Assimil Language Learning Tool Review Write a review about this language tool.

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Tool description

  • Category: Book
  • LANGUAGES: mul Multiple languages
  • Minimum Price: 69.99 €


The Assimil method is a self-study language learning method that emphasizes understanding and Assimilation of a language through a two-phase process: a passive phase focusing on understanding, and an active phase focusing on producing the language. The method includes a coursebook with bilingual dialogues, explanatory notes, and exercises, supplemented by audio recordings for pronunciation practice. An online platform provides interactive exercises and immediate feedback for learners.

I like...

✅ Intuitive Learning: The Assimil method promotes understanding and fluency through exposure to the language in context, much like natural language acquisition.

✅ Comprehensive Material: The coursebook, audio recordings, and online exercises provide a holistic and in-depth language learning experience.

✅ Flexibility: The self-study nature of the Assimil method allows learners to progress at their own pace, fitting in learning around their schedule.

✅ Value for Money: Considering the depth and breadth of the material provided, the Assimil method offers a cost-effective solution for in-depth language learning.

I don’t like...

❌ Limited Teacher Guidance: The emphasis on self-study might not suit learners who prefer structured instruction and guidance from a teacher.

❌ Indirect Grammar Instruction: The naturalistic approach to grammar might not satisfy learners who prefer explicit grammar instruction from the outset.

❌ Initial Cost: The upfront cost for the coursebook and audio recordings might seem high, though this is offset by the value over the duration of the course.

❌ Subscription for Online Access: Access to the online platform comes at an additional cost, which might not be ideal for learners on a tight budget.

Detailed description

Language learning is an exciting journey that requires patience, diligence, and the right resources. As learners, we need methods that are tailored to our unique learning styles and preferences, which means that a one-size-fits-all approach might not always be effective. Today, I'll be discussing the Assimil method - a language learning method that has been utilized by learners worldwide since the 1920s. Although it has a long-standing history, the relevance and efficacy of the Assimil method in today's fast-paced, digital-driven world continues to be a topic of interest among language learners and educators.

The Assimil method is more than just a traditional learning approach; it's a combination of learning materials that include books, audio recordings, and an online platform, all aimed to provide an immersive learning experience. For the books, they are typically available for order on popular online retail platforms like Amazon. The accompanying audio recordings, which play a crucial role in the learning process, are included with the books. In this age of technology, Assimil also offers an online method where learners can access the same quality of language learning experience digitally. The online method offers flexibility and convenience, allowing learners to study at their own pace and time.

Understanding the Assimil Method

Alphonse Chérel founded the Assimil method in 1929 with the central philosophy of intuitive language learning. The name 'Assimil' is derived from 'Assimilate', which means to absorb and integrate. This underpins the core approach of the Assimil method, that is, promoting the learner's natural absorption and internalization of the new language, much like how children intuitively learn their native language.

This method is based on two distinct phases: the passive phase and the active phase. During the passive phase, the learner passively absorbs the new language by reading and listening to dialogues. This is where the books and audio recordings come into play. The active phase, on the other hand, prompts learners to construct sentences and engage in dialogue, transitioning from absorbing the language to actively using it.

The combination of books, audio recordings, and an online learning platform not only ensures a holistic learning experience but also caters to the diverse learning styles and needs of different individuals. Whether you prefer the traditional feel of learning from a book, the auditory experience of listening to recordings, or the modern convenience of an online platform, the Assimil method covers all bases.

In the following sections, I'll delve into a detailed review of the Assimil method, discussing its effectiveness, advantages, drawbacks, and suitability for different types of learners.

Effectiveness of the Assimil Method

When it comes to language learning, effectiveness is subjective and can differ vastly from one individual to another. However, one undeniable advantage of the Assimil method is its dual-phase approach, which aligns with the natural process of language acquisition.

In the passive phase, learners get to experience the language in its authentic form through the daily-life dialogues present in the books. The accompanying audio recordings allow learners to hear the language as it is spoken by native speakers, providing an auditory sense of the language's rhythm, intonation, and pronunciation. This phase is designed to equip learners with a robust vocabulary and a good grasp of grammatical structures without delving into complicated linguistic rules.

The active phase, on the other hand, is where learners become more engaged and active. By translating sentences and participating in dialogues, learners practice and reinforce what they have learned in the passive phase. This active engagement with the language contributes significantly to language retention and fluency.

Another factor that contributes to the effectiveness of the Assimil method is the immersion it provides. Each lesson comes with cultural notes that introduce learners to the customs, traditions, and history of the language's native speakers. This cultural immersion makes learning more engaging and meaningful, going beyond the technicalities of language acquisition.

