Ecoutez, Parlez! (French) / Escucha y Hablemos! (Spanish) Oral Language Programs
So you have studied a foreign language for several years. Suppose you get the opportunity to visit a foreign country and put your skills to the test. Are you excited, or do you feel a little nervous? Will native speakers really be able to understand what you're trying to say? Well, the goal of this program is to get you sounding like a native speaker while teaching simple phrases you'll probably have occasion to use. Please note that this is not a complete program. You won't get specific lessons on grammar, syntax, writing or reading comprehension. However, you will learn correct pronunciation, practical vocabulary, and basic conversational skills with a full 10-15 minutes of speaking practice a day. Each program consists of a spiral-bound textbook containing 50-55 pages and an audio CD.
Black-and-white (non-reproducible) student workbooks are available separately, with written exercises corresponding to the lessons in the textbook. The workbook exercises tend to focus on writing and translating sentences and phrases, plus fill-in-the-blank and word search activities (answers included).
In each unit, new vocabulary (and the sentences and questions you can make using that vocabulary) is introduced. The book contains colorful pictures and English translations next to the French or Spanish phrases and sentences. Instructions are given in English, but everything else you'll hear and be asked to repeat, will be in the foreign language. It is recommended that you repeat each unit once for 9 days before going onto the next unit.
Each book has five units. Program one introduces greetings and numbers, fruits and colors, family, farm animals, and school words. Program two covers vegetables, days, months, numbers to thirty and dates, facial features and body parts, weather and seasons, and breakfast and lunch foods and conversation. Program three focuses on sports, wild animals and geographical features, places in the city, place settings and meals, and items of clothing. Program four features marine animals, rooms in a house, continents and countries, transportation, and zoo animals. Verbs and questions that go along with each topic are also introduced and used. Though I've only worked through Unit 1 myself, this seems like a really easy program to implement. With consistent use, you can develop a better "ear" for listening to and understanding spoken languages and gain increased confidence in speaking them yourself. ~ Anh