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French intermediate-beginner


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I've posted here only a couple times, but I keep reading all the threads and know that y'all have a lot of knowledge.


I have a 6yo (and a 19mo) and we're studying French and have been for about 3 years now. Slowly, slowly, because I'm a beginner too. We've listened to a lot of kids' French CDs, and had a tutor for a year (she moved back to France last summer :( ), and this year we've been racing through the first level of the Learnables French. We're on week 11 of school and only have 2 lessons left, though one of them is much longer than any of the other lessons have been. I plan to order the next level of the Learnables (which I expect will take longer) for next semester, but I'm looking for something to fill the in-between time.


I'm eyeing these things, but I don't know how good they are or if they're at the right level for us. If anyone has experience with them, or has other ideas, I'm all ears :bigear:.


Le Petit Nicolas (which has CDs available too) (maybe read the English first?)

Les Portes Tordues

First Start French





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I'm guessing, but I think perhaps Le Petit Nicolas would be hard to understand for a 6yo who doesn't speak French well and who doesn't go to school or live in France. The French is simple, and there are pictures, but the events of the story and its humour might be missed. I think 8 or 10yo might be a better age to appreciate the story. If you just want exposure to French, then by all means, go ahead and listen. I wouldn't waste the story by reading it in English first. I'd rather find some of the many books that are French translations of English books to practise French with in that manner. We've done lots of books that way, but I have had trouble finding books that were orginally French whose French was simple enough and whose story was engaging enough, like LPN, to be useful to us.


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Hi Anabel! :seeya:


I don't know how useful Le Petit Nicolas would be for you at this point. I read it in French 2 in high school. If I recall correctly, there are a number of idioms that would be hard to sort out if you're not doing it with a native/more advanced French speaker. I think it also tends more towards argot than the correct grammar and vocabulary that you're probably trying to learn at this point. But, ymmv, and you could always just try it out and see! Save it for later if it's not helpful.


Haven't heard of Portes Tordues. I'll have to look that one up.


I would get First Start French. It's a good balance of vocabulary and the basic grammar you need to use the vocabulary. It moves at a nice solid pace. I think you'd have a good basic foundation to build on if you worked through it. I have it, if you'd like to take a look at it.



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