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Questions for those of you who have started foreign language


Mrs. Hound
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I started Japanese, chosen because I could find native speaking teachers and a class time that worked for us.

 

Kids were 6, 10 and 12 when we started. We started when my youngest was an age to attend the class. You need to be six or in first grade. He was six. It might have been nice for the older kids to have started younger, but it wasn't possible so I am not going to worry about it.

 

We are doing Japanese school through a local group that rents space from a church. They are using curriculum that the teachers like. I am very very happy with the situation. I am not capable of teaching any foreign language so I had to out-source from the beginning. This is working for us.

 

(Just to be clear, our whole family is learning Japanese. My husband and I are taking Japanese classes at the same place and time. It really helps to be able to work on it together. )

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We started Latin this year (1st/2nd grade). It's the first we plan on sticking with. He did Hooked on French and Hooked on Spanish as well as Signing Time DVDs previously. We will start Greek in a few years, both because of its being a classical and Biblical language and because we attend a Greek Orthodox Church. Beyond that, I will let him pick a modern language.

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What language did you start and how did you decide on it?

 

What age/grade did you start formally teaching it? Do you wish you would have waited or started sooner?

 

What curriculum/program did you use and were you happy with it?

 

We started with Spanish when DD was 4. I think it was a good age to start, since she has had time to develop her ear and accent. She was motivated to learn by wanting to play with the neighbor kids, and she's got good pronunciation, even though we haven't been focusing on it much for the last year or so.

 

We started with La Clase Divertida, which is a little much at that age, but good to start around age 5 or 6. If I had known then what I know now, I would have started with Whistlefritz and other "immersion" videos, Spanish language music and using movies with the Spanish audio instead of a formal program at that age, and started LCD a year or so later.

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What language did you start and how did you decide on it?

 

What age/grade did you start formally teaching it? Do you wish you would have waited or started sooner?

 

What curriculum/program did you use and were you happy with it?

 

Foreign language education is very important to us so take what I say from that perspective.

 

I started with Mandarin because it is more difficult than the other languages we planned to tackle.

 

I start formally in Kindergarten. I wish I did more exposure with my 2 oldest during toddlerhood and the preschool years. I started formally with Mandarin in Kindergarten for my oldest and my second child started Mandarin, Arabic, and Greek in Kindergarten. I'm starting French in 5th grade with exposure prior to that.

 

For curriculum it seems like programs that are specific to the language work best for us. In other words programs that are available in a variety of languages haven't been so great here. I do like Better Chinese, Arabian Sinbad, Alif Baa, and Athenaze. Also, programs/curriculum that required interaction with me have been much more successful than curriculum that is designed to be independent (i.e. Rosetta Stone).

 

HTH

Edited by Wehomeschool
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What language did you start and how did you decide on it?

 

What age/grade did you start formally teaching it? Do you wish you would have waited or started sooner?

 

What curriculum/program did you use and were you happy with it?

 

We are learning French. My oldest dd was very interested in it, but I felt like we should be learning Spanish since that is the direction public schools have headed. We started out exploring both languages, but after a lot of researching I was convinced that there is a lot of value in French. We dropped the Spanish and have been happily studying French since then.

 

We start teaching French in 1st grade using an oral program. In 2nd grade we move on to a program that teaches French reading and writing. This has been perfect for us. We are starting early, but not so early that French phonics could confuse their understanding of English phonics and spelling.

 

We use Nallenart French. I've been very happy with the program itself, but it has been a pain to get a hold of at times. There were some problems with availability and shipping at one point. I now have a Canadian curriculum supplier I can get it from, but I pay extra shipping to get it to the states. I love the program itself. We use L'art de Dire (which is completely oral) for 1st grade and then move on to L'art de Lire (which teaches reading and writing) in 2nd grade. Dd8 is studying level 3 right now and ds7 is studying level 1. We do supplement with a French reading, French videos, and lots of conversation. I've been looking at potentially moving on to Galore Park French as they get older and eventually we will need to hire a native-French tutor as their skills outstrip mine.

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Foreign language education is very important to us so take what I say from that perspective.

 

I started with Mandarin because it is more difficult than the other languages we planned to tackle.

 

I start formally in Kindergarten. I wish I did more exposure with my 2 oldest during toddlerhood and the preschool years. I started formally with Mandarin in Kindergarten for my oldest and my second child started Mandarin, Arabic, and Greek in Kindergarten. I'm starting French in 5th grade with exposure prior to that.

