Pimsleur French Program Review : Learn to Speak, Read, and Understand French.

Pimsleur French

Pimsleur’s language programs were first released approximately 50 years ago by Dr Paul Pimsleur.  His aim was to design and record study materials that people could easily use by themselves.  His language programs were accessible on reel to reel tapes to begin with, and were followed by cassettes and cd’s in the early 90’s.  From 2005 onwards, Pimsleur’s language course became available as digital downloads.  In 2008, a children’s line, Speak Spanish with Dora & Diego, was launched alongside Nick Jr that belongs to Nickelodeon.  Furthermore, Pimsleur’s language courses are now available on iPhones & iPads. 

Brief Overview

The Pimsleur method of leaning a language is incredibly successful and easy to follow. There are many language learning products out there that aren't really that good, thankfully Pimsleur isn't one of them, Rosetta Stone and Transparent Language are also other very useful products.

With "Pimsleur you repeat words and expressions several times and learn something new each time you use it. Hundred's of thousands of people have already used Pimsleur's French and grasped the language very well - we can happily say that many people have successfully learnt French using the program. We like Pimsleur's course - words and phrases sink in very easily when following their methods. You can find yourself listening to some very useful and key language building blocks within the space of a few hours.

Theory

The skill of being able to ask someone a question that persuades them to build a grammatical foundation so that they can give a reply that is accurate, including sound and pronunciation, is what allows Pimsleur’s planned syllabus to enable language development to take place each time the audio is listened to.   

This is how Pimsleur’s program is different to other french language materials available. It’s the secret behind Pimsleur success.  He initiates a momentous and quantifiable set of communication skills, as long as the learning tasks are followed exactly how they arranged by the Pimsleur methodology. Moreover, the fundamental reason Pimsleur language courses are effective is because Pimsleur uses a technique called “spaced repetition”.    

“Spaced Repetition“

Let me explain what spaced repetition stands for. To begin with, the speakers will notify you of an expression in a foreign language and then request that you say it yourself.  . After that, the speaker will ask you to memories the expression and pronounce the words out loudly during time pauses that are really short to begin with and then progressively become more intense.

For instance, to begin with you will listen to a word and then the speaker will ask you to articulate it after 15 seconds, then they’ll ask you to say it after 45 seconds, and then after 1 minute and 30 seconds etc. The gaps between the times rapidly intensify until they’re quantified in days, followed by weeks.

This method is a remarkably useful way to shape fresh memories and is valuable when learning a new language.

Professor C. A. Mace made up Spaced repetition in 1932; hence it is a dated idea.  Pimsleur’s language curriculums were designed during the 70’s after tape technology became popular.

Pimsleur’s Values

Pimsleur’s language courses are grounded on five important values:

1.  Graduated Interval Recall

Dr. Pimsleur’s did some ground-breaking research on how the memory works; this was his greatest accomplishment.  He found out that students remembered words or phrases for a longer time compared to what they did previously if they were given a steady reminder of the new word or phrase in a set time period.  He recognized that the word or phrase shifted from short-term to long-term, or permanent, memory.  It was because of his studies that he had the capacity to develop a program that had the precise points for optimum retention.

2.  Notion of Expectation

You need to be able to comprehend the things that are said to you in real-life conversations, plus you “expect” an accurate reply.  This procedure involves a complicated thought procedure –and the majority of people take this for granted when they speak their indigenous language.  Dr. Pimsleur’s studies showed that if you initiate this vibrant “input and output” structure, then new associations are created inside the students’ brain.  By methodically requesting if students have understood and expecting a response, the Notion of Expectation is stimulated, which speeds-up learning, plus synergistically enhances comprehension.

3.  Essential Vocabulary

Pimsleur lessons are made so that you can learn how to comprehend and communicate in your new language within a fairly short amount of time.  Vast numbers of studies have revealed that being able to successfully communicate in any particular language is reliant on mastering a fairly small amount of words.  Attempting to memorize lots of words in the beginning slows down the learning process.   Nevertheless, after the essential vocabulary is mastered and utilsed over and over again, this offers a foundation for students to learn the language at a faster pace.

4.  Organic Learning

Pimsleur’s learning Methodology focuses on educating students how to master a language for functional purposes, especially comprehension and speaking from the start.  The brain does everything it needs to:  grasping sounds, feeling rhythms, plus combining the tone in an identical manner to how you acquired your primary language. Each time you want some vocabulary, it’s available to you – completely assimilated and entirely flawless.  Plus, the most important aspect is that you’ll learn expressions that you need from the beginning. Language truly becomes active when words, syntax, and charming pronunciation that sounds indigenous all come to the tip of your tongue effortlessly (each time you need them). We give Pimsleur an overall 8/10.

Select the language you want to learn – then press click “Give it a go”

  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Russian
  • Irish
  • Canadian French
  • Danish
  • Swedish
  • Chinese
  • Japanese
  • Plus many more

Pimsleur’s Advertising Assertions

Pimsleur frequently claims in his marketing that you can learn a language within 10 days.  we would say this is very true because we did actually learn a lot of our chosen language in that time scale.  

Pimsleur’s style operates like the following advertisement states: “Learn French in Ten Days.” Of course, it is correct that you have the capacity to gain plenty of knowledge with Pimsleur language courses. Many people who have tried Pimsleur would confirm that they were able to speak French within 10 days of utilizing his courses.  Obviously you won’t become completely fluent, but this would be virtually impossible anyway, no matter how smart you are!  The most important thing here is the fact that you can converse in a new language in such a short space of time. 

