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Why is Pimsleur such crap?

  Tags: Usefulness | Pimsleur
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62 messages over 8 pages: 1 2 3 4 57 8 Next >>


meramarina
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 Message 41 of 62
03 July 2010 at 10:24pm | IP Logged 
Quote:
Ehm... what does a social life have to do with it?


Nothing really, it was just an offhand remark. Meant to be a little silly, but the joke didn't work. Sorry about that. I'm sure people do say these things all over the world.
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johntm93
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 Message 42 of 62
03 July 2010 at 10:59pm | IP Logged 
I thought it was okay, I'd definitely use it for a language that wasn't offered in MT, and I'm still going to use it on ones that do, even though the lessons can get extremely boring.
I do find it funny how one of the first words you learn is "beer" though.
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psy88
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 Message 43 of 62
04 July 2010 at 3:04am | IP Logged 
meramarina wrote:
A resourceful learner of any gender can adapt the program to the particular situation, whatever that may be!

And everyone needs to know the words for eating and drinking (although some non-alchoholic beverage choices would be welcome).   


RE non-alcoholic beverages: on a transcript of Pimsleur Spanish that was once available but now is no longer available, the author changed the references to ordering/drinking "wine" to "milk"
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HodracirK
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 Message 44 of 62
04 July 2010 at 5:25am | IP Logged 
Well, this is my first post here.

I'm still learning English so please excuse me for my mistakes and don't hesitate to
correct them. My first impression is: this forum is awesome and people here are
awesome,
I was watching your profiles and they impressed me :-)


I personally believe that Pimsleur is not crap, in fact I Believe is a really cool
thing. The best course (and the only one) that I took.
My native language is Spanish and I did the three levels of Pimsleur for Spanish
speakers without background and now I can understand the gist and express myself in
English.

Yes you repeat like a parrot, but while you do, you learn. And you are not always
repeating, that is not true, only at the principle. Then you construct complicated
phrases and the instructor teach you the new words.

I really like and enjoy it. Yes you don't learn how yo write or learn grammar, but when
the first
phrase that you learn is "Have you ever been to Boston?" you learn grammar. I don't
know
what is the name of this tense but I think I can use it. Now I'm going to start to
learn
some grammar... I don't know where [Do you think is a must? Should I do?]

I think with Pimsleur you learn as a little boy. Repeating, learning the structures and
then learning the words.. and words are not pretty difficult, is memory.

Also with Pimsleur you learn to read the sounds, so after I do pimselur I started to
read aloud The New York times and I could understand; And doing this I learned some
words. I also watch Series like Heroes, Lost or Fringe in English and with Pimsleur I
can understand them (with subtitles). [By the way I feel stuck with my listening, any
advices?]

Now while I learn English I'm doing some episodes of Pimselur Portuguese, and Now I can
understand pretty well the Brazilian TV. (well, When i was a little boy I lived in
Brazil and I learned it but I forget everything, and Portuguese is like Spanish... so
it's easy for me). But anyway I now can understand Brazilian TV thanks to Pimsleur
Approach.

Best Regards,

Ricardo Polo :D:D

Edited by HodracirK on 04 July 2010 at 7:48am

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Teango
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 Message 45 of 62
04 July 2010 at 1:10pm | IP Logged 
All joking aside, I think Pimsleur can be very useful for complete beginners who commute or for people who like going for long walks and would like to learn a new language at the same time.

For example, my girlfriend recently went through all 3 German levels and improved quite a lot in the process. With only enough time to study whilst walking to work and back at the moment, approximately half an hour each way, Pimsleur lessons happened to fit particularly well into her routine.

I've also gone through 2-3 levels in Russian before whilst out walking in the countryside, as well as completed the introductory packs in Turkish (in the bath, I'm not kidding) and Swedish (on travel coaches and a flight), and found them to be good for pronunciation as well as handy for basic phrases and vocabulary before traveling abroad. After just a handful of lessons, I've been able to successfully ask for directions in Swedish in Stockholm, and enjoy engaging in a little extra friendly chit-chat when I buy a döner from a kiosk at the weekend.

Sure, they don't offer much beyond 400-500 words and can get a little boring after a while, and it would be far better to get tons of exposure in the language instead, but for those with little time on their hands or who perhaps don't want to sit down to study, they do at least get you started in this respect.

Edited by Teango on 04 July 2010 at 1:18pm

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jplain
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 Message 46 of 62
04 July 2010 at 1:54pm | IP Logged 
socks wrote:
I'm certain that it could have been designed in a fashion that didn't make you wonder about Dr Pimsleur's private life. Unless - God forbid - that's how people really interact in the west.

Maybe you're taking it a little too seriously. I consider it comic relief. The sentences and vocabulary are useful, even if I'd never use them in the combinations and situations presented in the lessons.    
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tracker465
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 Message 47 of 62
04 July 2010 at 7:15pm | IP Logged 
In my opinion, Pimsleur really isn't crap, although it is (as always) a little pricey for what one is getting. This is a problem though, from which so many courses with audio suffer, so I do not find it to be much of a problem though, especially when so many libraries have these courses.

I believe that most language courses have their place and time if one is doing self study, and the Pimsleur method is just one such dot on the map towards fluency in a language. I plan on using the Pimsleur Dutch programme after I finish with the advanced MT course, and if I have time, I might also use the Norwegian course this summer. With this being said, below are some of my personal reasons for liking Pimsleur.

1) Personally, I find the audio to be very clear on the Pimsleur courses that I have used. A long time ago I had listened to a few tracks of the Norwegian course, and I could understand it (and Norwegian pronunciation) a lot better than the audio included in the TY book, where my experiences were as good as the one user's experience with the Chinese Pimsleur. For the most part, I find the audio quality to be good, so it is really helpful to a beginner who is trying to learn how to pronounce words in their language of study.

2) The Pimsleur programmes, like MT, get you speaking from an early point. Although not heavy on the vocabulary aspect, one quickly begins to learn how to construct sentences, albeit simple. To me this is very important, as I believe that one learns to become a better speaker faster, when one starts from the beginning. With this knowledge and the usage of interchangeable fragments to construct new sentences, one begins to learn how the grammar works, even if he or she is not a grammarian. At this point, one then begins to build a good foundation, and he or she just needs to flesh out the vocabulary with my words, which is easily doable on one's own.
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socks
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 Message 48 of 62
04 July 2010 at 10:04pm | IP Logged 
jplain wrote:

Maybe you're taking it a little too seriously. I consider it comic relief. The
sentences and vocabulary are useful, even if I'd never use them in the combinations and
situations presented in the lessons.    


Well, I thought this thread was for criticizing Pimsleur. :p
I do mind it because it irritates me, but not so much that I wouldn't use it. It's one of
my main study materials right now.


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