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Teach Yourself Instant French Book/CD Pack (Teach Yourself Instant Courses) [Audiobook, Unabridged] [Paperback]

Elisabeth Smith
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

26 May 2006

First published in 1998, the Instants have established themselves as the best-selling range of language titles from teach yourself. When published as part of the teach yourself relaunch in May 2003, they were given a new cover, internal text re-design and availability on CD for the first time, but now they have undergone an extensive revision, with 16 more pages to give room for additional exercises and flashcards, and an extra CD to double the amount of audio practice.

The 35-minutes-a-day, six-week course is highly structured and has a fresh approach to language learning which appeals both to readers who have not learnt the language before and to those with some basic knowledge of French. The author has used her wide teaching experience to refine the course so that it covers only the grammar (explained in no-nonsense English in the book and on the CDs) and vocabulary which are really necessary. Her day-by-day, no-nonsense programme is easy to follow and fun to do. At the end of six weeks, readers have the confidence and knowledge to tackle all the situations they'll need to know about, such as shopping, eating out and getting around. With fewer than 400 words to learn, and flashcards at the back of the book to help learn them, progress is fast and enjoyable.

Sales of the Instants (over 150,000 units since in the last two years) have established Elisabeth Smith as the UK's leading language author (Bookscan figures) and her large amount of fan mail is witness to the success of her unique method.

The book (0340914572) and CDs (0340914599) are available separately.

Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Teach Yourself; 3rd Revised edition edition (26 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340914580
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340914588
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 16 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 735,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Elisabeth Smith has published more than 30 books, CDs and DVDs in 11 different languages. She has taught enthusiastic audiences all over the world. Her unique entertaining language courses are international bestsellers, with over one million copies sold.

Product Description


... A language lifeline ... fun, fast and easy (The Independent)

... Elisabeth Smith's Instant Greek was a real help ... the simple scripts and audio make it crystal clear ... I'm delighted with my progress. ('Greece' magazine)

Teach Yourself Instant German: The elements are simple and very straightforward ... strong encouragement ... plenty of opportunity for spoken practice. This course worked very well for me. ('Professional Manager' magazine)

I am terrible with languages yet I am picking up Spanish! I found Instant Spanish excellent! (Helen Goddard, Devon)

We have completed your Instant French. We think it is wonderful. (Tom and Maureen Peil, Preston)

It is now a year since I first came across [Instant French] at my local library and I have benefited tremendously from this happy occurrence ... I loved the sense of humour ... Each week I did the final test with bated breath wondering if this time the little bar chart [...] would take a nose dive - but it didn't. (Lesly Hopkins, Twickenham)

Book Description

The best-selling series from teach yourself is now even better, with 2 audio CDs to make learning French even easier and quicker.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
81 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff... 29 Aug 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
I am doing GCSE french and coming up to the final year of my course I have, like many french students looked for a quick way to learn all that information that I previously slept through. Although not being focused on the GCSE tact this book provides useful phrases and gives you the ability to generate your own. Even though it claims not to show you grammar you quickly pick up the past and future tenses by the third and fourth weeks.
To test the book I decided to start it 6 weeks before a summer trip to france, working my way through the book I encountered everyday situations and slowly but surely got through the whole course in just under four weeks. During that period I started constructing sentences purely of my own will which was even an amazement to myself. This boost in confidence sped up my speech and gave me a better understanding of how the french language works.
I enjoyed this book tremendously and changed my view on the whole french language.
As for the trip, it was great, I understood most that was said and could actively take part in light conversation which was once just a noise.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Le Francais sans Pleurer! (French without Tears!) 29 April 2009
By Elodie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an absolute must have for the jaded and discouraged student of beginners French. Even if you have reached that dreaded plateau this book will rekindle your enthusiasm again. This book cuts to the chase and concentrates on the essentials. No wrestling with endless grammar tables, just tips. Meaningful dialogues in French with English translations. 389 words to say nearly everything and some very useful flashcards at the back of the book. There is a daily guide and a progress chart. Study this for 35 minutes everyday and your French will improve dramatically. I know, I've tried it!! However, you still need to read, listen to French radio, watch French film and TV where posssible and practise your conversation with native speakers at every opportunity. A weekly class just isn't enough. Put this little book in your pocket. You'll be so glad you bought it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a good first course 18 May 2009
I got mine ages ago now and it was a very good starter from a CSE (remember those?) poor grade, taken years ago.
From the start its pacey without being 'heavy'.
there are various ways used to help you learn from the CD tracks to flash cards and little tests to check progress.
Half an hour a day it lasts six weeks, or if you prefer you could do it a lot faster if you have more time.
I would have given 5 stars but the CD is a bit pinched toward the end and I had the feeling it needed 2 CD's to cover properly.
In a nutshell its a perfect re-start from lapsed school-French or after the excellent 'earworms french' intro CDs.
I was surprised at what I'd achieved after this course and recomend it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chris H's schooldays 9 July 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's a long time since I did French (I had to give it up at age 14), but this brought it all back. Recommended, if you're like me or want to improve your French for an upcoming holiday.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good in the home but not in the car 22 Aug 2009
I'm a busy person with work and Open University studies.

