After a hiatus of two years, at least, I decided to post something here.
A few years ago a reader chided me for not posting on a regular basis. He was right, of course, if I wanted to build a large audience. When people come to me as a physician and tell me that they want to do a certain thing and I note that they have chosen not to do that, then I can only conclude that they did not want to do that.
You may argue that they may have had other things, more pressing matters, which diverted them from their goal. I get that. Totally.
In my own life of 71 years I have often thought that I would like to do something, say, learn Italian. In fact, I love Italian. Italian culture, food, music, and the language make me happy to be alive. When I traveled to Italy I promised myself, after attempting to use Spanish to communicate in Italian ( it didn’t work) that I would learn Italian. Over the years I have purchased many books to learn Italian. I began the Michel Thomas course to learn the language. I even have the complete collection of Sherlock Holmes books and stories in Italian.
And today I know no Italian.
The reason is simple. I never made it an overriding priority, one that would have me make time on a regular basis with a well designed strategy to meet the goals to enable me to communicate in the language.
In short, I did other things and ended up with other things but Italian was not one of them.
This is a meandering way to tell you about what I am doing.
Hodder and Arnold, the firm that published my Michel Thomas Mandarin Chinese courses, has now approached me to do another language course for them. I have agreed to do one to teach you to communicate in Modern Israeli Hebrew.
I have two nephews in their early twenties, Zach and Ari. Ari called me about three months ago and asked me, Do you know Hebrew?
I told him that I do.
Then he said, Well, can you teach me Hebrew?
I agreed to do this. Each Sunday AM I am using the Michel Thomas method to teach him Hebrew. After a few weeks his brother, Zach, asked if he, too, could study with me. Now they are both meeting via zoom ( for those who read this in the future this is a time when due to covid-19 zoom is used as a medium for virtual communication ).
Both of them are now jabbering away in Hebrew. Both of them independently told me that they have never succeeded in learning any language despite years of formal study. One of them also told me that he has ADHD and has always had problems focusing.
So I am very encouraged with the progress they are both making and look forward to helping you, too, to join us in learning Hebrew.
The other thing, which may interest some of you, is that the publishing house has invited me to write a book on learning. I have a lot to share on this matter, so stay tuned.
I welcome comments on anything including these two projects. Perhaps there is something you would like to learn. Maybe I can include it in my work. Just let me know.
Harold Goodman, the author of the Michel Thomas Spoken Mandarin Chinese courses (3 parts), is the only person to whom Michel Thomas taught his approach to teaching and methodology of course creation. As part of this training, Michel Thomas taught him two languages, one on one. In addition, over their 10 years together, Dr. Goodman recorded over 100 hours of discussions about Michel Thomas’ life and approach to teaching, the only time this was done. He is currently working on a Michel Thomas course for Modern spoken Hebrew. For updates about the Hebrew course, please click here.
Dr. Goodman also is the only person who ever learned Boris Shekhtman’s unique method of teaching foreign languages. Over many years Shekhtman taught Russian to most of the Moscow-based staff of The New York Times, CNN, and other major media outlets. They spent three years intensively together working on this project. The Shekhtman approach catapults beginner and intermediate speakers into very high levels of communication in record time.
5 thoughts on “Harold Goodman: some recent stuff.”
Glad to hear your good news about your forthcoming course and book. I wish you every success with them.
Thanks, Jim. I love it that you find my work helpful.
I want to serve my students and readers.
What would you like me to write about?
To Dr. Harold Goodman
Shalom. How are you? I’ve always said that if I would have known of Michel Thomas when I started studying French, I would have tried to have a one on one or group lessons with him. Unfortunately when I discovered Michel Thomas, he had passed on about 8 or 9 years before.
At this point in time I am not studying French. I got frustrated because I couldn’t find good language partners and the teachers that I started with was trying to emphasize a lot of grammar which I was not that interested in because I didn’t and still don’t believe you have to teach a foreign language by loading up on grammar. I didn’ learn English that way when I was around 2 years old.
Right now I am studying Mandarin. It is a fascinating language I really would like to learn it, at least to a high intermediate level because I got a lot more languages that I can’t wait to learn.
I heard you teaching Mandarin with the Michel Thomas method and I liked it very much. I find myself putting in a lot of time in learning Mandarin and I was wondering if I could get some one on one training with you or maybe join some group training that you might have. Or, maybe you know of some other teachers or groups using the Michel Thomas method that I could become a part of.
I am presently not doing private teaching of languages. Much of my time is spent preparing the Spoken Modern Hebrew course which I am very excited about doing.
I believe that if you just relax around the Chinese course which I did then you will get quite a lot. The way Michel Thomas taught and I teach is to keep you in the present moment. In the present moment there is zero anxiety, expectations, concerns about remembering, learning. It is just like when you are having a fun time with a friend and there are no concerns.
That is the space in which we really learn. MT said that anxiety and tension are the major enemies of learning and I agree. So just take it very easy with the Chinese. No hurry to accomplish anything.
BTW, his French course is excellent and I highly recommend it if you want to speak French.
Shalom, Dr Goodman,
I thank you for the reply. I will see about getting a copy of the beginners course and try it. There was a copy on Youtube but it is gone now. I always thought Michel Thomas was doing something to his students like some mild hipnotism or something when he said no homework, don’t try to remember. I was studying some of his French method for a little while and I was amazed how much I was learning in a short time. My problem was I didn’t have enough people to practice with. I found a lot of Chinese people though so I will go for it. Maybe later I will try some Hebrew. Thanks for the advice. תודה