 

For curriculum it seems like programs that are specific to the language work best for us. In other words programs that are available in a variety of languages haven't been so great here. I do like Better Chinese, Arabian Sinbad, Alif Baa, and Athenaze. Also, programs/curriculum that required interaction with me have been much more successful than curriculum that is designed to be independent (i.e. Rosetta Stone).

 

HTH

 

:iagree:

 

This has been my experience as well.

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http://lifehacker.com/5903288/i-learned-to-speak-four-languages-in-a-few-years-heres-how

 

I found this link to be very practical. It offers very simple steps in learning a language from a person who actually did it. It of course needs to be adapted to the abilities of the child. The methods are tried and true. There are lots of fancy things you can buy and do, but ultimately, learning a language is hard work for an adult. Its easy for a kids when they are immersed it but hard if they are not. The point is you have to commit to it and have a strong motivation for doing it. My motivation to is to give my children a global perspective and a competitive edge in the workforce.

 

Our family is learning Chinese and Spanish. From much of my reading, at least one parent needs to be learning right along with the children. Chinese and Spanish are the two most spoken languages in the world next to English. You can easily find resources for both. You can also in most large cities find someone who speaks one or the other. Often if there is any large Chinese community in your city or nearby city, there is usually a Chinese language school that meets at least once a week that is generally very inexpensive.

 

1) Familiarize yourself with the sounds language. For Spanish, I use Little Pim and SALSA (which is free and found here). Both are complete immersion programs. For Chinese, I use Little Pim and Smart Tiger. I would include 1 hour of this activity a day. Its important to watch the program with the child. Repeat whats going on in the show in the focus language (that means familiarizing yourself with the show before showing them.) You can also find your child's favorite programming in Spanish or Chinese on youtube most of the time. Your focus here is just pronunciation and sounds.

 

2) Which ever adult(s) have chosen to learn the language with the children, you should begin obtaining vocabulary rapidly to assist the children in their learning. There is only one way to do this efficiently and that is through flash cards using spaced repetition. I recommend using Memrise for Chinese and Spanish to start off with and then moving to Anki flash cards. I find Memrise has a nice interface that is user friendly and enjoyable to use.

 

3) Practice writing and reading in the language. There are excellent books in Chinese on youtube videos to make it less scary. "

" is an excellent one. Its very familiar and focuses on fruits and colors.
are some other excellent video books in Chinese on youtube. They even have the same stories in
. Better Chinese also has a great book series that includes pinyin found here. These books aren't very popular in my house so far. I hope that will change soon when I can read them myself with out the CD. The writing will come in time when they are older but Better Chinese also has some practice books for that time. I haven't used them yet. My kids aren't ready for it yet. Oh and label everything in the house in your focus language. It gets the kids excited and starts them down the road to reading in that language.

 

4)Practice speaking. For kids and toddlers, I will tell you how I started. If we are focusing on foods, I pull out the play food items one at a time. I say its name in the focus language. Then I say a common related phrase like "I'm hungry" or "I like (name of item in spanish). You can pull out the doll house and have a doll walking through each room in the dollhouse labeling them in the target language. It sounds daunting at first, but it will get easier over time. You will even make mistakes, and that is okay. Kids are quite forgiving. I think acting really silly helps keep them focused.

 

After awhile you can start conjugating action words, kids will pick this up naturally. We have been doing all these activities for nine months in Spanish. I have been trying to stay one step ahead of them to keep them growing in their vocabulary.

 

Another way to immerse them in the language is too look for a babysitter who speaks your target language. You can contact a local college or university for recommendations on college students interested in playing games with your child in your target language for an hour or two a week. For yourself, you can find many skyping opportunities with other people across the world to improve and practice your speaking skills. There are plenty of forums where this activity takes place and is done so safely.

 

Because my children's language acquisition skills have become stagnant lately, I have recently refocused my priorities as they keep asking for more and more translations. I am digging deep into my personal studies, and I am pretty excited about getting refocused. I know its a long journey ahead but moving forward is better than not moving at all. right?

