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Dr. Paul Pimsleur devoted his life to language teaching and testing and was one of the world’s leading experts in applied linguistics. After years of experience and research, Dr. Pimsleur developed The Pimsleur Method based on two key principles: the Principle of Anticipation and a scientific principle of memory training that he called “Graduated Interval Recall.” This Method has been applied to the many levels and languages of the Pimsleur Programs.
There is little doubt that The Pimsleur CDs for Spanish I will get you off the ground and learning Spanish painlessly (if not exactly rapidly). If the thought of learning Spanish while being stuck in rush hour traffic, or driving across country, is appealing to you, then Pimsleur is the good stuff. Having said that, I think it pays to be aware of a few things before making the Big Purchase. Because the price tag for these CDs is high, you might find it helpful, as I did, to try Pimsleur's "Quick and Simple" set of CDs for Spanish first. Those CDs duplicate (with minor differences) the first 8 lessons of the Spanish I collection. So if you wish to be cautious, that is probably the best way to get started with Pimsleur products, rather than buying the more expensive, more comprehensive products right away. You'll get a sense of whether this is the route you want to go if you want to learn more Spanish. Whether you start with the Spanish I package, or the Quick and Easy CDs, you will be exposed you to the heart of what makes the Pimsleur method unique and painless. The approach is based on (1) The Principle of Anticipation (a mastery technique that is different than rote recall), (2) Graduated Interval Recall (an approach that provides new stuff to memorize at optimal intervals), (3) Core Vocabulary (an efficient, optimal selection of a small number of key words that you need to know, as opposed to an extensive vocabulary), (4) and "Organic Learning" (learn speech, eg sound, rhythm, intonations, as opposed to a bunch of textbook gramatical rules). I should add that there's something subtly humorous about the content of the CDs, so if you have a sarcastic or wicked sense of humor, you won't be totally bored.Read more ›
This is James from James Spanish (the learning Spanish blog). Pimsleur courses have been trusted by language students for decades, and are known to be one of the most complete and effective courses available for learning a second language. Taught entirely via audio, there are no textbooks, no work sheet, no written lessons at all. This makes it not only ideal for busy students who want to learn while they are driving, exercising or working but also for students who have a natural dislike for reading and writing. The aim of the course is to get students speaking Spanish comfortably and confidently, without worrying about spelling or penmanship.
Here are the pluses and minuses of Pimsleur Spanish
Plus #1: Student-Friendly Method of Teaching
Pimsleur Spanish does not rely on repetitive drills or lists of words that have to be remembered by rote. Instead the vocabulary, grammar and sentence structure are taught naturally, as a child would learn from listening to people talk, and repeating the words and phrases back. Each lesson is an easily digestible thirty minutes, and never overloads you with too much information. The course is designed for one lesson to be studied each day, giving you a steady but manageable pace. Level 1 is an excellent introduction for beginners, and will give a solid foundation of pronunciation, essential grammar and a basic vocabulary without overwhelming.
Plus #2: Logical Method of Teaching
The lessons follow a logical pattern, allowing you to build on the knowledge from each previous lessons as you progress. Since each lesson is short, the course is great for those who can't devote a large amount of time to studying a new language, but who are serious about learning Spanish.Read more ›
I have completed all of the three main levels of Pimsleur Spanish as well as Pimsleur Spanish plus. I have been studying
Spanish on my own since early 2002. I would consider myself somewhat proficient but far from fluent. I am going to attempt to compare Pimsluer Spanish with some of the other courses that I have used and that are available here on Amazon.
Compared to Rosetta stone, I would consider Pimsleur a lot more fun. Rosetta Stone was a rather tedious course. And the more
fun a course is, the more that you will study with the course. The advantage that Rosetta Stone Spanish has over Pimsleur
is that you will learn more vocabulary. Also if you are a visual learner you will make progress quicker with Rosetta Stone because Pimsluer Spanish is all audio. Pimsluer Spanish is also a lot more "convenient" than Rosetta Stone because Pimsleur Spanish can be used in your car or even your ipod. However, Rosetta Stone Spanish requires you to sit in front of a computer. In any case, Rosetta Stone makes an excellent compliment to Pimsleur Spanish or Learning Spanish Like Crazy.
Compared to Learning Spanish Like Crazy, I would consider Pimsleur easier to master. I was able to complete the Pimsleur
materials by going through them just once or twice. On the other hand, I had to go through the Learning Spanish Like Crazy
materials as many as five times before I felt comfortable enough with the material to move on to the next lesson.
Arguably, that's because LSLC covers more vocabulary and grammar than Pimsluer Spanish. Clearly, one advantage that Learning Spanish Like crazy has over Pimsleur Spanish is that it offers much more vocabulary. The vocabulary in Pimsleur was also a bit archaic and just too formal.Read more ›
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For help in selecting the right Pimsleur Language Program for you, or with technical questions, call us at 1-800-831-5497, 24/7. For more information on Pimsleur, visit, www.pimsleur.com.
Dr. Paul Pimsleur (b. 1926, d. 1976) devoted his life to language teaching and testing and was one of the world's leading experts in applied linguistics. He was fluent in French, good in German, and had a working knowledge of Italian, Russian, Modern Greek, and Mandarin Chinese. After obtaining his Ph.D. in French and a Masters in Psychology from Columbia University, he taught French Phonetics and Linguistics at UCLA. He later became Professor of Romance Languages and Language Education, and Director of The Listening Center (a state-wide language lab) at Ohio State University; Professor of Education and Romance Languages at the State University of New York at Albany; and a Fulbright lecturer at the University of Heidelberg. He did research on the psychology of language learning and in 1969 was Section Head of Psychology of Second Language Learning at the International Congress of Applied Linguistics.
Dr. Pimsleur was a member of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF), American Educational Research Association (AERA), Modern Language Association (MLA), and a founding member of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), who award the Paul Pimsleur Award for Research in Foreign Language Education every year.
His many books and articles revolutionized theories of language learning and teaching. After years of experience and research, Dr. Pimsleur developed a new method (The Pimsleur Method) that is based on two key principles: the Principle of Anticipation and a scientific principle of memory training that he called "Graduated Interval Recall." This Method has been applied to the many levels and languages of the "Pimsleur Programs."