Assimil is a French company that was founded in 1929 and offered courses in different languages.
The courses are based on books that contain dialogues (together with a translation), audio, notes, and exercises.
The idea of the courses is to make a “full immersion” into the target language (first part) and then reproduce sentences and statements given in the first part. The aim is to assimilate words and sounds by reproducing them repeatedly (the name Assimil comes from here).
Assimil Italian course is available in different languages (among which there are English and French).
Let’s focus on the English edition.
The books are divided into two parts. The first part contains dialogues in the target language and an English translation on the other page; you can also find short notes to explain grammar and concepts used in the dialogues.
The second part of the book includes active exercises about the dialogues you’ve read; the exercises consist in filling in missing words or translating some parts of the dialogue.
What’s wrong with Assimil
Assimil Italian is composed of different series. Some of them are a bit outdated and might talk about things that no longer exist, which is, obviously, not useful if you want to travel or move to Italy or simply communicate with locals.
Overall, the course is helpful if you want to learn practical Italian sentences, but I wouldn’t rely on it completely.
Assimil should be integrated with other language learning tools, especially if you want to speak Italian fluently.
That’s because the book alone won’t lead you to an advanced Italian level, nor will it help you practice your speaking fluency.
An Assimil alternative for the Italian language
I believe that if you want to become fluent in Italian, you should find a course that allows you to speak actively from day one.
In this sense, Think In Italian courses are a valid Assimil alternative for learning Italian.
The courses are structured into different parts: grammar lessons, Italian readings, and an Italian audio course (Ripeti con Me).
All the material focuses on Italy and its culture, so it gives you useful information and curiosities about Italy that will make your learning process fun and engaging.
The audio course aims at improving your speaking skills: it is structured on lessons in which you have to listen to a sentence and repeat it after a time interval.
This approach, based on active recall and spaced repetition techniques, allows your brain to actively process the information and retain it.
Ripeti con me constantly prompts you to speak and makes you constantly involved in the learning process: it doesn’t consist in passive repetition of what you hear but rather in active recall of the information you hear.
It also allows you to retain useful vocabulary and improve your pronunciation with no apparent effort. You’ll be amazed by how quickly you’ll start thinking in Italian.
What are you waiting for? Learn more about Think In Italian courses.
Still translating in your head? Wanna speak Italian for real? Check out Stefano's courses to think directly in Italian and become fluent fast!