Bonjour, mon ami. Comment allez-vous aujourd'hui?
Oh pardon me!
Just a little of the French I've been studying as I review Getting Started with French by Armfield Academic Press.
I grew up with a mother that taught French. I took a semester of French in middle school. And I even went to Paris many eons ago when I was a young lady. But the most I could say in French, before getting a chance to review Getting Started with French by Armfield Academic Press, was “How much does that cost?” and “Where is the bathroom?”. Key phrases to move around in Paris.
Oh there was that rogue summer that I learned to say, “Le lotterie descourages la travail.” when I sat down to watch a rogue French show on PBS about 20 years ago. For some reason that phrase stayed with me. And if I say it with enough of an accent people think I'm fluent! But of course I'm not! Hence the desire to learn a bit of French wit Getting Started With French.
About Getting Started with French
Getting Started with French is a 281 page soft cover 8 1/2 x 11 inch bound book. It contains 172 Lessons, an Answer Key, Pronunciation Guide, and Glossary. The book also refers the user to their website www.GettingStartedWithFrench.com for audio recordings to help with pronunciation and audio commentary on each lesson (which includes a native French speaker).
Getting Started with French is targeted towards Homeschoolers and those who like to self teach. I fit both genres so that's good (I once taught myself to tat. You know that old lace making technique?).
It is written by William E. Linney and Brandon Simpson. William got his start by writing Getting Started with Latin and then hooked up with some friends, one of them being Brandon Simpson to write some other titles including Getting Started With French.
The lessons in Getting Started with French are short and sweet. The idea is to spend a few minutes a day on a lesson. It is also recommended to practice your French with someone and work through the exercises in a separate notebook.
How I Used Getting Started With French
Since my daughter is already working on learning Spanish I thought I would give it a go to revamp my long dead French.
I took French as a middle school student EONS ago and I had the wonderful blessing to visit Paris for a few days in college. My mother actually taught basic French when I was a very young child but we never spoke it at home. It was like not bringing work home. I guess since were living in Nigeria it was more important to learn Yoruba (the language) which I never did either. Oh well. French is one of those languages I have a smattering of experience with but nothing really concrete.
So fast forward a bit to college where I took Italian. Now I finally understood all that grammar stuff my teachers were trying to get across in high school. So when the opportunity to study French showed up I thought this would be a grand time. Besides I plan to go back to Paris or at least French speaking Canada somewhere. So it was my plan that French would be a little easier to understand.
I chose to do about a lesson a day. Spending the late evenings working on my French in my on point accent (so I say). I chose to write the exercises in the book although I'm not sure how smart that is considering someone might want to use the book after me. And the directions in the book do say to use a separate notebook… I might do that.
Each night I sit here and read my lesson and then practice. I know my family can hear me through the walls and I drag consonants through my throat and purse my lips to say “une” and opposed to “un”.
How did I Like Getting Started with French
I love that these lessons are short and gentle introductions to the French language. I also love the self taughtedness of it all.
The lessons are easy to do and easy to understand. They are very short so you have time to absorb each new thing before moving on to the next.
Getting Started with French focuses a lot on pronunciation which I never really paid attention to that much before. I seem to have absorbed quite a bit of correct pronunciation due to my upbringing. I noticed I would pronounce the exercise before listening to the audio and I had already capture the nuances. But this was all done without thought and it is nice to know the rules for pronunciation.
The commentary is a nice touch for each lesson. A background on the words. More explanation. Maybe Francois comes in with his French accent and gives us some more background. William's voice is calm and soothing and his explanations good.
The lesson on genders did scare me when Brandon chimed in that he has some super thick book on all the rules but like with Italian I think you just have to go for it. Just as when you speak with someone whose first language is not English (like my father) there will be some mistakes and nothing will be perfect but you can understand them perfectly. N'est ce pas?
Even though I'm using this as a self study for myself this could easily be used as a homeschool tool. If my daughter is ever ready to move on from Spanish I would love to teach her some French and we could converse together.
Your kids may whine about it but knowing other languages is important. In other cultures the children grow up learning 2 or 3. Such a good idea.
I like this gentle study of the French language. It's working for me.
You can connect with Armfield Academic Press and Getting Started With French on the social network below.