Product: The Pimsleur Method
Overall Ranking: 95/100
Price: Each Level (30 Lessons) – MP3s $119.95, Software $150, CDs $345
Owners: Simon & Schuster Publishing
The Pimsleur Method is tried and true, offered in over 50 languages, and is regarded by many as the best way to learn foreign languages fast! It’s a great learning tool to add another language to your arsenal and become bilingual, or trilingual, etc.
The product’s own website probably says it best, “the simplest, most effective language course ever developed.” The Pimsleur method is unique and developed with an intentionality called “Graduate Interval Recall”. The courses are sequenced scientifically to help you learn more efficiently.
PROS AND CONS
The PROS are numerous.
- It’s portable. I actually found Lessons 1-6 at the library, and I checked out the CDs and listened to them in the car on my commute.
- The speed at which the native speakers is easy to follow. I don’t know about you, but some products are hard to use when you’re first learning the language because you can’t make out what the native speakers are saying. This method takes it slow. It let’s you hear a short conversation, and then breaks it apart, bit by bit, so that you get to the place where you can understand and speak the very same exchange.
- The lessons are short and give you grammar, vocabulary and usage ideas.
- Subsequent lessons not only build on each other but go back and review earlier vocabulary to assure that it has moved from your short term memory to your long term memory.
- You don’t spend a lot of time on rules. You jump right in to conversation and learn the rules as you go. It’s much less overwhelming that way – you can almost forget you’re learning a rule!
- You focus on conversations right away.
- 50 different languages are available (according to the official website)
I’m not sure what to put for CONS, but here are a few thoughts.
- For a fast learner, this product may be a little frustrating because so much time is spent with each exchange.
- If you are a visual learner, you are only listening and repeating and not seeing the actual words.
Those that want to learn to speak another language in a short amount of time. While you may not be fluent, the words and phrases taught in these lessons give you a very strong base on which to build future language learning.
Each CD has two lesson sessions that last about 30 minutes each. By hearing and interacting with native speakers, both male and female, you can gain great insight to the vocabulary differences that exist between the sexes. If you are a male, you’ll be able to hear the way you would say a particular phrase, as opposed to how you would hear a female say the same thing. That can be helpful in an actual conversation and show your understanding of the differences and nuances of the new language you are acquiring.
If you have questions, there is a toll-free number on the official website. Other than that, I am not certain what is available in this regard.
The price varies depending on the option you select. CDs cost more than the downloadable Mp3s. The software option adds 300 flashcards and 300 matches per level.
Each Level (30 lessons) is $345 for CDs, $150 for software, and $119.95 for digital download. All levels have 30 lessons each.
If you were to purchase all five levels in a bundle – that is the best value – it would be $1190 for CDs and $550.00 for digital. You can do the math!
Note: Specials are periodically advertised on the website.
The Pimsleur Method looks to be very complete and easy to use. However, it is also somewhat pricey. Because it’s so portable, you can take lessons on your computer, through any iOS or Android device, or purchase the CDs. You can listen in when it’s convenient for you – doing chores, driving to work, walking the dog – just 30 minutes per day! At least take a moment to check out the free trial below!