He ain't all that bad!

by Edmund Ball

I think that one of the advantages of the M. Thomas approach is that he triggers the learner into speaking in a way that other courses ( that I have used at least ) do not.

He provides simple psychological boosters to give confidence to the speaker. This actually I think is a key barrier in the failure of many to learn to speak foreign languages in England.

I learnt and passed academic GCE French at 16 years of age, forty five years ago! ( this included an oral exam).

But it was only when I used the M Thomas course I actually have the cofidence to converse in French, when in France. The course actually taught me little or no French that I hadn't done before.. but by concentrating on modal verbs etc.. and giving these psychological triggers, I was enabled to make the jump from reading and writing French ( which was what the oldfashioned GCE did), to actually speaking.

I think he is pretty good! However I agree that the range of material is too limited to go beyond a certain set of language situations , and a mix of learning materials , including old fashioned text books, multi-media and "memorisation" materials is necessary.

Ed Ball

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