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Noble vs Michel Tomas
on 8 June 2015
I have just finished the Paul Noble Italian course, but have previously done a Michel Tomas Spanish one and thought it might be useful to review the Noble course by comparison.
Paul Noble Strengths:
- Native Italian speakers help one learn pronunciation better than Tomas' unauthentic accent.
- Noble does not use students answering questions and leaves it to a native speaker. Much better.
- Very similar style to Tomas and good way of learning.
Paul Nobel Weakness:
- Very repetitive and slow progress.
- Far less vocabulary than Tomas. Not much better than beginners guidebook.
- Lengthy section on how to describe illness to a doctor seemed a waste of time. This is not useful for conversation and if I was ill I'd find an English speaker.
- He asks questions then immediately gives too many hints which does not allow you to try and recall for yourself.
On balance, I found that after Tomas I had far more practical knowledge of the language and was amazed at the scope of what I had learnt, especially the vocabulary and tenses of most useful verbs. In contrast, Noble was much less demanding and taught much less, which did not give the confidence or ability to converse except basic phrasebook stuff. After Tomas, I was able to converse much more freely.
It's a shame, because Noble's use of native speakers is much better, but the limited content and slight boredom from so much repetition lets it down.
Incidentally, I also did the BBC Talk Italian course, which is great for practical vocabulary, but it has to be memorised and is far less easy going than the Tomas/Noble method. Nevertheless a good course that I think is oriented toward class learning, rather than solo.
Tomas or Noble? For sheer content I'd go for Tomas, but would really like to see Noble's course reworked to include Tomas's content. As things stand I'd have to recommend Tomas.