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French for early elementary

plain jane

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My older kids chose to learn French so I'm simply going to roll with it for the others. :). I would like to get my second grader started on something but I don't know what to use. My 4th grader is using First Start by MP but there is no way my second grader can do the program with any kind of mastery. My 4th and 7th graders are having a hard enough time getting the grammar straight. :)


He's not very motivated to do French, but at this point it's not up to him. :). I could really use some recommendations for a gentle introduction, even if its just basic vocabulary at this point. I would like him to do some sort of written work as I find it helps him retain information better. Oral discussions with no work seem to go in one ear and out the other with him.


What's out there for this age group?

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You could look at either Nallenart French's K-2 program (L'art de Dire), Galore Park's Skoldo, or Zoe et Alex.


L'art de Dire is basically a reference for mom with new vocabulary and lots of oral activities to do. It comes with audio c.d's, which are just the spoken vocabulary from the program. The intention is that the entire program is done orally. It's a fine program if mom is fluent, but it's harder if mom is rusty and it doesn't naturally lend itself to written work. It's a Canadian program and their production is spotty, so it's difficult to get at times.


Skoldo is Galore Park's program aimed at those who are a little too young for French Prep (So You Really Want to Learn French). There is no connection between the two series; Skoldo is just a slightly younger offering from the same publisher. It is a series of 3 workbooks, each with an audio cd. Each new lesson/page introduces a few vocabulary words, a grammar concept, and then has 2 or 3 activities to complete with them. They are a mixture of meaningful activities (writing sentences with new vocabulary and similar) and fun activities (word searches with vocabulary and similar). At the bottom of the page is a dialogue using the new vocabulary/grammar. The audio cd has the new vocabulary and the dialogues. There are French songs and activities interspersed between the lessons and these are on the audio cd's as well.


I can't comment on Zoe et Alex as it's the one program we haven't used. I've only heard good things about it, but my understanding is that it's hard to teach if you are not fluent (not sure from your post how strong a speaker you are). We have used both of the other programs, and I prefer Skoldo.

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For something a bit more informal, we are using "52 weeks of family french". Its just simple phrases and beginnings/ideas for lessons.


I use it at the breakfast/dinner table with the family. We are moving closer to France at some point so I figured I should start teaching french, and the book makes all the family included (which means anyone can converse/practice with kids) and puts it in more of an oral/conversational style, which is better for starting Foreign Language with younger kids.

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