Chinese (Mandarin) III: Learn to Speak and Understand Mandarin with Pimsleur Language Programs Audio Cassette – Audiobook, Feb 1 2003
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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 also had a go at learning the writing system, which isn't as difficult as I previously thought. I can now read and write a few hundred characters, but this hasn't been nearly as rewarding as studying vocabulary. Still though, it is fun to be able to read the signs in chinatown.Read more ›
There are also 30 lessons and a supplementary CD. Each lesson introduces about 10 or so new words and a few grammar rules. This allows for a very gentle but progressive learning of new vocabulary. Unlike other language systems (which bombard you with 20-30 words per lesson), this promotes retention and as a result gives the student encouragement and confidence.
The downside of the Pimselur system is that it only teaches listening and speaking skills and no reading or writing skills. This may be fine for European languages, which are mainly phonetic, but with Chinese, it feels like you're learning only 1/2 the language. ...
Nevertheless, Pimsleur is the best non-classroom language system I've tried so far (and I've tried many!) It does its job very well, so I'm willing to forgive the lack of writing or reading lessons.
P.S.: I wouldn't recommend Mandarin III if you are a beginner and haven't listened to I and II yet.
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.