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Self-directed learning: Stepping Stones pupils learn French


Two of our pupils have opted to learn French as a language here at Stepping Stones School. Initially, we are exploring the use of online tools, such as Podcasts as a resource for giving some initial support.

This is a small school, 5 pupils on roll. We believe in providing the very best learning opportunities for our pupils and employ several specialist teachers in Maths, Science, English, ICT, History, Childcare besides other subjects. In time, I am sure we will have specialist language teachers too, but initially, I believe pupils can develop their language skills with facilitated help and a strong resource base.

Below are two pupils working with a podcast, available from the Apple iTunes music store, called French for Beginners by The French Ecole.

They can listen to the French transcript and explanation of French vocabulary and dialogue and refer to a supplied PDF sheet which comes as part of the podcast subscription.


Oh, very romantic French ..

MP4 Converter



Each Ollendorff lesson is delivered in three parts:

1. Formal grammar and vocabulary with the learning templates for the lesson is introduced in Part A

2. Part B contains practical sentences, in question-answer format, given in French only, firstly read slowly, with time for repetition, then more quickly.

3. Part C is in French only - this lesson is made up of questions for you to make up imaginary answers to. You should answer the questions in French, of course.

The lessons on the Fancy French Podcast are based on a textbook that can be downloaded for free from Google Books - Ollendorff's- "New Method of learning to Read, Write and Speak the French Language". This textbook takes the approach of treating French as a series of templates to be coded. Language is treated as an operating system. You simply code the templates, repeat out loud, and hey presto, you'll start to learn French in no time. The method works very well, and Ollendorff met with great success.

Why have I chosen a French textbook that uses the Ollendorff method? Simply because the structure of the text is ideally suited to learning by listening, and learning with an MP3 player. The goal of this method is to give you a high level of fluency, so that you can speak, read and write French with ease.

The exercises repeat the material learned with many slight variations - so you will be learning in a musical way, using the linguistic equivalent of musical scales.
These lessons are structured in accord with the same methodology that I have used successfully for my online lessons in Latin, on the Latinum podcast

Is that possibly the most racist french learning programme out there. I mean seriously, a french frog???

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