Every unit in Pimsleur’s lessons presents between four to five fresh phrases, plus it goes through the previous materials that you have learned too. We progressed to the subsequent lessons in three days when we studied with Pimsleur. Let us make the assumption that you learn at a quicker pace than us – and you complete one fresh lesson each day.  This means you will learn 50 new words or expressions within 10 days.  As a result, you’ll have the ability to have a basic dialogue in French, or your chosen language as all the expressions have been really well selected.

Early Technology

Pimsleur language courses have been designed using cassette tapes which was the finest obtainable foreign-language education technology in the 1970s.

We have a great deal of respect for the individuals who created these lessons.  We believe that they would have put a lot of effort into designing the courses and it would have required so much skill.

Pimsleur’s modern lessons have been arranged using the exact same design that was used long ago, and you can obtain them on CDs and book chips as an alternative to cassettes.

Studying in a Set Order

To get the most out of your language learning, you should study Pimsleur’s lessons in a set order.  This way, you will have the advantage of the accurately timed assessments.  Also, you’ll be able to study all Pimsleur’s lessons that have already been made so you don’t have to waste time thinking about what topics you want to study and having to make your own lessons. 

We listened to each lesson approximately four times before we moved to the subsequent one and we suggest that you aim to listen to every lesson quite a few times too.

Pimsleur Is Excellent for People without Sight

If you are blind, then Pimsleur is the right program for you to learn a language- you won’t find a better one out there.  It’s particularly good for this client group as it is completely audio based.

You can use Pimsleur Whilst Doing Other Easy Chores

It’s possible to learn another language with Pimsleur whilst doing other activities like washing the dishes, weight training, or walking. We have tried it with all three activities and found it easy to focus on both tasks. We’ve also listened to Pimsleur whilst waiting for buses, trains, ferries and planes, which can get pretty boring and tiresome, especially when there are long delays. Time has passed by very quickly for us when we’ve been in these situations because we’ve actively engaged our brains in learning something.  The Pimsleur program provides you with the opportunity to do this as its so user friendly.  It’s not like you have to carry anything additional or heavy with you that makes you feel weighed down. 

With Pimsleur You’ll Have Plenty of Time to Practice New Words & Phrases

You have a lot of time to practice the words and phrases that you have learned with Pimsleur because there is a sufficient time gap before the tutor asks you a question. We used this time to remember the things that we previously learned in French and used to say them out loud to ourselves.  This way, they became embedded into our brains.   We also feel that the gap allows you to prepare yourself properly to give the answer.  You don’t feel flustered or overwhelmed at any point because you’re never rushed into saying anything.

Moreover, you have the option to rewind the CD’s and listen to words and phrases again too if you miss anything, or want to hear things several times. 

Pimsleur teaches you the core fundamentals of your chosen language exceptionally well and keeps you motivated because you feel that you’re making progress at all times.

Pimsleur’s language program certainly works – nobody can deny this. 

The extra Pimsleur Reading Program

Pimsleur has an additional reading syllabus, which was made by other people, not by those who designed the core lessons.

The reading lessons are different from the audio lessons, hence, you get the opportunity to practice extra things in your chosen language and broaden your knowledge even further.  The other good thing about having the additional reading materials is that you will improve  your speaking and reading skills – both are essential components of learning a language overall.

Pimsleur 2Go - iPhone Applications

You can get a Pimsleur’s language application on you iPhone & iPad in six different languages now – French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Japanese. The Pimsleur 2 Go programs are really successful language programs that offer the fundamental applications for a beginner. 

Pimsleur has more than 50 years of experience of teaching 50 different languages, plus they have bought their skill to iPhones & iPads with their convenient latest travel application.

With Pimsleur’s fast and simple 2Go programs, you will gain knowledge about how to start a dialogue with anybody in their native language and rehearse the important dialogues that you need as a traveler in your chosen country.  You will discover how simple it is to converse in your selected language. 

Pimsleur 2Go Characteristics

Full 30 minute lessons in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian or Japanese.

11 necessary travel dialogues

Every dialogue is repeated on three occasions that you can go along with.

Emphasize every single word or phrase with an audio flashcard

Extra flashcards that include 9 important groups of vocab.

Locate those expressions that you require immediately by looking through the flash cards. 

Mark all your preferred flashcards as references whilst you’re on the move.


You won’t just gain knowledge of words because it isn’t only a Phrasebook… Pay attention to the first unit of any of Pimsleur’s languages in order to gain the basics of that language.  After that, you will learn how to have a real dialogue like placing an order at a restaurant, making a hotel reservation and checking in, plus asking someone for directions. Pimsleur’s 2Go procedure will make you sound like a local resident when you’re ready to land in that country.  After that, you should store your flashcards that can be searched somewhere they can be accessed easily.  They can be used as a phrasebook whilst you’re travelling.  .

Pimsleur 2Go is the best program that you can obtain when it comes to learning new languages. 

Final Verdict

So, we would recommend Pimsleurs language packages to all you independent and enthusiastic learners. You can teach yourself how to have a dialogue in your chosen language in no time, plus you’re guaranteed to get good results.  Finally, if you’re not happy with Pimsleur, then just get a full refund. We give Pimsleur an overall 8/10

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