Simplified Functional Method: First or Second Edition?

Hello all!

I started Series 90 two years ago and stopped after about 20 lessons.  The teacher that was instructing me retired last year from my high school and I have no way to get in contact with her.  Currently, the only book I have is the Series 90 manual.  I would really like to start over after I have read how effective the Simplified Functional Method is for self study and how Series 90 is quite slow.
Anyway, I was on abebooks and am trying to choose between the first and second edition.  I see there are a lot more resources for the first edition available; would it make sense to purchase the first edition since there are many other first edition books available in the series (transcription, dictation, speed building)?  What are the differences between the first and second edition?

(by Tyler for everyone)

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5 comments Add yours
  1. The "second edition" of the Simplified series had more attractive covers and some "cute" illustrations and photos … not all that many. Perhaps McBud can point out other differences … essentially both editions present the same material in the same order.

  2. My copy is second edition. It claims to have more marginal notes, vocab and definitions, advice to the student, and 50% more reading material. It emphasizes that there is no change in the theory, and it's organized the same way.

  3. Both editions are fine, and the differences are really minimal. In the second edition, the vowel markings were eliminated: to me this is a shame, because those come really handy. The theory and examples are the same and presented in exactly the same order and same number of lessons, though in the second edition, they split the examples within each lesson a little further. The presentation of the first edition looks remakably similar to the Anniversary functional method manual. The second edition just makes a point of introducing new reading and writing material with a preview in longhand of some words that may be considered difficult, and it also adds transcription pointers and motivational paragraphs throughout, with dated pictures. The book does not have 50% more material that the first edition — it replaced about 50% of the passages with new passages. Also, in the second edition, the key to the individual words presented as part of the lesson are found right on the text, instead of the appendix as the first edition. The key to the reading passages up to and including lessons 54 in both editions is found in the appendix.

    If you choose the first edition, you will not loose anything if you go to a second edition book later on for dictation, transcription, or speed building. Anyway, it's a good move on choosing the Functional method manual.

    You will find out that you will have learned much more in 20 lessons of Simplified than in 20 lessons of S90 (for example: 97 brief forms in 20 lessons of Simplified vs 68 of S90)! There is more material and more principles in Simplified for the same number of lessons, and as a consequence, you will get more bang for the buck.

    Check also eBay for books.

    Good luck, and post here if you have any questions.


  4. I appreciate all the help. I just ordered the Simplified Functional Method – 2nd Edition from I'm glad to be picking it up again.

    I'll be back with more questions if they come up!


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