Pimsleur Spanish is one of the most highly regarded programs for independent learners of Spanish. It is pricey, but you can really learn a lot of useful Spanish conversation from it, and as I’ve mentioned before, it is really good for pronunciation.
It consists of three series of 30 lessons each : Spanish I, Spanish II, and Spanish III. Full retail price for all that would be over a thousand bucks. Sure, that’s hefty, but it’s less than flying to a language school someplace and taking lessons. And you can resell the CDs after you study them. There will be more money-saving tips below.
What’s So Great About Pimsleur Spanish?
In a nutshell, the half-hour audio lessons logically build up your vocabulary and your ability to speak with the words you do know. Vocabulary is not its strong suit, by the way. But if you can pronounce the words you learn with it, you will have a good accent from then on.
The Pimsleur Method is derived from principles of how people learn languages. Dr. Paul Pimsleur studied this before creating his programs, which now exist for many languages.
If I were about to learn a language I didn’t know – say I was going to learn Thai – I would start with Pimsleur myself. That would get me some basic constructions of the language and the pronunciation engrained in my memory, after the frequent reviews that are built into the program.
How to Get Pimsleur Spanish at a Good Price
Try your local public library. If it isn’t on the shelf, be sure and ask the librarian. (I am a librarian, and believe me, asking is often fruitful. We tend to know where the bodies are buried!) While you’re at it, if the library doesn’t have it, ask about inter-library loan, especially if you are not in much of a hurry.
Other ways of getting it inexpensively include getting lucky at a yard sale, borrowing it from someone, or even bartering for it.
So… IS Pimsleur Spanish Worth the Cost?
If you need to get up to speed in spoken Spanish within a few months, while leading a busy life, the Pimsleur Method is an excellent way to go. Pricey, but effective. Will it be worth it? That depends on your situation.
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