Product: Complete [Language]
Overall Ranking: 70/100
Owners: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, UK
Complete [Language] from Teach Yourself describes their general approach as the “Discovery Method.” By presenting the form of the language in a systematic way, they intention is to help you discover and absorb how the language works rather than memorizing rules and verb conjugations. Each chapter is focused on specific objectives keyed to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).
Complete [Language] is one of the most complete lines of language courses available – currently offered in 53 different languages!
- At the beginning of the book and first CD, there is a section which focuses on learning correct pronunciation. In addition, the CDs make use of native speakers throughout to help you internalize correct pronunciation by emulating the speakers.
- Vocabulary is repeated frequently to help you retain it, but the medium is not as effective in that regard as many programs which track when you last used a word and whether you answer questions correctly or not.
- The learner is encouraged to listen to the CD and repeat words/sentences until comfortable with them.
- There is a section of questions to respond to at the end of each chapter, both for review and for testing your readiness to move on.
- An answer key in the back of the book provides a means for immediate reinforcement and/or correction.
- This series does a good job of focusing on common social situations.
- Each chapter begins with a culture point, introducing both some insights into native culture and some key words and phrases.
- There is no live tutoring involved in this series of courses.
- Those who desire grammar explanation, grammar drills, or translation exercises will not be satisfied with this method.
- The audio sections are not really designed to be Interactive, but to accompany the book.
- The method is unable to accommodate to your answers (e.g., repeating questions that you miss).
- The promised companion app is not yet available, though it might fill in some of the gaps in this course such as flashcards, spaced repetition, more interactivity, immediate feedback, and progress tracking.
WHO IS IT FOR?
The courses are designed for beginners as well as those who may have done a general language course at some time in the past. By the end of the course, you are supposed to be at level B2 of the CEFR.
Complete Language courses come in the form of a book, together with two audio CDs. Although the one I reviewed mentioned a companion app “coming soon,” there is no such app available as yet.
Support is basically a matter of the introductory section of the book which explains the book and CDs, the method, and how best to use the course and become a successful language learner.
The Complete Language series is one of the most economical methods designed to lead you through the beginning and intermediate stages of learning a new language. The book/audio combination lists at about $50, but can be found for significantly less.
I thoroughly enjoyed the course, appreciating the opportunity to review all the basics using a completely different method. It’s certainly not the best course available, but – at the price – it will be a good option for many learners. By the end of the course, you will certainly have been introduced to the skills cited in CEFR through level B2, though I’m somewhat doubtful that many will be able to “interact with fluency and spontaneity” without more practice both listening and speaking. I heartily endorse Complete [Language] as one helpful tool to add to your language acquisition resources. To learn more or pick up your own copy of Complete [Language] at a great price, click here.