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#1 LanaTron

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 08:28 AM

If use or have used this, can you tell me which components you used? I am seeing video, audio, workbook, textbook, and a TM.

Also, the price makes me go :eek:! Any place to get this cheaper?

#2 Chris in VA

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 08:56 AM

You can get some of it from me! lol
I have some old cassettes and several of the books (but they are in what I call "copy-able" condition--almost poor) that I'm willing to part with.
You do know you can see all the videos on the Annenberg site, right?

#3 Jen500

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 09:00 AM

I have seen a lot of French in Action books on ebay.

#4 Jane in NC

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 09:25 AM

Let me help you sort this out. You watch the free videos on the Annenberg site. Then you need a workbook. There are two, one for French I & II (lessons 2 - 26) and a second workbook for French III & IV (lessons 27 - 52). You will need the text which is good for all four years of high school French (or four college semesters). You will need tapes or CDs to do the lessons in the workbook. These are aligned with the text. (Tapes are probably cheap second hand.) The tapes or CDs are sold in two sets corresponding to the same lesson breakdown as the workbooks. The student guide gives helpful tips in English--essential. The teacher's manual you can probably live without. It provides ideas to engage classroom discussions, although I have consulted it for written forms of some things given verbally on the CDs. The workbook has answers in the back so the student can self check his work.

The upfront price looks spendy, but over four years the program is not expensive.

Jane

#5 LanaTron

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 12:38 PM

I did not know about the Annenberg site. That is a huge help.

Also, thanks for breaking it down, Jane, and letting me know which elements I need.

My 8th grade son has been using Learnables, and should finish level 3 this year. He is planning on French for 4 years of high school, but I don't speak any french at all! Someone here told me about FIA, but when I went to look at pricing...

Anyway, thanks again. It looks like this will be a go for him!

#6 elizabeth

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 12:55 PM

This program was , for me , a total waste. My university used this and it made learning French absolute misery. Whole language technique learning phrases and watching people converse so one can determine the meaning by the context. Shoddy grammar learned after the video. I would not use this especially if I did not have a bbackground to explain how verbs are conjugated etc. I have no idea what else is out there but this was intuitive, immersion method that made no sense to this linear thinker who prefers to know the underlying rules prior to tossing off a few phrases in French . I thought I was simply a poor student of languages. The program was the problem since I learned quickly using one that was memory and grammar based in instruction.

#7 LanaTron

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 06:09 PM

I'll keep that in mind, but I think ds will do well with immersion. He is intuitive about language and he has a good ear. Lately, he has been throwing out a few French sentences here and there and all he has done is the learnables Level 1 and Level 2 (he's working in the Grammar enhancement book for level 2 right now). I'm hoping to get him through level 3 before starting FIA, and I might get something like Barron's French the Easy Way to help us out if we get stuck on something.

There really isn't much else out there that I have heard of that is not immersion...and if it's not taught by video or audio, it won't happen due to my total lack of understanding the pronunciation. So, we'll see.

I am still looking, though, and considering a few online courses like through Texas Tech High School or something like that.

#8 Julie in MN

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 06:23 PM

My dd used FIA videos as one piece of her French 2. We got them from the library.

Actually, I think we started by recording them from the TV (I love VCRs!). Then we realized something very important -- for an immersion program to work, you REALLY need to start with video #1! So we waited until we could check out the first video at the library.

She used several other things, and I didn't know there were other materials for FIA. But be sure to start with video #1!

Julie

Edited by Julie in MN, 21 January 2010 - 07:35 PM.


#9 jld

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 07:32 PM

Per Elizabeth, it may be helpful to combine an immersion program like FIA with a grammar-based program like SYRWTLF.

I know, who has the time for two programs.

Just a thought.

#10 Guest_Katia_*

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 10:50 PM

Just wanted to let you know my dd had great success with French in Action. Like you, she used Learnables levels 1 thru 4 first, along with Barron's French the Easy Way for grammar. She used these for 9th and 10th grades.

Then she used FIA, level 1 for 11th grade, and level 2 for 12th grade. She used the Study Guide, which breaks down the lessons and guides you through the program if you are not using a French teacher. I don't know any French at all, so she self-taught this entire program herself.

