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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I agree with what another reviewer said about this book being incoherent. The layout is absolutely horrible- they introduce terms and ideas out of nowhere with no explanation as to what they mean, and you end up struggling through the chapter, digging through Google, french dictionaries, and Youtube in an attempt to make sense of any of it, only to realize that most of the magical mystery words were explained totally illogically AFTER the end of the chapter- and explained poorly, I might add. It would be like an English book that asks questions about Ernest Hemingway 30 pages BEFORE explaining who he was and why he was significant.

The package I received (NOT from Amazon, bought it from the college) came with the text, a workbook with two major sections that both "sort of" follow the text chapters, a set of 3 audio CDs, and different set of 13 audio CDs. However, the podcasts mentioned in the book cannot be found anywhere at the indicated URL. Irritatingly, there is no explanation as to how any of these resources are supposed to function as a full learning system. It's just "here you go, have fun sifting through this random swiss-cheese collection of french stuff".

Voila! Might be okay if you're not a first year student and already have some kind of grasp on these concepts, but for a beginner, it's an absolute nightmare. The book is definitely not for anyone attempting to teach themselves French- I can barely make sense of it even with the guidance of a teacher.

I'd like to point out that I do quite well in all of my subjects and have never had this much of a problem with a book before. I have honestly learned more French from Youtube and LiveMocha than I have from this book. The only reason I would buy this, knowing what I know now, would be if it were absolutely required for a course.

I gave this textbook two stars only because of the inclusion of the audio companion CDs, which aid in pronunciation.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am teaching with this book this semester and one of my students said "it's the most incoherent book i've ever seen" and I don't blame him. the information is scattered everywhere, way too few exercises, but a lot of useless and unrealistic stuff...
the students really have a hard time with it, and don't feel like opening it. which is a big problem.
and it's also too costly for students. not worth it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I have never learnt French before (not even a try) and my school uses it as the textbook for a summer intensive course (Elementary French I). I find it quite useful, at the end of the day, I have learnt most of its content and find myself capable of writing a reasonably meaningful essay in French--with a dictionary, of course. It earns 4 stars from me simply because it does its job: teaching basic French.
Two things I don't like very much: grammar points and kind of are kind of scattered even within one chapter, so sometimes you miss important information; also, for each chapter, vocabularies are divided into two parts, for which I can't see the point. Secondly, for the conjugation of verbs, why are we learning irregular ones first, and after all the effort internalizing the irregular ones, we then learn the normal conjugations? Third, I think it will make more sense if it teaches me more about verbs and nouns and adjectives that are most frequently used, instead of all those marginal words about furniture, vegetables and clothing. But that's not the worst--in my Vietnamese textbook, I even had a chapter teaching vocabularies about different hair styles...
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on March 24, 2015
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
There was no CD included with the book and the book was not in as good condition as advertised.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I ordered this product used and it came in very good condition, including the CD. The book is a little outdated in terms of some of the vocab words, and especially the pictures (although of course that isn't especially important). I also find the organization of the book to be kind of confusing--they pack a lot of important concepts into a small amount of space. That might be a plus for some and a minus for others.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Beware buying textbooks from Amazon unless you are sure you need the book. As a freshman, my over zealous daughter bought all her textbooks new over the summer only to find out she doesn't actually need it. Even though the book is unused and in perfect condition, the return period has expired. She hasn't even opened the book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2015
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Is really worn but also a decent price and useful for my class.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Quick delivery and shipment, easy to follow and understand
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Very nice.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I bought this book for a French class and have found it and the accompanying CD's a really good way to tackle French.
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