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Rhymes with sound reasons

UN, DEUX, TROIS Nursery Rhymes selected by Opal Dunn Illustrated by Patrice Aggs Frances Lincoln Book Pounds 8.99; cassette Pounds 3.99

Although this selection of nursery rhymes was conceived for parents, many teachers of primary French may benefit from its lively insights into the language and culture.

Un, Deux, Trois is a compilation of French "comptines" chosen by Opal Dunn, a specialist in early first and second language development, to help children absorb the sounds and rhythms of another language. The book has been well conceived and its accompanying tape complements the text which is alive with verbal and visual images related to the French way of life.

Each rhyme has been chosen for its qualities in helping children with difficult sounds and, due to the authentic accents of the children on the tape, a "correct" model is given and repeated for the listener to emulate. Expressions, such as "Y'en a une trop" (there's one too many), are so much easier to learn through osmosis rather than trying to work them out.

Un, Deux, Trois is likely to prove a useful stimulus for early homeschool second language learning and should provide a valuable teaching resource.

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