Question for Pimsleur users
For my birthday a close friend wants to get me a pimsleur level, because I've talked about it a couple times. I am able to read and understand intermediate Spanish, but I freeze when I am prompted by conversation with strangers.
If I can understand and read, and have even had moments where I caught myself in full Spanish-thinking mode (for only a few minutes at most but still... what an incredible feeling) should I skip Level 1 and go onto Level 2? I called Pimsleur and they said they recommend you start with Level 1 no matter what but they are marketers. I am immersing myself (changing all news sites, social media, browsers, television, etc to Spanish)
What is your opinion/experience? I am going to Spain in January for three months to study. Thanks!
After years of studying French and completing the Duolingo tree, I've found Pimsleur Level I and II to be extremely helpful, especially for building listening comprehension (which was a serious problem for me), pronunciation, and better speaking fluency. I wasn't learning much that was new to me, but it really gave me a lot more confidence and reinforcement of what I had previously learned. Like Duolingo, it relies on structured immersion and spaced repetition to teach grammar and vocabulary, which I think is the best way to learn the majority of a language (except for maybe learning/perfecting grammatical inflection (advanced noun declension (cases) and verb conjugation (person, tenses, aspect))), which I think requires some pen-and-paper rote studying). I think Duolingo is best for learning reading, writing, and basic listening comprehension, but it would be very hard to have lengthy conversations using Duolingo alone. Pimsleur is best for learning speaking and listening comprehension, and used with Duolingo, is very effective.
I agree that they combine very well but at 550 dollars for 5 levels of pimsleur spanish I question if it's worth the investment if you already have a solid base in the language. Those 550 dollars could buy you 81 hours of Pimsleur or 50+ hours 1 vs 1 with a professional teacher using one of the language exchange sites. With a good teacher I bet that the latter would be better value for money.
It really fills in the empty hole of Speaking and Comprehension left by Duolingo
Check your local library. Some libraries have the Pimsleur courses. Then you could listen to level 1 without cost and then decide whether to buy or check out level 2. If your local library doesn't have it, many libraries have exchanges with other libraries and they might have it.
Yes, check your library. My library has all levels except the most recent one (level 5). I plan on checking out each level one at a time & then buying level 5. If your library is the same you could ask your friend to buy the last level & then you'd have access to all of them.
I've enjoyed Pimsleur for German, but I'm enjoying Mango Languages even more. My library gives me free access and I've used it for Spanish, Italian, French, German, and Portuguese. The app allows an autoplay feature that mimics Pimsleur and other audio courses, but it also allows you to see the sentences and repeat as you need.
Thank you for this resourceful reply I started using pimsleur a few days ago to actually get to the speaking part of my spanish learning after failed attempts and frustration over the last three years. Now that I understand what I want out of the language I find mango languages useful with pimsleur on the grammar aspect as it goes hand in hand with pimsleur like you previously stated in your comment. I can't thank you enough because I didn't understand the point of Mango Languages and couldn't find any good reviews on the site to explain some of the benefits of using it. So in respect for you dropping knowledge on me here! Take my lingots!!!
I think that Pimsleur would be far too easy if you are already an intermediate learner. I did Pimsleur spanish 1-5 starting when I was about three months into the duolingo spanish tree. I was at best at a1 then and pimsleur was a bit too easy even then at the two first levels. Two months later, having done levels 1 and 2 I had two more months of spanish done using duolingo and memrise and then the other levels were simple too. I stuck with it because it provided the audio for walks to work so it did not take anything away from my studying schedule but I wouldn't have bothered otherwise. I actually think pimsleur combines well with duo and memrise but for the money it's likely only worth it if you start Pimsleur almost immediately when picking up a new language. In your case I'd ask that friend if they could pay for some italki credits and complement that by downloading intermediate level spanish podcasts.