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Pimsleur Quick and Simple French is a course of audio French lessons that help you learn French quickly and effortlessly using the Pimselur method. Pimsleur himself was an internationally known language expert who studied the way children learn language to try and apply it to an adult course. Quick and Simple French is the result of 40 years of experience and tries to completely immerse the learner in the French language to help them learn without any reading or repetitive vocabulary learning.
When you purchase Pimsleur Quick and Simple French you initially get a 4 CD pack that contains 8 lessons, which is plenty to get you started. This is quite cheap, but you should be aware that buying the initial pack automatically enrols you onto the Pimsleur Rapid Fluency Program, which will send you a new level of the advanced course every 60 days. It's up to you as to whether you want to keep it, but you will be automatically billed and you must return the pack within 30 days to get a refund. Each new pack is quite a bit more expensive than the first, but does contain another 30 lessons over 16 CDs.
The Pimsleur approach subscribes to the theory that people learn a language best by first learning to speak it, rather than by learning grammar and studying verb conjugation tables. This is great if you want to learn as you do something else, like during your daily commute or as you do the housework. However, it has been criticised for not teaching grammar or writing to people who complete the course. That said, many big organisations use the Pimsleur approach to quickly get their employees speaking a new language. Depending on your needs you might not even want to learn reading and writing from the outset. Especially if you just want a few phrases for your next holiday.
The lessons that the Pimsleur Quick and Simple French course provides are all audio based without any written or visual backup. This is due to the Pimsleur approach being a complete listening based way of learning. The native speakers that narrate the lessons are clear and easy to understand and the English introductions make it clear exactly what you are about to hear. As you progress through each lesson there are points where you are asked a question and are supposed to repeat the answer out loud. Obviously this isn't great if you are in a crowded area, but you can always say it in your head! The theory is that once you can reply correctly 80% of the time you are ready to move onto the next lesson.
Pimsleur Quick and Simple French is a great audio based learning course and we really think it will help you pick up French very quickly. However, if you really want to master the language you will have to think about grammar and reading and writing at some point, which will mean paying for another course. The choice will be down to your individual needs, but if it's just a quick way of learning to speak a good amount of French you are looking for Pimsleur could be for you.
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