We are exploring a new foreign language curriculum, Getting Started with French from Armfield Academic Press. I took French in school and always enjoyed it, though I wasn’t able to practice it very much after I was done with the classes. I mostly wanted to see how this would work as a refresher course for myself. Of course, Boobear had to get in on it.
Getting Started with French is a program that is designed for you to move at your own pace. Stuck? Hang out on a lesson for a while. Ready to move on? Then go. I really like that aspect of the program. It’s a nicely-bound, soft cover book that contains 172 lessons. I can see this book holding up very well even through multiple people. There is an answer key and a glossary to help you with the lessons. Lessons are short, sweet, and to the point making this an easy to use program that won’t take you all day. This program is designed for homeschoolers and for any self-taught student no matter the age.
I remembered a bit more than I expected when I started using the book. Because I don’t remember how to say everything very well, I downloaded the mp3 files from the site. These files are free and let you hear the pronunciation as spoken by a person from Paris, France. Nothing beats hearing a native speaker when you are learning a new language! In my opinion, adding this component with a book that breaks things into bite-sized chunks makes for a complete program. And yes! Grammar is included. Now this course is for the beginning French student, so don’t expect to become fluent. However, I do think you’ll learn a great deal and be able to hold basic conversations in French if you make it just halfway through the book.
Boobear got very interested in my learning French. He’s been learning bits of Spanish and German. I think he’s going to be like his father and have a great interest in foreign languages. While he can’t read the book, I was easily able to teach him a few lessons out of it. I simply read the lesson, listened to the mp3 to be sure that I was going to say everything correctly, and taught it that way. Anything that needed to be written I wrote on the whiteboard. In this way, I’ve been able to teach him some basics of French and he’s having a good time doing things like telling people he’s my fils (son) or that they are his ami (friend).
I find this to be a great program that is perfect when you want to move at your own pace with no stress at all. If you’re not interested in French, there is also Getting Started with Latin, Getting Started with Spanish, and soon there will be Getting Started with Russian. I have plans to get at least one more of these books, possibly two, simply because I would like to learn more and I find them as easy to teach from as they are for me to learn from.