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Michel Thomas Method Speak French: Vocabulary Builder (Anglais) CD – Livre audio, septembre 2007

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Book by Thomas Michel

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x8fd25edc) étoiles sur 5 11 commentaires
41 internautes sur 41 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8fe1ac3c) étoiles sur 5 Can be useful... 6 mai 2008
Par Alexander Spivak - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD
I've just completed the last, 5th CD and decided that I had to share my impressions about this course, since it is somewhat misleading - it's using the name of Michel Thomas whose courses I have and like a lot but it is distorting Michel's method. I think this course is still useful and has it's pros and cons:

- it covers a lot of vocabulary
- the teacher's voice is clear
- the complexity builds up gradually, with each CD
- every sentence is said at least twice - first by a native speaker and then by the teacher

Cons: (subjective)
- lacks the fun of Michel Thomas courses
- Many sentences are boring
- Many sentences are made too long, in 2 or 3 parts - when trying to translate the second part I'd often forget the first part and therefore fail to construct the whole sentence in the allotted time (I work with this course in a car, without the pause button)
- After almost any completed sentence the teacher uses some words of "encouragement" like "excellent", "very good", "you made an excellent progress", "you see how proficient in French you've become", etc. These comments have been very annoying to me and I believe they represent a really bad teaching style. I'd gladly pay the company an extra $20 if they were able to provide me the course without those meaningless comments.
- the voice of a female native speaker is dull and muffled (sounds like she suffers from the cold) - I've never heard such a bad voice in the audio courses

My conclusion: it's not close to Michel Thomas courses, but it does provide a boost in vocabulary and can be useful if completed. I rate it 3 stars.
23 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8fe17840) étoiles sur 5 Definitely not Michel Thomas 30 mars 2008
Par Nylorij - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD
When I bought this set, I didn't realize that it was made after Monsieur Thomas had passed away. The instructor ridiculously comments on the obviously native-French "students"' language usage ("Exactly!", "Very good.", "Now remember to put the accent at the end of the word.") I think it would have been more useful to have actual students who were really learning the language to be part of this stage of instruction, as well. I definitely don't care for these CDs as much as I did for all the learning sets Michel Thomas himself created.
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8fe8fa80) étoiles sur 5 A pleasant surprise 23 juin 2008
Par John Stesney - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD
I got this not knowing anything about Monsieur Thomas. I did a few years of high school French, recently plowed through a book on French grammar,and thought the Vocabulary course would be about, well, vocabulary.

Yes it was, mostly cognates, which seemed kind of elementary. Then, midway, it launched into verb usage and idioms, where it shined. A pause button was an absolute neccesity for me, but the course really works, if you have a little background. (If all you know is the present tense, you're likely to be overwhelmed with all the others. But if you look at the box, they tell you that this isn't for rank beginners.)

And now that I know Thomas is dead, I finally understand all the comments about how great the MT method is; I thought he was a real egotist to have his hired hands rave about him so much. The instructor talks like you hope to: not a native speaker, but quite, perhaps too, precisely. The obviously French respondents, one male and one female, speak faster and looser. They're not quite as challenging to listen to as real French people, but they're good practice.

You will get a lot of hours out of these. (I did all five, and went back for more MT product.) Don't drive with them in heavy traffic.
15 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8fe16714) étoiles sur 5 It's not the Michel Thomas you're expecting 2 septembre 2008
Par Pygmalion - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD
Builds vocabulary, yes but that's it! Contrary to the claims "you'll love it," you probably won't.

In content the course picks up from Michel Thomas (MT) "Vocabulary Builder" course, with substantial repetition of the earlier material. While some of the material (particularly the first 2 cd's) is not new, this doesn't hurt as it serves as a nice review. If you've gone through all the MT courses, the transition into this course will be smooth.

However, just because the course uses "the Michel Thomas method" does not mean that you'll find it the same methodology as with MT himself. Even with his heavy accent and sometimes annoying voice, MT had a talent to put the essentials across to advance the skills of the student. Obviously, the MT method has its limits and at some point it would become less effective. This course, however, prematurely advances those limitations. I don't think MT would have approved.

