Second Languages

Of course, nothing beats immersion when it comes to language. But while we continue planning (dreaming?) of extended vacations in Montreal or Paris, these offer good preparation for learning a second language:

  • Duolingo––This is a GREAT program, and free. I originally thought of it as a supplement, but it could be a whole program for learning both conversation and grammar skills. A companion program, Dinolingo has also been developed for primary students.
  • L’art de Lire and Ecoutez, Parlez are both good for the writing aspect of second languages. (There is also a Spanish version of Ecoutez Parlez: Escucha y Hablamos, also very good.
  • French for Children includes emphasis on grammar and vocabulary as well as conversation and chants, and is classically based. For grades 4 and up.
  • Easy French Books––offers a series of stories in comic form for those learning French as a second language, which can also be read aloud electronically.
  • Pimsleur Language Programs and The Pimsleur Approach for Kids – all age & grade levels––totally conversational, and a great accompaniment to a workbook program
  • Mango Languages – an online program, and also available through most libraries, for free I believe
  • French in 10 Minutes a Day – also a good workbook program, accompanied with a CD. Anneke looked at this with me though, and found it a bit juvenile for 7th grade, in terms of both content and tone
  • Le Jardin de Vicky––a French language site also useful for intermediate FSL learning. This site costs $30/year, but has excellent resources.
  • Breaking the Barrier – looks like a good Rosetta/Pimsleur-like program, for a fraction of the cost
  • Babbel – subscription-based, but very good
  • Living Languages – which also offers ‘live’ tutors
  • has many, many great resources for advanced/junior high students, especially in terms of literature & culture (although it’s not a complete program as such)

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