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Anyone with younger dc studying a modern language?


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For those of you with a younger child studying a modern language, what are your plans for the years as they get older? I would love to see the sequence of plans for foreign language study from a younger child up through high school.

My younger dd is using L'Art de Lire with my older dd. My older dd will be redoing French I (from what I've read L'Art de Lire's all 6 levels are = to one high school year of French) by using Breaking the Barrier since I'm concerned that all six levels might not be enough to jump right into French 2. I'm okay with this since she will still finish high school with 4 years of French. It is my younger dd that I'm considering right now. She and dd are nearly done with Level 2. I don't forsee her having any problems with Level 3 and 4. She is doing very well. I'm hoping/planning on her doing Level 5 and 6 next year. This will be for 3rd grade. I'm trying to see where I would go with her after this. Maybe we could afford a tutor by this time, but I'm not sure. Would anyone share with me how this could look? I'm assuming I can only get her so far and then from this point she would need a fluent speaker? She loves learning the language. I think learning while young will have great benefits for her, but I'm unsure how this would work since I've never seen this before.



Edited by Kfamily
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Thank you, yes, that's what I was thinking. I think this might be easier when I know the languge better. I do plan on studying French along with my older dd so I would complete all the levels for Breaking the Barrier and then I assume at that point I would be reading and writing too. This would set me up to be a better teacher for her. Are there any programs for younger children that are a step up from beginning programs but not paced at the high school level?

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Can you get middle-grades level reading materials in French that would be used by French-Speaking children? This is what I'm planning for Spanish, but I admit that Spanish is probably easier to get in the USA than French, because almost every school has Bilingual classes for newcomers to the USA. I have a friend who is a native speaker and a high school bilingual teacher who has been more than willing to help me find good quality Spanish-language reading materials.

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My dc study spanish.


So far, this is what it's looked like:


Ages 3-7. . .


+ 30 min one-on-one contact with native speaker every 2 weeks (mostly reading story books aloud to each other, looking at Let's Learn Picture Dictionary, etc.)

+ Rosetta Stone 15 min 3-5 times a week (skipping the written parts & the microphone stuff)

+ For a couple years we used Elementary Spanish (from NAU, on United Streaming). . . I liked that!


Ages 8-9


+ add in written exercises from Rosetta Stone. Print out, do a page a day or so, take to tutor to review at biweekly meeting.


(This works fine for us, but I am actually in the market for something more formal for my newly 8 yo as I think she would welcome something more. . . so this age is in flux. . . Suggestions welcome)


Ages 10-14


+ Galore Park's So You Really Want to Learn Spanish levels 1-3, covering about 2/3 of a book each year, especially in the 10-11 age range.

+ See It & Say It in Spanish (little handy book)

+ Quizlet for vocab from GP

+ use biweekly tutor meetings for review of exercises in GP and extra oral practice, and help with any difficult concepts arising in GP, and practice See It Say It orally


Ages 14/15+


We're not there yet. I expect dd13 to finish Level 3 of GP next year (her freshman year of high school), so around early age 15. At that point, I plan a couple things::


1) Use local university for 1-2 semesters of advanced spanish, using their testing for appropriate placement. I'd probably have them take at least whatever classes they'd need to complete to get through the 200 level, plus one more semester of literature or similar. . .


2) I plan to take all the kids to S. Am or Cent. Am for 4-6 weeks of intensive spanish study at least once -- probably in Guatemala or El Salvador. I'll probably do this for the first time when my oldest completed GP level 3, sometime in 2012, so around ages 15, 13 & 10. Depending on how successful that trip is, we might well do it again a few years later. (You can do this very inexpensively!!! The flights are the main expense. Once you are there, it's really, really cheap.)


FWIW, tonight, their native speaker tutor (and college & high school spanish prof.) stopped suddenly while my 11 yo was reading aloud and said to me, "He speaks without any accent at all. He speaks just like a native speaker!" . . . So, I do believe that starting young has some obvious benefits, even in a household with no adults who can speak or teach the language. . .

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I think having a good grammar based program is necessary but the thing we've found the most valuable is to read, Read, READ!


My dd started with French board books, then progressed to Step 1 readers and so on. Her vocabulary and abilities to read and understand French has improved MUCH quicker than if I'd relied solely on curriculum.


Right now we're using a variety of 'aids':


* Grammaire Progressive Francaise http://www.amazon.ca/gp/search/ref=a9_sc_1?rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Agrammaire+progressive+francais&keywords=grammaire+progressive+francais&ie=UTF8&qid=1291783472

* Magnard - CE1 Francais Cahier du Jour http://translate.google.ca/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&u=http://www.magnard.fr/livre33594.html&ei=rQ3_TOGhPIy4sQODw4GwCw&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBsQ7gEwAA&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dmagnard%2Bce1%2Bfrancais%2Bcahier%2Bdu%2Bjour%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dsafari%26rls%3Den%26prmd%3Div

