Item description for French: A Self-Teaching Guide, 2nd Edition by Hershfield-Haim...
Learn to speak French like a native with this essential guide Now you can teach yourself how to speak, write, and read French in just 15 easy-to-follow lessons. Perfect for students, travelers, and Francophiles, this new and revised edition of French: A Self-Teaching Guide helps you master the language at your own pace by taking the mystery out of grammar, common usage, and pronunciation with updated lessons and plenty of self-tests. Focusing on the most frequently used words in the language, this fascinating volume shows you how to enrich your French vocabulary by over 2,000 words--without having to resort to monotonous memorization exercises.More than just a language guide, French: A Self-Teaching Guide provides intriguing information on French culture, local customs, and current trends. It also features a special computer section, which includes a drawing of computer parts accompanied by their names--in French and English. Packed with review tests to measure progress, special drills to reinforce new material, and exercises to help you practice your newfound skills, this is the ideal companion for anyone who has ever wanted to learn French--or brush up on their skills--the easy way.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.22" Width: 7.53" Height: 0.64" Weight: 1.05 lbs.
Release Date Jun 16, 2000
ISBN 0471369586 ISBN13 9780471369585
Availability 0 units.
More About Hershfield-Haim
SUZANNE A. HERSHFIELD-HAIMS, Ph.D., is a French native and an independent language consultant. She has extensive experience teaching French and has trained foreign language teachers and developed many French language study programs for univeristies. She earned her Ph.D. in French and African Literature from Syracuse University.
Reviews - What do customers think about French: A Self-Teaching Guide, 2nd Edition?
Beginner Student of the French Language Mar 15, 2006
Suzanne A. Hershfield - Haims has written a clear, lucid and comprehensive text-book for people who want to start learning French. It is the best text-book on French I have come across for helping the student build a strong and sound foundation from which to pursue further study. I recommend this book highly to those who want to master French.
A good self-teaching guide Nov 8, 2003
If you want to learn french and use this book as your only resource, expect to spend several hours working on different sentences and excercises throughout the book. However, all the effort is worthwhile, as the authors use daily speeches and conversations to take you from learning the basics of French, starting a conversation, to learning to speak French confidently and starting your own conversations in French also.
Great Adjunct Oct 27, 2003
I purchased this book after satisfactorily using the Italian book of the same series in a beginning Italian class. I wanted a book in French without the cutsy pictures and the comic book mentality of some of the more well-known workbooks on the market and focused mainly on the desire of obtaining a no-nonsense review of the French language that I could use as a self-learning tool. I found this book provided a good initial overview that I could use in conjunction with other French learning tools and a native French teacher. It is by no means the only book I would use.
I like this book's format; each chapter begins with a grouping of vocabulary words, verbs and expressions that are used within the chapter in a dialogue and as an introduction to the expression usage and grammar that follows. Exercises follow and yes, they implement structures and words that are not yet covered, but as with any other language book, this does not befuddle the learner into a stupor that disallows him from getting the point of the exercise. Besides, that is what the dictionary is for.
I doubt if this is the only book I would purchase if I were totally ignorant of the language and my pursuit of learning French was realistic. It is one of many books that I own to get certain points across and inside my dull foreign language impaired brain. I like the fact that specific situations like 'a family birthday', 'a trip to the train station', 'shopping in a department store' and 'eating in a restaurant' that are normally the situations one would find oneself in whether in a foreign country or not, are included complete with vocabulary in one concentrated and easy to find area. Rules of grammar are boxed off as are conjugations--sometimes the author shortcuts the conjugations by just showing the endings--I would have found it more helpful to actually see the actual completed conjugation.
I agree that this book is an overview. It can by no means supply the user with every idiomatic phrase used by the modern French speaker. Heavens, entire tomes are written on this subject alone and in all sorts of formats! But, I do think that using this book as a private workbook or in conjunction with a good teacher would more than satisfy even the most cynical language book reviewer. Just last night I scanned the book and penciled in the answers to a number of the exercises merely to make sure I understood grammatical concepts that I learned years ago---the dogged nature of the book's format did help me to remember and the correct answers are included in the review at the end of each five chapter grouping.
I would categorize this book as a good functional refresher to those who have studied French before, want a concise overview or use it in a classroom situation with a good teacher. There is no pronunciation guide (no individual phonetic spelling of each vocabulary word or phrase) and no accompanying CD to help you get at least a semblance of a French accent. In addition to this book, I would recommend the CLE series used by the Alliance Francaise--workbook and text as well or checking out your local college to see what beginning text book series is utilized there---the Glencoe texts used in highschool are very good, but are. of course, geared towards adolescents. The Gimmick series is interesting, but the format lacks quick look-up capabilities. If your interest includes street-smart French, there are more than a few books that cover this rather colorful topic with panache.
limited usefulness Dec 7, 2001
This book doesn't cover a lot of territory and is rather simplistic. It would be best for someone who already knows a little French but not very much. Someone who doesn't know any French will have problems because (1) the book contains typos and mistakes (for instance, the words for 'big' and 'narrow' are switched in one of the vocabularies, the accents are sometimes wrong) (2) it often gets ahead of itself and uses words and grammatical features that haven't yet been explained (3) many points it fails to explain at all and (4) its grammatical explanations tend to be incoherent, unsystematic and not very thorough. Also (5) it really doesn't explain much about pronunciation. So you should know some French, but not too much, because someone who already knows a fair amount of French will not find much of interest here. This would be best for someone with some limited French who is trying to brush up. The book has useful practical vocabularies (about the restaurant, the airplane etc) and reasonable dialogues. However, I would advise the reader to take what the book says with a grain of salt and not consider it an accurate reference.
not really "hard" enough; only saw the 1st edition Feb 10, 2001
This book seems to be well-intended and the organization of it is basically OK. But there isn't much here. There may be so many pages in the book, but the text is pretty sparse. Just a glance at the modest glossary in the back tells you you won't know all that much French by the time you get through the book. The exercises are pretty limited, too, and for example, a lot of them are of the passive, fill-in-the-blank variety, for example, a whole sentence except you just have to fill in the correct participle. Especially if you're a pretty highly self-motivated type, I think you'd find the exercises a bit lame. If you took any college-level language classes and were OK with that, I think you'll find this book a little too easy. So, this book might be OK for picking up a rudimentary understanding before say a couple weeks' tour through France, but I'm not sure it's a good way to start any kind of comprehensive study. If you're dead serious about mastering French or really into languages, I'd have to suggest you try to find something more intensive and engaging.
I should mention that I had a couple years of French back in high school (and got this book in the hopes of sort of relearning it), so maybe a total beginner would view it differently. I just sort of raced easily through the first 30 pages, flipped through the rest and gave up on it. Also, I have to admit that I only looked at the first edition of this book. Apparently a second one has come out--I haven't seen it.