The original MT method used an instructor with two students fumbling their way along (you're the third bumbling student). In this course, they are replaced by two advanced level speakers who parrot the phrases at the speed of sound itself. Their performance is entirely scripted and they do not make a single mistake in the entire course. (The male `student' is particularly annoying in that he speaks both fast and poorly with marbles in the mouth.) Both `students' speak substantially faster than the instructor herself but their articulation is dramatically worse and eventually you just want to (and do) ignore them. Why they didn't use better quality native speakers as `faux-students' is a mystery since their low quality detracts from the effectiveness of the course. Offsetting this defect, Helen's pronunciation is excellent.

No one (or probably very few) who took the original 3 MT courses will be able to talk at the speed of the course. Often, it is even difficult to hear what is being said as it rips by.

Indeed, in the real world French is spoken fast so this is not entirely without precedent but the course just starts out blazing rather than developing the speed. While it's intended as a challenge, in fact it's a frustrating and inconsiderate deterrent which constantly grates on the student. I'm not sure that dropping the student brutally into the `real world' without regard for their ability (as taught in the prior courses) is appropriate or considerate. Contrary to the intent, the speed introduces nothing but substantial stress and continuous discouragement that you have to constantly fight off.

Making matters worse, the written course material is almost worthless. While the "MT method" does not rely on the written word, it is nonetheless important, particularly when you get stuck on something or want to verify some grammatical construction. Here the transcript is not optional because the words are spoken at a very fast rate which makes it difficult (for the inexperienced ear) to pick out some of the articulation. What you get is a few selected phrases and an English-to-French dictionary of the words. Useless! Considering the huge amount of paper they waste building up the disputed legacy war-hero image of MT (Scarlet Pimpernel 007) they should have instead included a full transcript. It's not like they didn't have it! They make you pay for the course but are then too inconsiderate to include the transcripts.

Since the two "faux-students" just parrot the words mindlessly to script the course is much denser. You will not move through this course at the same speed as the original MT courses but you get more "vocabulary." I presume that this was the reason for using the faux-students but you quickly disconnect from them as they provide no useful learning assistance to the student. It probably would have been better if Helen just repeated the phrases without them (first fast and then progressively more slowly). Far as I can tell, the two students provide no useful function to learning -- certainly not in the way they did with the original MT courses.

Due to the speaking speed in this course it quickly losses some of its luster. Nothing helps you get the pronunciation correct other than unassisted repetition. You have to tediously listen over and over and over to hear the nuances and this creates the very stress (frustration) that Michel Thomas actively sought to avoid. Contrary the advertised claims, it's not fun (like the original MT courses).

Sometimes, particularly with the verb sections, you are actively thwarted in your efforts to learn and occasionally you just have to shut it off (in frustration), walk away and then to come back when you're in a better mindset. This is not what MT would have wanted! Michel Thomas said that your learning was his responsibility (due to his technique) and sought a progressive method to minimize stress. Not so this course. It's a continuation in course theory (from the prior MT courses) but it's not the MT method! There's a strong tendency - frustration driven - from the third CD onward to just turn it off and go to Pimsleur or some other method. By the last CD (5), you're wondering `what's the point' as a bunch of unconnected expressions are hastily unleashed upon you without apparent purpose. These shortcomings prove that the disciples (i.e. Helen) often do not learn from the master (MT).

I give the course a slightly higher than neutral rating because it continues on the structure of the original courses. It's not bad but if you're expecting the same MT results as the 3 prior courses then the magic is gone. It does work but it's a lot more effort. The major defect is that the course does not offer any progression to moving from slow speaker to faster speaker.

There's nothing wrong with the course and it provided a seamless continuation of the prior courses but now it's little different from much of the competition.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8feb22c4) étoiles sur 5 There must be better product out there ... 2 octobre 2009
Par Globe Trotter - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD Achat vérifié
I think this product should stop using MT as their marketing tool. This is NOT Michel Thomas method by any stretch of imagination.
A lot of sentences are too long and way too boring.
The instructor's comments are very irritating and I wish there was a way to mute them
The native speaking female has a very bad diction or it is the fault of the recording company?
I would NOT recommend this product.
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