Lawyer&Mom, Less is More (French & German)

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Lawyer&Mom
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Re: Lawyer&Mom, Less is More (French & German)

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Sat May 15, 2021 4:29 pm

The kids and I have made major strides with incorporating German into our daily read aloud routine. The breakthrough was finding books with accessible language. The secret? Beginning readers aimed at native German kids learning to read. My kids are the exact same age, so the books have compelling content. And the ratio of text to pictures is better than even regular picture books, usually only a sentence or two per picture. Language is simpler than picture books too, and easier for me to translate as needed. We like Leserabe Level 3, Lesetiger Level 1, and Lesestart mit Eberhardt, all levels. Leserabe and Lesetiger are very similar. Each book has stories from one of the usual kid canon subjects: fairies, princesses, knights, monsters etc. Leserabe has a cool system where they break out the syllables in a word using different color ink. Despite being labeled as different levels, the actual language level is about the same. (I know from English books that there is *no* consistency in describing kids reading levels between publishers...)

Lesestart mit Eberhart is a little different. They are sold as sets of booklets, each set at a different reading level. The earliest levels are much simpler than Leserabe or Lesetiger. The subjects are topics from everyday kid life: making cookies or a trip to the beach. This is fantastic for vocabulary. The print quality is amazing, lots of very colorful photographs on nice thick paper. Germans don’t scrimp when it comes to books! I’m really glad we found this resource, it really rounds out our Lesetiger/Leserabe library, and its nice to show my kids real German kids doing real things in Germany.
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Lawyer&Mom
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Re: Lawyer&Mom, Less is More (French & German)

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Sun May 30, 2021 4:11 pm

Started watching Barbaren last night on Netflix. I’ve wanted to watch one of these Medieval-Mud-and-Blood shows (Vikings, The Last Kingdom, etc.) for awhile, but they always looked a little too hokey. Language learning provides the perfect intellectual cover. Plus, ROMANS! Who speak LATIN!!! Who knows about the overall historical accuracy, but they’ve captured the terror of the Empire, with all its technological supremacy, showing up in your backwater village quite nicely.
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PeterMollenburg
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Re: Lawyer&Mom, Less is More (French & German)

Postby PeterMollenburg » Mon May 31, 2021 2:10 am

Lawyer&Mom wrote:The kids and I have made major strides with incorporating German into our daily read aloud routine. The breakthrough was finding books with accessible language. The secret? Beginning readers aimed at native German kids learning to read. My kids are the exact same age, so the books have compelling content. And the ratio of text to pictures is better than even regular picture books, usually only a sentence or two per picture. Language is simpler than picture books too, and easier for me to translate as needed. We like Leserabe Level 3, Lesetiger Level 1, and Lesestart mit Eberhardt, all levels. Leserabe and Lesetiger are very similar. Each book has stories from one of the usual kid canon subjects: fairies, princesses, knights, monsters etc. Leserabe has a cool system where they break out the syllables in a word using different color ink. Despite being labeled as different levels, the actual language level is about the same. (I know from English books that there is *no* consistency in describing kids reading levels between publishers...)

Lesestart mit Eberhart is a little different. They are sold as sets of booklets, each set at a different reading level. The earliest levels are much simpler than Leserabe or Lesetiger. The subjects are topics from everyday kid life: making cookies or a trip to the beach. This is fantastic for vocabulary. The print quality is amazing, lots of very colorful photographs on nice thick paper. Germans don’t scrimp when it comes to books! I’m really glad we found this resource, it really rounds out our Lesetiger/Leserabe library, and its nice to show my kids real German kids doing real things in Germany.


Hey Lawyer&Mom,

This sounds fantastic. I understand the excitement of sharing foreign language learning with your own children, and when you find great resources, even better! We have some magazine subscriptions and the kids love them - opening them up, engaging in the discovery of new things (real and fantasy) and doing the activities within sometimes as well. Great fun and I've come to realise, I love it just as much as them. It's language learning and discovery for me too. And, despite the resources being aimed at children, there's exposure for me and learning as well. Let's face it, I probably wouldn't normally read about the various kinds of shoes out there or the parts of a shoe, nor would I necessarily read about millipedes. Good stuff, I say! ;)
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Lawyer&Mom
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Re: Lawyer&Mom, Less is More (French & German)

