Pimsleur Language Learning Method
Born from what became a test of theory, Pimsleur started with Greek as the first Pimsleur language learning course offered. What is today more commonly known as The Pimsleur Method has evolved over the last 50 years.
The creator of the Pimsleur language learning method was Dr. Paul Pimsleur. A former UCLA and Ohio State French Professor who earned his PH.D. in French from Columbia University. The Pimsleur name stands among the world’s leading experts in applied linguistics.
In 1963 Dr. Pimsleur wrote about the urgent need for formulating self-instructional material by which many of the world’s languages could be learned. This concern became the motivation that propelled him into developing the first Pimsleur language learning course; Modern Greek.
As a result of years of teaching, paralleled by his study in both the psychology of language and linguistics, Dr. Pimsleur developed a theory of self-instruction. Pimsleur courses are based on his understanding of how an individual’s memory could be triggered into implanting a new language. Today Pimsleur is recognized the world over as a leader in audio-based language acquisition. With a track record of almost 50 years and over 25 million satisfied language students to show for it, when it comes to learning a new language, learning a new language out of books has become old school.
The original Greek course was followed shortly after by Speak & Read Essential French. By 1967, the original Greek course had preceded Essential French, Spanish and German courses as well. Thus began what is known today as The Pimsleur Method of learning a new language. In 2008, Pimsleur’s first children’s line, Speak Spanish with Dora & Diego, saw its release to the public in coordination with Nickelodeon’s Nick Jr.
Today, with availability in over 60 languages and 14 languages for English learners, Pimsleur language learning courses offer more languages than any of their top competitors. Learning format options are diverse.
Pimsleur learning programs are available in CD and MP3. With their most popular languages available in Pimsleur’s newer fully portable interactive Software as well, these language online learning courses are designed to be digested in easy 30-minute daily chunks. The newer format is Mac, PC, and NOOK compatible.
Every language student has plenty of options for reaching an objective. You should take advantage of a Pimsleur Free Lesson to get a personal feel of the Pimsleur Method system. Whether it’s Italian, Russian, Arabic, or Mandarin, there’s a free lesson in each language to help you decide if that’s the right choice for you.
The price of a Pimsleur course is more reasonable than you would think. According to Bookscan, Pimsleur’s market share of the Audio Language Category was up 30% in 2011. It ranked number one in overall online and retail sales. With prices starting in the twenty-dollar range for what Pimsleur calls “small chunks” learning, the student does not necessarily need to outright purchase a complete series. Courses range from $119 up to $970. If the student’s budget doesn’t allow for it, purchasing sections of a course is available. This lesson flexibility is but one reason Pimsleur language learning students come to Pimsleur.
In 1976 Dr. Paul Pimsleur died young at 48 years of age. But his legacy of what he developed in helping people learn a new language lives on. In 2009 Pimsleur began donating Pimsleur language learning courses to the international humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders.
In response to the Haitian earthquake in 2010, Pimsleur provided over 6,000 Haitian Creole courses. This played a major role in rescue organizations and humanitarian aid workers prepare their language skills needed for the tasks at hand. In 2011, Pimsleur again answered the call and committed their time and resources in producing a special 8-hour course in Japanese. It was designed for rescue workers headed to Japan to quickly learn the language. Over 7,000 Pimsleur language learning courses were donated for that cause alone.
Inspired by an avid Pimsleur language learner’s dream, Pimsleur provided U.S. troops with the ability to easily communicate directly with the civilian Afghanistan population. Pimsleur was granted funds in 2010 to produce and distribute Pashto entirely free to the military. Known today as Operation Speak Easy, Pimsleur language learning courses are freely distributed to the military for both Pashto and Dari via the USO.