Language adventure 2…

Ok, I know French would be the logical choice in many ways (very commonly used + France is very close and has amazing places to visit), but i’m being drawn to Italian! I just love the sound of the language.

I’ve done some very basic research into language systems and one which comes up in various places is the Michel Thomas system. The reviews are really good and it sounds like it’s at the right level to start the new adventure!

* Since writing this post, I checked the background of Michel Thomas…

‘Michel Thomas was a gifted linguist who mastered more than ten languages in his life-time and became famous for teaching much of Hollywood’s ‘A’ list how to speak a foreign language. Film stars such as Woody Allen, Emma Thompson and Barbra Streisand paid thousands of dollars each for face-to-face lessons.

Michel Thomas was born Moniek Kroskof, the only son of a Jewish family who owned a textile factory in Poland in 1914. As a young boy, Michel was sent to live in Germany to escape the anti-Semitism directed at his family. Living in Vienna in 1938, when the Nazis annexed Austria, Michel was rendered stateless as a Jew.

He fled the country for France, and when the Germans invaded he joined the French Resistance.

He spent two brutal years in French concentration and slave labour camps, and narrowly avoiding being sent to Auschwitz. He escaped, surviving capture, interrogation by Klaus Barbie and torture by the Gestapo.

His mastery of languages enabled him to adopt many identities. At the end of the war, he masterminded operations to uncover war criminals and infiltrate underground Nazi groups.

It was during Michel’s wartime experiences that he discovered his ability to block out pain and unearth the untapped potential of the human mind. The only way he survived this period of his life, particularly his capture by the Gestapo, was by concentrating and placing his mind beyond the physical.

Fascinated by this experience, he was determined that, after the war, he would devote himself to exploring further the power of the human mind, and so dedicated his life to education.

In 1947, he moved to Los Angeles and set up the Michel Thomas Language Centres, from where he taught languages for over fifty years in New York, Beverly Hills and London.

Michel Thomas died of heart failure at his home in New York City on Saturday 8th January 2005. He was 90 years old.

The unique all-audio Michel Thomas Method of language learning has been used by over a million people. It requires no reading, no writing and no homework, so that you can learn painlessly and effectively. Choose from 12 exciting languages.’

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