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Rocket Languages vs Pimsleur

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ROCKET LANGUAGES

Rocket Languages' Russian lessons program is fun and effective, especially for beginners. Rocket's Russian program is currently offered at only one level of instruction, taking learners from beginner to intermediate level and helping them achieve a good conversational level upon completion of the course.

Rocket Russian's Premium Level 1 course contains the following:

  • Twenty-five minute interactive audio lessons (32). These lessons contain conversational Russian, focusing on common phrases and vocabulary used in everyday life. Listen to each lesson as many times as needed to train your ear to respond to each prompt.
  • Language & Culture Lessons (40). Rocket Russian provides step-by-step explanations in English to help students learn exactly how Russian works. Previous students rave about how these lessons help them to understand some of the ins-and-outs of getting along with native speakers, particularly in areas where Russian culture differs significantly from that of the United States or Canada.
  • Voice recognition phrases (4,200+). Rocket Record allows you to improve your pronunciation by evaluating your spoken Russian against its voice recognition tool, bringing your accent as close to a native level as possible.
  • Flash Card sets 72). Improve your active recall of the Russian words and phrases you learn with a set of Flash Cards for every lesson.
  • 24/7 Forum and Email Support. Rocket Languages believes that if you have a question, you should have a place to ask it! Students have unlimited access to discussion boards and forums where they can get answers from Russian teachers, native speakers, and other current Russian language learners.

Other course features include the My Vocab vocabulary builder, the Phrase Finder, progress tracking with badges and leaderboard access, lifetime course access, and a "Survival Kit" that help students quickly master targeted vocabulary within specific conversational situations.

Rocket Russian offers a 15-minute audio lesson right on the main Russian page. If you're willing to enter your email address, you can also access a free trial of the entire program, from the student dashboard to the flashcards and writing lessons. We love that Rocket Russian includes detailed writing and culture lessons - two aspects that are often overlooked by other programs. In the transcripts of the voice lessons' conversations, you can see the Cyrillic along with the English-alphabet approximation of how it would be read (for example "Kak dilah" for "Как дела") - this is very helpful for beginners who are still working out how the Cyrillic letters are pronounced.

We had some issues with getting our voice sample to record while using the trial access, but most students report that the voice recognition component works well for them so it may be a temporary glitch related to the trial itself.

Rocket Languages is one of very few providers of Russian lessons to offer a 100%, 60-day money-back guarantee. But, you probably won't need to use it since nearly 2,000 users have given Rocket Languages a five-star rating. And, while even their list price is reasonable, we found that Rocket often has discounts and other special offers to bring the cost down even more; at the time of our review, Rocket Russian was on sale for just $59.98.

Learning a language with a completely different alphabet, pronunciation, and culture can be a challenge. Rocket Languages' Russian lessons walk you through the process step-by-step in a way that will give you confidence in using Russian in a variety of settings. Rocket Russian is one of our top picks for Russian Lessons.

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PIMSLEUR

Pimsleur is well-recognized around the world for teaching new languages through 30-minute audio lessons. If your priority is learning how to speak Russian, not necessarily how to read or write it, Pimsleur may be worth your consideration. What makes Pimsleur particularly handy is that their audio lessons come either as a CD or an MP3 download, so that you can listen on your iPod, smartphone, or other mobile device during your commute or other moments on-the-go.

If you're wondering if Pimsleur's audio lessons are a good fit for your learning style, click on the orange "Try a Free Lesson" button on their main Russian lessons page. After entering your name, zip code, email address, and purpose for learning Russian (such as for fun, business, and so on), you'll have access to a complimentary 30-minute introductory lesson. We found the sample lesson to be easy to follow and left us with a good understanding of some basic pronunciation and phrases. You'll want to make sure that you are in an environment that allows you to speak out loud; a core component of their teaching strategy is asking students to imitate what they hear as closely as possible.

On the other hand, if you need to know how to read and write Russian as well as speak it, Pimsleur might not help you reach those goals as well as some of the other programs we reviewed. Their Unlimited Software package does include 900 flash cards and 900 quick matches, in addition to the 90 audio lessons from the MP3/CD packages, but this isn't likely to help you not only understand how Cyrillic is read but also how to write it yourself.

We also were less than impressed with Pimsleur's "Proficiency Guarantee". Many of the Russian lessons in our review offer a money-back customer satisfaction guarantee, but Pimsleur chooses to go a different route: once you complete their Level I Russian program, you can opt to take a competency exam through an independent testing company Pimsleur has chosen (which, incidentally, gave us a 404 error when we tried to follow Pimsleur's link to the testing site). You can only get a refund if you fail that exam.

Lastly, Pimsleur will cost you more than almost any other provider of Russian instruction. Given that they offer a single approach to learning the language - audio lessons - we felt that the value was not as high as other more comprehensive programs that teach listening, conversation, and reading/writing skills for less money.

We highly recommend that you try the sample lesson before purchasing one of Pimsleur's programs, especially if you're an auditory learner who might greatly benefit from their listening-based Russian language instruction. If you decide that Pimsleur is for you, be sure to check for any special offers that may be available, as we saw discounts offered from time to time when we visited the site.

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Russian Lessons

To help you find the Best Russian Lessons, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Rocket Languages and Pimsleur.

Why learn to speak Russian? More than 270 million people speak Russian worldwide, from native speakers living in the nations of the former Soviet Union to students who have learned it as a second language. In fact, many federal agencies - from the US Department of Agriculture to the Department of Defense, as well as the FBI, CIA, NSA and State Department - have identified Russian as a priority language of national need.

It's no wonder, therefore, that speaking Russian can be a distinct advantage in one's career goals, international travels, or post-graduate studies. Modern technology makes it possible to learn Russian from the comfort of your home - or anywhere you choose to go with your mobile device and headphones - rather than trying to find a local class and fit it into your busy lifestyle.

From audio lessons to interactive multimedia programs on your laptop, beginning and experienced students alike can easily access the information needed to take their skills to the next level.

When deciding on a program for studying Russian, you should determine your overall goals and focus on a program that will help you meet your objectives while being a good fit for your learning style, available time for studying, and your budget.

If you learn best by listening, you may want to focus on lessons that are provided primarily in audio format, making it easy to learn on-the-go, during your commute, and so on.

On the other hand, if you're a more visual learner, you will want to choose a program with Russian lessons that are delivered through videos, images, and reading materials, whether that's delivered via CD/DVD or through an online download or subscription.

One aspect of learning Russian to keep in mind is its use of a non-Roman alphabet. Russian is written using the Cyrillic alphabet, which can take some time to recognize, understand, and master.

Is it important for you to learn how to read and write in Russian, or is conversational ability sufficient? If your reasons for learning the language include reading and writing, make sure to select Russian lessons that will give you experience with Cyrillic.

There are a few key components to evaluate as you consider which Russian lessons will be a good fit. These include:

  • Instructional Methods. Many language programs offer a free trial. Did the sample lesson or activity leave you feeling interested and educated, or frustrated? Is the structure of the program a match with your preferred way of learning (for example, auditory, visual, and so on)?
  • Skill Level. Does the program expect that you've already had experience with Russian or with learning languages in general? How much instruction is provided in the program package? Will you have full access to all levels for one price, or will you have to spend more to purchase more advanced levels as you progress?
  • Value. Have other people gained or improved their fluency in Russian with this program? Is it worth the price you will pay to purchase the download, CDs, or subscription?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Russian lessons available today. We hope these reviews will help you to find the perfect Russian program to get you on the road to fluency in no time!



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