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Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp
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Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp.  All rights reserved.
about the book
The Homeschool Diner's Guide to
Homeschooling by Subject

Foreign Languages for Homeschoolers

by Julie Shepherd knapp, copyright 2006

There are hundreds of foreign language textbooks, audio tapes, online
courses, and dictionaries on the market.  The problem is that most of them
are created for adults and for tourists, and most of them assume an adult
level of grammar knowledge.  

These materials can, of course, be used to teach homeschoolers, but they
are very "dry" and much of the vocabulary will be related to conducting
business, traveling, and socializing with adults.  The good thing about these
materials is that they are often discarded, and turn up quite frequently at
thrift stores and yard sales.  So, if you see a really good bargain on foreign
language tapes, go for it!  Just realize that you may want to combine it with
other more kid-friendly resources.   

Homeschoolers have several options for kid-friendly foreign language
instruction.  Several
School-at-Home curriculum suppliers offer foreign
language resources at the high school level (listed below).  Many
learning programs offer courses at the middle school and high school
level.  Homeschoolers may also purchase
textbooks (new or used) from
school publishers.  If you are looking for a software based curriculum here
is the comparisons of foreign language software for
eight languages.   There are many free online courses, too -- which can be
a great way to "try out" a language before purchasing a formal course (or to
learn an less-commonly taught language).

There are also quite a few small publishers that offer foreign language
resources geared toward homeschoolers.  I have included a few that I am
familiar with, but there are many others.  If you don't find something you like
here, do a Google search for the langauge plus the words "homeschool
curriculum" and see what comes up.  If you are looking for a program with a
particular religious focus, add the name of the religion to your Google
Search for homeschool foreign language curriculum.  

Consider participating in the
North American Computational Linguistics
Olympiad -- a competition (similar to popular math olympiads) involving
finding and figuring out patterns in languages.  

Free Online Resources

Literacy Center Education Network -- teaches young children colors,
shapes, numbers, and letters in Spanish, French, English, and German
Say "Hello" to the World by IPL KidSpace -- learn to say "Hello" and "My
name is..." in many languges, links to resources included for each language
Little Explorers Picture Dictionaries by Enchanted Learning -- free
online picture dictionaries,printable coloring pages, stories in 8 languages

BBC Languages -- free online language courses in French, Spanish,
German , Italian, Chinese, Portugese, Greek, and more!
Word2Word -- check this out!  Links to free online language courses for
over 120 languages, multiple links for some lanuages!
Spanish Online and German Online -- high school level distance learning
course from Oklahoma State University

Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar -- free online transcription
of a textbook, a careful revision of the 1888 edition
Virtual School of Languages -- free online lessons in classical or biblical
Latin the Easy Way -- free online intro to Latin
New Latin Grammar, by Charles E. Bennett -- a free online e-book
Fun Latin -- funny modern phrases translated into Latin

Learning Greek -- free online lessons in Ancient Greek
Learn to Read Greek -- quick intro to the letters
Ancient Greek with Thrasymachus -- learn Ancient Greek thru a reading
approach "... in which students acquire grammar and vocabulary in the
context of continuous Greek passages with cultural value", includes the text
of a work in Greek, "Thrasymachus", plus links to helpful resources, such as
pronunciation recordings
Reading Euclid in Greek -- teaches how to read ancient math texts

Say it in Japanese by KidsWeb Japan -- free kid-friendly lessons
Learn Japanese Numbers -- to a hip-hop beat, kid catch on quickly!
Jonathan's Japanese Language Page -- links to free online resources

Dakota Language Homepage -- learn Dakota beginning with an
innovative sound color chart method
Learning to Read Thai -- free online tutorials

Curriculum and Textbooks

Power Glide -- elementary, middle school, and (2-year) high school level
courses in Spanish, French, German, and Latin, and ESL Spanish, uses a
"diglot" method that weaves the new language into stories, music and
activities, come with teacher/parent guides, activity book, CDs and a
CD-ROM, flashcards sold separately, a nice review is available

