Monday, December 5, 2011

Parlez-vous Francais?

I took five years of Spanish in high school, and it was my first major in college until I changed it.  I love foreign languages and have tried over the years to teach my children some Spanish since that is what I know.  When I had the opportunity to review a French program with them, I jumped at the chance.  I had taken one semester of French in high school but didn't continue with it.  There have only been a few things I've been able to retain from that.  This was my opportunity to refresh and learn some more.  The program we reviewed is from Great Commission Languages.


Great Commission Languages - Easy French Level 1AWe received Le Francais Facile, Level IA.  It is the first half of the existing Level I curriculum and is created in such a way as to appeal towards older grade levels, grade 7 and up, although my children who are in 4th and 6th grade have been able to use it and enjoy it.  It includes exercises right in the book so copies don't need to be made.  It includes a CD with all the lessons and pronunciation so the student can actually hear how the words are supposed to sound.  There is another CD that contains the answers to all of the exercises that are in the book.  I also received a separate test booklet, test answer key, and phonogram cards which help in learning pronunciation of individual letters.   The level IA student book sells on the website for $84.95.  The test booklet and answer key are each $10, and the phonogram cards are $10.     
Great Commission Language has a classic format French program, Level I, that is intended to be used over 3 years with younger students or 1 to 2 years with older students.  It appears to be a higher end product than the new format which I reviewed as it is a much larger book and includes professional illustrations.  It sells for $139.95.  There is a second level program and a junior level program that is geared towards family with multiple children, especially younger. It has 34 lessons and focuses more on songs and stories and less on grammar and writing.  It is $69.95.

The new format, Level IA, that I received begins each lesson with a conversation that has words both in French and English, so it is translated as the story goes along.  There are then vocabulary words to learn.  Each lesson has the student conjugate a verb.  There are also grammar lessons throughout, cultural information, trivia, Scripture memory work (in French!), and a lesson plan for the week to be practicing French and doing the activities.

After just 3 lessons, I was able to recognize a lot of the words we had learned while watching a movie where one of the main characters was speaking French.  My kids have learned the vocabulary by making up silly sentences with the day's words.  At first my daughter didn't like it.  I think it was just because it was something new and more difficult than what she was used to but after a few lessons she said she was really starting to enjoy it.

Great Commission Languages also has a Spanish curriculum.  There is a level I similar to the French program for $139.95 and a Junior program.  There are extra grammar sheets available, phonogram cards, and CDs as well.

Great Commission Languages is a Christian company that operates according to Matthew 28:19-20 that we are called to go out into all the world and make disciples of all nations.  Teaching languages is one way this can be accomplished.  If we know the languages that others speak, we can reach out to them more effectively.  Take a moment to read their statement of faith at

They can be reached by email at, by phone toll free from Canada or the US at 1-866-773-7254 or outside the Canada or US at +1-306-728-3201.  Their address is PO Box 1446, Yorktown, SK, S3N 3G3 Canada.

I have enjoyed using this program with my children as I know that we have all begun to learn French in a very easy way and that those things we have learned will stick with us.  I can't honestly think of anything I dislike about this product.  I highly recommend Great Commission Language.

DISCLAIMER: I received this product free of charge to use and provide an honest review.

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