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Wed Jun 02, 2021 5:01 pm

PeterMollenburg wrote:Hey Lawyer&Mom,

This sounds fantastic. I understand the excitement of sharing foreign language learning with your own children, and when you find great resources, even better! We have some magazine subscriptions and the kids love them - opening them up, engaging in the discovery of new things (real and fantasy) and doing the activities within sometimes as well. Great fun and I've come to realise, I love it just as much as them. It's language learning and discovery for me too. And, despite the resources being aimed at children, there's exposure for me and learning as well. Let's face it, I probably wouldn't normally read about the various kinds of shoes out there or the parts of a shoe, nor would I necessarily read about millipedes. Good stuff, I say! ;)


There is so much good vocabulary in kids books! Basic stuff that any native would know, that just doesn’t seem to come up otherwise. To push (a swing, a stroller), to slide, stuffed animal, cuddle... And then of course you start to see the words in your grownup books too!

I’m watching Last Kingdom now, dubbed in French. Given that it’s Saxons versus Danes, German would seem the natural choice, but for some reason it’s not available until Season Two? I may switch at that point. Picking a dubbed language for English shows is always a bit odd...
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Lawyer&Mom
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Re: Lawyer&Mom, Less is More (French & German)

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Thu Jun 03, 2021 3:25 am

I took Dialang tests today for French. I got a C1 (!!) in Reading. I got lucky a few times on that test and answered a few questions correctly that I didn’t really know for sure. Let’s call me a B2+. I got a B2 in Listening. I got unlucky on that test and narrowly missed some questions I should have gotten right, but still think it’s a fair assessment of my abilities. So welcome to the intermediate (passive) plateau! How far can I go with massive input? Time will tell!
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Lawyer&Mom
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Re: Lawyer&Mom, Less is More (French & German)

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Wed Jun 09, 2021 12:35 am

I’ve started my second Gilles Legardinier novel. The first was the second book I ever read in French, and I didn’t realize then how much enjoy him. Reading at all was still such a slog then.

Now liking Gilles Legardinier is not exactly an offbeat choice. He’s the third best selling author in France. He’s translated into 20 languages. I just think he’s ideal for the language learner. His language is straightforward without being simple. His plots move steadily along, something happens in each chapter, and the chapters are short, only four or five pages each in my current book. And he’s funny. Not laugh out loud funny, but I have snorted appreciatively a few times. I’ve never tried Guillaume Musso, and Marc Levy probably deserves another chance, but of the big names in popular French fiction I like Gilles Legardinier.
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Lawyer&Mom
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Re: Lawyer&Mom, Less is More (French & German)

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Sun Jun 13, 2021 7:34 pm

Scoring a passive B2 on Dialang has got me thinking about developing my active French skills so I can take an official B2 test. Now I don’t particularly need or want active French skills, but as I really, really enjoy taking tests, I’ve started Le français par la méthode nature.

Now I love the natural method in general, ever since I used Ny i Norge back in grad school. My Autistic brain definitely works whole to parts, and this method embraces that. That said, this book is really brilliant. I’m seven chapters in and I’m super impressed. The author does a great job of weaving repetition and review into the text. I don’t have the answer key, but it’s okay, the questions ask you to fill in constructions and forms that are all found in the text itself. Sometimes they are even in the previous question! It’s not supposed to be hard. However, there really aren’t any grammar explanations. I’m doing fine, but I’m familiar with language learning, and Western European languages in general and I have a good reading knowledge of French... I’m not sure how a true beginner would do with this course. Perhaps with a tutor it could work.
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Lawyer&Mom
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Re: Lawyer&Mom, Less is More (French & German)

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Wed Jun 16, 2021 4:21 am

Gotta love a series that starts every episode with a recap! No Netflix, I’m watching this in French, don’t you dare skip the recap! (It’s The Last Kingdom, so: “Je suis Uthred, fils de Uthred…”)
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Re: Lawyer&Mom, Less is More (French & German)

Postby Xenops » Wed Jun 16, 2021 4:30 am

Lawyer&Mom wrote:Gotta love a series that starts every episode with a recap! No Netflix, I’m watching this in French, don’t you dare skip the recap! (It’s The Last Kingdom, so: “Je suis Uthred, fils de Uthred…”)


I'm pretty sure a lot of anime series start with recaps because it's easier to fill out the time. I do appreciate series that fill the entire episode with new material. :D
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