My family had the privilege of trying Getting Started with French from Armfield Academic Press for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.
Armfield Academic Press produces high-quality materials for learning language for homeschoolers and self-taught students of any age. They currently have curriculum for learning Latin, Spanish, French, and soon Russian. The books allow the student to go at their own pace in the comfort of their own home and don't require a teacher that specializes in the language to learn the language being taught. These beginning foreign language books give the student practice before mastering the ideas and moving on. They also have free downloadable audio recordings of pronunciations on their website so you can hear what the word or phrase is supposed to sound like in the language and orally say it back correctly and authors commentary lesson by lesson in case the student needs more help. This foreign language curriculum can be used with multiple students since it is non-consumable and requires no additional materials.
Getting Started with French is the newest foreign language program of study from Armfield Academic Press. It is written by William E. Linney and Brandon Simpson. It comes in a 281 page soft cover book. This book starts off with a preface that tells you about the book. Then it goes into an explanation of how to use the book. The lessons 1-172 are after that. Near the end it has some general advice, an answer key for easy checking of answers, a pronunciation guide, glossary, and subject index. The lessons are fairly short and don't take much time to do. The book refers to their website which has downloadable audio recordings with a native French speaker and the authors commentary.
How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
Ma famille apprend le français dans notre maison. (OK...so I might have cheated a little with this sentence on Google translation...I am just starting out with French after all.)
A little background...I took 3 years of Spanish in high school and lettered in language. My younger sister, Melody, on the other hand took French. Learning a foreign language was intriguing to me and since my father went on a Spanish speaking mission for our church when he was younger we could converse in Spanish around our home a little bit and . After taking Spanish and learning enough to get by when I traveled to Curacao in the Caribbean in college...even though it was a different dialect, I thought it would be neat to learn another language. I didn't really pursue that further until now.
My other children are learning Spanish this year...so I dove into the French myself. After I received the Getting Started with French from Armfield Academic Press I started the short lessons. I like how I don't have to spend a tremendous amount on each one because my time is precious and usually pulled fairly thin. Each lesson can be completed in just a few minutes.
In Getting Started with French correct pronunciation is a huge part of learning to speak French properly. I found that with French their are sounds that I had never used before. These sounded unusual and unfamiliar to me. I went into my room to do the pronunciation part because I was a little embarrassed about my beginners accent and my kids were looking at me funny when I was making all these weird sounds with my mouth. I think the r sound was on of the hardest sounds for me to master. I was used to the English r sound and the Spanish r that rolled. This new r was a strange gurgling sound.
|Getting Started with French Lesson 11.|
I like that in the book they don't only teach pronunciation, but correct grammar in French as well. Not unlike other languages there are so many rules to remember, but this book goes and makes each a bite size piece that is not at all hard to handle. New words show up in the book in bold. The exercises in the book I both tried to pronounce to the best of my ability and translate them to the written English equivalent in a notebook as the book says to do. These exercises have the answers in the back of the book which also helped me see if I had gotten them correct.
It was important to follow the order and not skip around and I could understand why. Each lesson built upon the next which was very helpful to me and how I learn. The chronological order made sense.
The downloadable audio recordings have a native French speaker from Paris France saying the words and phrases learned in the book. The author commentary was a dialog between the author and Francois, a native French speaker. This further explained how and why things are pronounced the way they are. Both the pronunciation recordings and the author commentary comes in mp3 format so that you can either listen to it on your computer or take it with you on an mp3 player, thumb drive, or CD. This lets you learn the pronunciation of the language while you travel in the car too! Sometimes that was also where I practiced.
I believe that learning another language is very important. I know that many from other countries require learning English as a second language to their students. I believe that native English speakers should also learn other languages as part of their learning of different cultures and places.
The Getting Started with French course is perfect for those that want to teach themselves French. It is also wonderful for homeschooling as well. I recommend this homeschool foreign language curriculum to anyone. They are simple and straightforward. I can't wait to learn more!
You can order Getting Started with French here. You can also purchase Getting Started with Latin, Getting Started with Spanish now and soon Getting Started with Russian.
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