Question de textes by Envolée – Product review (critique)

questions de textes 3I asked Envolée to allow me to review their Question de textes 3 book because reading is such an important part of vocabulary development.  I had been looking for something to help my children add to their French vocabulary while allowing me to see how much they actually understood of what they were reading.  Questions de textes was just what I was looking for.

Bottom line:  This product is working very well for us and has been a great addition to our French routine.   I plan on buying future levels as we need them.

Description

This 80 page workbook/pdf download contains 20 texts, each about a page in length.  There is a mix of fictional stories and topical non-fiction/descriptive texts.

After each text, there are 5 multiple choice questions and 10 short-answer response questions, for a total of 15 questions per text.    Some of the multiple choice questions are straight forward queries to make sure the student has understood the basics of what he/she has read.  Others go a bit deeper, such as choosing the right definition of a word for the context of how it was used in the story.

The short-answer questions start out with basic comprehension, then move into response themes.  For example, the first story in the book is about a surprise party.  One of the response questions asks the students if they would like a surprise party and to describe their ideal birthday party in detail.

After response, the short answer questions move into inference.  As an example, the third story is about a fawn.  One of the inference questions asks the students to explain why the character in the story was whispering when she saw the fawn for the first time.  The students are supposed to infer from the story that she didn’t want to scare the fawn even though the story doesn’t explicitly state this.

How we are using this product right now

While I had planned on having both children work through the level 3 book at the same time, it was too difficult for my youngest (age 9).  Because I liked the content and structure of the book, I bought level 2 for him so he could start there instead.  That is working much better.

Each child works through one text per week from their respective books.  They pull out their cahier from their work drawer, read the text, answer the questions, and put it in my correcting bin when they are done.  I correct it and then we take up the questions they missed together.

I decided to spring for the corrigé for both levels.  I figured that for $9 each, if it saved me some correcting time, it was worth it.  I could certainly get by without it – I would just need to read each story myself before correcting the questions.

What I like

It’s easy to use, and my children can work through it independently.

Books/pdf downloads are reproducible – I can print as many times as I need for my own use.  I only have to pay once for two children.  If you have more children, it’s an even better deal. J

The stories themselves are reasonably interesting.  Many other straight-forward read and answer question books are so unbelievably dull that I end up avoiding them.  This one isn’t dull – it’s good.  Birthday parties, animals, trips, missing socks… all topics that are interesting to children.

Each text is reasonably quick to work through.  I subscribe to the “keep it short” philosophy for lessons for children, and this one fits the bill.  The information and questions are good, and they get right to the point to keep the kids’ interest.

The reaction and inference questions add a nice level of depth.  It is one thing to be able to pick out details from the text to answer a question correctly, but quite another to be able to react and infer from the text.  I like how the questions progress to this level of depth without being overwhelming.  It was also encouraging to me that my kids could actually answer these deeper questions in French with conclusions that made sense.  It’s nice to know that the effort we are putting in is actually generating progress!

What I didn’t like

Honestly, there wasn’t really anything I didn’t like.

Do workbooks actually work?

Some people are opposed to the whole workbook/fill in the blank approach.  If you hate workbooks, you’re not going to like this product.

I certainly wouldn’t use ONLY reading comprehension worksheets for teaching French (or anything else) to my kids, but I do think that they have their place in language learning.  If you’re looking for something for that portion of your students’ French training, this series fits the bill very well.

I definitely plan on buying level 4 as soon as we finish level 3.

Thank you to Envolée for providing Question de Textes 3 for me to review.  All opinions expressed are my own and the publisher has not influenced this review in any way.

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