The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

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Bilingual Books: French in 10 Minutes a Day Review by Heather Jackowitz and Gena Suarez

How is it that I have never heard of these complete language learning kits that have been around since 1981? What a wonderful resource for travelers! Not a complete high school foreign language curriculum, but nonetheless excellent for gaining instant survival speaking ability in any of eleven languages: Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Ingles (English for Spanish speakers), Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Included in each book are worksheets, more than 150 sticky labels for labeling items in and around the home, cut-out flash cards for reviewing vocabulary, puzzles, quizzes, a glossary, and a beverage and menu guide. Each word has a phonetic pronunciation guide right above it, and even though I majored in French in college, I tried to say the words using the phonetic guides only. Considering the differences in speech between English and French, I was impressed by the accuracy of the pronunciation guides, although your accent would be improved by listening to real foreign speakers. I think this book could also be useful as a springboard to a more full study of a foreign language. Some people need to see quick results or they lose momentum, and these books would give just that. The publishers recommend working as far as you can in just 10 minutes a day, and reviewing frequently using the flash cards and sticky labels. Visit, and read the comments from satisfied customers. This fun and inexpensive program is super!

-- Product Review by: Heather Jackowitz, Staff Writer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

Publisher's Note: The makers of this excellent series, Bilingual Books, Inc., are wonderful! We had an opportunity to take a look at the Spanish program, Spanish in 10 minutes a day. What this is, is a workbook -- and I love workbooks -- which poses as a full course in Spanish for your young ones (perfect for all ages 10 and older but younger children would benefit by sitting in on lessons). In the front of this thick, color workbook, you'll find a map of Mexico and South America (portions), labeled for your convenience. This company's concept of learning is to "do a little bit every day" and is designed to help the child succeed. You as the parent can set the pace. No one is expecting you to finish up in a certain time frame. I really like this. The first lesson teaches you to say, "Que es eso" (excuse my lack of Spanish punctuation). How do you pronounce that, though? The workbook makes it easy - they give you the phonetic pronunciation so you say the words right -- "keh es eh-soh". "What is that?" If you can say that, you can learn to speak Spanish! They start by introducing you to the alphabet, asking you to look at the Spanish letter but say the English sound. "A" says "ah". Example: Ana (ah-nah). I love this! This is the kind of workbook my 11 year old can take to his room and come back with the beginnings of speaking a new language! Complete with a Spanish glossary in the back, I would say this is one of the best Spanish programs I have ever reviewed. It's super!

--Product Review by: Gena Suarez, Publisher, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine