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Pimsleur Review

Monday, October 25th

2021 French Lesson Reviews

Pimsleur Review 4 Star Rating

Pimsleur

4 Star Rating
  • Cost: $150 per 30-lesson level
  • $575 for Level 1-5 Package (150 lessons)

Pimsleur used to be known for its audio-only approach to learning French. While that was an effective approach for some students, many people wanted a more well-rounded set of French lessons. Pimsleur took note, and since our last review they've debuted an excellent platform that incorporates their proven-to-work audio lessons with an interactive online course that can be easily accessed from laptops and mobile devices alike.

Pimsleur's audio-only courses used to be extremely expensive, putting their French lessons out of reach for many interested students at a whopping $1190 for CDs covering all 5 levels of instruction. While those CD sets are still available, most people are opting for the newest program that includes all of the audio instruction plus the online platform for a one-time fee of $575. While that may still be a little spendy for some, keep in mind that many providers of French lessons charge monthly subscription fees that can easily equal that cost or more over the course of a few years. Also, if you're not in a position to lay out that much cash at a time, you can also purchase individual levels for $150. Finally, Pimsleur offers FlexiPay payment plans, dividing the cost into three equal monthly payments at no extra charge for those who qualify. You'll find the details of FlexiPay underneath the blue Add to Cart buttons.

Helpful tip: look for a pop-up as you spend some time browsing the site, or when you go to click the X button to close the browser. We got an offer for up to 30% off our purchase.

Best French Lessons

Want to give Pimsleur's French lessons a try? You'll need to enter your first name, email address, country, and reason for learning the language after clicking on the Try a Free Lesson button. You'll then get access to a free 30-minute audio lesson; be sure to give it a try when you're in an environment where you can speak out loud, because that's a big component of the Pimsleur method (mimicking the spoken French aloud). Through the lesson, you'll see exactly how Pimsleur's French lessons teach vocabulary always within the context of a conversation or other verbal exchange, and that everything you'll learn is built upon what you already know. You'll also hear deliberate pauses in the audio, allowing you the chance to come up with the correct response and insert it into the "conversation" as if you were a part of it.

We were disappointed that the free trial doesn't give prospective customers access to any version of their online platform. All you get is what's on the main site: four stacked images showing what the platform/app looks like, nothing about its features, format, or structure. For students who specifically want more than just audio lessons, they'll have no idea what they're getting until they pay for access.

On a positive note, Pimsleur has greatly improved the customer friendliness of their satisfaction guarantee. You'll have 30 days from the purchase date of their program to give it a try; Pimsleur will refund 100% of your fees if you don't like it for any reason. Because it's a digitally-licensed product, you should expect an extra step of filling out a declaration form that Pimsleur will provide, in order to affirm that you haven't made any copies of their products or given access to anyone else.

Because Pimsleur's audio method of teaching languages has been so successful, especially for people who prefer to learn by hearing, we continue to give their program high marks. But, now that they offer an online platform taking French lessons visually and not just auditorily, Pimsleur could be even more effective by letting prospective students see exactly what they're getting there too. We hope to see those changes in the future.

Who Offers the Best French Lessons?

In order to know which type of French instruction would work well for you, ask yourself this question: "Why do I want to learn French?" For some, learning French is a requirement for school or work. In that case, choosing a provider of French lessons that will deliver the necessary vocabulary and grammar, reading and writing skills, and even pronunciation will be important.

You may want French lessons that will help you be a better-educated traveler. If you frequently visit any one of the 29 countries where French is spoken as an official language - not just France and Canada but also Switzerland, Haiti, Togo, and Madagascar, to name a few - being able to speak French fluently could make a huge difference. And, who wouldn't want to be able to confidently order coffee and a croissant in a Paris cafe?

The Best French Lessons Compare French Lessons Compare French Lesson Reviews What are the best French Lessons Best French Lesson Reviews

French Lesson FAQ

That can be a tricky question! It's estimated that there are about 76 million people who speak French fluently as their first language. But, there are another 235 million individuals that use French daily and fluently without it being their native tongue, plus up to 110 million who use it as a second language with varying levels of proficiency. Beyond France itself, you'll find speakers throughout Africa, India, the Caribbean, and Canada.
There are many different French dialects, depending on where it's spoken, but for the most part they're all mutually understandable. If you learned French from a Parisian and then traveled to Montreal, you would still be able to use the language without much of a problem - though you might need to pick up new vocabulary and train your ear to hear it a little differently. It's similar to the regional accents you'll find within the US - think of how English is spoken in New York vs. Texas, for example - or how English differs depending on whether you're in Canada, England, or Australia.
According to the US State Department, French is a Category I language. That means that French is closely related to English, making it easy to learn! (Spanish, Italian, Swedish, and Romanian are some of the other languages in that category.) Most students of French find the language to be somewhat familiar, which makes it more comfortable to study and to retain the vocabulary.
Start by learning some basic vocabulary. If you've got plans to use French in a specific context, like an upcoming vacation or a business meeting, choose some words and phrases that you'll need there. And, as with any language, the more you can expose yourself to the way it's used by native speakers, the more you'll pick up without even trying. Many students swear by watching TV shows and movies in French (with or without subtitles)!
You won't find a way to learn French that's more convenient or affordable, that's why! While French is one of the most commonly-taught languages in American schools, it can still be hard to find a class that fits your busy schedule. Even if you can find one that works, you may pay a lot of money for a semester of coursework; for that same investment, you could access years of online French lessons.
One reason French is easier to learn than some languages is because it uses the same alphabet is English - mostly. There are a few different characters that you'll need to know how to produce. Fortunately, they're not hard to make: on a smartphone, you can usually hold down the base letter (like c, e, or a) and accented options will pop up. On a desktop pc, there are shortcuts you can use when typing.
Not at all. You could pay under $300 for three levels of French coursework, or study as long as you like on a subscription plan that ranges from $4 to $23 per month. That's much more affordable than in-person lessons!
Each language platform has different policies regarding satisfaction guarantees and refunds. For subscription-based French lessons, you can probably cancel future payments but might not get your money back for what you've already spent. If you've paid a one-time fee for a language program, there may be a 30- to 60-day refund period. We recommend utilizing any trial options offered by a French lessons program before committing to it: you can usually find sample lessons or a one-week all-access pass, and that will help you get a feel for how the platform teaches French.
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Continued from above...

Finally, individuals with family trees that extend into French-speaking cultures may be interested in learning more about their heritage and connect with living relatives.

With so many options for studying the language independently, what should you look for in the ideal French lessons? Here are some aspects to consider as you evaluate the many programs currently on the market:

  • Teaching Methods. How does the program approach teaching language? Will you find a good variety of methods, like videos and written instruction, or do the French lessons mostly focus on one modality like listening or reading? Is it a good fit for your ideal learning style?
  • Fluency Level. How much French is covered by the program? Can you get beginner, intermediate, and advanced instruction as you progress through the French lessons?
  • Reputation. What do other students have to say about the experience of learning French with this program? Is it effective?
  • Value. A more expensive set of French lessons is worth the investment if it delivers superior results. Will you get your money's worth?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best French lessons available today. We hope these reviews will help you get on the path to fluency in French quickly and affordably!

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