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March 18, 2004
The memories of Michel Thomas

I have been reading this book about the great language teacher Michel Thomas.

I have not got very far yet, and not very far is as far as I may be getting any times soon, because I am afraid I left my copy of this book at the house where this sparkling dinner party was held. (I am under less time pressure, because it is now after midnight, and I am doing Thursday's post now, so as to be able to do all the stuff I have to do today without worrying about my daily duty here.)

Anyway, I have already learned something of great interest about Michel Thomas, which is that his prowess as a teacher is rooted in his remarkable ability to remember the important events of his life, from the earliest times. He accordingly remembers exactly how he learned things, when he learned them, and accordingly he remembers how to teach. When he teaches others, he is, as it were, teaching his extremely young self in the exactly the way that he either was well taught, or wishes that he had been well taught.

Michel Thomas remembers his early life because, essentially, he decided, extremely early on in his life, that he would like to remember everything. So he did. And he did this by constantly replaying these important early scenes in his mind.

Great teachers are those with a way above average ability to remember their own learning experiences. Discuss.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 12:05 AM
Category: Languages

I wonder about this. My concern is that if a person is too fixated on how *he* learned various things, he might adopt a teaching style which would have worked for him, but wouldn't work for people with different cognitive styles.

Comment by: david foster on March 18, 2004 08:59 PM

I think that one's own experience is a useful starting place, but only the point of departure. One of the most useful memories is that which asks, "what didn't work for me, and why?"

Was I bored?
Was I left behind by assumed knowledge that I didn't possess?
Did I not see the ultimate point of the lesson?
Did I think it a stupid point?
How did this lesson apply to my life?

Comment by: Linda on March 21, 2004 12:55 AM

which asks, "what didn't work for me, and why?"

Was I bored?

Comment by: Term Papers on June 9, 2004 09:22 PM
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