French for Children Primer A

French for Children Primer A

# 060784

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Item #: 060784
ISBN: 9781600512797
Grades: 3-4

Product Description:

Publisher Description:

This classical, beautiful, and widely spoken language will be a treasure for children to learn. There is a distinction, however, between just learning common words and phrases, which is the approach of many French programs, and knowing the language well enough to communicate fluently and accurately. French for Children Primer A teaches elementary students in grade four and up this dynamic language, both classically and creatively, at a time when students soak up language like a sponge. This book employs the pedagogy and structure of our popular Latin for Children series combined with immersion-style dialogues and vocabulary so that the French language will be taught well and thoroughly. The French for Children series emphasizes grammar and the parts of speech as vital tools for correctly speaking and understanding French. The text also uses lively chants to aid memorization of both grammar and vocabulary.


17 weekly chapters, including 3 review chapters and an end-of-book review

153 commonly used vocabulary words and 43 conversational words and phrases

Learn grammatical concepts, such as verb conjugation, tense, and noun gender

Weekly worksheets and quizzes

All teaching and explanation written in the student book, at the student's level

Engaging and conversational

Lively chants of vocabulary and grammar available on CD or downloadable audio files

The first text in a three-year series

Answer Key available separately

Category Description for French for Children:

I fell in love with this course as an introduction to the French language (mon amour!). A parent can sit and read along, or let a student go at it independently. Author Joshua Kraut (ironic name for a French teacher) does a great job making French friendly to the newbie. Even if your student has had some informal French in the past, this is a good course to bridge them into a full-tilt French curriculum.

There are 17 chapters in Primer A (13 are content; 4 are review.) If you do one chapter per week, you will finish in a semester. A basic weekly schedule is inside the student book. Each lesson chapter has 4 parts: memory, grammar, worksheet and quiz. The memory part includes a dialogue of a continuing story. This is great for pulling students through the material. The story reads somewhat like a fable and introduces you to new vocabulary you will see in the lesson. You will see both French and English in the dialogues. You will also practice your speaking with a chant from the audio files. The chants teach your mouth how to form the sounds. So, practice these until you master them! Vocabulary is the other component of the memory section, about 10 words per chapter. Memorize these words! Make some flashcards and practice them: it will help you later in the lesson and in your further French studies.

The grammar part of the lesson is where you learn how the structure of the language works. You will often be asked to refer to previous pages as reminders that will help in the current lesson. Mostly, you will learn the order of words in sentences, such as those pesky adjectives that come after nouns (but not always), articles and word gender/number, and quite a bit of vocab. You will see verbs conjugated, but not get into the nitty-gritty of this just yet.

Worksheet exercises let you practice your grammar and vocabulary. You are encouraged to look back at lessons for whatever you need for the exercises. These pages are in the primer and are not reproducible. The separate answer key provides these worksheet pages with answers filled in.

A quiz at the end of each lesson is expected to be done without looking at any other parts of the book (These answers are in the separate answer key as well.). If you cannot complete the quiz without peeking at the lesson, you are probably not ready to move on to the next lesson. Go back and spend more time on those words and concepts. You will be glad for it! At the end of every quiz is a dictation (dictee). Students play the audio file and write what they hear. This portion will really develop your sense of the relationship between the spoken and written languages. French has a lot of silent letters and it takes practice to get the hang of it.

In the back of the primer are some really good resources: a glossary of all French words used in the lessons, charts for quick reference, dialogue and chant translations, a prepositions list, verb list and verb conjugations. It would still be helpful to get your student a nice French/English dictionary and encourage them to find the translation for their own everyday words.

If the teacher is not familiar with French, consider the DVD and Chant CD set, which features 4 DVDs with the author teaching the lesson to her students. Each lesson corresponds to the weekly chapter in the Primer, and text appears on screen as the lesson is presented, so you can easily follow along. The students chant their weekly grammar work, and vocabulary and visual images appear which correspond with the words. The DVD includes a 40–50-minute lesson to watch with each weekly chapter. The audio chant CD features all dialogues, grammar chants, vocabulary, conversational phrases, and more! Set includes 6 DVDs and 1audio CD.

NEW FOR 2023: Chant and audio files are available streamed online.

What will you learn? A lot about pronunciation right off the bat and I love this! It is called "pronunciation wizard" and it’s a crash course in French sounds. The book is written to the student, as if a French-speaking (francophone) friend is explaining it to them. I can see this being used by a student the summer before entering a high school course if they have not had any prior French. In 2015, Classical Academic Press also published Primer A, which is 245 pgs, pb. The Answer Key also includes some teacher notes, 240 pgs, pb. (Get both!)

The 2nd year course is just as delightful as the 1st! The format is similar with some additional resources added in the form of helpful grammar charts. English is still used in the instructions that are featured throughout the consumable student book. You will learn: pass compose with etre and avoir (including negatives), stressed pronouns, reflexive verbs, questions, near future (not the future tense), lots of great expressions and vocabulary words to use, and loads of new verbs. There are 17 weekly chapters. It is organized to do something every single day, but most people will do French 3-4 days a week, not 7. You have some flexibility here. At the end of Primer B, your student will be well on their way to using a high school French program with success! The softbound student book and answer key each have 258 pages.

