Take a dive into the world of Pimsleur with our simple and brief review. Make sure Pimsleur French is worth it before you go investing lots of your hard-earned dollars into the program. Keep reading to discover Pimsleur, its pro & cons, how it works, and more!

 Brief Introduction to Pimsleur French

The Pimsleur Method was created by Dr. Pimsleur himself (1927-1976), a highly-notable and respected researcher, educator, and professor. His research blossomed into what is now a world-class intuitive language learning program.

His research, particularly his research on memory, is one of his most well-known achievements. The Pimsleur Method focuses on delivering core vocabulary, on which learners can slowly add to. The idea is that people remember new words for longer, and can attach new words easier and gradually move them from short-term memory into long-term memory.

What Is Pimsleur French

Pimsleur French is thus the product of Dr. Pimsleur’s research. It’s one of the most compelling and competitive language tools due to it’s unique intuitive process.

With Pimsleur French, there are four main methods of learning: anticipation, graduated interval recall, organic learning and core vocabulary. See below for details!

How Does Pimsleur French Work?

At the core mechanisms that make Pimsleur French work, there are four strategies.

Anticipation: Based off Dr. Pimsleur’s research, our brains are hardwired to “anticipate” answers. With this method, Pimsleur French aims to accelerate learning by first reassuring understanding, pausing for a response, and then reinforcing the correct answer.

Graduated interval recall: The aim of this method is to help learners move learned material from short-term to long-term memory. The goal of language learning is not to just stuff as many vocab words as possible into your head. So with the Pimsleur method of graduated interval recall, you’re sure that what you’re learning is there to stick.

Organic learning:  Pillar number 3 in the Pimsleur Method is organic learning. Meaning that lessons are provided within the context of a native-speaking conversation or dialogue exchange. This claims to help with retention by allowing your brain to picking up on rhythm, pronunciation, and more.

Core vocabulary: The last strategy of Pimsleur French is with core vocabulary. Pimsleur French offers short courses (30 minutes or less) to avoid information-overload. This is very effective as learners can really remember core vocab by building a solid foundation before adding additional complex ideas and words.

How to Use Pimsleur French

Pimsleur French differs a little from other language servicers in that it only requires you to sit back and listen. There is no intensive reading or writing involved, which may be a pro or con, depending on how you look at it.

Pimsleur is so confident in its services that it offers a guarantee for spoken proficiency after completing level 1 of their program. It is an effective way to learn oral French (however, users report that it’s mostly formal instead of informal speech).

Since Pimsleur is mainly an audio method, it may not be for everyone; especially if you are a visual learner. Otherwise, it is proven to be effective and could be worth the try.

Pros & Cons // & Conclusion

Here’s a brief overview on Pimsleur French pros and cons.

  • Pros:
    • Everyday conversations
    • Short, effective lessons
    • Guarantees spoken proficiency after completion of level 1
  • Cons:
    • Expensive/overpriced
    • Users say it gets boring fast
    • Only audio files, no writing or reading


Pimsleur is effective for learning to speak French fast, but it seems overpriced in exchange for just conversations and audio files. You can find free conversations online, or by just simply watching or listening to the news or French radio shows. But if you want to come out the other end speaking more fluently with improved pronunciation, then Pimsleur French could be worth the try.

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