Pimsleur Comes to the Rescue
My youngest daughter, who lives in the U.S., shook me out of my complacency. She said, “How can you live in Israel and not speak Hebrew? You of all people, a former foreign language teacher!” I tried to defend myself by claiming that all the Romance languages I had learned were related to each other, besides which I was young when I was able to accomplish that. But deep inside I knew she was right. It did not help that all the grandchildren are fluent in English and we have only English speaking friends. My husband and I had taken Hebrew lessons at the ulpan several times but we were not willing to put the time and effort into really mastering the idiom.
There are so many moments when not knowing the language is frustrating: the telephone messages that can’t be understood, the cultural events, theater that has to be missed, and not being able to understand the news on television. In the supermarket I looked for canned beets which are readily available in the States. Finally I found a can with a picture. I thought I had purchased beets, until I got home to find they were purple plums.
Shortly after the conversation with my daughter there was an advertisement on the internet for a special trial offer of 8 language lessons on 4 CDs from the Pimsleur Foreign Language Approach. I had not only heard of this internationally known language expert, but many years ago had heard him speak at a foreign language conference. I had great respect for this man and his method. Although my husband was skeptical, the $10 trial offer and money - back guarantee if we were not satisfied, were something he could not refuse. We knew that we had to commit one half hour a day to listening and repeating what we heard. After the first few CDs, it was my husband who went to the telephone to order Level One Hebrew which consists of 16 CDs with two lessons each. He was sold!
At this time we are in the middle of Level One and feel extremely satisfied with this method and ourselves. We are learning practical everyday conversation. Many of the expressions we had previously learned and thought we had forgotten, have come back. We will pursue this course until we finish and then order Level Two, and expect to order additional levels thereafter.
I encourage anyone who wants to learn conversational Hebrew or any other foreign language to consider doing the same. Dr. Pimsleur devoted his life to language teaching and conducted extensive research on how people learn. You can get additional information on the internet about the Pimsleur Audio-based learning method –www.pimsleuraudio.com
Sometimes it pays to listen to your children!