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Monday, September 12, 2016

TOS Review - Getting Started With French from Armfield

#hsreviews #homeschoolforeignlanguage #foreignlanguage #frenchcurriculum, Foreign Language, Foreign Language Curriculum, Homeschool Foreign Language, Beginning Foreign Language, French

My 9th Grade daughter was introduced to French last year, but she was wanting a new method to learning it and digging deeper this year. So, I was thrilled to get a chance to review Getting Started with French from Armfield Academic Press.

What is Getting Started with French from Armfield Academic Press?

I received a paperback book that is intended to be used with any age student or adults for self-taught French. Also included were links to online resources like mp3 pronunciations and author commentary files.

The beauty of the book is that it is so easy to use, and the lessons are short, only taking a few minutes a day to complete, but they cover everything needed to learn French. The reason for the short lessons is to allow the student to not become frustrated and also to leave plenty of room for spending time reinforcing what was learned before moving on to the next lesson.

There is also a Getting Started with Latin and Getting Started with Spanish available. Soon there will be a Getting Started with Russian.

Introducing Getting Started with French {Armfield Academic Press}, #hsreviews #homeschoolforeignlanguage #foreignlanguage #frenchcurriculum, Foreign Language, Foreign Language Curriculum, Homeschool Foreign Language, Beginning Foreign Language, French
William E. Linney and Brandon Simpson are the writers of the book. William E. Linney has a passion to provide self-paced teaching for homeschoolers and has a master's degree in music. Brandon Simpson is the author of Demystifying Spanish Grammar and has a bachelor's degree in Spanish and French.

William E. Linney wanted to create a foreign language book specifically for homeschoolers or self study. He began with Getting Started with Latin. After the positive responses came pouring in regarding his first book, he decided to move forward with a more modern language and chose to write Getting Started with Spanish. He then hooked up with Brandon Simpson to create Getting Started with French.

All we needed to learn French was this book, a notebook for writing pronunciations and such, a friend or someone with whom to practice conversational French (if no one is available, the pronunciation mp3 files can be used), and an internet access to link to the Getting Started with French site for mp3 audio files.

The book is designed to be:
  • Keeping it understandable and not complicated
  • Self explanatory
  • Self paced
  • Affordable
  • Learn without the need for a teacher
  • Provide plenty of practice before moving on
  • Supplements with audio recordings so you can hear the proper pronunciation
The book teaches French in a systematic and gradual manner. It was designed specifically for homeschoolers to learn a foreign language at home. Every time you learn something new, you are given the opportunity to translate a sentence using your newly learned information.

#hsreviews #homeschoolforeignlanguage #foreignlanguage #frenchcurriculum, Foreign Language, Foreign Language Curriculum, Homeschool Foreign Language, Beginning Foreign Language, French

Some of the elements that these authors brought to the book include:
  • All French words are presented in bold print
  • New words are accompanied with their meaning in italics
  • A pronunciation mp3 recording is provided on the site to make sure you are pronouncing the word properly before moving on. The words on the recordings are read aloud by a native speaker of French from Paris.
  • No need for a teacher's book or a teacher for that matter. There is an answer key in the back of the book.
  • French composition which is trying to translate answers back into French.
  • Tests and quizzes are not formal and traditional. Instead, it is suggested that you back up to a previous lesson and have the student translate an exercise without checking the answer key or to have them translate the exercises directly from an audio of the lesson.
  • The site also has special audio commentary recordings that cover each lesson in detail.

How Did We Use It?

My high school daughter was excited to supplement her French skills with this book. She learns so well through reading and thrives on self-study, so I was anxious to see how she did.

There are 172 lessons that we thought would work best to divide by the days of school and then use flexibility whenever we needed to go slower or speed up on easier days. With our school starting later than most, since we go on tour with my husband every August into September, and having Mondays set aside for theater and dance lessons through Lifelight Youth Theatre, that leaves us with approximately 4 days a week to do book lessons and for only about 30 weeks. We end up doubling up whenever necessary. Bottom line: If my daughter can do two lessons on each school book lesson days, she will easily be on pace to complete the book within the school year.

What Did We Think?

This way of learning French fit perfectly with my book learner. The lessons are short, so it is not overwhelming, and the audio files fill in the blanks when you need to hear the words spoken properly. I also love that it allows for certain elements of writing and French composition and not just speaking or learning grammar and syntax. I love the flexibility of moving at your own pace, and I really love that there is no teacher book needed because the book begins with a few pages explaining how to use it, and the answers to the exercises are right there in the back of the book.

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Introducing Getting Started with French {Armfield Academic Press}
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