Academy for SocioEconomics Linguistics — SPRACHKOMPETENZEN FÜR ALLE

On the Michel Thomas Method

Posted by asecoli - Mai 31, 2011

In a self-experiment and in a class experiment, I tried out the Michel Thomas Method (MTM). I tried out the Spanish course (with pre-knowledge of Spanish) and the Polish course (without previous knowledge of Polish) and I designed lessons in Russian and Swedish to be taught to other people. The MTM is based on these principles: The focus is on being able to build your own sentences, rather than learning set phrases. The responsibility for learning is with the teacher, not the student. During each lesson, learners are given new words and then a model sentence in their native language, which learners are to repeat in the target language. In this way learners are supposed to assimilate grammar patterns without really realizing it.

My evaluation is that it is a very interesting approach with which you get (mostly lasting) active and passive grammar skills very quickly. The work with internationalisms, which helps to build up a quite large vocabulary is also convincing. However, there is a nearly complete lack of basic everyday words and phrases. I’m trying to revise and improve the approach by including these components of language (incl. true dialogic skills), too.

Joachim Grzega

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