Have you ever wanted to learn a second (or third) language? Recently, I had a chance to review Getting Started with French from Armfield Academic Press.
What I Received
Getting Started with French is a beginning language textbook. The subtitle on the book reads “Beginning French for Homeschoolers and Self-Taught Students of Any Age.” It contains 172 lessons. Located in the back of the book is an answer key, a pronunciation guide, an index and a glossary. You will also need to download pronunciation files from the website. In addition, you will have access to a series of files featuring commentary from the authors.
Getting Started with French is intended to be flexible. It uses shorter lessons (about 30 minutes a day). This is their simple philosophy: “Teach one concept at a time and let the student master that concept before introducing the next one.”
Sounds good to me!
What I Thought
When this product came up for review, I asked to review it for myself. I took 2 years of Spanish in High School, but despite my French heritage, I had never been that interested in learning the language. As I’ve gotten older I have had more of desire to branch out and have new experiences.
I don’t have a whole lot of time to “experience” these new experiences so Getting Started with French sounded like a good way to jump in by learning another language.
I began my studies by downloading the pronunciation and author commentary from the website. Both are extremely important to have. For one, the author commentary is just like having a little chat with the writers of the curriculum. They also feature a native French speaker who gives his take on the
|This is the view of my commentary screen on my computer. Yours might look different.
For example, in Lesson Six we are introduced to the “r” sound. The author commentary was so helpful! They made a point to talk about the differences in the pronunciation of “r” between the French, Spanish and English language. Because I learned Spanish first, I tend to roll my “r’s” with a brilliant trill. That is a no-no in the French Language. The authors explained that, instead, it is almost like a gurgling sound….which is exactly what I had being doing…but it felt wrong. I was assured that the gurgling is the way to go!
The lessons are super short and simple. They are not intended to overwhelm. I could master that lesson before moving on. It’s tempting to rush through and just get it done, but I love this easy pace. Each lesson builds on another so it's important not to skip around.
I found Getting Started with French to be user-friendly. It was actually fun to use! This is really a great product. I recommend it for any curious learner.
Armfield Academic Press has a few other language programs. Getting Started with Spanish and Getting Started with Latin are also available. I believe that Getting Started with Russian is in the works, as well.
Check them out!
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