What is the Michel Thomas Method?
The Michel Thomas Method teaches everyday conversational language that will allow you to communicate in a wide variety of situations, empowered by the ability to create your own sentences and use the language instinctively, having absorbed the vocabulary and grammatical structures. These all-audio courses were perfected over 25 years by gifted linguist and teacher Michel Thomas, and provide an accelerated method for language learning that is truly revolutionary.
Lessons 1-8, the Beginner course: This course makes no assumption of knowledge of any language other than English and gives the beginner practical and functional use of the spoken language. It is also appropriate for anyone who has studied Japanese before, but has forgotten much of it or does not have confidence in speaking. The Beginner course is designed to take you from complete beginner to intermediate level.
Lessons 9-12, the Intermediate course: This course is for those with an intermediate-level foundation in Japanese, or those who have completed lessons 1-8 and want to take their learning to an advanced level and speak Japanese proficiently and easily.
How does it work?
Unlike most language courses that focus around topics or grammar forms, the Michel Thomas Method works by breaking a language down into its component parts, enabling you to reconstruct the language yourself - to form your own sentences, to say what you want, when you want. Within the first 10 minutes of the course, you will be generating complete sentences on your own. It is important that you complete the lessons in order. The Method is successful because it builds on the language you learn in each lesson and "recycles" language taught in earlier lessons, allowing you to build ever-more complicated sentences. Because the Method is based on understanding, not memorisation, there is no set limit to the length of time that you should study each lesson. Once you feel you have a good grasp of the language taught in one lesson, you can move on to the next.
In lesson 1 of the Japanese Beginner course, you’ll be able to make positive and negative statements about the present and future, ask questions and make polite suggestions, and learn about the marker "o" (which shows which word in a sentence is having something done to it) with…
English words in Japanese and Japanese words in English
Social communications: "please may I have?", "excuse me", "yes", "go ahead", "no"
Nouns: "(digital) camera", "hotel", "ice cream", "coffee", "T-shirt", "sandwich", "juice", "beer", "rice with vinegar", "television", "comic book", "film", "concert"
No words for "a" or "the:"
Pronouns: "this", "that", "that over there"
Verbs: "to eat", "to drink", "to watch/look/see", "to read", "to buy"
"Masu" form of verb covers present and future ("I eat" and "I will eat") and all persons doing the action of the verb ("I", "you", "he", etc.)
Time expressions (generally come at the beginning of the sentence): "tomorrow", "sometimes", "every day", "this evening/tonight"
Questions: "ka" = spoken question mark at end of question; question words: "what?"
Marker: "o" shows which word in a sentence is having something done to it
No distinction in Japanese between singular and plural forms
Linking words: "and" (to link sentences, not things)
Forming the negative: "masen" verb ending
"Masu" form of verb conveys politeness
Formulating polite suggestions with "masen" verb ending and question marker "ka"
In the next lesson you’ll learn to use the marker "to" ("with") and you’ll be able to say what you like and ask "shall we XXX?" questions.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Mr S Kean on 25-09-17
Best course we have ever come across.
With an extended family now living in Tokyo it made a lot of sense to search for a Japanese spoken course. This was the first course we have come across that made the learning both easy and entertaining. Having finished the first lesson we can't wait to download the second. My wife and I are already asking each other questions and answering all in Japanese. It is great fun and I hope will please and honour our daughter-in-law's family when we visit again next year.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Anonymous User on 04-12-17
Imitates a real classroom
I’ve been trying to self-learn Japanese on and off for the past month or so. I notice a huge gap between the success I have self-learning a language compared to when I have a teacher and other students. I’ve made minimal headway and forgotten most of the things I’ve tried to acquire through YouTube and duolingo and memrise.
This audiobook tries to imitate the experience of a classroom not just in content (more bottom-up, with plenty of cultural notes on how to use the language they teach you), but with multiple people who act as fellow students and native speakers. Sometimes the student makes mistakes and it keeps you engaged to catch and mentally correct what they say.
While interactivity is a strong point in making this book actually effective at teaching, it’s a bit difficult to constantly be tapping on the screen to pause and repeat the words if I want to listen while taking a walk. Also the fellow student can sometimes be predictable in the kinds of mistakes they make, making listening to them a bit of a pain and a bore.
Minor complaints only. Still seems to be one of the legit ways to really internalize a new language!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By susan on 17-04-17
I can't even imagine any improvements. WOW. I'm learning to speak Japanese, with little effort - so enjoyable.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful