Pimsleur German I

Book Review



Pimsleur German I  (2nd Revision)


Dr. Ulrike S. Rettig


Simon and Schuster Audio, New York, NY



Reviewed By:

Frank Fogg

Review Date:

June, 2003



The Pimsleur language programs focus on instructing the home student to speak the target language of their choice.  Pimsleur German I is a 16 CD audio-based course for beginning students of the German language. The course is packaged in a notebook sized bookshelf case and  includes an Owner's Guide and a Reading Booklet. This course is the first in a series of three full-length Pimsleur courses for the German language.

The Pimsleur method forces the listener to recall different elements of the  language at the moment when they are just about to forget. This is called the  "Principal of Anticipation" according to the Owner's Guide. What this  means is that the listener must respond to oral prompts prior to an answer being  confirmed by the reader on the CD. Each lesson in this course follows this principal  and lasts approximately 30 minutes. There are two lessons on each CD, with a final CD being reserved for the audio that goes with the Reading Booklet.

This first group of lessons that are part of the three part series assumes that the student is totally unfamiliar with German. It begins with a few basic  sentences and greetings, then begins to build upon this foundation. Slowly,  the listener becomes more comfortable with the language and the range of vocabulary and grammatical concepts increases. Soon, the student finds himself able to  discuss everyday situations such as talking about where they are from, travelling about, food, and asking for information. Each lesson begins with a basic dialog  spoken at a normal pace. Then the elements of the dialog are broken down and  explained. Material from previous lessons is refreshed as needed and intermixed  with the current dialog. Finally, the original conversation is repeated near  the end of each chapter.

Since these series of courses are designed to teach the listener how to listen and speak the language, there are not many opportunities to read German and  none to write the language. However, like any other audio-based course, this  series of lessons is ideal for listening in the car or during other personal  times. Another advantage of this course is that the pace is designed to maximize  retention of the material. It is easy to recall most of the lessons long after this course is put on the bookshelf.

Any beginning student of German will find this course highly beneficial for  improving their proficiency in spoken German. The lessons are slowly paced, but succeed in their goal of teaching a basic core of vocabulary and grammar.  The course also succeeds in developing confidence in the ability to speak and listen at a basic proficiency level. If you are serious about learning German  at home, this course is well worth the money based on the results.

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