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learning a language through CD/audio

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

DS13 wants to learn French. Not only that, he wants to do it during the several hours/week we spend driving around, which means Rosetta Stone (my preferred method) is out as we need an audio-only course. He gets car-sick easily, so he'll have to do without any accompanying workbook and stick to 100% audio.


I've found the following language courses on audio CD which seem to fit the bill:


- Michel Thomas

- Pimsleur

- Behind the Wheel


Despite the good things I've heard about Michel Thomas, I'm leaning away from it as apparently the man has a noticeable accent (both in English and in French). Behind the Wheel sounds only so-so in terms of content, though more affordable than Pimsleur.


Anyone have any experience with these or other audio-driven language courses? DS is very motivated to do this, and will have ample opportunity for conversational French as he's learning.

post #2 of 5

I used Pimsleur and I thought it was really good.  The lessons are just  half hour each and the level of difficulty increases in a gradual manner ensuring learning/remembering for the later sessions. The drawback is that it does not teach you reading and/or writing. 

post #3 of 5

You can try the first unit of Pimsleur free by downloading it from Audible.com. Then you can buy 5-unit pieces of the program, so that the cost is spread out over time, and you can change programs or drop it whenever it suits you.


I've dabbled in Units 1-5 Japanese and really liked them.



post #4 of 5

I learned French with Michel Thomas and found the teaching system amazing.  I gave all my attention to listening and responding for several hours over several days and wound up being able to create and speak real sentences on real subjects and to be grammatically correct.  After a while, I didn't even have to think how I was going to say something but just went ahead and said it.

The CDs allow the learner to go back immediately, or a day later, to re-access a lesson portion  one did not quite "get."  It took me a while to understand that the learning set-up, which puts the learner into the position of being an eavesdropper, and that I heard irritates some people, is deliberate.  I think it was created,to goad you into realizing that you actually know what is being haggled over.  And being an "eavesdropper" also removes the stress and tension people feel when trying to learn a new language.

As for the "problem" of his accent, it is actually NOT a problem because it prepares you to deal with all sorts of people from different language backgrounds and cultures.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback! We'll probably try Pimsleur for starters.

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