This is a foreign language program the whole family can use! Written so that it can be easily adapted for younger students, middle students, independent learners or as a high school course, this program is laid out into 36 lessons that can be completed in 1, 2, or 3 years depending on the age and goals of the individual student. The programs employ the Charlotte Mason method of learning language in a natural way. Each lesson contains several different parts, starting with a short conversational story, with words in both English and the language being studied so students will be able to figure out through context what the foreign words mean. A short vocabulary section follows containing the foreign words in the story and giving the English translations. An activity section comes next, containing several different activities such as creating English-foreign language flash cards, having mock conversations, gradually using common expressions in the foreign language instead of English throughout the week, reading books, doing research projects, and much more. Lessons also contain scripture verse memorization in the foreign language, teacher helps, cultural notes, some trivia, and instructions for completing a page in their notebook. The notebook is a binder that you add pages to after every lesson and will show what you've completed throughout the program. Different sections are completed somewhat differently, depending on the age and level of the student, and all of the adaptations for different levels are included in the beginning with the plans laid out for finishing the program in a timely fashion. A younger child will spend approximately 45-60 minutes per week on their lessons, and the independent or older learner will spend approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours per week. Audio CDs are included to aid in pronunciation and learning, and they go along with each story and the vocabulary sections. If you prefer to break your foreign language study up into one-year increments, consider the 1A and 1B programs. These are basically the first and second halves of the full programs, given a few tweaks to appeal more to an older audience (grades 7 and up). The font is more formal, the stories are slightly different, and the grammar and other worksheets have been integrated into the textbook instead of being located on a separate CD. (Level 2 was structured the same way, but the complete level 2 is being phased out to be replaced by the separate A and B programs). The two CDs included hold the audio portion of the program and answers to the activity sheets. The phonogram cards are not included in 1A or 1B, so you will need to purchase those separately.
Test books and keys are available separately for French IA and IB. The non-reproducible test books include a test for each lesson (no cumulative tests), which are mostly fill-in-the-blank and short answer questions with a few oral exercises thrown in. Test books do not include an answer key - these are available separately. Keys include all test content, with answers filled in. Although not required, these resources are available if you feel you need assessments. ~ Megan
If I were to write my own French program, it would look a lot like this one. Something a student can use independently with a book and audio component, where a French teacher is in their ear guiding them through the book, helping with pronunciation and explaining what they are seeing and hearing. Author Marie Fillion was born in Quebec City but has spent time in France as well, so she can compare accents and vocabulary differences as they arise. Levels 1 and 2 will meet many high school requirements, but you may want to check with a prospective college to make sure it will be accepted. The procession is logical in my opinion with a good mix of vocabulary, grammar, speaking, listening, culture and writing. No prior French is needed to begin at level 1. Audio CDs include a variety of native French speakers. English and French are woven together in the story sections in level 1 to help with comprehension for beginners.
The program includes scripture which is introduced in level 1 and the frequency list is in level 2. Two versions of the French Bible are used. While this program would be great for Missionaries, it is also a good option for any students wanting to learn the language. If a person chose to not use the scripture memory work, the language instruction does stand alone.
A template for each lesson is provided and be executed by a parent at first. By level 2, the student should be able to follow the pattern without assistance. The pages are not over-done and intimidating. There is a variety of activities for the student with good explanations. There is still some English being used at the end of level 1, but with much more French.
While it is tricky to list everything covered in level 1, here are the highlights: introductions, asking questions, present tense -er verbs, home/family/travel vocab, weather, etre & avoir, formal/informal, adjectives, idioms, numbers, common irregular verbs in present tense, possessive pronouns, directions, negatives, Quebec, calendar, daily conversation, and more.
Level 2 is divided into semesters A and B, and lessons follow the same format as level 1. It is recommended that students have a good verb reference book (they say to use the Big Blue Book of French Verbs,) I think the book 501 French Verbs would work as well. And it is time for a bigger bilingual dictionary too. They will be learning much more grammar this year including the indicative (past, present & future), imperative, subjunctive and conditional tenses. Emphasis is on the indicative which will give learners a good base for expressing themselves in speaking and in writing. A weekly schedule is in the front of the text and your student should be able to organize their lessons without help.
It would be possible to use level 2 without completing level 1 IF you did another program for a full year that had a similar format. So what is a parent to do if they do not speak any French themselves? You are the record keeper and administrator here. Provide the materials needed, a place to work with the audio CDs and books, communicate with your student about what they are learning (daily or weekly) and be supportive of their efforts.
Main areas covered in level 2 besides the aforementioned grammar include: time, prepositions, articles, regions of France, Paris monuments, more detailed vocabulary continued from level 1, adjective/noun agreement/placement, all of those little words like qui, lui/leur, que, des, ce, don't, y, and using them properly, adverbs, and imitating the speakers on the CDs. There is a lot of work in level 2 and it will take time and practice on the part of the student to get it all and be able to use it. Be encouraging! Ask your student how to say this or that en francais.