 

In 9 months (thats when we started our multilingual journey), my 4 and 3 year old can count to ten in Chinese, 20 in Spanish, speak over a 100 word in Spanish, say basic phrases like "Quiero...," "Tengo..." "para mi, para ti," "Me gusta," "Estoy contenta" plus other feelings in Spanish, colors in Spanish and Chinese, major fruit in Spanish and Chinese, over 20 action words in Spanish, major body parts in Spanish (5 Chinese body parts named so far), farm animals in Chinese and Spanish, wild animals in Spanish, the names of rooms in a home in Spanish....well, I could go on.

 

Its not said to brag to you but to demonstrate to you that is more than possible for you to accomplish these things without any previous bilingual skills. Children are very capable of distinguishing which words belong to what language. Will they mix them? Yep. However they know which words are Spanish and which are Chinese. My children are normal and are not gifted. I have just learned to cater to their crazy active ways and kids are incredible in their capabilities to learn once we team up with their imaginative instincts. To encourage you personally, the adult human mind is incredible plastic and is capable of learning new things especially a new language. After a few months, you will find it gets easier and easier.

 

As far as curriculum, I haven't found a descent one in Spanish. I have found more options in Chinese surprisingly. It seems with the rise of Chinese more and more people are moving towards teaching Chinese to young children. My step daughter's school has 20 minutes of Chinese everyday from a native speaker. There are several dual-language schools in Chinese going up across America. My husband's old elementary school in Chapel Hill, NC is now a dual language Chinese school. I know of a few other Chinese resources if you are interested. Hope that helps and encourages you. Good luck!

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We use Nallenart French. I've been very happy with the program itself, but it has been a pain to get a hold of at times. There were some problems with availability and shipping at one point. I now have a Canadian curriculum supplier I can get it from, but I pay extra shipping to get it to the states. I love the program itself. We use L'art de Dire (which is completely oral) for 1st grade and then move on to L'art de Lire (which teaches reading and writing) in 2nd grade. Dd8 is studying level 3 right now and ds7 is studying level 1. We do supplement with a French reading, French videos, and lots of conversation. I've been looking at potentially moving on to Galore Park French as they get older and eventually we will need to hire a native-French tutor as their skills outstrip mine.

 

Firstly, where are you getting Nallenart from? I've almost given up, which is a shame since Moominmamma and The Snork Maiden loved level 1.

 

Secondly, are you planning on going straight on to Galore Park's SYRWTLF after L'art de Lire, or are you planning to do something else in between?

 

I'm trying to sort out French for my lot and it's been such a headache!

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We are learning French. My oldest dd was very interested in it, but I felt like we should be learning Spanish since that is the direction public schools have headed. We started out exploring both languages, but after a lot of researching I was convinced that there is a lot of value in French. We dropped the Spanish and have been happily studying French since then.

 

We start teaching French in 1st grade using an oral program. In 2nd grade we move on to a program that teaches French reading and writing. This has been perfect for us. We are starting early, but not so early that French phonics could confuse their understanding of English phonics and spelling.

 

We use Nallenart French. I've been very happy with the program itself, but it has been a pain to get a hold of at times. There were some problems with availability and shipping at one point. I now have a Canadian curriculum supplier I can get it from, but I pay extra shipping to get it to the states. I love the program itself. We use L'art de Dire (which is completely oral) for 1st grade and then move on to L'art de Lire (which teaches reading and writing) in 2nd grade. Dd8 is studying level 3 right now and ds7 is studying level 1. We do supplement with a French reading, French videos, and lots of conversation. I've been looking at potentially moving on to Galore Park French as they get older and eventually we will need to hire a native-French tutor as their skills outstrip mine.

 

I too started my daughter in Spanish because it seemed more useful here in the US. She started in 1st grade in a class with a native speaker. I decided in 2nd grade to switch to Rosetta Stone. We didn't get very far. I found it hard to schedule and since I don't speak any Spanish, I had no clue what she was learning. Nothing against Rosetta Stone - more me.

 

In 3rd we started Latin using Prima Latina and it is going very well. She likes it, and it gets done.

 

I have also decided to switch from Spanish to French. I took French and I think it will be easier for me to help her since I have a rudimentary knowledge and I can help some with pronunciation. I have ordered L'art de Lire which I plan to use later this year or maybe next year. I have also ordered Rosetta Stone French which I plan to start using right away. I love the audio component and the voice recognition, and even if she doesn't learn much in in the way of vocabulary or grammar with it this year, I want her exposed to the native speaker. I may even experiment with my younger two and see if they get anything out of RS - again just for the sake of being exposed to the native speaker.

