Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Pimsleur Spanish 1 Language Learning Course


Principle of Anticipation
Our brains are hard-wired to automatically process speech and “anticipate” a correct response. It’s an intricate thought process that most of us take for granted. Dr. Pimsleur’s research demonstrated that new connections are activated whenever this dynamic system is triggered. By systematically asking for understanding, pausing for a response, and then reinforcing the correct response, Pimsleur courses accelerate learning, increase understanding, and activate new neural pathways in the learner’s brain.

Core Vocabulary
Effective communication in any language depends on mastery of a relatively limited number of words and structures. Trying to learn too much at once substantially slows the process, and many people quickly become discouraged. Pimsleur courses deliberately limit the amount you learn at any one time, giving your brain a chance to internalize each new item before moving on. Once this foundation is built, adding new words and phrases becomes easy and natural because there’s a clear framework to attach them to.

Organic Learning
Every new item introduced in a Pimsleur course is given within the context of a conversation or exchange. This helps learning and retention in a multitude of ways, from allowing your brain to automatically integrate intonation, rhythm, melody, and pronunciation, to embedding prompts for your memory. When you need a word, it’s there – seamlessly on the tip of your tongue.


To start out, I’d like to say that I have wanted to learn a new language for a long time. I’ve taken 4 years of Spanish in High School, however that was quite some time ago! I also took a year of French. I have wanted to brush up on my Spanish and this seemed like the way to go. I could pop a CD in the car and learn while I’m driving to and from work (which is 45 minutes or so each way).

When I first got the program, I was extremely impressed with the packaging of the program. It came in a very nice box with a magnetic flap to keep it closed. Discs 1-8 were in one sleeve, and discs 9-16 were in another sleeve. It also came with a “passport” with information on how to use the program. It also had a paper with a link to go and view the owner’s manual and reading booklet. I thought this was a nice added bonus.

So here are the pros and cons of this program:

The Pros:

It is entirely verbal. This helps us to learn better as when we hear a languages rhythms, etc. we can learn it better.

You will improve your pronunciation. This program is set in a way that makes you pay attention to how you are saying the words. You are listening to native speakers so you will be able to better able to compare your pronunciation to theirs.

You are encouraged to learn grammar naturally. They explain some of the more complicated grammar, but for the most part, you are forced to learn it on your own. I really feel that helps us learn and understand better as we learn naturally.

There is a lot of repetition. You will hear and say the same words over and over again. This is great for retaining the material.

You learn in clusters. You learn words on their own, and in a phrase or sentence. You will able to use and understand these words in part of a conversation.

The Cons:

It can get a little boring at times. While repetition can be wonderful for learning, it can get boring when you are saying and hearing the same word over and over.

It’s a slow pace. You will learn maybe 10 new words a day and review a few other words. I think it may be speedier learning to increase the words learned per day.

The vocabulary you learn is limited and sometimes odd at times. You don’t seem to learn enough words to put together a simple conversation right away.

It is a little pricey. It might be a little pricey, but other programs cost much more.

Overall Opinion:
Overall, I think you really are getting a great value and program here. You won’t be fluent from this program but you will be able to hold a simple conversation and be able to pick up key words in phrases/conversation. I think that is truly beneficial. If you can pick up key words, you are one step ahead of the game.

You will also learn how to properly pronunciate words and have the basic tools to make it through a trip to a foreign country!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


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