It is well known from studies of the brain that human beings recognize, identify and capture patterns of speech. This is how human infants learn their mother tongue over the first six years of life.
With that task accomplished, everyone has the necessary physical and mental equipment to go on and acquire additional means of communication (languages). But—and this is the singular and highly complex factor that allows or prevents adults from doing what comes naturally—it is all in the selection and organization of the language materials which are created to manage second–language acquisition.
It is no longer efficient for an adult to learn by simply being exposed to other languages (as happens as a baby) because, being in possession of a fine first language which enables an adult to survive handsomely, there now has to be a different motivating factor as well as a second–language program which is especially prepared to recapitulate—in a special way—the original process of language acquisition for the adult mentality.
It was Dr. Paul Pimsleur who, through many years of research and development, discovered how to select and organize the materials of the second language to fit the one way that the stream of speech of an unknown language can enter the consciousness of the adult and be processed through the language learning power of the human brain.
The Pimsleur methodology, which makes language acquisition happen, looks singularly easy and transparent, but nothing could be farther from the truth. The science and skill (art, if you will) of creating a Pimsleur program requires, nay demands, some 2,000 person–hours of three trained individuals to prepare thirty lessons of a Pimsleur Program. Learn more about how the Pimsleur Method works.