Michel Thomas Russian Foundation Course Review

I’m not a huge fan of audio courses. Whenever I’m doing nothing, I usually like to listen to music — and an audio course is impossible to listen to alongside music. There are rare times though that I get in the mood to “listen and learn.” I decided to give the “Michel Thomas Method” a try. Please read my review!

According to their introduction:

The Michel Thomas Method* all-audio courses, published by Hodder Arnold, provide an accelerated method for language learning that is truly revolutionary. And they promise a remarkable educational experience that will make your learning both exciting and pleasurable.

They go on to say:

No books
No writing
Just confidence – in hours

How does it work?

In the Russian Foundation course, there are eight discs. You start out on the first disc learning about the Michel Thomas course and how you should be relaxed and listen. The lady says “let the information I tell you be absorbed naturally.”

You simply listen to an instructor teach two other students. These students make mistakes and ask questions, and the instructor corrects them and gives them answers. This is the way you learn throughout the entire course. You are just listening and (hopefully) repeating.

Who is it for?

What’s great about this course is that it’s perfect for the absolute beginner. You can have absolutely no knowledge of the Russian language, and get off to a great start with this course. The only downside is that it’s just an audio course — so you get no real instruction in reading or writing.

What do you learn?

This course will not make you fluent by no means. But if you listen and comprehend every minute of this course, you will have a grasp on the absolute basics of the Russian language. You’ve still got a lot to learn, though. Stuff that you can only learn by grabbing a book and a dictionary!

Wrap up

Not recommended.
An interesting way to learn, but much too expensive for learning the basics. Unless you’ve got money burning in your wallet, try the alternative.


  • Perfect for the absolute beginner
  • Great explanations
  • Content learned moves along appropriately


  • Kind of pricey for content (runs from $70 – $130 online)
  • Instructor kinda has a strong accent
  • You are encouraged not to take notes or write
  • Somewhat unsuitable for intermediate-level learners

The Alternative

Pimsleur Conversational Russian

  • 16 lessons on 8 discs
  • $32.12 on Amazon
  • Teaches the important conversational skills first

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