French 1 & French 2

In keeping with Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of home education, the goal of the Dreaming Spires language courses is to equip young people to become independent learners and fluent speakers of a foreign language: not to have a dry theoretical knowledge of the language, nor to pass a particular exam, but to be able to understand, to speak and to live the language. There is a strong emphasis on pronunciation and vocabulary, as well as on the independent creation of sentences.

To this end, the kinds of books we use are mainly a good French/English dictionary and a verb book, plus some easy readers to help nurture language in context, plus a couple of websites and a free app.

Dreaming Spires French 1 is a thorough, methodical grounding in the basics of French and the skills of language learning. It is a practical course designed to get students accessing and using French within weeks of starting. 
French 2 continues and consolidates this grounding, equipping students to use a much broader range of language, including most of the verb tenses, to read and listen to real-life French. Much of the course is delivered in French, whereas French 1 is taught in English.
Prospective students will need to have:
  • A personal desire to learn to speak French 
  • The discipline (or parental support) to do daily practice
  • The time available to do an average of 30 minutes of French study and practice per day
  • The independence to do some self-directed study
In addition to a practical knowledge of French, the course will help students to develop:
  • Skills  of study, such as repeatable drills, reading for gist, listening for detail…
  • An inquiring mind and the ability to frame incomprehension as questions
  • Independent learning skills
  • A stronger theoretical understanding of (English) language: especially of grammar and syntax
  • Increased confidence to speak in front of others and to engage others in conversation.

    A word on choosing the right course:
    Children who have been educated in French according to the Charlotte Mason method will have a solid grounding in vocabulary, pronunciation and the construction of a range of sentences and will be  will be ready to go into French 2, which is designed with them in mind. French 2 will also suit children who have had a year or two of applied French learning.

    French 1 is for absolute beginners and those who don’t meet the criteria for French 2. If you have done a little French learning and you are not sure which class to take, you should complete the assessment paper, which will be available after Easter.

    Read more about Monsieur B's solid linguist credentials on our About Us page.

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