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Pimsleur v. Michel Thomas language programs


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I have a very auditory dd8 who is interested in foreign languages.  She tried Latin and really wanted it to work, but she just couldn't handle the written work that is necessary for Latin.  We had a great time doing it orally, but I just didn't see how we could keep going with it without substantial tweaking from me.  

 

I have been looking at the Pimsleur and Michel Thomas language programs for her, probably for Spanish since I have a background in Spanish.  Either way, I think she would love it.  From the samples, Michel Thomas is more conversational in his approach, making it easier to listen to.  But I am bothered by the French accent.  Pimsleur seems clearer, but more academic.  I was wondering if anyone can compare/contrast these two programs.  

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I have a very auditory dd8 who is interested in foreign languages.  She tried Latin and really wanted it to work, but she just couldn't handle the written work that is necessary for Latin.  We had a great time doing it orally, but I just didn't see how we could keep going with it without substantial tweaking from me.  

 

I have been looking at the Pimsleur and Michel Thomas language programs for her, probably for Spanish since I have a background in Spanish.  Either way, I think she would love it.  From the samples, Michel Thomas is more conversational in his approach, making it easier to listen to.  But I am bothered by the French accent.  Pimsleur seems clearer, but more academic.  I was wondering if anyone can compare/contrast these two programs.  

 

We have been using Michel Thomas for a few months, though I haven't used very much of the Spanish program (I am trying to teach multiple languages at the same time, the jury's still out on whether that is a wise undertaking!)

 

With regard to the accent, it doesn't sound French to me but it is Spain pronunciation not Latin American. We do Michel Thomas as a group, I think it helps that they have actual students on the CD giving responses as it feels more like being in a class with other learners and helps the kids feel comfortable giving their own responses.

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With regard to the accent, it doesn't sound French to me but it is Spain pronunciation not Latin American. 

 

I was actually referring to the English portion.  It has a very heavy accent, which can be difficult for some to understand.  

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Are you avoiding Rosetta Stone and Duolingo and Mango because you want something more purely auditory? 

 

I personally have tried Pimsleur, though not for Spanish, and found it hard to use--I don't think it would be especially child friendly. 

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Are you avoiding Rosetta Stone and Duolingo and Mango because you want something more purely auditory? 

 

I personally have tried Pimsleur, though not for Spanish, and found it hard to use--I don't think it would be especially child friendly. 

 

I do want something purely auditory.  Dd8 is 2e, and writing is really hard for her.  So I need something that will challenge her but without writing.  

 

I neuropsych friend of mine has little good to say about Rosetta Stone, so I have avoided it.  I have not heard of Duolingo or Mango.  

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Michel Thomas does have a slight accent in some languages, but I like it a lot more than Rosetta Stone and the like. Both programs are fairly good, but I think for kids the more conversational is probably going to be easier. A lot of libraries have both, could you check both out and see which she prefers?

 

I wish I still had my language learning website open, I had a couple really good articles about the pros and cons of each, but that was 5 years ago, I don't know how much the programs have changed since then.

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I do want something purely auditory.  Dd8 is 2e, and writing is really hard for her.  So I need something that will challenge her but without writing.  

 

I neuropsych friend of mine has little good to say about Rosetta Stone, so I have avoided it.  I have not heard of Duolingo or Mango.  

 

My son who is also 2e is using Duolingo which is free online, so you could give it a try and see what you think. He is 11 though. At 8, had he tried it, I would have had to scribe for him on the written part, and I cannot be sure it would have worked at all at that point. The first time he tried it, it was still a bit much for him and also it had not yet got all the bells and whistles it now has to make it more fun. But he loves it now, since it has levels and challenges that make it computer-game like.  It has place to enter "friends" btw which he has not yet got any who are playing and would like to have that if anyone is interested. (You mutually earn a 'lingot' for being a friend, and can compete with friends, but we don't know how since we haven't used that part.) Duolingo has at this point also been wonderful for his English grammar and spelling since the program will only accept a certain degree of error before it declares something wrong rather than a typo.  I am trying to use it too now to learn some language or review what I once studied but have forgotten. Given that it is free, I strongly urge checking it out at least.

 

Mango is available at many libraries (though alas not ours), and you can at least do a free trial online. When we tried it, it had a strong auditory component in repeating back phrases and so on and one wears headphone and mike as I recall so it has some accent correction aspects.   It also showed the spelling or a transliteration of what one was saying when I looked at the Chinese. There was no writing for the student to do when I saw the samples.

 

Living Language program has books, but is mostly done on CD's as an auditory system, and I think is quite a bit more accessible than Pimsleur, personally. It also has a computer based system, but I've never experienced that since we don't have the right something for it. Our library had Living Language and after checking out some, I ended up buying it for my son's language when I saw it on sale. We use it in the car while driving sometimes, but he much prefers Duolingo.

 

BBC website also has language parts, some free and some for a fee. I've not personally tried them and do not know if writing is involved, but I know that one of the fee parts (Mugsy or some such name?) is supposed to be especially suited to children of the age of your child.

 

You'll find more information down in the forum for bi-lingual education too.

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I'm a total language geek and used to learn language while driving.

 

I would do Pimsleur for the 30-lesson program and then, when I felt like I wasn't absorbing anymore, spend a week or two with MCT. They are totally different approaches and can complement each other.

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