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Pimsleur Method vs Rosetta Stone


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ESL Forum | Pimsleur Method
Difference between Michel Thomas and Pimsleur methods | Pimsleur approach any good?
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Pimsleur Method vs Rosetta Stone #31 (permalink) Tue Oct 06, 2009 19:16 pm   Pimsleur Method vs Rosetta Stone
 

Hello to everyone, I have used the Rosetta Stone for my Mexican students learning English and they seem to like it.
But, I would like to know how much the Pimsleur program costs.
Nathan Smith
I'm new here and I like it ;-)


Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 17

Compare Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone #32 (permalink) Sat Oct 31, 2009 23:03 pm   Compare Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone
 

Many thanks to all who posted on this topic and provided me with all the answers I was looking for. I need look no further.
Pimsleurfan
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How much does Pimsleur cost? #33 (permalink) Sat Oct 31, 2009 23:19 pm   How much does Pimsleur cost?
 

I believe it's about $20 a set, but I checked it out from my local library, so it cost me nothing. I was working in a facility that served mostly elderly Russian immigrants to U.S. Within about 3 weeks I had enough confidence to converse with people using as much Russian as I knew. The clients then became enthusiastic about helping me learn more (now taking my intent to learn Russian more seriously). By the time I left (about 20 months later) I was able to compose, type and read to them in Russian a farewell speech, never having taken a formal lesson.

It was Pimsleur that made that possible. I had checked five different audio courses out of the library. I ended up using 3 - the others primarily for the written materials. Too bad Pimsleur do not include any.
Pimsleurfan
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Pimsleur Method vs Rosetta Stone #34 (permalink) Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:18 am   Pimsleur Method vs Rosetta Stone
 

I hope everyone listens to this and takes it to heart.

I am a (former) employee of Rosetta Stone who spent several years working with customers to help them get everything out of the program that I knew it was capable of. Unfortunately, I had to leave because I could no longer handle the stress of the customer interaction and the negative attitudes I received from people on a daily basis.

Every person I have spoken to or heard from that has not learned with this program, or didn't understand it, it is painfully obvious the reasons why and were they willing to talk to someone like myself and get help they would have succeeded. I heard the same misconceptions and disinformation about RS every day.

1. What does it mean to say you SPEAK a language? That is the most important question. The bevy of audio-programs on the market, including pimsleur, are varyingly effective and some do their job very well. But the problem is, their job is only quick, limited language skill. If you're concerned first and foremost about getting directions, ordering food, finding flight times, those are all good useful things. But if you want to talk about your opinion on this restaurant or that movie or explain why this or why that, you must first become adept at thinking in that language as you hear it, not having to translate to understand, or you'll be asking yourself "How do I say 'what is that called in French'" and picking your memory for the words and structure when "comment s'appelle en francais?" should occur to you as the right way to ask that question. Needing to know exact translation is a hindrance, as well as an impossible approximation. Ask anyone who's studied languages like Chinese, Hindi, etc. You cannot speak a language fluently unless the words/phrases/grammar are associated directly with the idea you want to convey. (think about the ridiculous nature of English phrases, like...'how come you think that...' which is really a strange and convoluted saying but one we use because we understand exactly what idea the phrase conveys.

2. Testimonials like Pimsleurfan's really tell you all you need to know, and what Pimsleur is good at and what Rosetta Stone is good at. Using a translation program is good to get you so far, but like he/she experienced, all it will ever do is make it possible for you to learn further by constant immersion in the language. Without exposure to more advanced conversation, speech, reading, etc you won't become fluent. It's not possible, and I think we can all agree that's common sense. That said, the question becomes simply "what is the most efficient way to make it POSSIBLE to immerse one's self in the language and not be entirely overwhelmed so that comprehension and understanding of the new language takes longer?" 20 months in any continual immersion such as this will yield the greatest results possible. We need to focus more upon who will be better prepared for that immersion after say 10 months of study.

3. Anyone who says that RS primarily teaches vocabulary and small useless phrases like "the boy is on the table" are ignorant to the purpose of beginning with those phrases, and hold this opinion because they did not complete the course or complete it correctly. If you think you're supposed to learn "the boy is on the table" so you can go use that phrase on vacation, you're an idiot and you should take up a simpler hobby. The purpose of such phrases, which will appear only in your new language, is to help you understand how sentences are structured at that level of complexity. So you know where the subject and verb go already in Spanish. Good for you, so what. Learn a language whose structure is very much different and you'll better appreciate the need for those examples.

