The Mezzofanti Guild Language Learning Made Simple
Podcasts   /   Episode #23

[Ep. #23] Why I Would Never Use The Michel Thomas Method

In this episode, I review and analyze the Michel Thomas Method (I focus on Total and Perfect Arabic).

TL;DR: Not impressed with Michel Thomas at all.


  • Expensive marketing and celebrity endorsements are, in my opinion, the sole reason Michel Thomas became a household name.
  • Age + celebrity endorsement are not reliable indicators of course quality.
  • The MT classroom is 100% teacher-controlled and full responsibility for the outcome rests on the teacher.
  • This goes against research and contemporary teaching methodologies.
  • There are constant error corrections – even for minor grammatical mistakes.
  • Emphasis on stress reduction has positive and negative effects on student outcome.
  • There is way too much English spoken in the courses and the native speaker only plays a complimentary role in the lessons.
  • Michel Thomas completely lacks the most important feature of any course – authentic listening comprehension exercises.
  • What Michel Thomas gets right is its emphasis on functional building blocks and chunking.

Related review:

Read my Michel Thomas review.

Resources: For some language course alternatives, take a look at my language tools.

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Donovan Nagel
Donovan Nagel
I'm an Applied Linguistics graduate, teacher and translator with a passion for language learning (especially Arabic) and simplifying language learning.
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