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The Pimsleur Approach was created by Doctor Pimsleur who discovered that people learn language best not by memorising grammar rules or creating vocabulary lists, but much like children learn a language – by listening and familiarization. The Pimsleur Approach is remarkably simple: no grammar rules, no vocabulary lists, no visual content. Learn Mandarin simply by listening to the four audio CD’s, within ten days you will be speaking your chosen language, and most amazing of all, if you're not satisfied that you have learned your language within the ten day guarantee then you will get your money back. To good to be true? Find out.
The Pimsleur Approach claims that you can learn any language in ten days by listening to audio for 30 minutes everyday for ten days. The lesson are purely auditory and consists of 30 lessons, level one for beginners right up to level 4 for more advanced learners. You learn by immersing yourself in the audio CD's provided and learn to decipher meaning by listening to native speakers conversing. Quite quickly you build up a working knowledge of conversational Mandarin. But how does it work? Well the methodology works like this: through listening and active participation with the language – much in the way a child learns language, as the marketing puts it. Pimsleur also uses Graduated Interval Recall which is a method of learning new vocabulary. The idea is that there should be an interval between learning periods as this helps to move the vocabulary into your long term memory, without having to revise all the time. Pimsleur also teaches core vocabulary of a given language so each Pimsleur course covers an average of 500 words per level. This means there is no language surplus, you are taught only that which is essential for communication in Mandarin.
Is the Pimsleur Method realistic? Using the auditory method you can learn a surprising amount of language. You will learn core vocabulary and will be able to recall them with relative ease if you stick to the program. However, people learn in a variety of ways, using different types of intelligence. So perhaps simply listening and repeating won't cut it for you. Pimsleur has no reading or writing activities, but if you believe its method, then you don't need any. So, Pimsleur has its limits but it depends on what you want. Do you want to learn core vocabulary so you can travel to a Mandarin speaking city, or are you planning on living or working there soon? Then Pimsleur might just be the kick start you need before going broad. All you need to do is buy the CD's or indeed download them at your convenience to your iPod or mp3 player. You can listen until your heart's content and pretty soon you're speaking Mandarin
The Pimsleur Approach is incredibly inexpensive. It is on offer right now at $9.95. If you are not happy you are guaranteed your money back. This approach will definitely fill your mind with core vocabulary and have you pronouncing with relative ease. If you are looking for a more all-encompassing method that teaches you writing and reading skills then perhaps this is not for you. Considering the complexities of learning Mandarin this might just be the ticket for those who want a ten day conversation crash course.
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