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Michel Thomas Foundation Course: French (2nd edition) (Michel Thomas Series) Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

251 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 10 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; 2 edition (29 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340938919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340938911
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (251 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 178,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michel Thomas was a gifted linguist who mastered more than ten languages in his life-time and became famous for teaching much of Hollywood's 'A' list how to speak a foreign language. Film stars such as Woody Allen, Emma Thompson and Barbra Streisand paid thousands of dollars each for face-to-face lessons.

Michel Thomas was born Moniek Kroskof, the only son of a Jewish family who owned a textile factory in Poland in 1914. As a young boy, Michel was sent to live in Germany to escape the anti-Semitism directed at his family. Living in Vienna in 1938, when the Nazis annexed Austria, Michel was rendered stateless as a Jew.

He fled the country for France, and when the Germans invaded he joined the French Resistance.

He spent two brutal years in French concentration and slave labour camps, and narrowly avoiding being sent to Auschwitz. He escaped, surviving capture, interrogation by Klaus Barbie and torture by the Gestapo.

His mastery of languages enabled him to adopt many identities. At the end of the war, he masterminded operations to uncover war criminals and infiltrate underground Nazi groups.

It was during Michel's wartime experiences that he discovered his ability to block out pain and unearth the untapped potential of the human mind. The only way he survived this period of his life, particularly his capture by the Gestapo, was by concentrating and placing his mind beyond the physical.

Fascinated by this experience, he was determined that, after the war, he would devote himself to exploring further the power of the human mind, and so dedicated his life to education.

In 1947, he moved to Los Angeles and set up the Michel Thomas Language Centres, from where he taught languages for over fifty years in New York, Beverly Hills and London.

Michel Thomas died of heart failure at his home in New York City on Saturday 8th January 2005. He was 90 years old.

The unique all-audio Michel Thomas Method of language learning has been used by over a million people. It requires no reading, no writing and no homework, so that you can learn painlessly and effectively. Choose from 12 exciting languages - start with the beginner's Foundation courses in French (9780340938911); German (9780340938928), Italian (9780340938942) and Spanish (9780340938935). Then expand your knowledge with the Advanced French (9780340938980); German
(9780340939130); Italian (9780340939000) and Spanish (9780340938997) courses and take your learning even further with a range of Language Builders and Vocabulary courses.

The Michel Thomas Method has now been applied to new languages including Greek (9780340983935); Portuguese (9780340971673); Russian (9780340948415); Mandarin Chinese (9780340957264); Polish (9780340975176) and Japanese (9780340974575).

Product Description


Ideal for any business traveller who needs to be able to get around confidently. (Sunday Business)

"A great way to learn; it's fast and it lasts". (The Daily Telegraph)

Five minutes into the first CD, you already feel like you're winning. (Time Out)

Michel Thomas is a precious find indeed. (The Guardian)

Thomas makes it simple (Sunday Times)

Michel's methods will teach you effectively and easily (Daily Star)

Hugely inspiring (Red)

"Excellent for learning ... This entirely audio course is easy to use and quickly results in some useful ability in the new language. Great for the car." (Adventure Travel)

"Moving along at a relaxed, slow pace, punctuated by amusing anecdotes and jokes from the teacher, the new words, phrases and language rules are gently introduced and reinforced through subtle repetition without ever being tedious. In fact, despite a distinct emphasis on non-work, the course proves very effective and enjoyable, and its format is ideal for learning anywhere you like. So, if you only want to learn to speak the language, this course is highly recommended." (Top Real Travel Product, Real Travel)

Book Description

Michel Thomas's approach to language learning aims to provide in a few hours a functional working knowledge of a language without books, note-taking or conscious memorizing. This CD pack provides an eight-hour course in French plus a 2-hour review course.

