Review of Pimsleur Italian
Pimsleur Italian Phase 1, surprised us a bit, because the Pimsleur name has traditionally earned respect in the language community. Pimsleur’s philosophy is based on the belief that since babies learn to process language through auditory means, adults ought to be able to do the same thing, and this should be the best way to learn Italian fast. This is certainly logical – and it definitely does work that way with babies – but most of us have come to recognize that as we grow, our brains develop different learning styles.
While all viable language-learning systems need to incorporate an auditory component, many adults are so visually-oriented that they need material to read as well as listen to. Pimsleur Digital Italian is very weak in that department, with no written material at all.
In addition, because its developers believe that you’ll just naturally pick up grammatical structures as you become more familiar with the sound of Italian, the program does not focus on teaching grammar – which is essential to mastery of the language. With Pimsleur Digital Italian Phase 1, auditory learners will definitely learn Italian fast — although not necessarily terribly well — but visual or kinesthetic learners may be completely at sea.
If you are a visual or kinesthetic learner, then you’ll be better off using a proven online course like Rocket Italian.
And at $173.27, is Pimsleur Digital Italian a bit costly. So for these reasons, we’ve given Pimsleur Digital Italian Phase 1 a 79% rating.