French is a hard subject to find the perfect curriculum for. There are a lot of options available, but not all of them are the best or offer fully rounded learning. Personally, I’ve been impressed by French Essentials. Created by a Francophone family based out of Quebec, this program offers a computer-based learning experience that includes listening, reading, speaking, and writing as well as Francophone cultural information.
If you aren’t sure where to start, they have an online placement test which helps you figure that out. (As someone who felt semi-confident in my French skills, my results were surprisingly low! I guess it’s time for a refresher in my second language!)
The books are all digital – meaning you download PDF files and open them on your computer. Embedded in the pages are clickable audio links. If you look at the sample book (which you can download for free in their store), you can see a good example of what is included. There are listening and speaking exercises, pronunciation and grammar activities, cultural information (like learning about la bise, kissing people on the cheeks in greeting), and worksheets on the topic you are covering in that lesson.
We’ve found that the lessons are just right in length, keeping the kids interested without dragging on or going too fast that they can’t remember what they’ve learned so far. Because of the format, kids can work independently on the program too, meaning that parents don’t have to be proficient French speakers in order to successfully use and teach from French Essentials.
The website features a student login section with some additional extra features such as quizzes, etc. But these are completely optional and not required – simply just for fun and review.
Price wise, at the time of this post, books 1 through 4 are $79.94 while books 5 and 6 are $89.95. You can also buy books in bundles to get a better discount.
To find out more or order your own books, visit www.frenchessentials.com