4. "Everyone learns differently." Yeah, not when it comes to languages. At some point, ANYONE speaking fluently or close to it uses the same process of word-association and pattern recognition to compose sentences. You have to reach that point to become fluent. If you have to think of the meaning/translation of words and grammar before you use them, obviously you will still need to break those habits to speak efficiently, won't you?

5. I could sit here and rant all day, but this is essentially my message for everyone who reads this. RS has worked the way it's intended for everyone I know who has used it the right way. I gave my time my sweat and my passion to trying to help others discover this, which meant scraping by on about $22K a year on what I made. I gave up because I saw the truth was too ugly: that ignorance, immaturity, laziness and selfishness turned me into nothing more than a sad little man who answered questions about price all day, got to talk very rarely or at all about my passion with people who wanted to experience it, and finally realized that with the few rare, bright exceptions who opened their minds I couldn't help anyone.

Note: the program is expensive because the company invests a ton of money in making locations available where ppl can come and get great advice and insight into learning a language. If the price ever goes down to say $100, like I'm sure all you people are waiting for, the trade-off is you can kiss goodbye to people like myself who'll help you really succeed with this, and we can foster a new generation of learners who'll think the phrase "El nino debajo un avion" in Spanish is something they're expected to memorize for their trip abroad.

I have seen the decline of western civilization and it is brought about by ignorance. Go ahead and buy your stuff from ebay and save $50 or $100. Your complete lack of understanding of what to do, and your childish anger over it, is your reward.

Edit: I can lay part of the blame on the company, for a self-destructive marketing approach about the "fastest way to learn" when we've already got audio tapes out there claiming you will "learn" in a week. Which tells me the word "learn" can mean pretty much any thing you want it to. But again, if you buy into snazzy slogans and base any opinion on those then you're just as much a lost cause as someone who says "oh I don't need to learn about a boy under a plane, thanks for the info, I'll try using something else", instead of making the effort to experience and judge the validity of the product by themselves. Goodnight all, I wash my hands of you and go to engage in more self-centered ideals of making money and being more successful than 90% of you with my language advantage.
ToasterBus
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Joined: 07 Nov 2009
Posts: 3

Pimsleur Method vs Rosetta Stone #35 (permalink) Sat Nov 07, 2009 22:16 pm   Pimsleur Method vs Rosetta Stone
 

@ ToasterBus

Wow. Nice post. I was just searching for information on the two methods. I received Rosetta Stone Spanish as I gift from a friend who had no more use for it. Unfortunately they had long since gotten rid of the booklets/manuals. I'm hoping you will still visit this thread and perhaps be able to tell me if going ahead with the guided option in each lesson is how I would use the program most effectively?

Thank you!
Psi
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Joined: 07 Nov 2009
Posts: 2

Pimsleur Method vs Rosetta Stone #36 (permalink) Sun Nov 08, 2009 1:21 am   Pimsleur Method vs Rosetta Stone
 

Hey Psi. I'd be glad to help. You're using the version 2 so I'll have to try and remember some of the details as best I can. The guided lesson feature does help in making the progression from one concept to another a bit less daunting. Essentially it is going to focus on a limited sequence of screens and repeat these in blocks of study, that way you'll focus on the grammar you're learning at that point and then when you move on to the next block you'll know they're introducing a new concept. Present tense actions/future/past followed by plurals and then mixing things up. The girl is jumping/the girl will jump/the girl has jumped; one girl is jumping, the others are not/one has jumped, the others have not.

It does streamline the effort, however the downside is it'll take a bit longer this way. That's the trade off. If you go through the lesson by using the exercise 1 through exercise 4 boxes, you can move through screens at your own pace (great for review) but you've got to be responsible about making sure you grasp the concepts before moving ahead.

Particularly with the old version 2, which moves through concepts more quickly, you should be doing some key things outside of your program studies to help yourself become comfortable in application of the language. Early on, it is best to work on composing sentences from what you've learned in the privacy of your own study, where you don't have to feel pressured about engaging in conversation. Keep a notebook, write sentences, ideas, thoughts in the most descriptive way you are able to at your level of study. If you're still dealing with simple past, future, and present tense sentences, write about people doing various actions and try to mix things up. By the time you complete level 1 you should be able to compose an account (fictional or non it doesnt matter) of things that happened that day. Places you went (with simple directions), stores you went to and things you purchased, descriptions of things that you saw. Challenge yourself to progress from simple description up to the point you add in all the complexities that you're able to. When you reach level 2 (and levels 3-5 if you're willing to keep it up) daily conversational practice with others should start to replace your solitary writing.

