4 MUST-HAVES for Foreign Language Success
If you are on the hunt for a Foreign Language program for your homeschooler, make sure the four main areas are covered: reading, writing, speaking, and comprehension.
Reading is where learning a foreign language begins!
Any Foreign Language course worth its Salz must begin with learning the alphabet, basic vocabulary, and expressions. Dialogues and passages should also be included in the student’s reading, but it is important to start simple.
Though raised a bilingual, my daughter’s German writing skills improved considerably after she starting emailing regularly with a girl in Germany.
Along with reading, there must be muchas writing exercises, which improve a student’s skills in creating meaningful communication with the words they have learned and are now putting to use. This should include a lot of practice with the variety of verb forms that most foreign languages have, unlike English.
There is nothing better than having a live foreign language instructor!
The biggest thrill in learning a language is correctly speaking and understanding it, which can only happen with a live instructor. An effective foreign language program must offer the student a solid foundation in proper pronunciation, starting with the sounds that the letters make, then the sounds of consonant and vowel blends, followed by any nuances. Students should have ample opportunities to speak and be corrected by a live instructor as well as to speak with each other. Assignments must also include audio exercises.
Unfortunately, a très grand shortcoming of the expensive “do-it-yourself” language programs is that they offer no opportunities to speak and be corrected. Some do have a feature where you speak into a microphone, mimicking a recording, and a graph tells you how you did. But, when a native speaker tries it out and gets an X, you know something is amiss….
All Foreign Language classes taught at Excelsior offer not just the 4 MUST-HAVES of reading, writing, speaking, and comprehension with a live instructor, but also include interesting culture and history from a variety of multimedia.
Check out Excelsior‘s foreign language offerings, taught by elite instructors who are native and near-native speakers. Your experience will be magnifique!
About the Author
Since 2011, Susan Gleason has taught German online. She has an extensive background in foreign languages.
Traveling internationally since she was eight years old, her travels include Europe, Scandinavia, Estonia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, South and Central Americas, and South Africa. Susan studied German in college and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1986. In 1985, while still a college student, Susan led a Bible-smuggling operation into Soviet-controlled Estonia. She lived in Germany from 1986-1991, experienced the fall of the Berlin Wall, and had some daring adventures outwitting East Berlin border guards. Susan did post-graduate studies at Universität Würzburg, Universität Bonn, and FAS Germersheim. She worked as an interpreter at the international trade fairs in Cologne, as well as a translator and private tutor.