I have found the Pimsleur method, even the level 1 conversation, very effective for beginning learning a language.
With the first level lessons, you will learn a limited vocabulary of something like 50 to 100 words, but you be fluent with those words. You will be able to recall and speak them in the right context, and you will hear, recognize, and comprehend them when spoken in full speed conversation. This listening comprehension of a limited vocabulary, is priceless, useful and most valuable.
Anyone who has studied language in the traditional non-auditory, vocabulary and grammar method (as in the common high school course presentation) knows you gain zero listening comprehension by that method, and is useless for real world two way basic communication.
The power of the Pimsleur method is that the repetition and graduated intervals, along with speaking aloud in anticipation, then reinforcement, trains the subconscious part of your brain, injecting the auditory language into the language center of your brain, not the intellectual fact and figures memory part of your brain.
Ever have a song stuck in your head, that you can virtually hear? The Pimsleur method gets the voice of the other language stuck in your head! Often, when needing to recall how to say a phrase, you simply stop and listen to the memory of the voice in your head, which reminds you of the correct pronunciation.
Small vocabulary listening comprehension means as you listen to a full speed language speaker, the words and phrases you have learned, jump out at you and you know instantly what they mean. No translating mentally. This is what I mean by fluency of a limited vocabulary. You immediately understand the meaning of the words without mental translation.
The learning seems to be permanent. It has been more than 2 years, and with relatively infrequent refreshing, most of the phrases and words persist as auditory and comprehension memory.
It is clear to me that the Pimsleur method puts you on the path to fluency in a language by starting you out to be fluent for a select small vocabulary (although chosen to be useful), then comes the large task of expanding your vocabulary, that might take you a lot longer. But you are put on the fluency path at the outset, with the very first phrase.