37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Bravo Paul Noble AND Michel Thomas, 6 Jan. 2011
Bravo! Paul Noble on producing such a useful tool for learning French. I have just listened to his demo, and it is enough for me to know that he is adopting the most effective approach for any English-speaker wishing to learn French.
As a teacher myself, I too have been using such a comparative approach for nigh on two decades. And like Michel Thomas and Paul Noble, I have found that starting with the similarities is the fastest and simplest route between the 2 languages. I read in one of these reviews that Mr. Noble is being accused of 'ripping off' Michel Thomas. In defence of Mr. Noble, I cite my own experience: that through a root-and-branch comparison of the two languages, I arrived at the same conclusions as both men before either of them ever published their methods. And I'm sure I'm not alone.
The cornerstones of the comparative approach are universal observations and as such, not copyrightable. Its core concepts are * English is (broadly speaking) 'half French and half German'. * The vocabulary of English 70-80% of French origin (one can debate this figure, but the principle is solid), so with the right guidance, all English-speakers can generate 1000s of French words in very little time. *The structure of French is surprisingly comparable and parallel to that of English; consequently, the way you build and `think' a French sentence is very often the same as the way you build/think its English equivalent.
Even the micro-observations that Noble makes about structure and vocabulary eg(1): -ion words are the same in both languages, eg(2): -ic/-ical English words become -ique in French, eg(3): `I have progressed' and `I progressed' are the same = j'ai progressé are bread-and-butter tools of the comparative approach and as such, are in no way attributable to or protectable by one person.
So I say kudos to both Paul Noble and Michel Thomas. They are driving a (albeit too slow) revolution about how we learn European languages. They break with the old-school thinking that has paralysed us for decades with its insistence on grammatical differences and exceptions and irregularities. Instead, they demonstrate that French (like Spanish, Italian, German,...) is not so `foreign', and that all English-speakers have an latent potential to speak these languages in a way that is intuitive, painless and hugely motivating.