Pimsleur Spanish Review

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The objective of the Pimsleur approach is to teach you to speak Spanish in the fastest and easiest way. Dr. Paul Pimsleur developed his famous language learning method almost 50 years ago. He was one of the world’s leading experts in applied linguistics who devoted his life to language teaching and testing.  Dr. Pimsleur’s unique method is based on scientific findings how we memorize and retain information when learning a foreign language.

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Does Pimsleur Spanish Course Deliver Results?

It is surprisingly effective method. And yes, it works. While listening to the lessons, you will repeat along the way and without realizing, start to speak and memorize Spanish words and expressions.

How Pimsleur Approach Spanish Works

Each Pimsleur Approach Spanish audio lesson is 30 minutes long, which is an optimum length of time for learning, after which the mind loses its ability to retain new information.

Pimsleur’s method is based on two key principles: the Principle of Anticipation and the Graduated Interval Recall as well as two other unique components: Core Vocabulary Acquisition, and the Organic Learning Method.

Principle of Anticipation requires you to “anticipate” a correct answer. It means that you must retrieve the answer from your own memory before it is confirmed in the lesson.

Graduated Interval Recall is to remind you of new information at the exact intervals where maximum retention takes place. Each time your memory begins to fade, you will be asked to recall the word. In this way progress from short-term to long-term memory occurs without being aware of it, while avoiding the monotonous repetition.

Core Vocabulary is a principle, that in order to communicate effectively in Spanish or in any other foreign language, we need to learn only a limited number of most essential words.

Organic Learning means teaching Spanish in the shortest time possible. Pimsleur Spanish teaches vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation all at once; while also teaching phrases that have practical use in daily life.

His method has been very successful and for almost half a century been followed by millions of people worldwide.

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Pros+ Cons -
  • Learn how to actually speak Spanish, not just conjugate the verbs.
  • Start speaking right from the beginning.
  • Effective and scientifically proven method of Spanish learning designed specifically for adult comprehension.
  • Explains meanings of the Spanish words and sentences in English.
  • No repetitive drills and memorization, but a repetition of new phrases within a context and intervals according to the scientific method of Graduated Interval Recall.
  • Flexibility of learning anywhere. Listen to the course in your car or download in MP3format.
  • Good choice for your travel Spanish needs or conversational business Spanish.
  • Great supplementary course for any other course you are taking as it gives confidence in actually speaking.
  • Traditional Pimsleur is audio with additional reading lessons. May not suit people who like more interactive  learning experience.
  • To learn how to write in Spanish, you will need to get advanced version of the program – Pimsleur Spanish Unlimited. See below for more.
  • Rather formal Spanish.
  • Not as entertaining  compared to other programs.

Pimsleur Spanish – The Bottom Line

When listening to Pimsleur Spanish audio lessons, you can gain confidence in speaking Spanish quite soon. Mostly because audio lessons require you to actively participate in lessons and speak out.  Dr. Pimsleur’s scientific approach indeed helps to easy memorize Spanish words and phrases.
The Pimsleur method looks easy, but in reality to create a Pimsleur programs requires 2000 hours of three teachers to prepare 30 lessons of the course. It seems that Pimsleur found a holy grail of language learning, where you can learn quickly and easy.

To sum it up, Pimsleur is a time-tested method that has proven its effectiveness. If you don’t mind that whole learning will be based mostly on audio lessons and some reading, then Pimsleur is a good choice. Pimsleur approach works and you can start speaking Spanish surprisingly fast.

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Available Versions of Pimsleur Spanish

Pimsleur Spanish Unlimited, CD

Simon & Schuster, the Pimsleur publishers decided to modify the original Pimsleur audio program and to make it more interactive and suitable to modern learning needs. They created the Pimsleur Spanish Unlimited. Pimsleur audio lessons are combined with reading and speaking lessons, digital flash cards and quick match game.


Pimsleur Spanish Unlimited 1

contains 30, 30  minute lessons plus reading, speaking lessons; flash cards, and games
Pimsleur Spanish Unlimited 1-3
contains 90, 30 minute audio lessons, plus reading, speaking lessons; flash cards, and games
Pimsleur Spanish Unlimited 1-4
contains 120, 30 minute audio lessons plus reading, speaking lessons; flash cards, and games

 Original Pimsleur Spanish audio lessons
CD or as digital downloads in MP3 Format
-  Spanish I
, 30 Units and  reading 16 hours
-  Spanish II, 30 Units and reading 16 hours
-  Spanish III, 30 Units and reading 16 hours
-  Spanish IV, building on I, II, and III levels, 30 Units & reading 16 hours

Latin American Spanish Conversational, CD

Original Pimsleur Spanish audio lessons.
First 16 lessons or 30 Unit audio program


Pimsleur Spanish Digital MP3 downloads

in 5 lesson bundles



Spanish for Children, 2-6 years old, CD

Speak Spanish with Dora & Diego: Family Adventures!
Speak Spanish with Dora & Diego: Let’s go!


System requirements:Audio CD or any computer with CD drive

Pimsleur Spanish Customer Comments

…each section within the lessons is short enough to hold our attention, and there is enough repetition to teach even those who consider themselves slow learners…Pimsleur [programs] are extremely thorough and easy to use — quite lively!
~ Boston Herald

… in my experience Pimsleur has by far been the most effective at making me conversational~ Actual user review from orbislingua.com, December 2009

I prefer Pimsleur

… one of Pimsleur’s strengths is that it starts you out with a small “base” of useful verbs with simple conjugations and nouns that allow you to mix and match to actually communicate.~ Actual user review from orbislingua.com, January 2010

Good for travel

I like the fact that Pimsleur focuses on the most common vocabulary a traveler would need.~Actual user review from orbislingua.com, February 2009

Recommend Pimsleur

..the way the teaching was structured made it easy, not just to understand, but also remember. I would really recommend the method.~ Actual user review from orbislingua.com, April 2009

It immediately got me CONVERSING

Their gradual memorization schemes are really something to be reckoned with. .. when you think you are going to forget something, it gets reintroduced until you finally store the info permanently.  ~ Actual user review from orbislingua.com, July 2009
Not for visual learners
I like Pimsleur. But I would only recommend it to good auditory learners, not to visual learners.~ Actual user review from orbislingua.com, September 2008

No writing

I have to say that for Pimsleur it is really lacking in writings, you’ll be able to chit-chat with people but you won’t have any idea how to write a single word… ~ Actual user review from orbislingua.com, June 2009

Lacks word lists

My only real complaint with Pimsleur is the lack of word lists or transcripts for review later.~Actual user review from orbislingua.com, July 2008

Pimsleur Spanish

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