I’m back from Japan and slowly working my way through my photos. Once I have sorted them, I’ll do a write up but until then, there’s time for something different
A while back I mentioned that I had the Pimsleur Korean cds waiting to be used. A week or so before I went to Japan I gave them a go, and here are my findings!
I had heard that the Pimsleur method is similar to the Michel Thomas method – in that they work on building blocks of language as opposed to grammar and so on. I guess in that way they are a little similar, but sadly they were not nearly as effective as I had hoped.
I used the cds as I did the Michel Thomas ones – on the way to work. As I set off out my door, I’m told to listen to a Korean conversation. I’m then told that in minutes I’ll be able to understand it all. I think they do this to try and daunt you, then make you feel like you’ve achieved something, like “oh, that daunting conversation is now so easy to me!”
I’m off down the street and I’m told that the conversation is between an American man who sat down next to a Korean woman and wants to have a conversation with her. GROAN. Oh, come on. Really? Ok, ok, I’ll stick with it.
Where Michel Thomas has students repeating and constructing sentences, Pimsleur has you repeating after the native speakers. They break down words so you can say them clearly. I’m not sure why this method didn’t stick with me, but by the time they’d finished one word and moved onto the next, I’d forgotten the previous word. It just wasn’t as effective as the constant questions that Michel Thomas asks of you and the two dummy students.
I stuck it out until I got to the main station, and to the end of that lesson. Usually with Michel Thomas, by that time I would have a few new words and would feel confident in making a handful of new sentences. With Pimsleur I could barely remember the 4 or so new words they had taught me. I have experience in Korean before, so it wasn’t new to me at all. Yet I didn’t feel confident in the new phrases I had learnt.
I think if you yourself are in a class that has this method, it’s probably a good thing. But for me, the cds just didn’t work. It could just be me though – a friend of mine said that he really finds the method useful and effective.
I wonder if anyone out there has any thoughts on these two learning methods? I’d love to hear other opinions.