The online method takes this effectiveness a notch higher. It offers interactive exercises and immediate feedback, enhancing learners' understanding and retention. Furthermore, the flexibility and convenience of learning anywhere and anytime with internet access can greatly enhance consistency, a crucial factor in effective language learning.

Advantages of the Assimil Method

One of the notable advantages of the Assimil method is its learner-centered approach. It places the learner at the heart of the learning process, allowing for self-paced, autonomous learning. This caters to learners who prefer to have control over their learning pace, something that may not be possible in traditional classroom settings.

Another advantage is the comprehensiveness of the materials. The dialogues in the books cover a wide range of practical topics, ensuring that learners are well-equipped to handle different conversational contexts. The cultural notes add an extra layer of depth, enhancing learners' understanding and appreciation of the language and its native speakers.

The accompanying audio recordings are another significant advantage. Listening is a crucial part of language learning, and the audio recordings provide ample listening practice. This not only improves learners' listening skills but also enhances their pronunciation and understanding of the language's sound system.

The Assimil online method, which combines all these advantages, also offers the benefit of accessibility. Being able to access the learning materials on different devices and platforms means that learners can keep up with their lessons irrespective of their location or schedule.

Drawbacks of the Assimil Method

Despite its many advantages, the Assimil method also has its share of drawbacks. The first one relates to grammar instruction. While the method's intuitive approach avoids explicit grammar instruction, some learners might find this challenging, especially those who prefer understanding the rules and structures underlying the language.

Secondly, the effectiveness of the active phase largely depends on the learner's discipline and commitment. Without consistent practice and active engagement with the materials, learners might not fully benefit from this phase.

Lastly, the online method, despite its convenience and flexibility, requires a stable internet connection. This could be a limitation for learners in areas with poor internet connectivity.

Suitability for Different Types of Learners

The Assimil method is flexible and adaptable, making it suitable for different types of learners. For visual learners, the books with their dialogues, notes, and illustrations provide ample visual input. The audio recordings cater to auditory learners, providing them with an authentic listening experience.

Kinesthetic learners, who learn best through action and experience, can benefit from the active phase where they are required to translate and engage with the language actively. For those who prefer structure and clear guidelines, the systematic layout of lessons can provide a sense of direction and progress.

Despite its flexibility, the Assimil method might not be the best fit for everyone. As it places significant emphasis on self-learning and autonomy, it might not be suitable for learners who prefer structured classroom settings with a teacher providing continuous guidance. Also, those who desire a deep understanding of grammar from the onset might find the method's indirect approach to grammar instruction less satisfactory.

Comparison with Other Language Learning Methods

When compared with other language learning methods, the Assimil method stands out for its naturalistic and intuitive approach. Unlike methods that rely heavily on memorization or drills, Assimil focuses on exposing learners to the language in a meaningful and engaging context, similar to how children acquire their first language.

Compared to language learning apps that often fragment the learning into separate vocabulary and grammar sections, Assimil provides a more holistic learning experience. The integration of dialogues, notes, and exercises presents the language as a cohesive system, promoting a more profound understanding.

Despite these differences, it's important to note that each method has its unique strengths and can be more effective for different learning styles or goals. For instance, language learning apps could be more suitable for learners seeking gamified, bite-sized learning experiences. On the other hand, traditional classroom instruction could be the preferred method for those who value live interaction and immediate feedback from a teacher.

Value for Money

When considering the value for money, the Assimil method offers a comprehensive package that rivals more expensive language courses. The initial cost of the coursebook and audio recordings might seem high, but when spread over the duration of the course, it becomes a cost-effective investment in self-paced, in-depth language learning. Moreover, the depth and breadth of the material, combined with the audio recordings and the option to use the online platform, ensure you are getting substantial resources for your investment.

The online method, which offers additional interactive exercises and immediate feedback, adds to the value proposition. While it does come with a subscription fee, the added benefits of accessibility and interactivity could justify the cost for many learners.


In conclusion, the Assimil method provides a comprehensive, flexible, and intuitive approach to language learning. Its emphasis on immersion, learner autonomy, and meaningful context aligns with contemporary understanding of effective language acquisition. While it does have its drawbacks and might not suit every learner's style or preference, its advantages and unique features make it a worthy consideration for anyone embarking on the journey of language learning.

As with any learning method, the key to success with Assimil is consistency, engagement, and a genuine interest in the language and its culture. So, whether you're learning for personal enjoyment, for work, or for travel, Assimil offers you the tools and methodology to explore, learn, and ultimately, Assimilate the language of your choice.