After foolishly ditching languages at school and making regular trips to Brussels I decided it was time to revive my French to a workable level so I looked round for courses.

This one caught my eye as it looked to be just about the right level, not too basic but not too advanced. I wanted one with CD's so that I could use my 2hrs commuting everyday to learn French.

So I got the course put the disc in and off I drove all was well until reaching the 4 or 5th day when there are long passages of text to translate from English to French. For learning at home this is fine but in the car its no good.

So I've basically stopped there and I'm now trying a different teach yourself french course designed for learning in the car.

But what I did listen to an learn this is a well put together course, practical words and phrases presented in a pleasant and non patronising manner.

So good for the home not for the car
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
If you are going on a short holiday or business trip to France, this is the best course you can possibly buy, without exception. As an advanced learner of French who lived in a French speaking country, I feel well placed to comment on the effectiveness or otherwise of French courses. If you have amibitions to be a UN translator, this will be too pedestrian, but if you are looking for a small but highly effective amount of French, this is for you.

Some French courses teach highly detailed, hypothetical language (e.g. "My tailor is very rich"). By contrast, this teaches only the language you will actually need, from booking tickets, to ordering meals. The end of unit tests are simple enough to encourage you whilst not being overly complex.

The great beauty of this course is how fiendishly simple and appealing the exercises are. Even the most terrified language learner can be assured they will get real life, useable French from this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction to the French language. 15 April 2009
By rackle
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A great introduction to the French language - or just as good if you want a quick refresher course and haven't spoken French since you were at school!

I bought this with the intension of doing a self-taught refresher course in French having learnt French at school but letting my skills go very rusty: as such this was a very useful tool for learning the very basics - enough to get you able to feel confident enough to at least try to phrase questions and expressions in a round about way if you can't find the exact vocabulary.

There are six units - supposedly meant to be so you can spend a week on each unit, though I managed to cover all six in four weeks - though more to do with the fact this was like revising rather than learning from scratch to me. It also covers (briefly) correct grammar and pitfalls to avoid.

This course is great if you only want to cover the very basics of the French language. I like the way there are lots of vocabulary exercises where it pushes you to use your initiative and expand on the existing dialogues to to enhance your perceptions of the use of the words and phrases. A very useful tool and great for confidence building.

The only downfall for me is that I think it does sometimes encourage sloppy pronunciation at the expense of keeping the course simple. As an example it suggests pronouncing any "e" with an accent - whether grave or acute as an "a" as in the word 'hay", which I dispute.

Not a downfall as such, but a valid point all the same, this book does only touch on the basics, so do not expect to be able to speak French to the same level as if you learnt French as a language at secondary school (let's face it - one cannot condense five years of schooling into 6 weeks without cutting out a lot!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Instant French
It arrived in clean and crisp condition!Am not sure if it is the book or the condition it came in I am supposed to be reviewing! Read more
Published on 12 May 2012 by Rosy
3.0 out of 5 stars review
the book is useful for the limited aims it sets itself: but it does need the accompanying CD if no native French speaker is available. Read more
Published on 17 April 2012 by coudois
4.0 out of 5 stars Very organised book
This is a great little book. Very organised and simple to use.
I highly recommend it, but dont skip any of it. Rushing will not help you. Read more
Published on 22 Sep 2011 by alimac
5.0 out of 5 stars Teach Yourself French
Book in excellent condition and promptly delivered by seller.
With the cassette forms an impressive course- interesting and stresses the important aspects of conversational... Read more
Published on 25 May 2011 by pod
5.0 out of 5 stars The one that works!
This really works, and I've tried lots of French courses and always get bored, but this is great and you can actually the words you know when you get to France - highly... Read more
Published on 29 Sep 2010 by Mrs. J. Plowman
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
Helps you get over the basics of communication quickly. I think it should be supplemented with other material for best result (I combined with a French verbs book). Read more
Published on 2 Nov 2009 by C. Obianyor
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Excellent to refresh your French knowledge - but MUST use book and cds together (I understand you can purchase them separately but wouldn't be as good) However, I think the course... Read more
Published on 21 May 2009 by J. Sheldon
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