self-study. I was given this book by french class and like some of the other reviews on this site I found it confusing. In fact, I have gone back to reviewing the entire book page by page and listening to each audio track. It employs a structure which is easy for both the students and teachers to follow. So if you don't know the grammar to begin which you have to look it up somewhere else, what is the point.
I have never seen a textbook where in the explanation of the grammar has blanks which you need to fill out yourself. Even in an instructor led class, the students who have not had French before are hopelessly lost and discouraged. This particular edition is in a Paperback format. To buy this book at the lowest price,. The material is enjoyable; it encourages discussion, it provokes thought and forces you to use the language in the most organic way possible. I have had French before so I am not lost like some of the others. I was a student at Alliance Francais and this is the text book for the beginner's courses.
Basically, you have 3 components; the textbook where you learn the concepts in class Alter Ego, books 1-5 , the exercise book where you practice the concepts at home Cahier D'Activités, books 1-5 and the teacher's guide where you can retrieve the answers Guide Pédagogique, books 1-5. To reiterate, these are not self-study books anyone that tells you that this is the case is, quite frankly, clueless. All in all, I would not recommend buying this book if you are trying to learn on your own. It has helped me tremendously. It is not a good book for learning grammar, but great for vocabulary, idiomatic phrases and honing your listening skills. If this wasn't the case, you would already speak French fluently and the classes would be a waste of time.
The answers are not provided in the textbook; they are provided in the teacher's guide Guide Pédagogique , which you can also purchase. As a student with the school and I have no additional affiliation with them, nor the publisher of the Alter Ego series I think that the material, the system and the structure is phenomenal. The organization of the lessons, especially in the beginning chapters, left much to be desired. Also, there is no key to the exercises, which means that if no teacher then no idea if I had done a good job. Product Description Currently the world's leading method for teaching French as a second language, Alter Ego is the product of collaboration among several French teachers to prepare a method the meets the actual needs of the classroom. Two have dropped out of the class after 5-6 weeks. You are going to feel over-whelmed any time you are an adult learning a new language embrace this process, learning something new pushes your boundaries and facilitates growth - it is inevitable; there are concept you won't grasp, language that makes no sense to you be it structurally, grammatically, phonetically, etc.
You need to be taking the corresponding classes with the school in order for the material to make concrete, logical sense. The material is designed to help you improve all of your linguistic abilities - comprehension both oral and written , grammatical structure, spoken communication, reading, written expression, etc. This is not the first time that I've been studying French, but this is the least useful material I've ever had. There are tons of exercises to practice the concepts you learn during class with more than adequate space - they are all available, and organized quite logically , in the Cahier D'Activités Exercise book. I have to use this book in a French class. Same with the vocab, there isn't a vocab list in the back of the book like most books so you are always have to look words somewhere else. I have to listen to each several times to understand what was said.
Does it help if you have studied French previously? Having read a number of the reviews in relation to the Alter Ego material, I felt compelled to point out a couple of things that I feel are unfairly biasing the merit of the system, its books and the overall ratings they are receiving which I find to be absurdly low. The books are great, but they need to be taken with the corresponding courses. The exercises are confusing and there is too little space to solve the exercises in the book. . Nor would I recommend using it if you are teaching a class. If you study the chapters after learning your grammar elsewhere and listen to the audio often, you will find this to be a tremendous resource. Not really sure it there is any one who could use this book effectively.
This is not necessarily a review of Alter Ego 1 which is a 5-star book on its own accord but of the Alter Ego system in general books 1-5. . . . . . .
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