Brazilian and European Pimsleur is an audio-only method consisting of 90 half-hour lessons that will theoretically take 3 months to complete, if you do one lesson roughly every day. In my case, it actually took me 7 months because I ended up not doing them every day and had to repeat them occasionally. Unfortunately, there are a confusing number of different Pimsleur products out there. The only difference between them is how many lessons each product contains — the lessons themselves are identical from product to product.
You can also choose to study the European dialect, although unfortunately there are only 10 lessons offered. What Pimsleur has going for it is that rather than asking you to just memorize and repeat phrases like so many other courses, it actually prepares you for conversation by training you to quickly turn English thoughts into Portuguese speech.
Everything in Pismleur happens in the context of a mock conversation. You can try the first lesson for free on their website to get a feel for how it works. In each lesson new words are introduced. You are asked to use them in your responses, at first frequently, and then as you move them into long-term memory, less so.
Paul Pimsleur developed it in the s. But I would suggest at least trying the first 5 lessons of Pimsleur. But it does require some teeth-gritting. So here are the main advantages of Pimsleur over Rosetta Stone: Much better conversational practice. Emphasis on language creation rather than memorization.
This means you actually have to focus and use your brain during each unit. Better pronunciation. Because Pimsleur is so focused on listening and speaking, I think students will come out with clearer pronunciation. You get instant feedback from a native speaker after each of your responses, after which you can try a second time to perfect the response or the pronunciation.
And being more secure with your pronunciation gives you greater confidence during conversation. Pimsleur is the obvious choice for aural learners. You can do a Pimsleur lesson while driving, cooking, or even taking a bath. Pimsleur does have its weaknesses: The Pimsleur series is starting to show its age. The narrator and speakers sound a bit … old fashioned. Limited vocabulary. Pimsleur teaches you a very small, though well-chosen, collection of about words.
This is one area where Rosetta Stone outdoes Pimsleur in spades. Not enough focus on reading. Pimsleur does include some reading practice, but these are nothing more than short lists of words in a little booklet that you are asked to repeat as a speaker reads them. This means you get little actual practice connecting the sounds you are learning to the written words. In fact, words are rarely pronounced in the way an English or Spanish speaker wants to pronounce them.
A final thing I should mention is that Pimsleur teaches you an overly formal way of speaking, especially in the early lessons, that would honestly sound pretty weird to most Brazilians if you spoke like that in everyday conversation. Imagine the Queen of England trying to have a conversation with a random New Yorker on the street and you get the idea. Portuguese is a language that is very sensitive to social register, and the formal structures you are often taught to use in business-oriented courses like Pimsleur can sound very out of place in casual speech.
Despite all these shortcomings, Pimsleur still works beautifully. Some people get hung up over the lack of reading practice in Pimsleur. Let me just say that language is at heart about stringing together sounds to produce meaning. Reading and writing are just ways of manipulating symbols that stand in for the sounds. What is your mind doing when you read?
When do you really know a word? When you recognize it by its sound, not by its visual transcription. What this means for language learning is that speaking and listening have to come first. Once the sounds are internalized, reading becomes a piece of cake. Of course, no one program is going to do it all. No matter what you choose, you should round out your studying by using several different types of resources. The detailed Rosetta Stone review starts below. So they changed their ads—just a little.
Adults learn differently than children do because their brains are different. From the age of one month to three months, a baby will respond to all the language sounds called phonemes that he or she hears. Any child can learn any language that he or she hears. Adults trying to learn Spanish with Rosetta Stone will not hear all the Spanish phonemes.
The baby will no longer perceive phonemes that are not in his or her native language. What does that mean for you? As an adult learner of Spanish, for example, you will not even hear phonemes that are not in a language you already know well. You cannot learn a new language as an adult the way you learned your first language as a child. Sadly, Rosetta Stone rarely works. It also takes children several years to learn their first language.
They waste a lot of time doing this, even though they usually have two full-time, live-in language tutors called parents. They can use translations to understand the meaning the first time, without guessing. Children are especially prone to doing this.
What Is Language Immersion? Real language immersion is full time and hardcore exposure to a language. You can get language immersion by going to a place like Middlebury College, where you will sign this pledge: I understand that failure to comply with this Pledge may result in my expulsion from the School without credit or refund. Anything short of that is not immersion. Sorry, Rosetta Stone, your program is not immersion.