I have received free e-copies of the books ¡Hola! Let’s Learn Spanish and Bonjour! Let’s Learn French by Judy Martialay for the boys to review. You may find out more about the author on her website.
Here is the French book blurb.
Bonjour! Let’s Learn French gives children roughly 6-10 an early and fun introduction to French. Kids board Pete the Pilot’s magic airplane en route to France. On board, they learn their first French words and phrases. In France, they meet Louis, l’escargot and his friends, and follow their adventure while learning French and absorbing the culture. The French words and expressions are introduced gradually during the story, which is told in English. Back home, kids can use and expand their French with family and friends with fun activities. These include a treasure hunt, daily expression, and a skit. The Culture corner explains some of the cultural differences that children encounter during their stay in France. This section includes a traditional French song. In the crafts section, children learn about impressionist art and how to make an impressionist-style painting., as they are encouraged to use their French. Easy to use, whether or not parents know French. The Audio is free and downloadable at website mentioned in the book. It is my wish that all children have the opportunity to begin learning a language early. Although anyone can start to learn another language at any age, children will have more time to become proficient, and they have the ability to acquire native-like pronunciation. In the U.S., there are relatively few programs that introduce a language in elementary school. Parents wishing to give their children the many benefits of knowing another language can “homeschool” French for their kids. Bonjour! Let’s Learn French is a great way to start. Parents can learn or review the language themselves. I hope that parents will also ask their local elementary school to implement programs of Foreign Language in Elementary School (FLES).
And the Spanish book blurb.
¡HOLA! gives children 6-10 an early and fun start in learning Spanish. Parents can use it with their children, whether or not they know Spanish. Go to website http://www.polyglotkidz.com and download the audio. Follow the book along with the audio to learn the pronunciation. Kids take an imaginary trip to Mexico where they meet Panchito the Mexican Jumping Bean. They follow his adventures while being drawn into the culture and learning Spanish. Activities follow to practice Spanish. They include a treasure hunt and a skit. Culture Corner give more ideas for practicing Spanish while learning more about Mexico, including the song for breaking a piñata. Children can follow directions for making a traditional Mexican Mask. Parents should go to Parents’ page on website for more advice on how to use the book.
These books are a little bit different, in that they are sold as the books, but then you are encouraged to download the audio to go alongside. This is what I tried to do, but I ended up with technical issues, so I resorted to downloading the audio onto my laptop whilst the books were on the iPad. Once I had this work-around tested, I joined in with the boys to read the books. They are written with a mixture of English and either French or Spanish. The audio was very helpful, as we were able to take time to pause and repeat at any point. Also there are useful pages for both books aimed at parents on the website.
So son2 chose to review the Spanish book. This is his first full year of learning Spanish at school, although he did study it for one term only in both the preceding two years. In comparison, I don’t really know more than a few words of Spanish. He really enjoyed this book and is looking forward to being the best Spanish speaker on our holiday this summer. This is what he said about this book.
I liked it because it translated some words into Spanish and at the end it has lots of translations.
Meanwhile son1 chose to review the French book. This is a language he started learning in nursery at age 2, so he is now quite proficient. I quickly realised that he was not enjoying listening to the English parts of the audio, so we turned off the audio and focussed just on the book. However he still wasn’t particularly engaged and this is what he had to say about the book.
I found this wasn’t really for me as it is too young because I know it all. I would suggest it is aimed at under age 10.
Both titles are available on Amazon, currently priced at around £4.33 in kindle format and also available in paperback. Highly recommended by son2, but son1 wasn’t so keen.
Disclosure. This post is a review of e-books I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.