Language learning programs proliferate these days, both online and in traditional classrooms, yet most Americans – almost three-quarters (73 percent) – are unable to hold a conversation in more than one language. That is one of the findings of a new survey released last month by Pimsleur Language Programs, a language learning company.
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The survey, “Americans and Language: Perceptions and Realities,” found that many Americans have concerns with learning a new language. Among the biggest challenges:
• Approximately 32 percent cite difficulty
• About 29 percent cite not having enough time
• Nearly one-fifth (18 percent) felt they were “too old’ to learn a language
• 16 percent were intimidated because they had failed at learning a new language in the past
“The process of learning a language can be daunting to many people, but it doesn’t have to be,” Robert Riger, vice president and director of Pimsleur Language Programs, said in a statement.
Pimsleur is an audio-based language-learning program that follows a method developed by Dr. Paul Pimsleur 50 years ago that teaches foreign languages much the way people learn their first language as children, by “acquiring the vocabulary of the new language, along with the melody, rhythm, and intonation as used in everyday conversation.”
The Pimsleur Method, the company said, is based on 30-minute daily lessons and is “a completely natural way to learn a language.”
To celebrate 50 years in the language industry, in addition to the survey, the company launched the Pimsleur Course Manager App and released an e-book and hardcover edition of Dr. Pimsleur’s “How to Learn a Foreign Language,” originally published in 1980 that explains why most people are capable of speaking a foreign language.
Currently, the audio-based language learning programs are available 50 languages, ranging from Albanian to Vietnamese. Click here for more information, to try a free language lesson, and to learn about holiday gift options. Last minute shoppers can still send digital lessons in any of the 50 languages.