Pimsleur Approach Review: An Unbiased Look at This Language Program

Here’s the situation: You want to learn Spanish. Or Italian. Or French. Your family agrees it would be a great asset overseas in Europe–no need to fumble with a dictionary to find the right translation that may not always be correct.

Normally, people learn to speak another language by taking classes, hiring a private tutor, or buying an expensive language learning program, such as Rosetta Stone. Sometimes choosing a online language course can result in a useless scam product as well but not with this respected program.

But you don’t necessarily have the time–or the money–to invest in expensive home learning programs or classes. So what’s your best choice?

Experts agree: You should try the Pimsleur Approach >>

What is the Pimsleur Approach?

The Pimsleur Approach isn’t exactly exciting or interactive, but it can help you learn a new language quickly, thanks to its spaced repetition method.

Developed originally in the 1930s, psychologists learned that repeating science facts to children in repeated, timed intervals helped them retain the information better–and oftentimes indefinitely.

Psychologists didn’t utilize this method until the 1960s, however, when it was integrated into learning programs. In 1967, Paul Pimsleur, the man behind the Pimsleur method, created a type of spaced repetition method called graduated interval recall, where vocabulary words are repeated and you are asked to repeat it, in intervals starting at 15 seconds, then 45 seconds, 1 1/2 minutes, and then eventually spanning to days.

Now this same method is utilized in the Pimsleur Approach Language Learning System, where you’ll learn how to understand and master a language–just by hearing and repeating back vocabulary words.

The Benefits of the Pimsleur Approach System

Most Pimsleur Approach reviewers agree: This system is great for busy people who need to learn a language fast, without having to deal with classes, tutors, or expensive programs.

Forbes Magazine even recommends it, saying “The Pimsleur Approach boil[s] down the essential elements of a foreign language so that beginners can acquire basic skills immediately.”

With availability by CD only, you can take your lessons virtually anywhere–by playing them in the car, on your laptop on a long flight, or even at home while you clean up the kitchen.

And with the audio-only learning method, Pimsleur students won’t need to lug around any homework or utensils in order to learn. It’s about as minimal as you can get–and it’s great for learning on-the-go.

If you often can’t find time to learn a new language, then Pimsleur is definitely for you–and its easy-to-use CDs are easy to store and carry.

The Disadvantages of the Pimsleur Approach System

While the Pimsleur Approach is an excellent way to learn a second or even a third language, it has its drawbacks. But don’t worry, these drawbacks aren’t huge–just minor issues.

For starters, if you’re expecting to learn how to read and write Italian or learn German, unfortunately you won’t receive help here. The Pimsleur Approach is an audio-only learning system, which Pimsleur himself believes is the best way to learn a new language. If you want to learn how to write or read a foreign language, you’re out of luck–this system only includes audio methods of learning.

Also, if you’re expecting to have a master understanding of a foreign language, you won’t achieve it just with this program. You’ll learn basic and intermediate vocabulary and phrases, enough to help you achieve fluency during travel or a visit in a foreign country like France, but you won’t achieve the vocabulary of a scholar or academic–for full language mastery, you’ll need to invest in a class or tutor.

Still, you’ll be learning new vocabulary words in minutes, and there’s no fuss or hassle learning your new language. And that’s something no other language learning program can do.