Armfield Academic Press sent us Getting Started with French for Ceesa to review. It is a beginning French program that is designed for students that are working in a home environment.
We received a 281 page book with 172 lessons. The text provides a preface, how to use this book section, general advice, answer key, pronunciation guide, glossary, and subject index.
- The Preface includes information about the series (the authors also have a book for Getting Started with Latin and Getting Started with Spanish with one upcoming Getting Started with Russian).
- The How to Use This Book section breaks the lessons down into their parts and explains how to do each component of the program. It is written to the teacher with tips for exercises, conversational skills, compositions, tests and quizzes, scheduling, using the site, and more.
- The General Advice part gives students suggestion on what to study next and how to proceed with learning French.
- The Answer Key has the English translations for each of the French exercises.
- The Pronunciation Guide gives the sounds for vowels and consonants with English words to illustrate the correct sound.
- The Glossary translates many of the French words used in the lessons into their English meanings.
- The Subject Index is brief and focuses on the pages where grammatical principles are taught.
In addition to the book, there are pronunciation mp3s and Author Commentary files available to download online.
The lessons are designed to follow one another in chronological order. They are structured similarly, although not all lessons include all of the components for each lesson. Some lessons are for review. One new concept is taught at a time. A new word is introduced in each lesson and is in bold print. The English translation is provided in italics. For each word, the student can reference the pronunciation recording to hear the correct pronunciation of the exercises in French. Grammatical information is provide with charts and examples to help the student understand. Exercises are then provided for the student to try out what has been learned (the answers to these are in the answer keys). Author commentary is provided with each lesson and is designed to provide further assistance.
It is encouraged for students to practice speaking the French they are learning with others and write about what they have been learning. Testing and quizzing is recommended by going back over the previous lessons to see if the child can answer the previous exercises. Using the audio recording can also be an option for evaluation.
Before Ceesa got started, we downloaded the audio recordings so she would have them for her exercises. She has become a very independent learner and I simply handed her the text and the CD and she would work on her lessons every day for three or four days a week.
She really needed no assistance from me to work on these lessons. She says that she likes that the text gives you the information and exercises and that she could choose how to translate the French in each lesson. She says one of her favorite assignments is translating (she isn't as fond of conjugating).
We haven't had any tests or quizzes yet, but when we do (probably very soon), I will be using the pronunciation guide so that she is hearing the French correctly, as I don't speak any myself.
Wishing you homeschool blessings,