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I can't say that I had heard about the Michel Thomas method before I started looking for Dutch courses with audio CDs on the internet. I had absolutely no knowledge of the Dutch language but I was impressed by the praise given to this methodology.
The concept is actually very simple. You don't write anything, you just listen, think, answer and check if your answer is correct. You are part of a class with 2 other students who are exactly on the same level as you (in the case of the foundation courses you start from nothing). Many times their mistakes are your mistakes.
The teacher introduces new words and the questions are something like: "How would you say in Dutch 'It's not very difficult, is it?' " Instead of dropping huge amounts of new vocabulary at each time and making you build completely new sentences that you would immediately forget (I would, at least!!) the same words are used quite often and this helps you to memorise them better. Therefore you'll not learn a huge amount of vocabulary, but what you'll learn you will remember. The structures will be assimilated in a natural form and really without much effort.
I did have a lot of fun with this course and I'm about to start the advanced level now. You can just lie on your couch and relax. You'll be surprised that you can actually translate into Dutch (or any other language available on this collection) all those sentences that the teacher asks you too. And whenever you're tired or have something else to do you just pause it and go back to it later.
The CD box (8 CDs) brings a booklet with all the vocabulary taught in the course and i find this quite useful too.
On Michel Thomas official site you can download for free the 1st hour of most foundation courses. http://www.michelthomas.co.uk/soundclips.htm That's what really convinced me. I loved the first hour so much that I couldn't wait to get the rest. Just give it a go! :)
If you choose to buy the CDs they're much cheaper on Amazon than on the official site though.
An eight-hour, 100% audio method for learning Dutch. Join teacher Cobie Adkins-de Jong and two students in a live lesson and within the first hour you will be able to construct simple phrases. You will learn the language with the students, hearing both their successes and their mistakes to keep you motivated and involved throughout the course. By the end, you will have the confidence to understand and speak Dutch.