Rosetta Stone -- teaches 30 languages thru interactive CD-ROM software,
incorporates speech recognition for practicing pronunciation, a highly
regarded program that uses an immersion method which teaches using
real-life photos and native speakers,  avalable as CD-ROM and thru online
subscription (and for free thru some large public library systems), a great
resource for teaching young children, some complaints I have heard:  not
enough formal grammar is taught, no conversational experience i gained,
the vocabulary taught may not be particularly useful

A Beka Foreign Language -- Christian-focused video courses teaching two
years of high school Spanish and French, includes Bible verses to memorize

Bob Jones University Press Foreign Languages -- Christian-focused
resources for teaching three years of
Spanish and French, workbooks,
texts, teacher's texts, quizzes, CDs sold separately

First Start French -- vocabulary, grammar, and translation for grades 3-8,
includes student and teacher books, CD with native speakers and songs

Mommy, Teach Me Spanish! by Fiesta Friends -- DVDs for teaching
simple "household" Spanish to young children

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! -- teaches Biblical Greek (Koine)
using seven levels of workbooks and readers, a reader, answer keys, flash
cards, quiz/test book, and CDs sold separately

Trivium Pursuit's Ancient Languages -- resources for teaching Greek,
Latin, and Hebrew, often used in
Classical Education   

Why Study Latin? -- a YouTube video about the advantages
Minimus: Starting out in Latin -- a unique course designed for 7-10 year
olds, provides an intro to the Latin language and the culture of Roman
Britain, uses comic strips, stories and myths.
Prima Latina -- an intro to Christian Latin for Grades K-3
Cambridge Latin Course -- a series of 5 texts plus online activities
Lone Pine Classical School -- online Latin courses for grades 3-12
Wheelock's Latin -- old-fashioned, high-powered course in Latin, readers,
workbooks, flash cards, CDs, also see this online
Wheelock's study guide
Galore Park Latin Prep -- traditional, rigorous curriculum from the UK
Latin's Not So Tough! -- teaches Classical Latin using five levels of
workbooks, answer keys, quiz/test book, flash cards, CDs sold separately
Artes Latinae -- interactive computer-based program, can be used
independently by some students, teaches from secular Latin texts
Lively Latin -- aimed at grades 3 - 6, comes in 2 volumes, available in hard
copy or as a printable download.
Song School Latin -- text with weekly lessons, music CD, grades K-3rd

Non-Traditional Languages

Esperanto USA -- some free lessons and resources, also a course for sale

Kurso de Esperanto -- free lessons in Esperanto, the universal language

About American Sign Language (ASL) by the Deaf Resource Library --
advice and suggestions for learning ASL
American Sign Language Fonts -- free downloads of fonts for typing
American Sign Language Browser -- an online dictionary
ASL for
Elementary Math and Secondary Math by Needs Outreach
Sign Language for Biology -- video of ASL signs for biology vocabulary

"Sign, Baby, Sign! by Kristen Snodden -- why ASL is good for babies

A Conversation With Koko -- all about the amazing signing gorrila, Koko

Language Construction Kit -- for creating your own artificial language
(for fantasy novels, games, etc)

Other Resources

Let's Learn Picture Dictionary Series by Passport Books -- illustrated
dictionaries for children available in Spanish, French, Portuguese, German,
and Japanese, each page shows a scene (such as the yard, the zoo, the
kitchen, etc) and objects are named in both languages making it easy to
quiz yourself, available thru major booksellers

Multilingual Books -- order children's books, tapes and videos in Spanish,
German, French, and Chinese

Foreign Online Radio Stations -- tune in to news and music in 40
different languages, great for listening practice
Foreign Newspapers Online -- links to online newspapers and journals in
40 foreign languages
Linguistics in the News from the Linguistic Society of America

Gene Moutoux's German Fairy Tales and Latin Stories -- get practice
reading not-too-long stories in German and Latin

A Love Song in Many Languages  including Elvish! ("Quenya")