Comparing language courses

One reason why I chose to learn Czech with the Pimsleur course was because I hadn’t done a Pimsleur course before and I want to test as many different types of language course as I can find. To date I’ve tried quite a few Colloquial and Teach Yourself courses, one Rosetta Stone course (Russian), which I’ve yet to finish, and a few lesser-known courses.

When comparing language courses for the same language you can’t start each one from the same level because you can’t erase from your memory what you’ve learnt in each one before trying the next one. If you try comparing a course from the same series for several different languages, you often find that the courses are not identical – the basic format is probably the same, but each one has a different author and the quantity and quality of material varies. Each language also presents you with a different set of challenges, and you may find that some types of course work better for some languages than others.

Generally I find that no single course is sufficient to learn a language, so I often use several different courses during my studies.

This entry was posted in Language, Language learning.

5 Responses to Comparing language courses

  1. Samawel says:

    Although, Pimsleur courses seem to do quite a good job.

  2. Joseph Staleknight says:

    I find Teach Yourself nice. No real need for additional software.

  3. renato says:

    Haven’t you been trying the books from Audio Forum? I think they are well done and complete.

  4. Simon says:

    Some of the courses I’ve tried are available on Audio Forum, but I’ve haven’t bought them there.

  5. Jamison says:

    I’ve always been a fan of Pimsleur – I did all three for Spanish. I also did the first for Mandarin and also Portuguese.

    But I think you’re right – no single course will be sufficient for any language. Of the three I studied, only Spanish is the one that I’m really proficient at. And that is because of studying tons of books and also using it very regularly.

    I also think that one should really try many things out in their language learning. A serious study of language is nothing short of an intense period of personal growth. I know that it has been the case with me. What I found that I liked in the beginning I no longer find valuable – even if I were to take on another language. What I found terribly boring in the beginning I now find to be my most interesting study aid (very large, dry reference grammar book).