Pimsleur is known for being one of the most recognizable names in the language learning business. Much like its competitors, Rosetta Stone and Michel Thomas, many users all over the world enjoy learning new languages via their products. But unlike other providers, there is scientific background in Pimsleur products.
What is Pimsleur?
The Pimsleur Method® was crafted over five decades ago by Dr. Pimsleur. Pimsleur was a stark advocate for pushing the boundaries of language learning. In particular, he was a strong proponent of self-instruction resources. These allowed people to have more access to a plethora of different languages. The first resource package that Pimsleur released was Modern Greek.
The success of the Modern Greek package led to other installments in the product line. Users remarked at the marvel of self-instruction, which blended linguistics and psychology to create recognizable and memorable patterns. After the success of Modern Greek, other packs soon followed. These included French, Spanish, and German.
However, Pimsleur had difficulty marketing the tapes without backing from others. Seeking to bring his creations to more audiences, he decided to employ the help of Charles and Beverly Heinle. The Heinles worked at the Center for Curriculum Development before moving to Concord. Soon, the Pimsleur tapes became a staple for educational programs.
The courses were first made on reel-to-reel tape. As this format became obsolete, the programs were transferred over to cassette. With the quickly approaching digital formats, the switch to CDs was made in the 90s. Today, downloadable editions are the norm.
Now a household name, the Pimsleur courses even found their way onto television. Kids nowadays can enjoy learning Spanish with characters from the Dora the Explorer series.
How does the Pimsleur method work?
The Pimsleur® Method is composed of scientific principles that anchor all the products that use the Pimsleur branding. They focus on pushing learners to get as much learning as possible.
One of their principles is the elimination of noise, which makes it easier for learners to focus on the tasks offered by the course. The courses are also delivered in an accessible way, preventing the chances of an information overload.
Learners around the world enjoy the Pimsleur method due to its ability to get users to retain information. Exercises combine both reading and listening, and there are also drills to focus on the execution of proper pronunciation.
One of the core principles that make up the method is memory. Dr. Pimsleur was known for being one of the pioneers of memory research in the language context. He discovered that learners that get reminded of words in steadily increasing durations would accumulate more words in their memory. The method uses this information to get users to retain as many words using their permanent memory.
The Pimsleur Method advocates for the use of memory based on the capacity of the human mind to automatically process words that they hear. Humans are hardwired to formulate an accurate response, a testament to the connections that we can make using language.
Exercises in the courses also use understanding and logic to create proper responses. The results can be found in faster learning, increased proficiency, and long-term retention. All items included in a Pimsleur course are delivered in a conversational manner. It comes across as a personal experience that people can enjoy listening to.
The hands-on approach also provides a mechanism for the brain to connect factors such as tone and melody to pronunciation. That way, listeners do not miss the nuances present in many phrases and sentences.
How much do Pimsleur courses cost?
Pimsleur courses cost $150 for most levels. But if you want a more affordable method, all 51 courses are included in a subscription plan.
The Pimsleur All Access subscription is offered at $20.95 every month. There is also a Premium subscription at $19.95 that offers more limited functionalities.
There is also a 7-day free trial available during the first week of the subscription. During this period, you will not be charged.
Is Pimsleur method legit?
Pimsleur’s scientific grounding makes it one of the most reliable methods of learning languages. In these courses, there are always exercises that utilize memory and cognition to come up with long-lasting lessons.
The research backing these lessons makes them perhaps the most foolproof way to learn a language without seeing a coach.
If you have the money to spare, Pimsleur language lessons are definitely worth the price.