Use these sites when you're ready for that. They're free:

www.rworld.com (guided conversation & activities)
www.sharedtalk.com (open forum conversation)

Hope that helps. I'm glad I can give advice to someone who wants it.
ToasterBus
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Joined: 07 Nov 2009
Posts: 3

Pimsleur Method vs Rosetta Stone #37 (permalink) Sun Nov 08, 2009 19:32 pm   Pimsleur Method vs Rosetta Stone
 

Hi ToasterBus,

Thank you so much for all the information! Those sites look great, I will definitely use them when I become more proficient. I wrote a post before this one and decided that I must have been in a daze then as you answered all the questions already.

I find the Rosetta Stone method of teaching quite interesting. It's as if it's building up with basic blocks that one can then later combine in a complicated way. There's not much to use in the beginning levels and it feels a bit frustrating that I can't really say anything, but at least I will have a solid foundation that keeps expanding. I haven't looked through the rest of the lessons and don't know what levels 3-5 are like, but can I assume as you say, that I will be able to at least converse in a very basic way? Make complete sentences and so on?

Thanx again.
Psi
New Member


Joined: 07 Nov 2009
Posts: 2

Pimsleur Method vs Rosetta Stone #38 (permalink) Thu Nov 12, 2009 18:36 pm   Pimsleur Method vs Rosetta Stone
 

Just stick with it, Psi. It's not about making you travel-worthy in 3 weeks it's about giving you the ability to quickly grasp new information in longer, more complex sentences & conversations. That's why I always told my customers that once you reach levels 2 or 3 you need to be spending at least 4 hours every week talking with other people. Join a language group, meetup.com has many of them. The sites are also perfect for that. We released level 5 in Spanish while I was still with the company, which is something I always wanted to see and hopefully that'll be the case for every language eventually. If you have one nearby, or you get a chance to go through an airport that has one, visit a kiosk and ask to see the advanced material. Level 5 should take you to the point where you can actually gain employment in the country, and there are lessons dealing with conversation about things like volunteering for clean-up activities within a park, visiting a historical re-enactment, and describing the plot of movies you are thinking about going to see, in the milestone conversation practice. But again having you create sentences and take part in the conversation with you ideally now thinking in Spanish while you do so. In my mind it's what RS is meant to accomplish.

I can't stress enough, though, if you do have the first two levels in the old version it is important for you to practice in forming sentences with all that you have learned. You want to begin to find yourself thinking in Spanish at the moment you see something you want to describe. Practicing just going around and getting yourself to think about the descriptions of things you see around you, in Spanish, (or in French as I didn't really study much Spanish), Qui porte la chausseures rouge? L'homme a cote de la voiture noir porte ces chausseures, et je croix qu'il... Who is wearing the read shoes? The man there by the black car is wearing red shoes, and I think... simple, straightforward descriptions but practicing these sorts of things makes it easier for you to think of sentence composition in French so that when you are ready to learn to talk about "I wonder why the man is wearing red shoes? They seem silly, don't you think? Oh, well I don't agree with your opinion, if that is what you really think! (je ne suis pas d'accord avec votre opinion, si c'est vous pensez vraiment!) You'll get there eventually...but only if you are solid in your foundation first, right?

I'm waiting to see when the advanced French levels arrive, myself! I have no doubt my grammar needs work. ;)
ToasterBus
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Joined: 07 Nov 2009
Posts: 3

Pimsleur Method vs Rosetta Stone #39 (permalink) Fri Nov 13, 2009 21:10 pm   Pimsleur Method vs Rosetta Stone
 

Hi everyone,

I used to Pimsleur Russian courses and it was really amazing for me. Russian is an extremely difficult language to learn but Pimsleur could give me a good starting point especially for daily needs. After a while, I started to read crillic alphabet and Russian too. It was enough for me.
Everest My Lord
I'm new here and I like it ;-)


Joined: 12 Nov 2009
Posts: 13
Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Pimsleur Method vs Rosetta Stone #40 (permalink) Mon Dec 14, 2009 20:17 pm   Pimsleur Method vs Rosetta Stone
 

It's not really an either or question. Although I'm not a linguist nor a neuroscientist, I have learned a few things empirically. For example, as a salesman for many years and I can tell you that engineers do NOT process information in the same way other people do - nor do they need to. Can you imagine the different cognitive skills required for a fireman doing his/her job than those of a watchmaker?

