I've used several of Michel Thomas's courses and found them useful. I think the review above misses out why they're good: they provide an excellent TEMPLATE for language learning.
Uniquely, Michel builds language from the basic "I want", adding structures and words bit by bit to that so that the student starts to understand how the language is constructed.
Most other language systems are poorly structured in this respect and don't build, so as you progress you end up being allowed to forget words and concepts you learned early on.
I feel to learn a language properly, you have to use various methods, and Michel Thomas can be a very useful first one. It's not fair to criticise him for not providing a fully comprehensive language system - no where does he suggest it's anything more than an audio version of the teaching method he uses with his paid students - but he's definitely on to something.
Without using a book or worksheet, just listening to the tuition, you learn quite a few words and concepts in a short space of time in a friendly, encouraging way. Sometimes Michel gets sidetracked and that can be amusing - for instance in the Spanish course where explaining the word "sera" he mentions the song "Que Sera Sera - adding that he taught Doris Day.
I feel also that his own thick polyglot accent can be a bit of a confidence booster to the student struggling with pronunciation - you feel you can often do better than him. He certainly makes the whole business of language learning seem attainable.
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