French 1 (with a Difference)

Marji McIlvaine
Friday 9AM (ET)



French 1 Course Overview

This class is approved by the NCAA.

Learning smarter, not harder! After 20+ years of teaching French in a traditional format, I am now teaching this online French 1 course by blending that with a different approach called the reading & storytelling approach (TPRS) to learning a foreign language. Research and scholarly studies reveal that students learn to speak and use the languages faster, and better, with this approach – it equips every learner, from the gifted student to the dyslexic.

Success – and fun!

Grammar & Conversation

While your student will speak and converse a lot, this is more than a conversational language class. Grammar is included through meaning and repetition and small doses of concentrated material as the student acquires language because he or she understands what is being said.

I want to tell you how very impressed I am with your approach to teaching language. Our son has made two other attempts at learning this. Both have been unsuccessful. But this year the combination of high interest, fun instruction and accountability to someone other than mom, has him willingly practicing and studying on his own without me nagging.

Students will be speaking, understanding, and reading the language from the first week – growing in ability quickly. Grammar is taught every class through meaning and application.

Benefits of Foreign Language Study

There are many benefits to foreign language study, from the academic to the business world, to the understanding of our own language. All of this is true – and it is required for entrance to many colleges. However, languages are meant for communication – and communicating the most important thing of all, the love and Truth of God, is our highest and greatest purpose with language. With language, we build relationships – through those relationships, we gain the “ear” of others to share the Truth of the Gospel.

We have been so pleased with all our daughter has learned in your class this year, and have highly recommended it to others — we are definitely signing up for French 2!

In this online French 1 class, we begin this journey through fun, and the ability to use the language as we learn it. I can scarcely wait to begin! Students should plan on 30-40 minutes of work each day, four days per week (plus the live class on a 5th day). This work at home is foundational to achievement.

We will work through our text and read one or two novels completely in French, depending on class achievement. This course uses a lot of “out of the text” material, so we will move through our text very slowly, adding other core learning materials through the year. This text should cover through French 2. Scripture memory will always be included, as well as praise songs, hymns, contemporary music, culture, foods and games.

My high school graduation ceremony was last Saturday. While learning a language is difficult, you made my journey through French 1 to 3 immensely enjoyable. I am grateful for the ways you shared your expertise and experience with us. I am thankful for your thoughtful and creative teaching style. I still frequently listen to many of the French songs you introduced to us. And I am especially grateful for the way that you always kept Christ at the center and focus of our work.

French 1 Materials

Novels for the 2023-2024 school year will be posted by July 31st.

Parents: Please contact me (instructor) if you know your student has dyslexic/learning issues. I believe those students can find success through this approach, but it will help me to know. I also have back-up resources to recommend.

Grade Level

  • High School or Motivated 8th graders

Société Honoraire de Français

French Honor Society

At the end of French 2 (and of course beyond), high-achieving students are eligible for selection and induction into the Société Honoraire de Français, a national French Honor Society. We are currently one of the only homeschool-based chapters in the country, and excited to offer this honor to our students! Every year a student is a member, the SHF documents it with a certificate.

Marji McIlvaine

Marji McIlvaine (and her husband Rick) homeschooled their six children from K-12, even though she was just going to “try it for one year” with her first five-year-old. The children are all graduated and several are college graduates (2 Magna Cum Laude, 1 Summa Cum Laude). Some of the children are in college now, and some are in the work force, each one walking a God-directed pathway.

Marji has a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Florida, with graduate hours in linguistics and testing and assessment (ECU). Marji began her college career as a pre-veterinary major and garnered many college hours enjoying science.

Growing up in south Florida, she went to SeaCamp in the FL Keys where her passion for marine science was ignited through snorkeling, scuba diving and the hands-on study of ocean life.

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