Rocket French and Michel Thomas have been well received by people eager to learn French. From many testimonials that I have read they seem to be liked because they provide good content at a reasonable price. As I have both products, I have decided to compare the two courses. I plan to compare the aims, methods, ease of use and to whom each product would be suited.
The Michel Thomas course consists of 8 cds of recorded lessons between Michel Thomas and two of his students. The first thing that strikes you about Michel Thomas French is that it’s different to normal courses. Michel Thomas goes to great pains to point out that you should not try to learn during the course. You should not write anything down or even try to remember anything. He is responsible for teaching and all these concerns are his alone. Michel speaks a few sentences and then bases a lesson around the sentences. He asks the two students to say the words and asks them further questions building off the original sentences.By implication, you can practise saying the words too.
The Rocket French course consists of a downloadable piece of software. In the software is 45 lessons, over 500 flash cards and three french learning software games. In this respect, Rocket French is a far more traditional course. You must take the responsibility for your teaching by going through the lessons and completing the exercises. The lessons are structured to introduce a concept and then give examples with the chance to hear the audio version of the examples. Finally, there are exercises to complete to reinforce the concept. The games are used to compliment the lessons and provide more interactivity into the product.
The Michel Thomas course is primarily concerned with teaching conversational skills. His approach to teaching is excellent and you leave the course with a sense of confidence that you can speak to people in French.
Rocket French teaches reading, writing, comprehension and conversational skills. There is a large vocabulary set that can be learned through the games and exercises in the lessons. The exercises allow the student to practice writing and the megaverb game allow the student to practice the conjugation endings of verbs.
Michel Thomas course is easy to use, all you need is a cd player. You can listen to the lessons anywhere, however, Michel prefers that you give all your concentration to the lesson so driving a car or other activities are discouraged.
Rocket French can be downloaded from the internet. Broadband internet is best but you can use dial up. Once downloaded the program starts with a main menu. The main menu lists all the lessons available, with descriptions of the topics covered . It also lists the french learning games and the flash cards. All the lessons and games are controlled by the mouse.
Michel Thomas French is aimed a people wanting to learn French quickly. If you are planning a sudden vacation in France or a French speaking country then Michel Thomas is a perfect choice.
Rocket French is aimed at people that want to get a fully rounded French language education. You will spend many hours using the program as an educational tool and as a reference guide for French words and verbs. The games provide a useful distraction when you need a break from the lessons or need to get into the french learning groove.