The world's greatest language teacher is at your side.

“There's no such thing as a bad student; just a bad teacher.” – Michel Thomas

Michel Thomas

About Michel Thomas

Michel Thomas - the world’s greatest language teacher

Michel Thomas’ remarkable life experiences fuelled his passion for teaching languages.

“My own history of the Second World War involved 2 years in concentration camps… and being tortured.”– Michel Thomas

Michel Thomas was a gifted linguist who mastered more than ten languages in his lifetime. He became famous for teaching Hollywood stars, diplomats and many others how to speak a foreign language. Film stars such as Woody Allen, Emma Thompson and Barbra Streisand paid up to £18,000 each for face-to-face lessons. He even taught Spanish to Doris Day to enable her to sing with confidence the hit song, Que Será Será.

Born Moniek Kroskof, he was 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, 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.

In 1944, Michel was nominated for the Silver Star medal for his service to the US Army’s 45th Infantry Division in France. The award was finally presented to him in May 2004, sixty years later. His biography“Test of Courage”, written by Christopher Robbins, is available for AUD $29.95 from Continental Bookshop.

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

He said, “I concentrated so hard, that I stopped feeling pain. I was amazed at myself.”

Fascinated by this experience, he was determined that after the war, he would devote himself to exploring this further, and dedicated his life to education. His personal guideline – “I contemplated the untapped reserves of the human mind. The great hidden depths of the brain. I learned from it” – became the driving force behind his phenomenal success in language teaching.

In 1947, he moved to Los Angeles and set up the Michel Thomas Language Centers and 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 complete Michel Thomas language learning series – available through Continental Bookshop

Celebrities who have learned with the Michel Thomas™ method: Princess Grace of Monaco, Barbra Streisand, Woody Allen, Warren Beatty, Bob Dylan, Emma Thompson, and many more.

“The most extraordinary learning experience of my life.” — Emma Thompson, in The Guardian
“You learn a language effortlessly. It’s amazing.” — Woody Allen in USA Today
“Michel Thomas is a precious find indeed” — Guardian

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