Today's Wisdom

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Review of Getting Started With French

I have been exploring a new foreign language curriculum, Getting Started with French from Armfield Academic Press. I took two years of Spanish in High School but only remember a little of the vocabulary so I love trying to learn languages all over again beside my children. We've tackled Latin and Spanish so I was curious to see how French flowed and if their were any similarities since it is one of the romance languages.  I discovered some similarities but French also has its own unique qualities.  

Introducing Getting Started with French {Armfield Academic Press}

The book itself comes in a paperback workbook style with 172 lessons. Each lesson gently introduces students to French vocabulary including articles, direct objects, gender, infinitives, singular and plural nouns and so much more. Lessons are simple and quick to complete and designed to build upon each other so skipping ahead is not a good idea. 
In the beginning of the book are instructions guiding students and parents through the layout of the lessons. When a lesson contains a new word, students will always find the word in bold print along with pronunciation hints and meaning. There are also exercises for students to complete that contain past and current vocabulary. You see more pages in this preview of the book.

There are no tests included in the book but there is a suggestion to test students at the end of a lesson by having them translate the exercises without looking at the answers. The beauty of this curriculum is that you go at your own pace. If you don't grasp something, simply repeat until you do. 
I loved that the lessons could easily be completed in less than 30 minutes per day with some earlier lessons taking much less time than that. I also loved that you were not just left alone to try to figure out pronunciations. There is a pronunciation guide located in the back of the book along with the answers to the lessons and a glossary.

But what I loved most were the accessories available at the website. You can download mp3 commentaries on each lesson as well as the pronunciations from a native French speaker for free. The commentaries are very informative and even give students tricks on how to form their mouth and tongue to produce the correct pronunciation. I found myself laughing out loud as I tried to replicate my new French vocabulary words with my southern accent. I spared y'all the recording of that! I do recommend that you have your students record themselves saying the words though because when you listen to yourself say it back, it's easier to catch mispronunciations or at least it was for me. 
I would highly recommend this book to homeschoolers looking for a gentle and quick introduction to French for their students. I think it would be great to add it to a morning basket or read aloud to learn as a family and then you could practice together through out the day and week too. 
Another recommendation the book gave is for a high school or college student who is trying to grasp the basics before taking a French class. It's also great for parents like me who still love learning too! It's so quick and easy to complete a lesson that fitting it into your daily schedule isn't difficult at all.

Mr. Linney also has books available for other languages too - Getting Started with Latin, Getting Started with Spanish, and coming soon is Getting Started with Russian.

Find out more by visiting Armfield Academic Press on Facebook.

Introducing Getting Started with French {Armfield Academic Press}
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