Most helpful critical review
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
a Difficult Semester
on November 30, 2010
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.