First Start French
Author Danielle Schultz has developed an easy to follow program that introduces the basics of grammar, vocabulary, comprehension, and speaking skills of the French language. Closely modeled after the format found in the Latina Christiana program, First Start French is also geared towards both parents and students who may not have any prior knowledge of or exposure to the language.
The student book starts off with a reference guide that provides the general rules of French pronunciation and breaks the rules down by the following categories: vowels, nasal vowels, consonants, silent consonants, liaisons, and stress/accents. The book contains 36 lessons (following every 5 lessons of new content, a review lesson in provided), and each lesson is broken down into the following format: French song or saying, vocabulary (10-15 themed words or phrases), short grammar lesson, short dialogue entirely in French, and written exercises that are designed to test the student's translation skills and understanding of the grammar skills just covered. Although quizzes and answers are not provided in the book itself, free PDF downloads are available at www.firststartfrench.com or a free copy by mail can be obtained through Memoria Press. Student pages are not reproducible, so it you have more than one student, you will need to purchase a separate book for each. Grammar coverage in Book 1 covers verbs in three regular conjunctions (present and perfect tenses), basic noun forms, personal pronouns, and demonstrative pronouns. Short lessons on French culture covering manners, families, school system, food, symbols, and holidays are also included for additional exposure. Volume 2 continues to build upon the skills introduced in the first level with more extensive vocabulary and expanded grammar; cultural information covering French history, geography, science, and art is also covered.
The teacher edition begins with an overview of the program and offers lots of suggested ideas and teaching tips for how to use the program. Copies of completed student pages are provided for each lesson, and although an outline for a 4 day schedule is also provided (introduction of vocabulary, grammar, and dialogue on day 1, review and practice on days 2 and 3, and quiz on day 4), the program can easily be adjusted to accommodate any pace you would like to set depending on student aptitude. Because the student book does not contain any answers to the exercises, the teacher's edition is a highly recommended resource.
The pronunciation CD consists of all the vocabulary words covered within each lesson (spoken by a native French speaker) as well as 6 traditional French songs included to help with grammar and vocabulary development.
The complete set includes student book, teacher book, and pronunciation CD.
For those of you who are concerned with how this program will translate to high school credit, both levels 1 and 2 need to be completed to equate to one year of high school credit. Although this program is not intended to make your student a fluent speaker right off the bat, it is nicely designed to let the non-French speaking parent or teacher teach the basics of the language before investing in a more expensive program. Bonne Chance! - Enh