I am using Pimsleur currently and find it excellent. I have studied Spanish a lot and can read most of what is in an ordinary newspaper. However, reading is a whole lot different than speaking, as you know. I don't know how effective Pimsleur would be if I had no knowledge of Spanish as a written language because, ironically, I find myself visualizing the Spanish words as I say them during the Pimsleur lessons. This is especially helpful with words like "hacer" which have silent letters.

All that aside, the method itself, described above, works very well for me. I recommend it highly. I borrowed my from our library.
Rocoloco
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Joined: 14 Dec 2009
Posts: 2

Pimsleur Method vs Rosetta Stone #41 (permalink) Mon Dec 14, 2009 20:56 pm   Pimsleur Method vs Rosetta Stone
 

Maybe you haven't reached that point in the Pimsleur course, but Pimsleur DOES teach how to read the language as well. There are about 20 reading lessons per course along with a booklet. It starts by a phonetic approach to the language sound system. You learn how letters sound and how they combine to form new sounds in the target language. Then you move on with further levels to reading for meaning.
Pimsleur
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Joined: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 6
Location: East Coast

Pimsleur Method vs Rosetta Stone #42 (permalink) Mon Dec 14, 2009 21:25 pm   Pimsleur Method vs Rosetta Stone
 

Oops! I'll take a look. As might be expected of a left brain user, I didn't read the instruction manual! Thanks.
Rocoloco
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Joined: 14 Dec 2009
Posts: 2

Pimsleur vs Rosetta Stone #43 (permalink) Sun Feb 07, 2010 22:39 pm   Pimsleur vs Rosetta Stone
 

Thanks everybody for sharing on this topic. I used Rosetta Stone to introduce myself to Portuguese. I was very impressed. Some have made the point that language enters via the ears. The thing I really liked about Rosetta Stone is that I could hit the audio button on a picture repeatedly and hear the Portuguese connected to the picture as many times as I wanted. That really helped to embed the words in my mind. When I went to Portugal, I had prepared a good background in my mind. However, Rosetta Stone teaches the Brazilian version of Portuguese, so I had to retool some of my pronunciation and vocabulary. I only completed Level I, but I found that I had to learn a lot of new vocabulary to serve my needs as a traveler. The Level I Rosetta Stone vocabulary wasn't what I really needed to get around, but RS did give me enough background and confidence to be able to learn what I needed from the locals. Probably if I had done Levels II and III, I would have learned more of the necessary vocabulary. Nonetheless, I'm impressed with Rosetta Stone.

I bought Rosetta Stone Portuguese in 2008 and it automatically kept track of where I was in the learning sequence.

I'm going to Romania in September and I need to get started on Romanian. Rosetta Stone doesn't offer Romanian, so I'm considering the Pimsleur approach. Based on what I've read here, I think I'll give the basic program a try.

By the way, if anyone has a chance to take a course using TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) I would highly recommend it. I took a 15 hour course in Russian via TPRS. Six weeks later, I was able to relate a complete story to a native speaker and was completely understood. Of course, not all of the vocabulary was traveler language, but I was able to really communicate to a Russian speaker. Pretty cool!
Tiefschnee
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Joined: 07 Feb 2010
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Rosetta Stone #44 (permalink) Sun Feb 07, 2010 23:09 pm   Rosetta Stone
 

Toasterbus--Thanks for your sharing. Your passion for language learning comes through. It's sad that your employment with RS ended up so frustrating and disheartening. I hope you'll keep on sharing here and best of luck with your new direction.
Tiefschnee
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Joined: 07 Feb 2010
Posts: 2

Learning a language #45 (permalink) Wed Feb 10, 2010 18:18 pm   Learning a language
 

The Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone techniques are based on Georgi Lozanov's theories of learning. His approach to accelerating learning was used effectively in rapid language learning used by the US State Department in the 1970's. The Pimsleur method replicates how everyone first acquires language, listening and repeating without reading or writing. The Rosetta Stone approach is a more comprehensive approach similar to early childhood learning, e.g., listening to a parent or teacher read a story; working with small words and alphabets. It is also very similar to the Berlitz approach which was used by travelers for years. In my experience the Pimsleur approach is best to gain fluency. Once fluency is achieved all the rest comes very quickly with the non-ideographic, Western alphabet type languages. Rosetta Stone would be more effective with the ideographic languages since learning the ideograms is the most difficult part of those languages.
Quaheen
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