When she went to college, she tested out of the first three semesters of college French. As a college Freshman in her first French class, her professor thought she was a second semester Sophomore that had taken French at that college for three semesters already (she was writing essays in French, etc.).....and the prof told her she had an excellent accent. Plus she wanted to send dd on a summer trip to France because she was 'ready'....but only Sophomores and up were eligible.

She has received "A"s in all her college French classes so far, and as a Sophomore only needs two more classes and she'll have a minor in French.....and we have Learnables and French in Action to thank for this.

She highly, highly recommends FIA for self-study for serious French students.

#11 LanaTron

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 12:01 AM

So do you think I should have him finish out Learnables first? he might be through the main book in Level 3 by the end of 8th, so he could do the grammar enhancement for level 3 and do level 4 in 9th. Or should I have him go right into FIA for 9th, and spread it out over 4 years? That is what I am thinking of doing.

I actually think we've talked about this before, but I thought your dd used FIA over 4 years. I didn't realize it was over 2.

#12 emubird

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 09:37 AM

I found there was a lot of grammar in the FIA workbooks. That amount of grammar has been sufficient for us. I also got 500 French verbs which is helpful. The text is actually less important than the workbooks, although it has the transcript of the video, which can be pretty helpful when the words are flying by.

You can't do the workbooks very well without the audio tapes. I did discover that a library near us (not "our" library, but we can get borrowing privileges) has all the audio tapes for the Destinos program (the Spanish version), so it might be worth looking around to see if you could find the FIA tapes at a library.

I got the text at Alibris for only 20 dollars. I think you can sometimes even get it cheaper. It's really pricey if you buy it new, because all book publishers feel the need to overcharge for texts.

We've also liked Pimsleur as a supplement. It's also pricey, but our library has it so we've gotten it for free.

My older daughter did about 2/3 of Destinos and 2/3 of Pimsleur Spanish (levels I and II) and placed out of the first 2 years of college Spanish. The student does have to be motivated to get this result. It is all too easy just to let the words wash over you. But it can be done. (She also started FIA, but got distracted. There are only so many hours in the day.)

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#13 emubird

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 09:46 AM

FWIW, my impression is that classes at Harvard do Destinos all in one year, but it looks to me like it was really intended for 3 college semesters (maybe 4 if you go slow?). Destinos looks like it was meant to fill the same time as FIA.

The local high school uses FIA for French. I think they spread it out over at least 4 years. But they don't get to the AP level of French until year 6 (obviously, a student would have to place out of the first 2 years of high school French to get to this level).

My niece's high school did Destinos in 3 years.

If your intent is to do FIA and he's ready to go, I might skip the last of the Learnables, unless he's enjoying it. FIA starts at the beginning anyway. Or you could do them simultaneously. If he's done some French already, he may really breeze through the first chapters of FIA.

BTW, the workbooks turn an "immersion" course into a grammar course. At least that's what I thought. So you might not need a separate grammar book. If you did, there would probably be something at the library. (And FIA does a lot more onscreen grammar than Destinos.)

A word of warning about FIA. You aren't going to understand everything that's said in the videos. It's really ok. As long as you get what they are drilling, you'll be fine going on to the next lesson.

Emu

#14 LanaTron

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 02:22 PM

Thank you so much for all the information! Very helpful!

#15 Shifra

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 10:29 AM

So do you think I should have him finish out Learnables first?

:iagree: See http://www.transitio...alanguage.shtml
Many people have found French in Action very hard. This article explains why. It is probably a great resource after your son has a great background in French, but not as a beginning course. But like others in this forum have written, you can probably find the books online secondhand (maybe even the videos/DVDs) and you can now watch the videos online for free. I would go with the textbook and workbooks--when you are teaching yourself, the more you have in front of you in writing, the better. Also, I believe that the textbook has the transcripts of the videos. Thefinancial outlay by buying the books secondhand should not be too high.

#16 LanaTron

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 11:17 AM

Thanks for the link. It makes FIA sound scary, though. Now I'm thinking he should do something more like what Katia's dd did (finish through Learnables 4, then do FIA).


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