 

The poster I quoted mentioned L'art de Lire was hard to find, but after a lot of searching I was able to find one US reseller. My order shipped within a couple of days.

http://www.catholic-christian-home-school-saint-prayer-book-gift-store.com/

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We started Mandarin at age 5 (she's 9 now) because there is a free school at the Chinese church in town. It's 2 hours each Sunday, daily homework. It works well for us because she can't remember a time that she didn't go to Chinese school, so it's just life....not a subject. I quit after a year :001_huh: but duh still goes with her and is the home teacher for it. We use the curriculum they use...which is all Mandarin so I couldn't tell you the name.

I really think having native speakers/teachers is the best (in such a tonal language).

 

The same dd started Latin (Latin for Children A) at a hybrid school this year (4th grade)...so far it's been a piece of cake for her. She's maybe slightly above avg, but not gifted. I think it's a case of "the first second-language is the hardest". :001_smile: Thats what her Chinese God-mother told us....she was learning her 62nd language/dialect when we last saw her. (I feel so behind!!!)

 

Our 5 yr old has lots of Mandarin/Latin/Spanish vocabulary just from being around big sis during lessons, but won't start Mandarin until next fall.

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I tried to do Spanish because I have a degree in it and thought that would make it easier to teach. It didn't. So I ditched that idea really fast, and then dd asked to do Latin. I got Prima Latina, largely because it starts very young and gentle and has continuing courses through high school that all build on each other.

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Firstly, where are you getting Nallenart from? I've almost given up, which is a shame since Moominmamma and The Snork Maiden loved level 1.

 

Secondly, are you planning on going straight on to Galore Park's SYRWTLF after L'art de Lire, or are you planning to do something else in between?

 

I'm trying to sort out French for my lot and it's been such a headache!

 

I've been ordering from The Learning House. www.learninghouse.ca At one point they were having trouble stocking Nallenart, but they now have all the products available again. Since I'm ordering from the states, I call them directly to place my order rather than ordering online. I use the direct number, because the toll-free number doesn't work for me (maybe because I'm calling from outside Canada). I have paid a little extra for shipping to the states, but they have been wonderful to work with. I believe they are located in Ontario, but my last order arrived 3 days after I placed it. I'm on the East coast, but still . . . that is some crazy good customer service.

 

Dd8 is nearly finished with L'art de Lire level 3. If she continues at her current pace then she will be finished with Nallenart in about a year-and-a-half, which would be the end of 4th grade. Right now my plan is for her to go straight to Galore Park's SYRWTLF Level 1. I know that there will be a little overlap in the first level, but my understanding (from ladies on the board who have used both programs) is that there is a good amount of difference between the programs in terms of the type of vocabulary that the two programs focus on. I would really love to get my hands on Galore Park to see for myself, but based on the accounts of others I will probably start Galore Park at the beginning. I think it's okay if part of Level 1 is review.

 

It's just so tough to find good language materials at the elementary level. There simply isn't a demand for it here in the states, so there aren't a lot of options.

 

Edited to add: I just realized you are in the UK. I'm not sure how much more difficult the shipping would be for you, but it doesn't hurt to call and ask. Have you looked at Galore Park's new elementary program? I think it's called Skoldo. I haven't looked at it closely, because I was already using Nallenart. I'm curious about how it stacks up to Nallenart in terms of content and approach.

Edited by MinivanMom
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Firstly, where are you getting Nallenart from? I've almost given up, which is a shame since Moominmamma and The Snork Maiden loved level 1.

 

Secondly, are you planning on going straight on to Galore Park's SYRWTLF after L'art de Lire, or are you planning to do something else in between?

 

I'm trying to sort out French for my lot and it's been such a headache!

 

I've been ordering from The Learning House. www.learninghouse.ca At one point they were having trouble stocking Nallenart, but they now have all the products available again. Since I'm ordering from the states, I call them directly to place my order rather than ordering online. I use the direct number, because the toll-free number doesn't work for me (maybe because I'm calling from outside Canada). I have paid a little extra for shipping to the states, but they have been wonderful to work with. I believe they are located in Ontario, but my last order arrived 3 days after I placed it. I'm on the East coast, but still . . . that is some crazy good customer service.

