Michel Thomas speaks Arabic (Advanced)

by Jane Wightwick & Mahmoud Gaafarmichel-thomas-method-speak-arabic-advanced
McGraw Hill, 2008
5 CDs, $13.00
ISBN 9780071604352
OCLC 262972195
Rating: ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ 

I once went along with a friend who was taking her puppy to obedience class. The only time I’ve ever been to such a lesson. There were scads of unruly puppies galumphing all over the place, plus their masters. When the woman conducting the class started to do her thing, everybody, on four legs or two, sat up and took notice. She became the alpha dog of the pack and all assembled.

I get a bit of that same feeling about Jane Wightwick. For me, she is an alpha. The Michel Thomas method is purely conversational. Nothing whatsoever to read or memorize. Just five CDs of Wightwick and Gafaar leading two real students through simple sentences and conversations, and the topics of the conversations are stuff you can use. You get to hear the mistakes the students make. Wightwick has a carefully thought out progression the lessons go through, but within that are unscripted moments when she corrects a student or goes off on a little tangent. It is extremely satisfying when she chuckles. You can pay attention and chit-chat along with them or let them all ramble on in the background while you do something else. (I always hope I’m going to pick up something by osmosis.) There’s lots of attention given to the female version of verbs and pronouns, something sometimes lacking in other programs where women don’t seem to exist.

I jumped in with the advanced level. Beginner and intermediate versions are also available. If you want to overachieve you can always pause the CD, look up an interesting word on Google Translate or whatever and write it down in Arabic.

There are newer, expanded versions available, Total replaces the Foundation course and Perfect replaces the Advanced course. They include “visual tuition for PC or Mac”, and seem to have more CDs. I hope it’s still Jane Wightwick holding the leash.

The new editions must be the reason this is so inexpensive. Much bang for your buck.


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