Poll: What is your favorite foreign language curriculum?

  • Rosetta Stone
  • PowerSpeak
  • Duolingo
  • Open Culture
  • Other
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I have used Rosetta Stone Spanish. My favorite part about it is that I learned it along with my son. Even though I took 2 years of Spanish classes in high school, because I didn’t use it, I lost it. Rosetta Stone is really nice because you work at a pace that you are comfortable with and there is no guessing about the pronunciation. I really like their program.

We’ve been using duolingo right now. I’d like to look into Rosetta stone though down the road. My kids are learning Italian so it’s not quite as prevalent around here as Spanish and German.
We will be using Memoria press stuff for Latin & Greek next year.

Memoria Press for Latin. I’m learning along with my kids and it’s a perfect pace for all of us.

Is anyone familiar with classical academic press, song school Spanish? They also have a Latin and Greek program. Wondered if you’ve used it, what ages your kids are and if the kids liked it? I like that it’s DVD based, as I will have a newborn next year and am looking for something easy to implement.

We’re doing Song School Latin and my kids (8 and 6) are loving it. They beg to do it every day. They like the videos, although I notice their interest waning in the last part where there’s a guy talking about the “derivative river” and what words in modern English/French/Spanish came from the Latin words we learned that day. That part is not the most exciting. :slight_smile: But they love the rest of it. I really like the combination of DVD, CD songs, and the workbook pages. I think the workbook pages do a great job of giving them practice with the words without being too much busywork, and they relate directly to the lesson instead of being things like “color this picture.” I only wish there were a Song School French! I’ve heard there might be one in the works but it probably won’t be any time soon!

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We like Better Chinese (betterchinese.com) for Chinese, as it has high-quality flash cards, cute picture books, and a great CD/book combination for little kids. We also like Song School Latin for Latin, for the reasons written in the reply I made above.

For French, I did try “Le Francais Facile” (the Easy French), and I’m not as thrilled with the style of that one. The activities seem only peripherally related to the lesson and not particularly interesting, and it seems to introduce too much, too fast. I may end up switching to another program for French, not sure yet.

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We like Duolingo as a supplement to Spanish for You curriculum.

We also use Better Chinese and love it! I haven’t found any other homeschoolers using it until now, but we have had a wonderful experience with it and was excited to see someone else mention it here!

Oh, cool! Are you doing the preschool level, or a different one? We haven’t gotten particularly far, because Chinese is hard. My husband originally insisted that we do traditional, but neither of us speak it. He had reasons for it (because of the characters being made from other characters/radicals), but I ended up deciding that if I was going to be the one teaching it, I was going to switch to simplified. So I’m going to give it another try and see if I can get further with it. :smile:

By the way, do you know about Memrise? Their Chinese programs are really great for an adult/older kid.

Hi there! We are doing My First Chinese Words for Preschool/Early Elementary and yes, it is hard! :slight_smile: I too debated simplified vs traditional but after researching I found out that mainland China has gone to using Simplified characters now and even they seem to be phasing out the traditional characters except for distant areas or the older generations. So that settled it for us! :slight_smile: We take 6 lessons to go through one story book and the online license/tools are incredibly helpful for us. Watching/ hearing the stories is what helps us the most. My kiddos are kindergarten and 2nd grade and it’s our first year with it. But they really love it! I am not familiar with the resource you mentioned so thank you for that tip!

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Mine are kindergarten and second grade, too! (I also have younger ones–the 4-year-old will probably join in now.) That’s so fun that you’re doing the same (we’re also doing My First Chinese Words). Maybe we can encourage each other!

Memrise is sort of an overall learning tool, not just for Chinese, so you have to pick the program you want to do in it. I really liked the program for reading a Chinese menu as an introduction, then I went into HSK 1 and that’s what I’m doing now. I find that Memrise works best on an iPad or similar, as an app. If you do it on the computer, it sometimes expects you to type in Chinese! In app form, it gives you multiple choice. :slight_smile:

That’s so cool to see homeschool moms teaching their children Chinese. I am Chinese and live in China. I am very interested in homeschooling. If there are any Chinese questions I would love to help :smile:

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Yes, mainland China doesn’t use the traditional characters now. But I personally think the traditional characters are the real Chinese characters and they look more beautiful. Actually simplified and traditional characters look alike so most Chinese can recognize the traditional characters without a problem. I think you can let the children learn the simplified cause they are easier to write and more common in mainland China now. :smile:

We use Rosetta Stone Russian. I have not been impressed. Frequently my daughter is pronouncing the word correctly, but the microphone can not pick it up. I also do not care for the flow that it teaches the words. I see no logical pattern to the order of words being taught.

I am planning to switch to Spanish next year as I believe it will be more practical. Does anyone have any suggestions for curriculum?

Hi! Thank you so much! Your offer to help and insight on simplified versus traditional characters is wonderful. I would very much appreciate advice as we embark on our Chinese language homeschooling journey! :slight_smile: the only question I have really been struggling with so far that the curriculum has not answered is the difference between “er” and “liang” when counting the number two. In our storybook that leads us through telling how old someone is, it uses “liang” but elsewhere with counting 1 to 10, it indicates “er” for the number two. (Sorry for the use of Pin-Yin and no tonal markings, but I am new to typing Chinese :slight_smile: This is a simple question, I know, but my children have been confused as to which word to use and when. Thank you so much, again! And please let me know if I can be of any help to you with any home schooling questions in general! We have only been doing it for 3 years but I’d be glad to help in any way!

What a coincidence regarding our children’s ages! I have a younger one too–a two and a half year old :slight_smile: I would love to encourage one another in this Chinese journey/ homeschooling journey in general!! And thank you for the tip on Memrise–I actually use an iPad for home use and for our Chinese online lesson learning so it sounds like it would work well as an app. Feel free to respond here anytime or send me a message through this page (I think you can just click on the icon and send direct messages? I am new here :slight_smile: it is great getting connected with you!

Haha believe me, it’s not a simple question because many Chinese people are making mistakes on using these two characters every day. I never really thought about that until you mentioned this problem. I searched the English websites and found the explanations are still very confusing. But then I seaerched the Chinese websites and found that this explanation might be helpful:

  1. “er” is usually used as an ordinal number while “liang” is normally used as a cardinal number.

e.g. 二月 er4 yue4 (the second month / February)
二年级 er4 nian2 ji2 ( the second grade )
两天 liang3 tian1 (two days)
两个人 liang3 ge4 ren2 (two people)

2 “er” is usually used in reading numbers(whole numbers, decimals, fractions…all of them), so that’s why when we count, we usually say “er” instead of “liang”.

Sometimes when the first digit to the left is 2, you can read it as “liang” instead of “er” especially before “qian(thousand)”, “wan (ten thousand)” and “yi(a hundred million)”.

e.g. 2,125 liang3 qian1 yi1 bai3 er4 shi2 wu3 (two thousand one hundred twenty-five)

There are some more very small rules but actually those are how people just say it like that, not really a rule. Chinese language is not a language that has good grammars. Maybe that’s why it can be difficult.
If your children come across those words and get confused. Just tell me and I’ll try my best to explain :smile:

Thank you for your offering to help on homeschooling. I’m very interested in it. My boyfriend and I are hoping that we can get married this year. He is from America so we might live there in the future. I’m learning a lot here now so everything I learn here will be very helpful when we have children.

We are liking Song School Latin. and they have Spanish.

Yeah, like Beccamed, I’d suggest looking at Song School Spanish or Spanish for Children, both by Classical Academic Press, depending on your kids’ ages. We’re loving Song School Latin and we’ll move on to Latin for Children when we finish.