What You Need to Know About the Pimsleur Approach
Note: This is a Review - Click Here to Visit the Official Pimsleur Website
Looking for an effective way to learn a foreign language? Consider the approach where vocabulary is built on previously learned vocabulary. You might say that many programs use this concept, but not many products engage the listener like Pimsleur does while building this vocabulary, nor are many language learning methods based on scientific techniques tested and proven to be effective.
This approach was developed in 1970 by Paul Pimsleur while teaching a number of different language classes at the University of California in Los Angeles. It has since been enhanced and tested and now presented as the Primleur Language Programs, Simon& Schuster.
How Pimsleur Approach Works
Let’s look at a technique used by teachers: By presenting words a structure is created: cat. . . The cat. . . . The fat cat . . . The fat cat sat… and so on. Gradually added to those words are affiliate words. The original parts, subject, verb and predicate are used as anchors, the core parts of a sentence. Students learn to relate writing concepts like agreement of subject and verbs by altering or affixing appropriate subparts to those words. The premise of the Pimleur Approach is building from a core vocabulary, just like the example outlined of building a sentence. Most foreign learning courses do. Pimsleur only starts there; it provides much more learning experiences than just guiding a student through a repetitive system.
Utilizing modern technology and tested learning techniques, this approach employs audio output sessions using neurological tools to teach the mind. It does that by requiring a thinking audio response from the listener.
The program doesn’t ask for rote responses; it prompts the listener to repeat phrases in a unique way that actively engages the listener and triggers the mind. The listener is asked to recall and refer to other concepts already presented. At the same time the listener is encouraged to think and respond to real conversation in a story mode. The responses solicited insure that the listener stays involve. As this process progresses the listener begans to ingrain the accent the listener hears from the output’s speaker.
New phrases are deliberately designed to tie into previously introduced phrases. These older phrases are again repeated to reinforce. They are set in increasingly timed spaced intervals allowing the listener to recall previous phrases and make the connection, but not enough time to languish in response.
Up and Down Sides
Through being actively involved, requiring a response, attention stays with the process. It builds anticipation and the desire to response appropriately. It actually spikes pressure through the short span allowed for response and discourages mindless listening.
It is a well structured approach. Each lesson includes phrases introduced and reinforced through repetition in a story form setting. This allows for the mind to link through memories previously introduced and build from the phrases.
The product is audio with no text to refer to while listening. The vocabulary is presented in story form, that is good, most systems do not. However, the story or the conversation prompts may or may not provide the reality needed. For example, if a response related to a business agreement is prompted and the listener is a mother of three planning to move overseas, she might find herself floundering in unfamiliar territory.
The Competition and Prices
Pimsleur advertizes online at the “low” price of $9, 95
Rosetta Stone puts out the most expensive product found for foreign language learning, $495. However, the features offered appear to be quitecomprehensive, including games. activities, connections to mobile pad devices and an interactive program that engages the listener’s mentally while requiring audio responses. It also comes with a six month guarantee.
Newmont Mining is listed as one of the highest in sales category for this particular type of software with a price of $30.22. Be sure you order the full edition. It includes puzzles and games in their software.
Berlitz is another leading competitor. It targets the financial, business and marketing communities. The company is out of England and advertizes at $39.95. This software is designed to provide tutorial instruction to groups of four to ten students. One search engine comment was that additional fees were involved, for a price.
Declan Resources software lists at $14.95 and offers a wide range of languages to learn. It also offers learning accessories such as flashcards.
Living Language is set up for three courses, audio and video, and is priced at Amazon at $35.65. Again, be sure you get the complete addition. The rating is almost a full five star.
Another plus for Pimsleur is their structured proficiency guarantee based on the proficiency of a test. There is a fee, of course, $100. After finishing the course, a purchaser cay take the proficiently test. There are different levels of proficiency. If the purchaser can not pass on level one, a novice, the full purchase price is returned. Read your fine print on this. Make sure of the time frame involved for taking the test.
If purchasing any of this software on line be sure you are selecting a full edition, that you notice any additional fees that have been tacked on, and have read the warrantee or disclaimer information. Buy a packaged product, not one that can be downloaded from the purchase site.