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Customer reviews

2.6 out of 5 stars

on 10 February 2004
I found this book very useful for getting that initial good start when learning a new language. The first couple of weeks of learning can often be difficult or demoralising as it feels like there is too much to learn and nothing is sinking in. The methods given here provide a way of building up some initial vocabulary and understanding that lays the foundations for further learning and provides some real sense of acheivement, which in turn boosts enthusiasm and encourages you to go on and learn in a bit more depth.
Anyone wanting to become reasonably fluent should be warned that the book only does what it says on the cover. After spending your first week or two using these methods you'll be able to understand the absolute basics, introduce yourself, deal with emergencies (doctor, police etc.), order food and other stuff of this nature. You are left in a position where you have the necessaries for day-to-day use but also some confidence and the sense of acheivement to continue (and want to continue) studying with other methods like textbooks and classes building on a good foundation.
There is a clearly defined schedule and lots of worksheets to provide some structure for year learning and avoid the trap of "serving time" where you decide to study for 30 minutes or an hour each day, but end up just reading through a textbook or listening to a cassette without clear focus and objectives and not learning as much as you could by making better use of the time.
In summary it will give you a good start, but don't expect to become super proficient using this method and nothing else.
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on 19 December 2007
I picked this book up when I was asked to take groups of football players on training trips to several European premiership clubs. I found that on my first trip to Valencia and then on my second to Milan I was able to communicate my basic everyday needs in either Spanish or Italian using the techniques involved in this book within in a matter of days.

This involved co-ordinating coaches, training pitches, kits, breakfasts, lunches and dinners as well as emergency flights home and apologising to hotel staff for the occasional outbursts of raucous behaviour from the players.

It is quick, it is dirty and you still need to learn as you go, it's certainly not instant as the previous reviewer seems to have hoped but it is a usable set of structured techniques.

I can vouch that I have been functional in a language within a week but have not used it long enough to progress any further.

Since then I have lived in the Middle East, Asia and France and curse 'er indoors every place we land for putting it in storage before we left the country.

Maybe I should just buy another copy!
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on 5 February 2004
There is no such think as learning a language quickly so what you will find in this rather unsubstantial book is a way to learn how to speak the language very badly. Not only that, you will learn to do so in a time consuming way. The "technique" in thsi book consists of filling in grids of so-called high-frequency words and then, of course, you have to set about LEARNING them. Nothing innovative there, except that you had to waste your time finding out words to fill in the grids. You may as well have bought a phrase book and gone through the expressions in that! As far as grammar goes - ooh yes, grammar: the thing all language learners apart from real aficionados hate - well, Hawke's advice seems to be that you don't need to worry about it much. If you look at the section on the future tense, Hawke tells you not to worry if you don't get it exactly right! That's hardly the attitude I would expect from a soldier! If that's the way US elite forces operate (The "special forces " gimmmick is a new one on me - I thought I had seen them all, but this is the one used in this book!), it's hardly surprising a certain bearded gentleman from Saudi Arabia is still at large! Hawke is "certified" in seven languages, according to the blurb on the back. This pathetic little book makes me wonder just how little you need to know, and how badly you can get away with speaking a language in the military, if the system in this book is any indication of achievement levels.
There's no quick-fix where language learning is concerned, so obviously, this book is not going to do much for you!
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on 6 February 2008
This book is a waste of money , it merely describes how to organise a note books for language learning and offers little practical advice on learning a language.
11 Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

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