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Thread: Foreign Language????

  1. #11
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    I decided to order Abeka. I NEEDED a "prescribed plan" to teach it if I'm going to teach it (and I am). I did not want to reinvent the wheel.

    I'd actually decided on Bob Jones since they actually have 3 levels, but when I went to order it, it was more expensive (over $100 more with the DVD -- not sure if Abeka has a something comparable or not), AND I was able to find the entire Abeka set on Ebay for 1/2 price So, that's the option I chose.

    As of right now, I intend to divide the French I and II textbooks into 3 sections and have my dc complete Rosetta Stone 1-5 (over 3 years), and I'll then give credit for 3 levels. Knowing that NO ONE actually ever finishes the textbooks, I think that that sounds viable and plausible. I'm certain that some places do "more," but I also know for a fact that many places do less.



    FYI, for those doing Spanish .... I actually looked at Lifepac. They have a CD program that comes with their workbooks. I thought it looked pretty decent, but they don't have it for French. Then I heard someone say they didn't like it, and in the same discussion someone else say they used it and loved it I showed it to an IRL friend, and she's decided to order that for her dc.
    Wife to Jim and Mama to Katie (1/01), Mattie (9/02), Cale (4/05), and Ben (8/08)

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paige P View Post


    FYI, for those doing Spanish .... I actually looked at Lifepac. They have a CD program that comes with their workbooks. I thought it looked pretty decent, but they don't have it for French. Then I heard someone say they didn't like it, and in the same discussion someone else say they used it and loved it I showed it to an IRL friend, and she's decided to order that for her dc.
    We tried AO Switched on Schoolhouse. I don't know how close it is to AO Lifepac. But we were at the amount of vocabulary given every day. I had chosen it because it had grammar and audios. Eli was drowning within a few weeks and we dropped it!
    Hollie, Special Needs Forum Moderator
    Wife to my best friend Tom and mom to 18yo Eli, 17yo Kyle, and 13yo Noah (with Down syndrome)
    If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn. Ignacio Estrada


  3. #13
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    We use DuoLingo & Rosetta Stone. They compliment each other, which is crazy to say when one programme is free & we picked up the other for $200 on special. Having said that Rosetta Stone is taught via immersion so you're thrown right into it with no warning. Kinda like teaching a kid to swim by throwing him in the water & screaming "Kick!" I'm not opposed to this type of learning for FL.

    Having said that, without ever hearing an English translation we actually weren't always sure of what we were saying & this led to poor understanding of some words/concepts. We also had a computer malfunction so while that was being fixed we hooked up with DuoLingo. Duo is easier to use because you don't HAVE to have the headset running, you don't need a CD plugged in, & you can access it from portable devices.

    However, it has it's flaws too. It's put together by volunteers & generally these are people with experience with the language, but not native to the language. Many times there have been glaring errors in the French I was doing & I had to lodge questions/complaints to figure out what was going on. You'll find that EVERY sentence you're asked to translate or speak has a "discussion" button on it. This is valuable if you don't understand the why behind something & want to know more. You can also see the progression of the programme as they've made updates & you'll even find like minded people who made the same error you did.

    DuoLingo is set up more in a Gaming style where you earn points, known as Lingots, which earn you access to more French lessons, clothes for the silly owl, & so forth. You get points for logging in every day & completing your goal. The goal is referred to as XP, & you can set it from 10 upward. Each lesson you complete or review should give you 10XP, so for a dabbler 10xp might be enough, for someone really trying to learn a new language the base minimum would be 20xp

    They update the app & website often, but that doesn't always fix errors. For instance, if you use the computer when speaking you can see each word you said right & each one you said wrong. You can also click on each word to hear ONLY that word spoken if it's one you are struggling with. With the app it's an all or nothing approach in that area. With the Computer you can click on each word to see how it's spelled EACH & EVERY time. This is has it's ups & downs, such as becoming reliant on it vs your memory, but it can help build confidence. Where as with the app you can only click on new words the majority of the time.Flash cards on the computer version are based on honesty where as on the App they are based on true knowledge.

    I go between hating one & loving the other & it's not always the same. At this point I generally use the app because it never fails that when I settle in with the computer the guys have some major loud noisy something or other happening which causes major issues when I'm trying to speak & they all say, "What? What are you saying? Are you calling us stupid again?"

    Rosetta Stone is much more fine tuned for educational purposes because that's what it's always been used for. It instantly grades the lessons vs allowing you to revisit the items you mess up until you can perfect them. With DuoLingo if you make a mistake with a word they will use it a million times over in a lesson to really ram that word in your brain. With RS you have to go back at the end of the lesson & click on any red squares in order to revisit mistakes & attempt to correct them.

    RS is far pickier about the way you speak as well, which is good & bad. I like that they are finicky in their attempt to ensure you are speaking correctly, but I've noticed in the various French things we've used in our lessons that each person speaks differently, rather like different accents in the USA. So while RS has a male & female voice who always sound the same, Duo Lingo Male & Female sound different. Then again, so do the various characters in the Muzzy show when we pull one out to watch.. So, the RS pickiness can be great, but equal parts frustrating if you're really stuck on a word.

    DuoLingo doesn't offer official paperwork {that I'm aware of}, however you do a LOT of translating through each set of 10xp you gather. In my time with it this morning {I did 30xp} I had to translate more then a dozen sentences. Sometimes you translate from English to French, other times from French to English & sometimes you do it one way, then the sentence is presented again & you do it the other way.

    With RS you get papers to print IF you have the homeschool version. I don't know if the non-homeschool version has them or not. We have a CD for printables based on each lesson. I've yet to print them out, but probably should. It's like the Audio CD that RS offers which is equally seperate from the lesson cds. You can plug that in to hear the words spoken with long pauses between & then you can repeat the person speaking.

    I'd been using RS for a few months prior to the computer fiasco we had here. I had more understanding after spending time with DuoLingo as to what SOME words I'd been using with RS meant. I finally understood why I was getting my translations wrong! RS uses pictures with their words, & sometimes those pictures have more then one thing in them so you have to attempt to decipher what they want you to grasp.

    Duolingo is all graphics so their "pictures" are equally graphics & very straight forward. Having said that I think you only see those on the App not on the computer, but I haven't used the computer version in a while so perhaps that's been updated? There's also a "for schools" thing on Duolingo if you wanted to use it in that aspect. We don't because a FL is not mandatory here so I've attempted to keep it light & fun..
    Kendra, wife of Lawrence, mother of three.

    I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.

  4. #14
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    Jul 2009
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    I hope you don't mind, but I think DuoLinguo needs to be supplemented. I worked through the full program for myself for Swedish, and comparing it to my high school French or college German and Russian, it lacked a lot. Primarily you are only learning conversation and not the literary language. I think it is important to be able to read books, too! And, most foreign language programmed include information about the country in question - it's geography, history, culture, traditions, population, etc.

    I don't know about formal curricula but I think real books, even picture books, plays, poetry etc should be included. This is just my opinion of course. I liked the DuoLingo repetitive training, it is great for independent learning too.
    Mum to Charlotte (born 29 Nov 2007) and Johnny (born 25 November 2012)

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollie in SC View Post
    We tried AO Switched on Schoolhouse. I don't know how close it is to AO Lifepac. But we were at the amount of vocabulary given every day. I had chosen it because it had grammar and audios. Eli was drowning within a few weeks and we dropped it!
    Hollie, this is the reason I'm dividing the 2 levels into 3 years. I compared it to the textbook I actually used when I had to teach French I (many years ago), and there's a huge difference in intensity. I figured I'd be fine slowing down some


    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth in London View Post
    I hope you don't mind, but I think DuoLinguo needs to be supplemented. I worked through the full program for myself for Swedish, and comparing it to my high school French or college German and Russian, it lacked a lot. Primarily you are only learning conversation and not the literary language.

    .
    Elizabeth, this is exactly why I was looking for something more than just an oral/listening program. I own Rosetta Stone 1-5, but felt like it needed a written component. Of course, maybe I expect more -- I actually grew up in Europe and started taking French in 6th grade. I was (at one point 20 years ago ) completely fluent and could even think in the language, read books, write research papers ..... I need a refresher, too, but I vaguely remember how I *started* learning the language and want more of a traditional approach with the reading and writing. I understand many people don't have that option, though, because they don't have the advantage of knowing the language itself, so you do what you can
    Wife to Jim and Mama to Katie (1/01), Mattie (9/02), Cale (4/05), and Ben (8/08)

  6. #16

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    Interesting thread and I've been following!

    We are using RS for Russian and Greek. I think I'll check out DuoLingo as well.

    But I wanted to agree with Elizabeth about the picture books and other reading materials. Rebekah is very motivated and is working through RS at a decent pace(considering she started 2 years ago as a hobby). FOr her birthday last year, she got a Russian package of picture books(in RUssian), a Russian movie and a Bible in Russian. She loves comparing verses from the English and Russian and the books and movies are storylines she is familiar with, so it is helping with the application of reading in Russian. Her goal is to be fluent. She is getting to the point where certain phrases are becoming second nature and she was surprised and so excited to find herself muttering in Russian the other day without having to be deliberate.

    Now my Greek student is not quite as motivated(although he chose Greek) and is not getting quite so much out of it. Maybe I need to find him some books...
    Shay, wife to Rod and mom to Nathaniel(22), Benjamin(19), Nicholas(17), Rebekah(15), Julianne(10), Jonathan(7)and Joshua(2)

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