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Inside This Book

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For the first time ever, the amazing teaching method of the world's greatest language teacher, Michel Thomas, is available to everyone, not just the rich and famous. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

317 of 322 people found the following review helpful By M. Cosgrove on 16 July 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Allow me to get straight to the point. If you are serious about learning French, Spanish, German or Italian, and you have the money to spare, I would advise buying the full 8 hour course straight away. If you buy the 2 hour introductory course first, it will just be a waste of money, because I can guarantee you you will want to buy the full course after listening to it.
I'm a Spanish graduate and so Michel's teaching style really intrigues me. It is truly unique and extremely effective. You will find that you will remember almost all of the vocabulary without much effort - compared to a very low retention rate from traditional courses.
Michel focuses entirely on the spoken language and some people may find themselves fighting this method at first. That's only natural, because we are trained in school to rely on visual aids to remember things.... vocabulary lists, flash cards, videos, OHPs.... but when you consider how you learnt your mother tongue, you'll realize that our brain is wired up to learn a language in a auditory way. He spells out some of the trickier words, but for the most part you need to think of yourself as a child and absorb all of the information eagerly, not worrying about spellings. You can learn the spellings later, after you have finished the course.... just as a child learns to read and write his native language after he has learnt how to speak it.
The format of the course is great; it's very informal. It is a recording of Michel teaching two students who, like you, have little or no prior knowledge of the language. You will feel like you are the third student in the class. It is vital to pause the tape/CD when Michel asks how to say something. Take as much time as you need to think of your answer...
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127 of 130 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Sept. 2000
Format: Audio CD
The man is undoubtedly a genius. He is able to produce an interest in, and affection for, the language within a few moments of starting the course. He demystifies French, and makes it quite clear that there is nothing to fear here: all is logical and welcoming. He quotes Dumas pére who, on having to learn English, and receiving his first lesson, famously remarked 'Why,it is just French, but badly pronounced!' - which sets the tone for the proceedings.
Obviously, you're not going to speak perfect French after eight or so hours of Michel Thomas, but I'll wager that you speak more and better by the end of the course than you did after however many years of school French. And, more importantly, you'll have the confidence to interact in French with the French ,and so to continue the learning procees.
I can't recommend it too highly. I imagine, though, that you'll be left wondering, as I was, why these language teaching methods aren't used in our schools. So much ability going to waste!
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147 of 151 people found the following review helpful By K. R. Phillips on 10 Sept. 2000
Format: Audio CD
I really wanted to learn French but I just can't abide swatting. When I first read the usual "fantastic new method" nonsense on the box of Michel Thomas's course I thought, yeah right, I've heard that before but, I suppose because I had a holiday in France looming and the box did say no swatting, I gave it a go.
From the very first CD, I was completely captivated. This was learning with logic. A way to work out what you wanted to say for yourself, without having to listen to endless repetitions of foreign phrases, which to my mind can only ever result in me becoming a walking phrase book with no real prospect of ever holding a conversation in a foreign language. I learned in the car and found the learning so stimulating that I would arrive at my destination and not want to get out of the car because it meant that I'd have to turn the CD off.
Since listening to Michel's CDs I have increased my vocabulary by listening to stories in French and now French radio. Whilst I would not say that I am yet completely fluent, I speak French to a standard that I would have previously thought only possible after years of practice, not a few months. When I got to France my family and friends were truly gob-smacked by how well I could both speak and understand French. I am now just desperate for him to bring out some more advanced CDs.
I can tell you quite honestly that this is the first time I have been moved to write anything in this way but these CDs are the most enjoyable way you could possible learn a language.
J'espere vraiment que vous alliez avoir la meme experience que j'avais.
Bon Chance!
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101 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Zordano on 20 Oct. 2004
Format: Audio CD
By the end of this 8 CD course, you will recall phrase and sentence building tools that will provide a basis for getting by, as well as the confidence to progress to more intermediate and advanced skills.
Michel Thomas has definitely hit upon a clever technique for making language learning accessible, memorable and less painful.
The CDs help a novice or rusty speaker lay solid foundation for speaking straightaway to the level of confident beginner, as well as preparing for higher level facility in the language.
You must follow the tips suggested for using the material, especially: play them when you're very relaxed; stop and start just as you prefer; and most of all - pause the CD and try to say every phrase he has asked his students to attempt. Your brain will hurt if you're a beginner - but you'll progress rapidly.
As for the two students you learn with in real time: the guy on the CDs is fairly sharp and you feel he could be a strong French speaker in time. The woman is a disaster - as dumb as a doorknob that was dropped on its head as a child. Her meaningless participation impairs the course.
Repeat the whole course or individual CDs to consolidate the skills you picked up on the first run through.
I would not reccommend the 2 CD Introductory Course. Such courses are so superficial they are nothing to do with language learning. Buy this 8 CD one (the first 2 CDs of which are the Short Course anyway).
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