What is the Michel Thomas Method?
The Michel Thomas Method teaches everyday conversational language that will allow you to communicate in a wide variety of situations, empowered by the ability to create your own sentences and use the language instinctively, having absorbed the vocabulary and grammatical structures. These all-audio courses were perfected over 25 years by gifted linguist and teacher Michel Thomas, and provide an accelerated method for language learning that is truly revolutionary.
Lessons 1-8, the Beginner course: This course makes no assumption of knowledge of any language other than English and gives the beginner practical and functional use of the spoken language. It is also appropriate for anyone who has studied Japanese before, but has forgotten much of it or does not have confidence in speaking. The Beginner course is designed to take you from complete beginner to intermediate level.
Lessons 9-12, the Intermediate course: This course is for those with an intermediate-level foundation in Japanese, or those who have completed lessons 1-8 and want to take their learning to an advanced level and speak Japanese proficiently and easily.
How does it work?
Unlike most language courses that focus around topics or grammar forms, the Michel Thomas Method works by breaking a language down into its component parts, enabling you to reconstruct the language yourself - to form your own sentences, to say what you want, when you want. Within the first 10 minutes of the course, you will be generating complete sentences on your own. It is important that you complete the lessons in order. The Method is successful because it builds on the language you learn in each lesson and "recycles" language taught in earlier lessons, allowing you to build ever-more complicated sentences. Because the Method is based on understanding, not memorisation, there is no set limit to the length of time that you should study each lesson. Once you feel you have a good grasp of the language taught in one lesson, you can move on to the next.
In lesson 1 of the Japanese Beginner course, you’ll be able to make positive and negative statements about the present and future, ask questions and make polite suggestions, and learn about the marker "o" (which shows which word in a sentence is having something done to it) with…
English words in Japanese and Japanese words in English
Social communications: "please may I have?", "excuse me", "yes", "go ahead", "no"
Nouns: "(digital) camera", "hotel", "ice cream", "coffee", "T-shirt", "sandwich", "juice", "beer", "rice with vinegar", "television", "comic book", "film", "concert"
No words for "a" or "the:"
Pronouns: "this", "that", "that over there"
Verbs: "to eat", "to drink", "to watch/look/see", "to read", "to buy"
"Masu" form of verb covers present and future ("I eat" and "I will eat") and all persons doing the action of the verb ("I", "you", "he", etc.)
Time expressions (generally come at the beginning of the sentence): "tomorrow", "sometimes", "every day", "this evening/tonight"
Questions: "ka" = spoken question mark at end of question; question words: "what?"
Marker: "o" shows which word in a sentence is having something done to it
No distinction in Japanese between singular and plural forms
Linking words: "and" (to link sentences, not things)
Forming the negative: "masen" verb ending
"Masu" form of verb conveys politeness
Formulating polite suggestions with "masen" verb ending and question marker "ka"
In the next lesson you’ll learn to use the marker "to" ("with") and you’ll be able to say what you like and ask "shall we XXX?" questions.
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