With that being said, I would still recommend buying the books and start studying the grammar yourself. The course books are very useful even if they are not great. I think the only reason Pimsleur will survive and succeed is because it is easy to study for and memorise on your own. They are also very influential in the world of language learning.
Learning Pimsleur has changed the way I learn Arabic, and it has changed the way I think of language learning too. The way it’s presented, the way of connecting vocabulary to grammar, also affects my own way of thinking about language and even language itself. Other courses will simply not have that affect. Maybe that is not what they want to achieve, but I think you can easily achieve the same effect.
The only general bad thing I have to say about Pimsleur is that they make mistakes by overgeneralising the meaning of words. For example, I felt the dust of tear gas in my eyes and I smelled it. I felt the dust of tear gas in my eyes means I smelled tear gas, but I smelled it means I smelled tear gas. I felt the dust of tear gas in my eyesmeans the dust of tear gas was in my eyes.
Of course, the problem with this generalisation is that this is the exact same English rule, but for English, it makes sense, because it allows the learner to more easily understand how the words go together. For Pimsleur it makes absolutely no sense.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not good at any language, however, when I started studying Arabic, I did like the Pimsleur Method. I actually learned to speak at an intermediate level in less than a year, and the main thing is that it did not really feel like work as I learned. I had all the vocabulary and pronunciation covered and if I didn’t understand the grammar I would look up the answer on the internet. If I understood it I’d go and translate it into English. I actually enjoyed the language classes as much as any subject I’ve had.
Well yes, I studied Classical Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic at the same time. I remember when I began with Pimsleur I was quite determined that I would not let Pimsleur speak to my understanding and I practised at home for a lot of time. But soon I realised that Pimsleur doesnt teach you anything unless you practice. I continued to practise for a couple of months, I thought I’d be doing well as I was good at languages, but I realised that the method works on the basis of practice. So as I practised I did a couple of exercises and the level slowly started to rise in both Arabic and English. I was almost 5 months into Pimsleur when I started my University studies. This was when I switched to learning Modern Standard Arabic directly and so far it has been the best choice, I would recommend to anyone to study Modern Standard directly. After 5 months of listening to Pimsleur though, I would recommend a few of the monthly packages with some extra lessons in the language of your choice.
I’m really good at languages. My fourth language is modern arabic, i can speak arabic,persian,bengali,and am starting on Georgian. I’m also very good at speaking arabic and persian. I got very helpful from this website. I wish they had a torrent.