Pimsleur's Theory Of Language Acquisition

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The importance of multilingualism has risen significantly over the years, and is not only seen as a professional advantage but also as a step toward globalisation and multiculturalism. However, the complexity and diversity of various languages poses a problem to effective acquisition. This brought about the focus on the study of linguistics and applied linguistics, but unfortunately still yielding half answers and generating more questions.
Language as conceived of by Chomsky (Chomsky, Syntactic Structures, 1957) is “a set (finite or infinite) of sentences, each finite in length and constructed out of a finite set of elements.”
Language acquisition has always been a popular and yet controversial area of study. The process of language acquisition
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Paul Pimsleur as an audio-based language learning programme.
“There exists an urgent national need for self-instructional materials in many of the world 's languages.” (Simon & Schuster, 2013)
With that goal in mind he developed and recorded Modern Greek, the first of the Pimsleur Language Courses. Dr. Pimsleur wrote Modern Greek in 1963 was followed by Speak & Read Essential French, then Spanish and German were completed by 1967.
It was a test of his new theory of self-instruction which resulted from his years of teaching and his study in linguistics and the psychology of language, specifically of how memory could be triggered to best implant a new language. He regarded four principles as primary to the formation of memory associations and language recall (Simon & Schuster, 2013). The Pimsleur method is a scientifically proven set of principles designed to take a learner directly to the heart of the language, eliminating noise, confusion, and information overload. It is based on four main principles: Principle of Anticipation, Graduated- interval recall, Core vocabulary, Organic Learning. (Simon & Schuster,
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As has been established, language can be understood through music, but on a much greater level music helps gain insight into how we experience and identify with language even before we have learned to communicate (Anthony Brandt, 2012).
Audio-based learning then provides for the opportunity to combine the experience music provides into the ‘approachable’ method that is desired to form a stimulating language learning system. This aids the learner in avoiding the pressures of having to keep up with a classroom pace, or answer in front of an audience, and allows the learner’s ability to develop through natural progression.
The system ensures that such conveniences do not lead to complacency as the audio-based programme revisits lessons and conversations and intermediately asks the listener’s responses. This ensures that the material is not only comprehended but stored and reproduced or translated if necessary. Music enables this storage and retrieval process and allows language to form meaning as part of an on-going acquisition
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