* Bayard Jeunesse - J'Apprends A Lire http://translate.google.ca/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&u=http://www.bayardjeunesse.ca/magazines/item.aspx%3Fid%3D45%26t%3D2&ei=Gw7_TPTRIIH6swOy5s2vCw&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CB4Q7gEwAA&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dbayard%2Bjeunesse%2Bj%2527apprends%2Ba%2Blire%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dsafari%26rls%3Den%26prmd%3Divo (excellent! It comes with a CD with the main story for pronunciation practice)

* Tell Me More

* Frenchsmart http://www.amazon.ca/gp/search/ref=a9_sc_1?rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Afrenchsmart&keywords=frenchsmart&ie=UTF8&qid=1291783791 (these were somewhat useful. There was lots of vocabulary but they moved quite slowly so we've more or less quit using them)


I hope that helps you a little. Like English, I've found the best way to learn is to read and then all you have to do is find an opportunity to have regular conversation. That is a challenge that I have yet to figure out. A year in France is appealing ......... ah, one can dream ...... :D

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Cleopatra, I had a friend who took her 10 yo daughter to Paris for several weeks one summer. . . They stayed in an inexpensive hostel-type hotel & she signed her daughter up for summer-camp type classes aimed at local school kids at the museums, etc! So, her daughter got immersion-style language exposure (she was already competent from her studies at home) while the mom had a few hours free each day in Paris! I think it worked really well for them & was relatively affordable. :)

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This is great information ladies! Thank you both!


Stephanie, this is just the type of outline I was needing to see.

I love the summer camp idea!


Cleopatra, these links will help so much! These are going to work! I feel like buying some of them now...


So, if she finishes Level 5 and 6 in 3rd then we could...


continue work such as write letters, written compositions, etc.

read, read and read (using as many books as I can find such as Cleopatra linked)

listen to more advanced audio books

continue to watch some movies in French

use the books and magazine Cleopatra linked

hope for a tutor and arrange one as soon as possible

look for every opportunity to let her spend time in French speaking situations


I have an older French grammar textbook. We could work through some of this too maybe...


I know, I remember from Ester Maria, I should get her a good bilingual dictionary!:001_smile:


If this holds her over until 5th or so, then hopefully at that point my older dd will be in 11th and using Breaking the Barrier for French 3. I will have kept up with this level too and can use my new knowledge to keep her moving. My older dd will also be able to converse with her.


Does this look like a plan that would work?

Have I overlooked or forgotten something?


Thank you!

Edited by Kfamily
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You can also order French books from Scholastic Canada .... http://www.scholastic.ca/products/editions.htm The books aren't high literature but they get you reading.


We also enjoy Le Petit Nicolas books http://www.amazon.ca/s?_encoding=UTF8&search-alias=books-ca&field-author=JEAN-JACQUES%20SEMPE (I gave you the Canadian Amazon link because the Amazon.com doesn't seem to have as many PN books as Amazon.ca)

Even though they are longer, the words are not too difficult. We find we have to look up some things but not enough to drive us crazy.


DVDs are excellent resources as well. It's so hard to get a child fluent in another language if they are not immersed in it, and this is a great way to get 'intermittent' immersion (for listening at least). I tried to get either simple cartoons or movies she was familiar with and I didn't care if she understood them or not; if you're studying regularly, eventually they pick up more and more.


Stephanie's advice about traveling for immersion, was, of course, excellent and my dreaming was only half dreaming ;); we'd like to travel to France in the next couple of years for 2 - 3 months to get a real immersion experience. North Americans always think Europe is so expensive but she's absolutely right that it can be done much cheaper than we expect and even more economically if you stay out of the large cities. Ah, the beauties of homeschooling ........ :001_smile:

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I know, I remember from Ester Maria, I should get her a good bilingual dictionary!:001_smile:

And in high school, a monolingual one - French with explanations in French, rather than translations to English. You can get Le Petit Robert in various sizes, for example.


Make sure to go through the whole grammar, in an organized fashion, multiple times. When she's ready, get her a grammar in French too (Hachette has some good materials).

Regarding reading, I suggest going with materials aimed at native French speakers, but a few years below her English reading level. You can also use school materials and slowly, by the time she's in high school, get her to the level where her French reading level is close to her English reading level - and then focus on language arts and literature as done in French-speaking schools.

I'd invest in a tutor for speaking and for checking her written work too. Avoid heritage speakers - get a native speaker educated in French or somebody with a degree in the field.

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Thank you, Ester Maria, I've already subscribed to this thread so that I can refer to it as needed. Your advice is valuable!


When you say to go through the whole grammar multiple times to which grammar are you referring? I've been wondering if there is a good grammar text to work through such as we would be using with Latin. I know grammar is built into the textbooks or curriculum, is this what you mean? Or is there a separate text I should look for?


I have the Oxford Beginner French dictionary right now, but I will look for the bilingual one and a monolingual dictionary. I still have those threads saved from your replies for these books.


I also have a verb dictionary: Le Nouveau Bescherelle 1. L'Art De Conjuguer Dictionnaire De 12,000 Verbes that someone gave me.


Thanks again!

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