1. What is the Assimil Method?

The Assimil Method is a popular language learning method that combines reading, listening, and speaking activities to provide a holistic learning experience. It uses bilingual books and audio recordings to facilitate natural language acquisition.

2. How does the Assimil Method work?

The Assimil Method works in two phases: the passive phase and the active phase. In the passive phase, learners simply listen and read, absorbing the language organically. In the active phase, learners start translating and speaking the language, using what they have learned.

3. Where can I buy the Assimil Method?

You can purchase Assimil Method courses through online retailers like Amazon, or directly from the Assimil website.

4. Does the Assimil Method come with audio recordings?

Yes, the Assimil Method comes with audio recordings. The audio material, recorded by native speakers, complements the text in the books and allows for listening and pronunciation practice.

5. How much time do I need to spend daily on the Assimil Method?

The Assimil Method advises daily practice. Ideally, you should spend about 30 minutes each day on a lesson.

6. Is the Assimil Method suitable for beginners?

Yes, the Assimil Method is designed to cater to learners of all levels, including absolute beginners. It starts with basic phrases and gradually introduces more complex structures.

7. How many languages can I learn with the Assimil Method?

Assimil offers courses for many different languages, including but not limited to English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Chinese, Russian, and Arabic.

8. How effective is the Assimil Method for language learning?

Effectiveness can vary based on individual learning styles, commitment, and consistency. However, many users report significant progress in their target language after consistently using the Assimil Method.

9. What are the main pros and cons of the Assimil Method?

The main pros of the Assimil Method include its comprehensive approach, audio and text resources, and its effectiveness for self-study. The cons include a lack of interactive content and the potential for some learners to find the content too structured or repetitive.

10. Can I use the Assimil Method to prepare for language proficiency exams?

While the Assimil Method provides a solid foundation in a language, it is not explicitly designed to prepare learners for specific language proficiency exams. If you are studying for a specific exam, it would be advisable to supplement your Assimil studies with targeted exam preparation materials.

11. Is the Assimil Method suitable for advanced language learners?

The Assimil Method can be beneficial for advanced language learners, especially those looking to consolidate their knowledge and improve their understanding of colloquial expressions and idioms. However, highly advanced learners may not find it challenging enough.

12. How does the Assimil Method compare to other language learning methods?

The Assimil Method takes a unique, holistic approach that differs from traditional classroom-style teaching or popular app-based learning methods. While it lacks interactive features like quizzes or games, it provides in-depth exposure to the language through reading and listening, making it a good option for self-learners.

13. Does the Assimil Method offer any online resources?

While the core of the Assimil Method is based around its physical books and audio CDs, there are also digital versions available for purchase which can be used on various devices. However, as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, there was no specific online platform or app associated with the method.

14. How is grammar taught in the Assimil Method?

In the Assimil Method, grammar is taught implicitly. It is integrated into the context of the dialogues and sentences, and users are expected to pick up grammatical rules naturally over time. There are also footnotes and endnotes in the book to explain complex points.

15. Can I use the Assimil Method alongside other language learning resources?

Absolutely! The Assimil Method can be used as your main language learning tool or as a supplement to other methods. It can be especially beneficial when combined with resources that offer interactive practice or speaking opportunities.

16. Is the Assimil Method suitable for children?

While the Assimil Method is primarily designed for adults and young adults, older children who are capable of independent reading and study may also benefit from it. However, it may not be as engaging for younger children compared to methods that use visual or interactive elements.

17. How is pronunciation taught in the Assimil Method?

Pronunciation is taught in the Assimil Method through its audio recordings. These recordings are performed by native speakers, allowing learners to hear and mimic the sounds and intonations of the language. Some editions also include phonetic transcriptions.

18. Are there any cultural insights in the Assimil Method?

Yes, the Assimil Method provides cultural insights through its dialogues and notes. These insights help learners understand the context of language usage and become more familiar with the customs and lifestyle of the regions where the language is spoken.

Integrating Assimil Lessons into Language Exchanges is a language exchange community that brings language learners together to practice speaking and exchange cultural knowledge. Assimil can be a great tool to use in combination with language exchanges. Learners can use the dialogues and vocabulary lists in Assimil to practice speaking with native speakers in their target language. This helps to reinforce learning and improve speaking skills. offers several features that can be used in combination with Assimil to enhance language learning. For example, learners can connect with language partners to practice speaking and receive corrections from native speakers. They can also attend in-person meetups to practice their language skills in a real-life setting and ask questions and receive answers from native speakers. Additionally, learners can discover comprehensive courses in any language on the website.

How to take advantage of the Assimil offer

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