~ Sara (the former high school French teacher)

Primary Subject
Foreign Language
Grade Start
Grade End
Brand Name
Classical Academic Press
1.65 (lbs.)
11.0" x 8.56" x 0.62"
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Why did you choose this?
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I teach my granddaughter French through Skype. They have the complete program and I needed a copy.
Madeleine W on Oct 13, 2018
I have a second student so needed an extra workbook.
Elizabeth F on Sep 13, 2018
I teach my granddaughter French through Skype. They have the complete program and I needed a copy.
Madeleine W on Oct 13, 2018
I am hopeful this provides ideas for supplementing the curriculum I already use.
N A on Oct 10, 2018
I have a second student so needed an extra workbook.
Elizabeth F on Sep 13, 2018
In line with local public school curriculum in preparation for returning to public school for high school. Liked the layout of lessons and the fact that it has exercises to perform.
Jeanne C on Sep 14, 2016
After using French for Children Primer A for two weeks with my 7 and 9 year olds I realized it would work out the best for each child to have a Primer in front of them rather than sharing one book. I want each child to be able to follow along and put their finger under each word or sound we are listening to on the Pronunciation Guide cd. My kids look forward to the 15 minutes or so a day we spend on the lessons and having another workbook will increase the smoothness of our lesson time.
Shara on Jun 11, 2016
I needed two books and I already had one
Laura P on May 23, 2016
I used this curriculum for their latin program, and found it to be easy, fun, and excellent. I'm just hoping the French program is just as good.
RAINIER L on Feb 29, 2016
I am hopeful this provides ideas for supplementing the curriculum I already use.
N A on Oct 10, 2018
In line with local public school curriculum in preparation for returning to public school for high school. Liked the layout of lessons and the fact that it has exercises to perform.
Jeanne C on Sep 14, 2016
How critical are the DVDs? Particularly if the teaching parent has a decent French background.
A shopper on Mar 25, 2019
French for Children Primer A
French for Children Primer A
French for Children Primer A DVD & CD Set
French for Children Primer A DVD & CD Set
French for Children Primer A Package
French for Children Primer A Package
BEST ANSWER: The DVD set actually comes with a Chant CD. While you can probably get away without the DVDs if you have a decent working knowledge of French, you will need the Chant CD. At the very least, it has the “dictee” tracks for the quizzes. It also has a pronunciation guide & all the vocabulary and chants for each chapter. And each chapter starts with a “dialogue”—a story that introduces the vocabulary and allows the students to hear native pronunciation. I would say you can’t do without the Chant CD. I think you have to buy the DVDs, too, b/c I’m not sure the Chant CD is sold separately.
4.5 / 5.0
2 Reviews
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Rated 5 out of 5
engaging and includes practice
This has been so fun to work with. After struggling through First Start French where there was a lot to take in without enough practice or support, this curriculum offers a solid weekly practice schedule, audio files (now available as downloads!), a fun story, and multiple practice exercises per week. My student is listening daily.

We read the grammar lesson together (although it is written to the student, some of it benefits from discussion and examples), but she listens and does the exercises independently. It has definitely brought the fun into language learning! We did not get the DVDs for the first level due to cost and I wasn't sure we would truly need them. I may invest for the second level, depending how it feels as we get towards the end of the first book. It would be great if the videos also became downloadable (v. on DVD).
March 1, 2023
1 month ago
Rated 4 out of 5
Fun and easy with some caveats
This is an engaging and very simple start to learning French. I like that it doesn't take a lot of time to do each day even though it looks like it might. We were going to do the every 2 weeks per chapter (alternative option) and realized we could easily do a chapter a week (the primary option) - we are currently on the second chapter and this schedule is working out well. If the teacher already knows some French, I find the DVD a little redundant. It really just hashes out what has already been presented in the book. My 9- and 11-year-old children find the story/dialogue funny/fun and find the worksheets very doable. I would say that each week's grammar and vocabulary is fairly light, so I would say this would work for you if you like that. It does not present a whole category of vocabulary each week (family, colors, seasons, time, etc.) like many books. Instead, it introduces vocabulary and grammar through the dialogue and focuses on those particular words. It gently introduces conjugation and patterns without overloading the student (my 7th grader could probably handle more but is fine with it, and this degree of depth works well for my 4th grader. More might be too much. One thing to note is that the dialogues weave new French words into English dialogues (and the explanation text in the book does the same), which means you are often reading sentences in part English/part French. While that is very helpful for learning from context and slowly integrating new words/structures, it could confuse a new learner or someone unfamiliar with French, as English and French don't have the same rhythms. English is a stress-timed language, so we say words stronger/louder for emphasis and word stress can appear in different places in individual words, whereas French is a syllable-timed language, and word stress is usually on the end of words and emphasis is accomplished differently, sometimes more circuitously, often by using additional words (for example: in the dialogue of chapter two, it seems to emphasize "I walk and you walk" using italics to show speaking emphasis, whereas in French, you might more likely say something like, "It is me who will walk and you who will walk" or "the two of us, we will walk together"). Maybe at this level it's not important to note such distinctions, but I am pointing it out to my kids so that they don't read such sentences with a solely English rhythm and learn to sound more French. I also plan to supplement with some extra vocabulary and some cultural information from other sources. But overall, for a beginner program, I'm finding it to be a quality introduction for my kids.
September 1, 2021
1 year ago

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