 

Dd8 is nearly finished with L'art de Lire level 3. If she continues at her current pace then she will be finished with Nallenart in about a year-and-a-half, which would be the end of 4th grade. Right now my plan is for her to go straight to Galore Park's SYRWTLF Level 1. I know that there will be a little overlap in the first level, but my understanding (from ladies on the board who have used both programs) is that there is a good amount of difference between the programs in terms of the type of vocabulary that the two programs focus on. I would really love to get my hands on Galore Park to see for myself, but based on the accounts of others I will probably start Galore Park at the beginning. I think it's okay if part of Level 1 is review.

 

It's just so tough to find good language materials at the elementary level. There simply isn't a demand for it here in the states, so there aren't a lot of options.

 

Edited to add: I just realized you are in the UK. I'm not sure how much more difficult the shipping would be for you, but it doesn't hurt to call and ask. Have you looked at Galore Park's new elementary program? I think it's called Skoldo. I haven't looked at it closely, because I was already using Nallenart. I'm curious about how it stacks up to Nallenart in terms of content and approach.

 

We are also using L'Art de Lire and I download straight from the web. I don't know if you prefer to have a hard copy, but the download is an option as well.

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Wow, LOADS of info! Thanks EVERYONE! Im saving this to read in the Am, after Ive had my coffee and my brain works again.. but this is just great:001_smile:

 

I was considering Spanish since she would most likely benefit in the real world the most from learning that, as opposed to some others. Dd said she wants to learn French, which Im also fine with. I just think of all of the languages and I get too excited to settle on one:lol:

 

Its very interesting to hear that Rosetta Stone isn't used as much as I thought it would be. I figured that would be the #1 answer. Its quite expensive, so Im thrilled you all have thrown out some other options.

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Wow, LOADS of info! Thanks EVERYONE! Im saving this to read in the Am, after Ive had my coffee and my brain works again.. but this is just great:001_smile:

 

I was considering Spanish since she would most likely benefit in the real world the most from learning that, as opposed to some others. Dd said she wants to learn French, which Im also fine with. I just think of all of the languages and I get too excited to settle on one:lol:

 

Its very interesting to hear that Rosetta Stone isn't used as much as I thought it would be. I figured that would be the #1 answer. Its quite expensive, so Im thrilled you all have thrown out some other options.

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

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We started Latin last year through K12 (I think they use PowerGlide). I wasn't happy with it. I mostly had them do it for the exposure since it's nice to know the Latin roots.

 

This year we started Rosetta Stone Russian because I've always wanted them to learn Russian (DH is Russian). So far it's decent. I think it would be more difficult to use if we didn't have a native speaker in the house.

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We have been dabbling with Spanish for awhile but I only did a co op with it last year and added it as a regular subject this year. We are mostly doing play based immersion and the kids are loving it. I put together my own program with a lot of games. (Link in siggy) :001_smile:

 

 

I do wish I would have started earlier and am making a point to work with the 2yo more now...

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We started Chinese at ages 4/8 (two boys) because we moved from Hong Kong to China (various curricula, tutor)

 

Latin at age 10 because I thought my language loving boys would enjoy the mix of puzzle and vocabulary. (Latin Prep, home taught)

 

French at age 8/12 because I knew that the boys would be going to school in the next couple of years and would need French there - and I have a degree in French (So You Really Want to Learn French, home taught).

 

Happy with all curricula. Both boys are still learning all three languages. We also dabbled in Ancient Greek, but it was just for fun.

 

Laura

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We started GEtting Started With Spanish last year, when dds were 8 and 9. It's a very gentle program, and we've been working on it slowly. A good grasp of basic grammar has been very helpful.

 

THEY chose Spanish. I would have been happier with French, but it was important to me that they be excited about their first foreign language.

 

My 10yo started First Form Latin this year, just like ds did in 5th grade. It's a bit tough for her, but she likes it. I can say without a doubt that my 9yo will NOT be ready for it next year!

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This has been such an interesting thread to read! We plan on starting a foreign language next year (K & 2nd). We're going with Spanish b/c we have a high # of native speakers in our area and I figure it'd be immediately useful... At the moment, I'm leaning toward School Song Spanish, but I'm gonna check out some of the recs in this thread! :)

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What language did you start and how did you decide on it?

 

What age/grade did you start formally teaching it? Do you wish you would have waited or started sooner?

 

What curriculum/program did you use and were you happy with it?

 

I started Latin. I decided on it after reading The Well Trained Mind and deciding to follow it as our guideline.

