If you follow me on Instagram (my new favorite social media platform!), you got a sneak peak into today’s post over the weekend.
For Christmas, Will got me all 5 levels of Rosetta Stone French. (This gift came with a new laptop two weeks later since RS only works on Windows 7 or higher; our desktop has XP. I’m loving the new computer [which has 8.1] and the language program!) If you’ve read my blog for very long at all, you’ll know that we’re teaching our children French for their foreign language. You’ll also know that I’ve tried numerous things over the past year in my quest to find something that will work for our family. I’ve explored (and done reviews of) French Essentials on SchoolhouseTeachers.com, Mango Languages, and Middlebury Interactive Languages. While all of these programs had their strengths and weaknesses, none of them were quite right for us in the long term.
Since we’ve started Rosetta Stone, I feel like we’ve all really started excelling in our French studies. The biggest beneficiary seems to be Will; he’s a lot more focused using RS than he was on any of the other programs. It was his idea to spend a weekend afternoon doing the activity I want to talk about today.
Using the words we’ve learned so far in our studies, Will and I concocted a list of things we would be likely to see at the local Fred Meyer. (For those of you who don’t know about Fred Meyer stores, they’re very much like a WalMart super center. They have groceries, but also clothes, toys, home decor, a deli, a Starbucks, and more.) After we made two copies of the list, we went to the store and split into teams. Will took Seahawk and Small Fry along with the regular camera (his phone battery was dead), and I took Munchkin and my phone. We allotted ourselves half an hour to find the things on the list, which was written completely in French (RS uses as close to an immersion technique as you can get without traveling). Our list included:
- un œuf (an egg)
- une fille et un vélo (a girl and a bike)
- du café (coffee)
- un chat (a cat)
- un chien et un homme (a dog and a man)
- un homme et un vélo (can you figure this one out? … a man and a bike)
- un homme conduit une voiture (a man drives a car)
- un garçon conduit pas (a boy does not drive)
- une fille conduit (a girl drives)
- du riz (rice)
- des pommes (apples)
- une femme et un stylo (a woman and a pen)
- un homme lit un journal (a man reads a newspaper)
- des poissons (fish)
- ils courent (they run)
- un fille marche (a girl walks)
- un garçon mange (a boy eats)
- un homme boit (a man drinks)
- une femme boit (a woman drinks)
- un enfant boit (a child drinks)
There were virtually no rules on how we could find the items, only that we were to find and photograph as many of the items in the time period as we could. We could ask people to pose for pictures for us, we could find pictures of the items on magazines, DVDs, books, etc…, or we could do pretty much anything else to get the picture we needed. It was a lot of fun!
Here are some of the best pictures from our afternoon (with French captions; refer to the list above for translations).
We plan to do this kind of activity again, especially as we move forward with our language learning and add vocabulary to our repertoires. And having done this activity once now, we’ll be able to make modifications to have a smoother event next time.