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Your favorite language program?

 Language Learning Forum : Language Programs, Books & Tapes Post Reply
376 messages over 47 pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 7 ... 46 47 Next >>
Leopejo
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
Italy
Joined 4185 days ago

675 posts - 724 votes 
Speaks: Italian*, Finnish*, English
Studies: French, Russian

 
 Message 49 of 376
10 October 2009 at 10:27pm | IP Logged 
lecorbeau wrote:

I suppose I should have clarified. I think, especially for the price, Pimsleur does not deliver as much as it promises. Obviously, à chacun son goût, but it just doesn't provide the depth that I would expect from a program that costs almost $1,000. For that kind of money I want to know how to say more than just pleasantries and phrases to pick up women. By the end of the third volume you are, according to Pimsleur, supposed to be in the "ACTFL Intermediate–high proficiency range, (a FSI –1+ rating), [and] able to participate in casual conversations and conduct everyday transactions with success and pleasure in your achievements" which I think
is a gross overstatement.

It's not only the price. People get easily Pimsleur for free (library). But I haven't yet found a less time-effective course than Pimsleur (Rosetta Stone excluded). 45 hours of language learning are much.

Plus there is the boredom factor. I know people who are all happy to drill all day long à la FSI, but can't stand more than one lesson of Pimsleur.

(this said I am a happy user for some specific reasons)
1 person has voted this message useful



zorglub
Pentaglot
Senior Member
France
Joined 5076 days ago

441 posts - 503 votes 
1 sounds
Speaks: French*, English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: German, Arabic (Written), Turkish, Mandarin

 
 Message 50 of 376
11 October 2009 at 12:45am | IP Logged 
Michael K. wrote:
......I think that's it's just different from what I'm used to as far as classes go and since I'm not writing anything down and have no notes to review as I go along, that could be why I feel like I'm not accomplishing anything..............
Maybe I should try Dr. Arguelles's shadowing method with Assimil.
.


I think this is interesting. I find that some people I lent my Assimil or Pimsleur don't like it because it's different from how they were taught to learn languages. As if they could ot jump into it and give it a good try.
Indeed I had been thinking Assimil was a joke for decades before I gave it a try , and really I think I'd have enjoyed life better had I started earlier.

Another reason I observe people don't get satisfied with those programs is that they DARE NOT do it the right way. What they do not do is speak aloud . really loud. And shadow with no text.

Same with Pimsleur I read here that some members "listen" to Pimsleur while commuting. maybe this is not what they mean, but if you just listen and don't play the game speaking aloud you waste your time and your money (unless you get Pimsleur from your Library).

I read Pimsleur is not time effective. Maybe there are more effective programs I did not try. But what I notice is what I lear with Pimsleur I don't forget, and it is a great base.

I agree that their claims are commercial and deceptive.


Of course (in this I differ from Arguelles), I find it very useful to use the Assimil book to understand what I'm shadowing. And shadowing means getting to the point where I'm almost simultaneous with the audiotrack and understand what I'm saying, and when I can even add some sentences of my own in the exercise part where the track has short blanks.

I'm very sad that some friends I showed the programs are sort of panicked by the idea of doing this audiowise. And I see them struggle with the good old "hairshirt way" as the webmaster says only to not being able to speak in a short time;

Another fact I observed in a person I know very well and who uses Assimil to learn English is that when shadowing with no access to the book, she really sounds fine. And when she shadows while reading the book, her pronuciation sounds disastrous. The same person , the same lessons 2 days apart.

Of course it's important to read and write, but when the aim is to speak, hell, Pismleur and Assimil-shadowed are jewels.

And IMO, starting wth anaudio only method is the best path to best pronunciation. Not that it is important to sound like a native or close, but having the right tones is very important. and like music it sticks in your ear , not your eyes.
4 persons have voted this message useful



xtremelingo
Trilingual Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 4363 days ago

398 posts - 513 votes 
Speaks: English*, Hindi*, Punjabi*
Studies: German, French, Arabic (Written)

 
 Message 51 of 376
11 October 2009 at 1:00am | IP Logged 
For French

1) French in Action (at home and road, I have the videos on my iphone.)
2) FSI (at home - textbook required)
3) Pimsleur (on the road)
3) Assimil (at home)
4) DLI French (at home - textbook required)
5) Rosetta Stone (at home - computer required)
6) Michel Thomas (on the road)

I mention on the road and at home, because these factors do affect how we utilize our language-learning time. Although I have 5 of these programs on my iphone (minus rosetta stone), they are not all well-suited for when I am physically moving about.

In all cases, they all MUST be audio driven. I don't like reading novels. So L-R method is not for me.

Edited by xtremelingo on 11 October 2009 at 1:00am

1 person has voted this message useful



Chris
Heptaglot
Senior Member
Japan
Joined 5197 days ago

287 posts - 451 votes 
Speaks: English*, Russian, Indonesian, French, Malay, Japanese, Spanish
Studies: Dutch, Korean, Mongolian

 
 Message 52 of 376
11 October 2009 at 9:47am | IP Logged 
I'd add Hugo's 'Three Months'to the list. These unassuming books are great, in spite of the title.
3 persons have voted this message useful



joebelt
Diglot
Groupie
United States
Joined 4409 days ago

51 posts - 68 votes 
Speaks: English*, French

 
 Message 53 of 376
11 October 2009 at 4:03pm | IP Logged 
lecorbeau wrote:


I suppose I should have clarified. I think, especially for the price, Pimsleur does not deliver as much as it
promises. Obviously, à chacun son goût, but it just doesn't provide the depth that I would expect from a
program that costs almost $1,000.


I think you MISSED the part where PIMSLEUR CAME DOWN IN PRICES a few years ago. If you are paying their old list prices, you are the only one to blame. Go to Amazon, and most Comprehensive courses are $120-$130 shipped brand new (look at their MarketPlace resellers especially) or buy their courses in digital download format like on the iTunes Store and they are less than $160. I've seen some of their resellers offer even better deals during some promotions. If you are paying $1,000 for Pimsleur these days you are not spending your money wisely. At the old price, it was still the best introductory method imo but with their new prices, I don't see how you could discount them.

Leopejo wrote:

But I haven't yet found a less time-effective course than Pimsleur (Rosetta Stone excluded). 45 hours of language learning are much.



Really??? I find it to be quite the opposite actually. While some methods are more thorough, the time you need to invest to be able to permanently retain the information is much greater than with Pimsleur. In 45 hours of study, I think Pimsleur achieves a hell of a lot. I think people sometimes forget that it's not just how much vocabulary & structures that Pimsleur teaches that is valuable, there are some "hidden" benefits to the method. You start thinking in the language to form your sentences (that's essential to any meaningful language learning). You get used to the flow of the language, how natives speak at normal conversational speeds. Again, that training of your ear is invaluable. There's no other course that gets you started with a proper accent as well as Pimsleur. There's really something to how they break down the syllables and get you to absorb the subtleties of the sound system. All those "hidden" benefits are assets that people forget are instrumental to your learning and the effectiveness of Pimsleur's method imo.



Edited by joebelt on 11 October 2009 at 4:19pm

6 persons have voted this message useful



Leopejo
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
Italy
Joined 4185 days ago

675 posts - 724 votes 
Speaks: Italian*, Finnish*, English
Studies: French, Russian

 
 Message 54 of 376
11 October 2009 at 5:06pm | IP Logged 
joebelt wrote:

Really??? I find it to be quite the opposite actually. While some methods are more thorough, the time you need to invest to be able to permanently retain the information is much greater than with Pimsleur. In 45 hours of study, I think Pimsleur achieves a hell of a lot. I think people sometimes forget that it's not just how much vocabulary & structures that Pimsleur teaches that is valuable, there are some "hidden" benefits to the method. You start thinking in the language to form your sentences (that's essential to any meaningful language learning). You get used to the flow of the language, how natives speak at normal conversational speeds. Again, that training of your ear is invaluable. There's no other course that gets you started with a proper accent as well as Pimsleur. There's really something to how they break down the syllables and get you to absorb the subtleties of the sound system. All those "hidden" benefits are assets that people forget are instrumental to your learning and the effectiveness of Pimsleur's method imo.

I know Pimsleur very well. I know its benefits, including the "hidden" ones, which I have praised many times, here in HTLAL too. But I also know that in 45 hours you can achieve much more than with 45 hours of Pimsleur, and if you only have 45 hours to learn the language, other methods serve you better.

This said, if you are not in a hurry to learn the language, or those audio only hours somehow fit well in your schedule, or you just don't feel like starting a more intensive study that actually requires mental effort, Pimsleur is an excellent albeit time-consuming introduction - that fits my approach to languages well.

Edited by Leopejo on 11 October 2009 at 5:08pm

1 person has voted this message useful



Grosse Affe
Newbie
United States
Joined 4912 days ago

32 posts - 47 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 55 of 376
12 October 2009 at 2:09am | IP Logged 
LatinoBoy84 wrote:

Or go to the Library?


I second the library option. If your local library doesn't have it then pressure them to
get it. After all, your taxes already pay for everything in there. Why not have
something you'll actually use?
1 person has voted this message useful



lecorbeau
Diglot
Senior Member
Croatia
Joined 4096 days ago

113 posts - 149 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Serbo-Croatian, Turkish

 
 Message 56 of 376
12 October 2009 at 2:45am | IP Logged 
Joebelt, do you work for or are you in any way affiliated with Pimsleur or Simon & Schuster? Your post history would
strongly suggest so.

And conflict of interest aside, you should really tone down your attitude. There are ways of expressing yourself on
these forums with a little more tact.

EDIT: Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I agree with you on most of your comments...


Edited by lecorbeau on 12 October 2009 at 2:48am



3 persons have voted this message useful



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