The Art and Science of Learning Craft  

  Michel Thomas Method 


The Method is an original method developed by Michel Thomas for teaching languages.

Thomas has been hired by notable people such as Raquel Welch, Barbara Streisand, Emma Thompson and Woody Allen.

The method first came to prominence in Britain, following a BBC television science documentary The Language Master, in which he taught French to sixth form students for five days(1997).

With Thomas's method, the teacher cautions students to avoid making notes and to refrain from making conscious attempts to memorize. Promising that the teacher will "be taking full responsibility" for their learning.

Thomas stated that keeping the students relaxed, focused and stretched with a feeling of mounting successful achievement, is at the heart of the method. The removal of the stress and anxiety 'of being put on the spot' of conventional language learning, especially school language learning, is a key goal of the method.

In Thomas's schools, students would start their study listening to programmed courses recorded on tape by Thomas himself. The exact content of these courses is not currently public knowledge, but this approach formed the basis of the commercial audio courses.

The teacher introduces short words and phrases in the target language. The students are asked how they would say an English phrase to the target language, starting with simple sentences and gradually building up to more advanced constructions.

The phrases are chosen as common building blocks of the language's structure. When a student gives a correct answer, the teacher repeats the whole sentence with correct pronunciation. When the student's answer is wrong, the teacher helps the student to understand their mistake and to correct it. The most important words and phrases are reviewed repeatedly during the course.

The method does not insist on perfect pronunciation from the beginning, instead providing progressive feedback and continual improvement by the process of shaping student response over the course of these repetitions.

                                                                                                  The Silent Way