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.
  • 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)