The first time our family backpacked Europe, we needed to learn German quickly. We’d arranged to rent rooms in guest houses (Gastehaus in Deutch) where our hosts spoke no English. So we turned to Pimsleur.
Pimsleur will teach you a new language in just 30 days — or at least enough of the language that you can carry on simple conversations with native speakers. Offer greetings. Ask directions. Make purchases. Extend courtesies. Read a menu. Order food. Find a bathroom. And much, much more. All important stuff when you are traveling internationally.
Our family had already used Pimsleur to learn Spanish before a mission trip to Guatemala. We enjoyed such success in just 30 days with that program that we set aside three months to learn French, Italian, and German before our European Vacation. It was time well spent.
Since one of our sons was stationed in Ansbach for three years with the US Army, we spend most of our time in Germany the last time we backpacked Europe. But we again brushed up on our German before we went.
Pimsleur is primarily an auditory program. You acquire the language just as children acquire their native tongue. You do learn how to read the words your are speaking, as well, but that comes a little later.
As a homeschooler, I was initially unsure how to assign a language grade on high school transcripts for my older children who were using the Pimsleur method. So I developed a series of tests to see how well they were learning the material.
Although these tests (see samples below) are not sponsored or endorsed by Pimsleur, they will give you an idea of the depth of language knowledge you can acquire using their program, as well as a basis for assigning a grade for their foreign language credits.
If you decide to use Pimsleur with your own homeschooling students, feel free to download all thirty of our German 1 Tests to use as a benchmark for your own family’s progress.
Or, if Spanish is more your speed, you’ll find similar tests for that language in this post.)
Flanders Family German Tests:
Here are a few sample tests to help you learn German quickly. These correspond with days 2, 12, and 22 of the Pimsleur Speak and Read Essential Spanish program:
For a limited time, you can study any/all of the 51 languages Pimsleur offers for 7 days for FREE. So if this learning program sounds interesting, I’d encourage you to check it out ASAP. You’ll start speaking in a new tongue by the end of your very first lesson!