- Audio Cassette
- Publisher: Pimsleur; Revised, 30 Lessons + Reading edition (March 1 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743518330
- ISBN-13: 978-0743518338
- Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 6.4 x 17.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,917,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
French I, Comprehensive: Learn to Speak and Understand French with Pimsleur Language Programs Audio Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook
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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
In the later lessons there is a stronger focus on composing your own sentances. The grammar becomes more complex and they even introduce you to tenses. Overall I think this makes the kit a great introduction to the French language. I give it four stars instead of five because I feel that it doesn't help enough with the pronunciation. Being a beginner in French can be very scary espeacially since French has some difficult to pronounce consonants, in particular the gluttoral /r/. In addition it doesn't offer much for vocabulary, but as long as you use this kit in conjunction with another book (Easy French Reader makes up for Pimsleur's speaking-approach) you should be fine.
Now, this course does not contain any explanations of grammar, culture, or much in the way of reading. However, if you have ever learned a romance language before, or know English grammar, you would be able to figure out the verb tenses and the correct way to use them (or even conjugate them) pretty easily. In terms of reading, I find it useful to have a dictionary with you while you are doing the lessons. When the course introduces a new word, look it up in the dictionary and see what the word looks like. It also helps with memorizing the word.
The course is excellent, but one should still proceed slowly. I do each lession at least 2 to 3 times before moving on, twice in the evenings, and once in the shower in the mornings as review. I don't stop the lesson during the pauses to think of the answer because I figure if I truly know it, I would be able to answer within the pause. By the third listen, I can usually answer within the pause.
Don't expect miracles and be realistic. You still need to take time to listen and absorb the materials. However, the course is designed in a way that encourages you to use it. After I listen to the lesson, I usually want to go out and use it immediately, and I characterize myself normally as a shy person. Definitely buy it if you are going to invest the time and need to start using French immediately. After finishing the series, you will be at the stage of learning curve where your speaking/listening skills can improve exponentially, provided that you are in an environment where French is a necessity.
+ Constant repetition makes words sink into your memory.
Aides with pronunciation: Yes
+ By listening to French speakers talk.
Explains the grammar rules of French: No
- Left me confused as to why the sentence was the way it was. In English, we say 'I talk to you', but in French, the 'you' related to the verb goes before that verb, so it becomes, 'I you talk' or 'je vous parle.'
Should be used if you have no prior knowledge of French: No
- It is more difficult to understand the lessons if you don't know the French sentence structure.
- Use Michel Thomas Method French For Beginners, 10-CD Program before starting Pimsleur's French course. Michel Thomas does not teach tourist related stuff. He explains grammar rules, thus it makes it much easier to form sentences in French.
I even took a placement test and got into the advanced French class after getting through with his beginner's program. After, I started listening to Pimsleur again and found that the lessons were actually quite easy, which means that I got through all the lessons in one try.
Just because Michel Thomas's program doesn't have 30 lessons that are about 30 minutes long each, doesn't mean that it isn't more effective. You are expected to pause and think of the answer, which would make the program even longer if there was time given on the cds for thinking, unlike Pimsleur's program, where there are a few seconds given to think of the anwser.
What do you learn with Pimsleur?
- If you are a tourist, this program discusses such situations as eating, shopping, and going to people's house. It also goes over numbers and telling the time, which was quite helpful.
When ordering from a restaurant (je voudrais du vin - I would like some wine), when telling someone you don't understand French (je ne comprends pas francais - I don't understand French), when asking how much you owe (je vous dois combien? - how much do I owe you?), when you tell someone you want to go shopping (je veux acheter quelque chose - I want to buy something), asking how much money someone has (combien du dollar avez-vous? - how many dollars do you have), when asking a person what they want to do (qu'est-ce que vous voulez faire? - what do you want to do?), when saying that you don't know something (je ne sais pas - I don't know), when asking the time (quelle heure est-il? - what time is it?), when saying that you are going to do something (je vais manger chez vous - I am going to eat at your place), when asking if someone wants to drink something (qu'est-ce que vous voulez boire? - what do you want to drink?) and other such situations.
More downsides of level one of this program:
- You only learn the future proche tense, which concerns the near future (je vais... - I'm going...), and the present tense, which I suppose is the most useful for a beginner. Only the 'vous' pronoun (the 'you' in formal situations) is used.
I find audio programs the most helpful to learning a language because they help in pronunciation and memorization. I look forward to doing the second level of Pimsleur's French.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com
A concern of mine was that I'm a very visual learner and this is strictly an audio course. After the first lesson I was thinking to myself, Why on Earth did I think I could learn this way? It's so hard! I listened to the first unit 3 or 4 times before feeling somewhat comfortable to continue to unit 2. I didn't have much hope for myself. To my surprise, unit 2 was mostly a review of unit 1 words, just used in slightly different ways, with just a few more new words added. The progression was perfect for me to get even more comfortable with the phrases I had struggled with earlier, while learning a small amount of new material. This is perfect for retention! I'm amazed at how much I'm retaining as I move to the next units. I only need a day and a half for each lesson so far. That's listening and practicing it 3 times before moving on. The beautiful thing is that it gets easier as you go and as you remember more and more of what you were taught in prior lessons.
I bought the comprehensive version because getting the cheaper "teaser" version doesn't make sense if you're serious about learning the language to speak fluently. You'll definitely want to progress with this program so it's more cost effective to pay the higher amount up front. The teaser version would only be good if you just want to "get-by" and learn some basics for an upcoming trip to France.
I highly recommend this product if you want to learn a second language in a fairly short amount of time. I personally don't have the time to spend 45 mins at a computer everyday, learning to speak, read and spell a foreign language. Other courses seem "fun" by playing little memory games or answering questions about what you see in a photo. I don't need all that nonsense. Pimsleur gets down to what you want to achieve; learn to speak and understand what you hear. Plus you don't have to budget or set aside time for it; you'd be in the car driving either way.
I took off one star because I feel the reading element of this program is quite lacking, and really seems like an afterthought. I'd like to be able to write simple sentences in French, and I still cannot do that. So if you're interested in a complete speaking, reading and writing course, this may not be the one for you.
However, for basic conversational French, it's great. I have been able to torture my French-speaking friends (including one native Frenchman) with my Pimsleur French, and they can not only understand me, they all compliment me on my accent.
Speaking is the easy part, of course. Understanding is more difficult, but as long as my friends stick to topics I've learned so far (what time is it, where is the restaurant, do you want to go to lunch, would you like some wine - that was a very important lesson, by the way! - do you have children, how far is it, how much is it, etc.) I can easily understand them as well.
I'm on amazon today buying Pimsleur French 2.
I believe I'm getting the best of both worlds - listening to the Pimsleur Program in my car and practicing with Rosetta Stone on my computer.
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