The Standard Deviants DVDs feature: * Interactive testing and practice exams * An easy-to-use, menu-driven format * Instant accessibility to key content areas * Helpful resources, such as charts, terms, formulas, and lists... more » * High-quality digital picture and sound * Additional footage not available on VHS The Standard Deviants' modern approach to learning and understanding makes difficult subjects accessible and even enjoyable. Recommended by over 500 educators and professors, the Standard Deviants DVD is the ultimate way to relax and learn.« less
"As a person who studied French in school but never mastered it, I loved the Standard Deviants' French 1 tape. It gave a brief but comprehensive review of all the basic important parts of speech. It also emphasized pronunciation, an aspect of French not properly represented in the classes I'd taken in high school and collage. The tape says it can't be used to learn French. It's correct. It really needs to be used with a French course, or some other method of learning the language. As a resource to aid in learning comprehension, or as a refresher course for folks like me, however, I give it full marks. Most of the actors and graphics are engaging. A few things were overly corny. I could have done without the weird, old-fashion cowboy guy yelling at me, or the girl talking out of her passport picture. But, these were minor momentary irritants that didn't take away from the effectiveness of the tape...besides the cowboy guy sort of grew on me after a while. The Standard Deviants' tape did one thing I really liked. Learning a foreign language requires repetition. Most tapes I've seen in the past either offered too much repetition for me, which left me bored and uninterested in continuing, or not enough repetition, which left me confused. The Standard Deviants' found a solution to this dilemma. At first, I was surprised at how quickly they covered each subject. Then, I realized why. It's a video tape. One can rewind it as often as one desires. They covered each thing once with nearly no review and then urged the viewer to rewind the section as many times as they needed. This left it up to each individual viewer to decide how much repetition they wanted. A very clever idea! Overall, I found the tape helpful and enjoyable."
Great for those who know zero french
Harry | Chicago | 05/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I strongly reccomend this DVD for those who are just starting to learn French. This DVD covers the very basics that will be needed to understand anything French. It introduces the viewer to understanding that a verb in French (like "go" in english, "aller" in French) is different based on who is doing the action. If I "go", then "go" is written "vais"; if we "go", then it is written "allons" and pronounced differently. I found this element of learning French painful at the start, that instead of learning one word for "go" I had to learn six. But once I became accostumed to it, learning became much easier. You can also expect to learn a little about numbers and colors, and a few verbs and nouns. This DVD in no way will leave you knowing enough French to go and speak it. This DVD, and part II, leaves the student with enough basic information so that learning will become much easier. For example, I used the TV series "French in Action". At the start of my studies with lessons 1-6, I had a great deal of trouble understanding what was going on. After watching the Standard Deviants DVD it became much easeir.One more thing about this DVD. It was entertaining and enjoyable to watch. I did not feel like I was working to learn, rather I felt more like I was watching a show and everything was sticking, that I was remembering what they taught. I highly recommend this for the absolute begenner."
If you're a beginner, this DVD is NOT for you.
J. Savage | Alexandria, VA USA | 03/06/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"If you recently decided that you would like to learn French, this DVD is not for you. They FLY through the material. Even when they want you to repeat after a presenter they still go fast! I noticed that I kept rewinding the video to try and make sense of what they just presented. It was so annoying having to rewind constantly! The beginning of the video discloses that the DVD is a supplement to classroom study. If you ask me, they need to put this disclosure (in flashing neon lights) on the cover and product description because by no means will you learn anything from this video without prior classroom experience.
In summary, if you're just starting to learn French this DVD is not for you. If you already know the French language and want to brush up on your skills, this DVD might suit you well.
I'm really glad I was able to rent this DVD (through Blockbuster Online) before I made the mistake of buying it.
My search for a good instructional French DVD continues..."
Too annoying to be helpful
Rebecca | Portland, OR | 02/25/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I fortunately rented this dvd before purchasing and I would highly recommend that others do this as well. Some reasons I would not recommend purchasing this DVD: 1. Non-native speakers. They do speak slowly & clearly, but it's with a non-native accent, that's not going to help much if you plan to actually go to France. 2. Too much grammar instruction. Explaining the grammar rules to me doesn't help nearly as much as hearing it used in context. Too much explanation not enough repetition. 3. Lame lame lame attempts at humor & conversation. It didn't bother me that much the first time through, but in order to actually learn the material one needs to rewind and go over the same sections repeatedly. I couldn't stand it. Humor is absolutely a personal-preference thing, so you'll have to see for yourself if you find it annoying. 4. Not enough conversation, not enough French. There are only a handful of conversations in French to listen to & repeat. They do a LOT of talking in English. I would prefer much more exposure to the actual language.
Overall, I didn't find this DVD very helpful. I second the suggestion to watch DVDs you already own using the French language options (if available). You'll pick things up in context. "
Superb for relearners as well as neophytes
Donald Champagne | Silver Spring, Maryland USA | 08/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I learned French fluently when I was young. But that was more than 40 years ago, and my French has gotten very rusty. I've been struggling to relearn the language for a year, including a two week visit to France last Fall. I took a brief class before the trip, and have tried a variety of tools, including online instruction and tapes. All helped, but none were fully satisfying. Until now. This Standard Deviants program has by far the best pedagogical method I've ever seen for learning French. It is thorough without being monotonous or pedantic. The humor turns some people off, but I found most of it imaginative and helpful. For example, the tape illustrates the importance of accents by noting that the phrases for "Please repeat" and "Please pass gas again" differ by only one accent over the first "e". I have researched this, and they are strictly correct, but their example is far from obvious. My wife, who has little French experience, also enjoyed and profited from the tape."