Michel Thomas Speak French For Beginners: 10-CD Beginner's Program Audio CD – Nov 20 2006
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About the Author
Michel Thomas was head of the Michel Thomas Language Centers and taught languages for more than 50 years, primarily in New York, Beverly Hills, and London. Over a period of 25 years he developed a unique and revolutionary learning system that made him the world’s leading language teacher.
Top Customer Reviews
He explains the language so logically that it makes sense. He helps you to remember. He gives clues and shortcuts and teaches you to do educated guesses.
My 12 year old daughter did not like French in school, so I also persuaded her to work through these cds and suddenly, she understands the language and has confidence! Her marks have improved too, she had climbed from a B symbol to 90% for her French in a couple of months!
Michel Thomas is an excellent teacher. I also read French now, even though reading is not specifically covered in these cds, they put you on track to go further.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I was surprised to see comments here about this not being real French. That got me to wondering whether I should be recommending them. So I did an online search to find out about Thomas' background. I was astonished. Not only has he lived in France, but he was in the French army in WWII; served in the intelligence corps; was in infamous concentration camps (one of which he escaped from); worked in the French resistance; he was even tortured for information by the Gestapo and French police, but didn't break down. He went on to be a lieutenant of the French Forces of the Interior, and commanded a group that destroyed telephone lines in coordination with the landing of the Allies in Normandy. And on and on and on - there's even a book about him by Christopher Robbins called A Test of Courage! So I think it's safe to assume that what he's teaching is real French - and this whole thing has inspired me to dig those CDs out again and really use them to learn more instead of waiting till the last minute when I'm off to travel again.
The best part is that no matter what you get taught, Michel tells you over and over how simple each new thing is to learn, even if it's a "hard" verb tense or grammatical construction. He then explains it in a way which is not intimidating, and eases the listener in to learning to how to appreciate the structure of the language. This is in marked contrast to the brilliant Pimsleur programs, which are unbeatable with regard to learning pronunciation, but leave much to be desired when it comes to learning structure. The best way to go about it is to listen to Pimsleur to get the pronunciation down, then move on to Michel Thomas to learn the nuts and bolts of the language. Then, of course, go out there and start talking.
The only downside is that for most of the set, Michel sounds like he has the mic almost touching his lips, and you can hear the moisture of his mouth. It's a very liquidy sound, and the occasional smacking of his lips gets irritating. I'm sure this will turn some people off, which is unfortunate. As long as you're not too sensitive to it, it shouldn't be a problem.
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