The Pimsleur Approach is a program that promises to help people learn a new language without the need to spend hundreds of dollars on language software or language classes. It gives one the chance to speak in a foreign tongue with a minimal time investment of 30 minutes a day for 10 days.
Getting a good grasp on any type of conversational language is a survival skill that may open up many opportunities once accomplished, which is why I decided to take a look at the program and help readers determine whether or not the program can work for them.
Who Can Benefit Most from the Pimsleur Approach?
If you’ve ever tried to learn a second language before, you probably found the process to be quite frustrating. In fact, many people who have had to study a foreign language in high school or college barely got by. The worst thing about it is that after you spent hours upon hours working on your foreign language class, you find that you’re no closer to being conversational with it than when you started learning.
Trying the Pimsleur Approach is a great first step towards effective learning. If you are not willing to spend hours upon hours on grammar drills for many months and are unwilling to pay a huge chunk of cash for programs that don’t seem to work, you’ll find this program very interesting.
How Does the Pimsleur Approach Work?
At first glance, the program seems too good to be true, but if you take a closer look at it you’ll see that it actually makes a lot of sense. The Pimsleur Approach was developed by Paul Pimsleur, a scholar in the field of applied linguistics who challenged the way foreign languages are being taught in schools and universities. The common method of learning a foreign language is through memorization, so students end up memorizing words from a vocabulary list and grammar rules instead of actually practicing what they have learned in conversations with other speakers of the language they are learning.
According to Pimsleur’s research, rote memorization actually hinders learning a language rather than help it. The Pimsleur Approach is quite simple, but it makes more sense. According to the program, the best way to learn a new language is through hearing and participation, which is actually how little children acquire a second or third language.
You don’t see little children poring over grammar drills or memorizing words from a grammar book, but they do absorb language naturally like a sponge. In reality, being fluent in a language has nothing to do with all the big words that you know how to use. It has everything to do with being able to communicate with a native speaker. The Pimsleur Approach strips people of all the preconceptions about learning language and takes a simpler yet more effective approach.
The program is comprised of audio lessons that last for 30 minutes a day over a period of 10 days. Pimsleur claims that 10 days is more than enough to learn how to converse in a new language regardless of the amount of knowledge that one has about it, especially since the brain is already wired to learn other languages. The Pimsleur Approach takes advantage of this simple truth and makes it available to more people.
The Pimsleur Approach aims to give users the basic words and building blocks of a foreign language. Through listening and participation, students can then be able to use those simple words to express thoughts as well as pick up the correct accent – much like how children learn language, except that adults have a more developed faculty for learning foreign languages.
How Does It Compare with Other Language Learning Programs?
Since there’s basically no other language learning program like the Pimsleur Approach, you can only compare it with other programs like Rosetta Stone and language courses being offered in traditional classroom settings. Language software like the Rosetta Stone can cost more than $700 and leave many people quite frustrated because of the hours they need to spend poring over grammar drills and memorizing words from a grammar book which is quite an unnatural way to learn conversational language. The same can be said about language courses that are taught in classrooms, except that unlike other language software, these are less flexible in terms of schedule and a lot more expensive – taking a language course can cost $3,000 at the very least.
Perhaps the most effective way to learn a foreign language is through immersion. You’ll learn a new language quicker if you live among native speakers for months and maybe even years and if you listen and speak the language in an everyday setting. However, the cost of immersion can be pretty high. A short vacation can start at around $10,000 and can go up to $50,000 or even $100,000 depending on how long you plan to stay in a foreign country.
The Pimsleur Approach brings you as close to the effect of long term immersion in as short as 10 days. However, the program does not claim that you will become fluent in a foreign language within that time period. What the program guarantees is that it will serve as the first step towards being able to use conversational language. Fluency can be developed later through vocabulary building and other exercises. The program helps its students learn the foundations of a particular language, which is the most important, but also the hardest thing to establish.
It’s really simple, but it’s very effective. In fact, the method has been used by the FBI and recommended by Forbes, PBS, and other companies because of its effectiveness. All you need to do is to listen to the audio recordings for 30 minutes a day, during the recommended 10-day period.
Pricing and Recommendation
Although one may think that this type of program will cost a lot, the price is actually surprisingly low for the level of education it promises to provide. One can learn a foreign language quickly and simply for only $9.95 per language. The program is available in 16 languages and the CDs are delivered free of charge. It also comes with a 30-day money back guarantee. It’s an incredible opportunity to learn a new language with minimal investment in money, time, and effort and certainly worth a second look for someone who wants to speak a foreign language in no time.