Tuesday, November 12, 2013

French Essentials- TOS Review

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French Essentials offered us a Full Access Online Program (one full year, all modules, of their French lessons) to review. French Essentials is a complete language program that you download to your computer. It includes tests and quizzes, games, vocabulary, on-line flashcards with audio and culture. There is a placement test to ensure that your student starts at the level that best suits them. The program is easy to access; you simply download the modules and the lessons, read the lesson, listen to the quick demos and do the homework.
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The program is divided into modules; the modules correspond to grade level. To date modules 1-5 are available, with modules 6-10 available soon. Each module is broken down into lessons. The lessons are delivered via written exercises, audio and video, making this a good choice for any family with multiple learning styles.
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This is the screen shot of the download area. Once you log in, you need to download the lessons.
Each lesson will include a down loadable file, printable worksheets for each lesson, answer key and checklist. Once you've downloaded the lessons, they are yours for life. Perfect for a large homeschooling family or for those who are going for mastery.
French Essentials culture area photo frenchessentials4_zpsa088c965.jpg
This is the Cultural area. You can look around and discover various aspects of the French culture. I really love this aspect of the program. Language is really a reflection of culture and in order to really grasp the language, one must have some understanding of the culture.
There are many pluses to this program
It's self paced.
It is affordable.
It's comprehensive. The parent's don't need to know French in order for this program to be very effective.
The lessons are short and clear, taking 15-20 each, easy to fit into a busy schedule
Lessons are complete and ready to go once you have downloaded them
Downsides to the program
We experienced constant audio difficulties. Very, very frustrating to both of my kids, especially for my get er' done boy.
The lessons felt "baby-ish", moving slowly, the animations felt juvenile and the "owl" instructor was cartoonish.
We spent quite a bit of time downloading the material. This wouldn't have been a problem in the late summer if I was prepping for the year or if we didn't live in the country where "high speed" translates into medium speed at best. I felt a bit behind even as we started.
For my both my 5th and 8th graders, who have had worked another language program for a year, the pace and the content of the lessons felt simplistic.
All of that being said this is a simple, cost-effective way to learn a second language, even if you, the homeschooling parent, don't know it. Go here to try sample lessons or take a placement test.
Available for grades 4-12. $69.95/ module or $149.99 for the complete program.
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