The Pros and Cons of Pimsleur as a Language Learning Tool

You’ve finally decided to learn another language, whether for personal or professional reasons – you’ve decided that now is the time to get started. However, there are an abundance of language-learning tools and it can be overwhelming to determine which method is best-suited for you. There are in-person classes, online classes, eLearning, books, CDs, and everything in between.  Selecting the right method really depends on how you learn best, so when deciding which tool – consider how much time you can dedicate to learning a new language, what resources you will have available to learn and ultimately, what you’re most comfortable investing in to learn a new language. In this blog, we’re sharing a portion of an in-depth look at Pimsleur performed by the team at OptiLingo and how it compared to some other language-learning tools to find out just how much one can learn through the program.


Developed in the 1960s by Dr. Paul Pimsleur – this method combines the traditional “listen and repeat” with spaced repetition.  Ultimately, a series of words and conversations are spoken in the target language, and then repeated again at a slower pace. The student then is asked to listen and repeat what the audio instructor said. The lessons continue and the time between each review is expanded until the student learns and remembers it all. This method can be time-consuming if you need more time and need to repeat lessons to learn it all – it all depends on how invested you are into the program. It helps you learn the pronunciation, but you may not learn how to recognize the words or understand the proper grammar.

Keep on reading to learn just how much Russian the author learned through Pimsleur compared to other programs and how effective the program was. Would we be able to hold a conversation in Russian from the program selected… find out!

Pimsleur vs Duolingo: What do they really teach? (How many words, and how quickly?)