Covering French as a second language for students in grades 4 through 7, The Complete FrenchSmart series from Popular Book Company Ltd combines both the basics of learning French through lessons on important basics such verbs and vocabulary and following it up with a whole section of stories and questions to build comprehension.
To give you an idea of what’s inside – the Grade 4 book they sent me has the following subjects in the table of contents:
- School Supplies
- At School
- Days of the Week
- Months of the Year
- Time of Day
- At My House
The back half of the book includes 5 full stories with exercises related to the adventure. This particular book involves stories about animals like dolphins, koalas, and elephants. Plus there is a whole section for cutting out and stapling together a “conjugation book” – a mini book that helps kids learn, remember, and review the conjugations of French verbs.
I love that this series is completely in colour – with fun cartoon characters. Each lesson has a different activity to keep kids interested, like matching, copywriting, circling, etc. Plus, the English instructions are clearly written under the French directions, making it easy for everyone to know what they are supposed to be doing.
Plus – there is an answer guide tucked in the back of the book – so you can know you are doing it right! These can be cut out and set aside if your child has a temptation to peek at the answers instead of figuring it out on their own.
The downside to this book is that it doesn’t offer any verbal or audio learning, so pronounciation can be an issue if you aren’t already familiar with the words. However, it does provide a good platform to work on and develop writing and reading skills as well as vocabulary.
All-in-all, the FrenchSmart series are a good addition to a rounded French curriculum.