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Speed Learning Using The Pimsleur Method

The late Dr. Paul Pimsleur was one of the world's leading experts on language teaching. Dr. Pimsleur was a Fulbright lecturer at the University of Heidelberg and a founding member of the ACTFL - America Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

During his career he was associated with many educational centers including Colombia University, Ohio State University, State University of New York.

His years of experience and research revolutionized theories of language learning and teaching. He introduced many principles which made language learning much faster.

Two of the key principles are:

1. Anticipation

2. Graduated Interval Recall


Rather than having information drummed into us through constant repetition, the principle of anticipation gets us to interact in the learning process.

After anticipating the answer from memory, the answer is then confirmed in the lesson. In other words, you receive information, then you recall it from memory and then use it.

Questions demand answers. Questions kick start the brain into thinking. Question and answer sessions therefore are extremely productive in the learning process.

How can Dr. Pimsleur's technique be applied in everyday learning situations?

For students or career individuals preparing for examinations, pick a "Learning Buddy", an associate who will assist you. You sit together in a 15 minute learning session.

Your "Learning Buddy" raises a question on the assigned material and gives you 5 to 10 seconds to give an answer. Whether you give the answer or not, they verbally repeat the answer.

Hearing the correct answer right after anticipation greatly increases your retention. The information is confirmed in your mind, once through anticipation and memory recall, second, from your "Learning Buddy".

Graduated Interval Recall:

This is an expression Dr. Pimsleur used to describe effective memory management.

He discovered that efficiency in remembering information was strongly connected to the intervals that elapsed before the information was recalled.

He then worked out a schedule to maximize the natural retention ability of the human brain and capitalize on peak retention intervals.

Lesson applied:

Label each learning session by giving it a name and make a list of the key points.

Then with your diary or computer planner open, write in the name of the learning session 1 day later, 1 week later, 1 month later. (Depending on the purpose or nature of the exercise, also 6 months later for long term memory).

Then simply review the key points when that session label appears in your diary or planner.

As the length of time between recalls increases, the strength of memory increases.

Submitted by:

Michael Tony Jones

Michael Tony Jones is a writer and webmaster with over 10 years experience. Learn the �new definition� of speed reading on Michael�s goal setting site: http://www.about-goal-setting.com/speed-reading.html


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