 

I started it in 3rd grade. It was just right. 3rd was when I started a foreign language as a child, and it was just right for mine as well.

 

We use Memoria Press for Latin, starting w/Prima in 3rd grade. I am very happy with it, and we just move up a level each year now.

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We did a Spanish class for 5th grade because it was offered at our Co-op. My DD(11) came to me at the end of the year and asked to learn Latin because she felt it would make other languages easier later on. So this year we are learning Latin.

 

Jenn

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I started Latin. I decided on it after reading The Well Trained Mind and deciding to follow it as our guideline.

 

I started it in 3rd grade. It was just right. 3rd was when I started a foreign language as a child, and it was just right for mine as well.

 

We use Memoria Press for Latin, starting w/Prima in 3rd grade. I am very happy with it, and we just move up a level each year now.

 

:iagree: my dd8 & dd6 are doing it together. It is a lot of fun with more than one person learning.

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What language did you start and how did you decide on it?

 

French, for several reasons: (1) So many people in the US are already bilingual in English/Spanish; (2) My husband and I have already studied French; (3) His job may someday transfer him to Europe (France/Germany); (4) We have West African friends; and (5) We like French (better).

 

What age/grade did you start formally teaching it? Do you wish you would have waited or started sooner?

 

*K-1st: Auditory phase (listening only)

*2nd: Ecoutez! Parlez! Volumes 1 & 2; copywork; French songs

3rd: Ecoutez! Parlez! Volumes 3 & 4; copywork; French songs

4th: Ecoutez! Parlez! Volumes 1-4 (review); copywork; French songs; French audio Bible

5th-beyond: Formal French grammar course (not sure yet)

 

*Our current levels of progress.

What curriculum/program did you use and were you happy with it?

 

Sara Jordan French CDs (very happy with these)

 

http://www.songsthatteach.com/french.html

http://www.songsthatteach.com/english-french.html

 

Ecoutez, Parlez! (very happy with it; my 2nd grader enjoys this a lot)

 

http://kaleeka.com/id1.html

 

Teach Me... French Spiritual Songs (fairly happy with it -- the translations are not the best, but we can handle that because we know some French; the songs are good)

 

http://www.amazon.com/Teach-French-Spiritual-Songs-Paperback/dp/0934633509

 

There are a few resources here that I am considering.

 

http://www.singnlearn.com/ccp0-catshow/french.html

 

HTH. Also, I should add that my 2nd grader is doing Latin with Prima Latina, then probably LC I next year (3rd), then ??? for 4th & up.

Edited by Sahamamama
Latin, too!
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I saw a series at the bookstore today that I like.

 

Say it Right in ...

 

Sorry I'm on a phone and it's hard to link.

 

It's 500 vocabulary words and phrases with an easy pronunciation system. As I said earlier, my goal right now is to prepare for junior college French 101. I think pronunciation and vocabulary are more important than grammar, until I/they get there.

 

I have an odd assortment of resources here, but my plan is to learn/teach the 500 vocabulary word and do a bit of the retro self-teacher Berlitz French, and just play around with whatever I'm lucky enough to get ahold of.

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We started Mandarin when each dc was 3. We've used a "play tutor," who pretty much plays games, colors pictures, sings songs and tells stories in Chinese. Its a very gentle, fun introduction to the language. We live in China, so we also hear it spoken around us everyday. I personally would not attempt such a difficult language in a place where it isn't spoken regularly. It is just so different from English, and you really need a native speaker to practice it with.

 

This year we began Prima Latina, and dd LOVES it! She wants to pray in Latin before our meals and inserts random Latin words into her sentences. I'm enjoying it, too, and find it much easier than learning Thai and Mandarin has been.

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DD6 started Rosetta Stone French last summer. During K, we tired L'Art de Lire. As a toddler, we did some basic French. I used to be fluent and now am at probably a 6th grade reading level. As the kids got older, the repetition between us got boring on both sides. I remember having the same "What day is it", "How is the weather" conversations all year in my first 7th grade French class. But it didn't work at home.

 

Rosetta stone has worked very well. DD is mostly independent on it but I observe and do some review. She gets very little computer time so it is a treat and considered a game. I let my 4YO twins do it as well with some result, but I think 6 is a better age.

