Pimsleur is a great way to start learning French, or if you already have some basic notions. However, if you’re an advanced learner, you might want to look at other services such as Lingoda, italki, or Babbel.
What Pimsleur offers for French
There are 5 levels to Pimsleur’s French courses, each level consisting of 30 lessons. Pimsleur claims that you will be able to speak and understand French after completing just the first level.
Pimsleur focuses on teaching conversational French, so you will be able to hold basic conversations after completing the course. However, if you want to learn more academic or specific vocabulary, you might want to supplement your learning with other resources.
Each lesson is around 30 minutes long, and starts with a review of material from previous lessons. Then, you are introduced to new vocabulary and grammar concepts through conversation between two native French speakers. You are encouraged to repeat out loud after the speakers, and then practice using the new material in conversation with the speaker.
Finally, there is a review at the end of each lesson to help you remember what you have learned.
What is the Pimsleur Method, and how does it work for French?
Pimsleur uses what’s called the “Pimsleur Method”, named after the linguist Paul Pimsleur. He believed that the best way to learn a new language was through memory, and that the job of learning a language was about introducing words and principles to your memory.
Learning a language is then about how fast you can go from hearing a new word to taking it to your short-term memory and then your long-term memory.
Pimsleur (the app) also incorporates what’s called the “Principle of Anticipation”, which basically means that each new piece of information is presented just before you need to use it. So, for example, you might learn a new word, and then immediately be asked to use it in a sentence. This helps to cement the new information in your memory.
Finally, Pimsleur employs the “Core Vocabulary Method”. Instead of trying to learn every word in a language, the app focuses on just the words that are most commonly used. This means that you’re more likely to actually use the words you learn, and less likely to forget them.
All of these methods are present in Pimsleur’s French courses: memory-oriented learning, the principle of anticipation, and the core vocabulary method.
Is Pimsleur good for beginners in French?
The first three levels of the Pimsleur Frenchc course are designed for beginners. At the end of the three levels, you should be able to carry conversations in the language and read relatively complicated material.
Pimsleur French level 1 has 16 hours where you learn:
- How to carry out basic conversations in French
- Basic pronunciation
- How to ask and answer simple questions in French
The second beginner level (level 2) will teach you:
- Reading French
- Understanding grammar rules in French
- Increasing your vocabulary in French
Pimsleur level 3 focuses on:
- Carry every-day conversations in French
- More advanced reading
Is Pimsleur good for intermediate learners in French?
The last two Pimsleur levels in French are designed with intermediate learners in mind.
Pimsleur level 4 (intermediate) focuses on:
- Learn how to carry dynamic and more advanced conversations
- Learn how to speak and listen to native speakers in French
Pimsleur level 5 in French focuses on:
- Enabling you to read short stories
- Relatively advanced vocabulary
Is Pimsleur good for advanced learners in French?
Unfortunately, Pimsleur is not designed for advanced learners in French. If you have already reached a high level of proficiency in the language, then Pimsleur is not likely to be challenging enough for you.
Pimsleur is best suited for beginners and intermediate learners who want to learn conversational French. The app’s focus on memory, anticipation, and core vocabulary makes