Friday, September 16, 2016

Our foreign language resources

I know that I said more than once at Karen's seminar that I would email foreign language resources to people who were asking. Maybe that will interest more than my fellow seminar attendees, and it's easier to send a link to everyone than to remember who wanted what, so I'll just post here. Please let me know if I am leaving out anything you asked for.

A PR article that has sample foreign language lessons:
On the Teaching of Modern Languages
There is actually quite a lot to work with there. I translated the French into Russian and taught just the first part of it to parents at the Indiana AO conference. Personally, I really liked the way it went. With a real class you could keep working from there for much longer than just the one sample lesson I did.

Christine and Alyssa's book that is written for mothers who want to work with a language helper to teach their children a foreign language:
Language Learning for Children
I have not used this myself, or even read all of it, but what I have seen looks great. Christine herself says that she has learned more about Charlotte Mason since writing it and wants to make revisions, but I think it's already a good resource. (If you're on the forum, Christine offered a free download of the book there.)

My opinion on the Cherrydale Press books: yes, they're a good CM foreign language resource, but they're not enough for a full CM experience, and they're rather expensive to be just a part of a curriculum. If you want to read the work of Francois Gouin, which Charlotte Mason raved about (here), his book is online here and elsewhere. I highly recommend it! I know of mothers who have created their own Gouin series after reading this, and that's a great idea.

If you want to see one of the textbooks that the PNEU schools used for French, here's an example. Honestly, it's just a textbook, nothing very special. However, before the TX conference, I read up a little about the author, and I saw why Charlotte Mason liked his work. He was a real reformer in foreign language teaching. You can see that, even just in the introductions to his textbooks. You can find other specific books by looking at the French and German listing on the PNEU programmes.

Random note: I love using foreign language audio books as a modern replacement for a French teacher who would read to the give or give a lecture for the kids to narrate back.

The Latin TPR book that we love:
I Speak Latin

Also, Comenius' Latin primer: Karen mentioned it, and we actually do use it in our family. There are various versions online. English is here. (I doubt that anyone wants my Russian links?) You can find it read aloud--with great expression; our children laugh--on this YouTube channel. We just listen over and over again to a little bit at a time, look at the pictures, and then slowly begin reading it aloud ourselves (Mama and older children) or talking about the pictures (younger children, if they want to. Bogdan actually really likes what he calls "the other English.")

Jaan (our oldest) is also just starting into Visual Latin this year. I can't say much about that yet, but so far, so good.

Now, that was all just my own opinion and personal experience. I am NOT an expert, and it's far from exhaustive on Charlotte Mason and foreign language. I hope it fills in some of those gaps where I couldn't remember author's names or exact titles when we were talking face to face, though.

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