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DD6 started Rosetta Stone French last summer. During K, we tired L'Art de Lire. As a toddler, we did some basic French. I used to be fluent and now am at probably a 6th grade reading level. As the kids got older, the repetition between us got boring on both sides. I remember having the same "What day is it", "How is the weather" conversations all year in my first 7th grade French class. But it didn't work at home.

 

Rosetta stone has worked very well. DD is mostly independent on it but I observe and do some review. She gets very little computer time so it is a treat and considered a game. I let my 4YO twins do it as well with some result, but I think 6 is a better age.

 

This is why I was asking! dd is 5 and in K. I feel she is very bright (although I may be a little biased;)) I just wasn't sure about timing & foreign language. I mean, I would like to start as soon as shes ready. I am just wondering if at this age we should stick with getting English down first :lol: (She does great with reading & writing!)

 

And the WTMs suggestion of starting Latin in 3rd made me wonder if that is a better age to start a new language...?

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And the WTMs suggestion of starting Latin in 3rd made me wonder if that is a better age to start a new language...?

 

I think starting Latin after a child's english grammar is decent is what I usually hear.

 

We started chinese at around 3 but chinese and english grammar is very different.

We started german at around 6 and my boys comment and joke about the differences in english and german grammar. My boys are not as good with german spelling as they are at english spelling though.

 

I think it really depends on the child. I have relatives who are natural linguist to those who have to put in a lot of effort even for one language.

 

As long as you are willing to go with your child's pace, there is no harm in starting any language learning "early"

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We started with Song School Latin last year at 7. DD loved it. Switched to Spanish (Latin American) this year with a local hs group + free access to RS. DD likes the language but does NOT like RS. She needs to understand and I find myself explaining grammar concepts. I do recommend picking a lang. you are familiar with if poss. for just that reason. I just got Getting Started with Spanish and really like it from a teaching standpoint. Slow and steady, introduces grammar concepts simply but thoroughly. I also want to get Song School Spanish and DD wants SSL 2 as soon as it's avail. lol

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And the WTMs suggestion of starting Latin in 3rd made me wonder if that is a better age to start a new language...?

 

The study of Latin is quite different from the study of a modern language. With a modern language, it's important to have enough of an auditory stage (just listening), to become accustomed to the sounds, rhythm, and tones of the language. It's also important to eventually speak it so that others can understand, right? With Latin we don't have those considerations, to the same extent.

 

So, for example, a family learning Mandarin will want to spend time with native Mandarin speakers (either in person or via media). But there are no native Latin speakers floating around for us to interact with! :001_smile: There may be some people who are fluently conversant in Latin, but it is probably not their "mother tongue," in the same way that French or German or English or Mandarin would be.

 

"Start Latin in 3rd" means that the student has mastered the phonics of her native language, and will be able to learn a second system. It also assumes that the student will have the ability to grasp the grammar, pay attention to detail, drill diligently (vocabulary and forms), and keep up the pace as Latin increases in difficulty over the middle school years.

 

With a modern language, on the other hand, early exposure can encourage a child to see the world through more than one linguistic lens. A child who knows that this THING is "an apple" AND "une pomme" AND "la manzana" -- and that these labels are neither "right" nor "wrong" -- will see the world differently than a child who can only think in one language.

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We started Latin this year for 3rd and 1st using Prima Latina. My DD8 retains close to 95%, DS6 probably 75%. I think Prima is gentle enough to use successfully before third grade.

 

We've also done French off an on using different resources. We are currently using Muzzy just because my library has the DVD/CD-rom set. But we also have several picture dictionaries and Play N' Learn in French. Now that we're learning Latin, DD is REALLY interested in picking up French again in a more comprehensive way. I'm hoping to get her L'Art de Lire soon.

 

At this age, I think interest should dictate learning a language more than ability.

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We knew that we wanted to learn Spanish early on, as that is the most prevalent second language in our geographic area and can really assist a person in locating a job in our nearest cities here.

 

We simply did not have a great budget to afford many of the best language programs. So, we began at a young age borrowing cds and dvds from our library and purchasing a few. Our children loved even hearing the music in Spanish and I think that helped to get them comfortable with it and find a certain familiarity.

 

For us, we just did The Learnables as our first program. It is not comprehensive in my mind, but there again, we supplemented with this and then waited until high school years until we really did a formal program. Foreign language is not any of our children's major interest, so we felt fine taking this route as years are not counted until high school. Currclick classes online have several different languages to take. A huge help.

 

Wishing everyone all good, however your family handles language in your hs.

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