Chinese (Mandarin) II: Learn to Speak and Understand Mandarin with Pimsleur Language Programs Audio Cassette – Audiobook, Jan 1 2002
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About the Author
Dr. Pimsleur devoted his life to language teaching and was one of the world's leading experts in applied linguistics. After obtaining his Ph.D. in French from Columbia University, he taught French Phonetics and Phonemics, and supervised the language laboratory at UCLA. He went on to become Professor of Romance Languages and Language Education, and Director of The Listening Center at Ohio State University; Professor of Education and Romance Languages at the State University of New York at Albany; and a Fulbright lecturer at the University of Heidelberg. Dr. Pimsleur was a member of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF), American Educational Research Association (AERA), Modern Language Association (MLA), and a founding member of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). His many books and articles revolutionized theories of language learning and teaching. After years of experience and research, Dr. Pimsleur developed a new method that is based on two key principles: the Principle of Anticipation and a scientific principle of memory that he called Graduated Interval Recall. This program incorporates both of these principles to provide you with the most simple and effective learning method possible.
Top Customer Reviews
I won't say that I'm conversing fluently in Mandarin but the entire series is only 45 hours of instruction so I think you have to be realistic in your expectations. For me, Pimsleur is the right approach. I've made genuine progress and I'm told that my pronunciation is reasonably accurate. For someone with moderate skills as far as learning foreign languages go, as well as having started after the age of 40, I'm quite satisfied. I even have a Cantonese speaking friend who borrowed the tapes and used them to improve her Mandarin!
I'd recommend the series to anyone who wants to learn to speak Mandarin. Note that there is no instruction on writing Chinese, only some brief notes on Pinyin. I'd also recommend Modern Chinese from Beijing University for learning Pinyin and the basic components of speech. The Chinese-English Dictionary edited by John DeFrancis is also worth looking into and finally, you can get the Oxford Chinese-English dictionary for Palm OS.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
As a Peace Corps Volunteer in China, I have often wondered how to most efficiently learn Chinese and how to retain the information forever (the key here has been daily use of the newly learned language). Acquiring language is something that I am forced to think about daily as I confront a myriad of obstacles and challenges related to language.
So far I have created a list to meet my own needs as a learner, not all of which I thoroughly enjoy. This last point is particularly important because balance between fun and hard work is important (so one never gives up and still continually learns). If you speak English and you are studying Chinese in the United States, your list may be modified as needed.
Each day I commit to studying Chinese for 2 hours no matter what. I try to study mostly in the morning so that I do not give up on it later in the day. In addition to my studying I try to have several interactions each day using the language. These are generally friendly inquiries about directions to places I already know or prices of vegetables.
My study program includes Pimsleur; it is my "warm up" for working with a language tutor (I work with a tutor for 1 hour in addition to my study time). Actually, Pimsleur II contains a lot of the words, phrases and sentence structures I was introduced to during my initial intensive language training. I believe anyone who masters (80% or better) Pimsleur I and II can consider themselves at least an "Intermediate-Low" level speaker. Generally, I still use Pimsleur because it is excellent pronunciation practice. By mimicking the sounds I have been very successful in sounding more native-like (many people specifically praise my pronunciation rather than my Chinese ability).
I have begun an immense stack of flash cards, which serve to help me with words or phrases that are difficult. I use the `add-a-card' method, which is quite behavioral but it WORKS. These are all written in Pinyin, but I am moving toward a system of Hanzi. I use the series New Practical Chinese Reader, which has a workbook, textbook and teacher text. I listen to one lesson daily. I also read Chinese Grammar, which is published by Schaum's Outlines. I allot times each day so that I am studying for 2 hours. It's easier for me in China because every good conversation motivates me more, and every poor conversation does the same!
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