French Spelling Changes


The Académie française, the institution that regulates official changes to the French language, has approved a proposal to change the spelling of approximately 2,000 French words.

This includes eliminating the accent circonflexe when it appears over the letters i and u, eliminating some hyphens (eg. week-end becomes weekend), adding some hyphens (vingt et un becomes vingt-et-un), and changing some accents.

In other changes, oignon (onion) becomes ognon. The accent remains in cases where the meaning would be too confusing without it. For example:

  • un homme mûr – a mature man
  • un homme mur – a wall man

Lest we panic, all official sources say that both the new and the old spellings should be considered correct.

Here is a link to an eight page document describing the changes.

How to Use L’Art de lire


Using L’Art de lire

Here’s what you will receive in your L’Art de lire Package for each level:

  • 1 Student Workbook pdf
  • 1 Teacher Key pdf
  • Zip Files containing Mp3 Audio

Student Workbook

The student workbook has introductory vocabulary pages, story pages to read and colour, and exercise pages to put that new knowledge into practice.

You can print the entire student workbook at once and put it in a binder, or just print off the pages as you need them.

Teacher Key

The teacher key is much the same as the student workbook with some important differences. As expected, it has the answers filled in to save you time.

The teacher key also contains flashcards (towards the back of the book) that can be printed both sides so that you can use picture flashcards to review French vocabulary.

In addition, your teacher key pages are marked with a special symbol to indicate where to listen to the audio files.

Audio Files

The audio files need to be unzipped. Files can be unzipped by clicking “Extract all” in the file manager for Windows users, or by simply double-clicking in your Mac.

Each zip file contains several Mp3 audio files that are named like this:

  • lire-1-06 vocab.mp3

The 06 in the file name indicates that this is the audio for page 6 in the workbook. Use the names of the files to find the file you need for each lesson.

How to Review

As you go through the program, be sure to review the story regularly, if not daily.

You can use the audio to do this by choosing either to listen to the story all at once or by choosing the listen-and-repeat version of the story. Listen and repeat files are named with the word repeat in the name like this:

  • lire-1-08,9 Repeat.mp3

Just reading the story together is another great way to review. The stories help your students to understand the structures and flow of the language.

You can also review by going through the vocabulary flashcards that are provided at each level.

You don’t need to do a workbook page every day, but it’s a good idea to do something, even just listening to the story or a quick review of the flashcards.

Relax and Have Fun!

Have students colour story pages and other picture pages and draw their own pictures or make their own flashcards and posters.

Adapt the curriculum to suit the time you have available by taking advantage of the different ways to learn and review that are built right into the curriculum.

Having a busy day? Are you on the go? Bring the flashcards and review them. Listen to the story. Read the story. These are little things that you can review even when you don’t have time for a full lesson.

Nallenart makes it easy to include French in your homeschool!

Why don’t you include detailed French lesson plans?

Occasionally I am asked why I don’t include detailed French lesson plans with L’Art de lire.

My observation is that the more complicated something is, the less likely people are to use it. That is why I have kept lesson planning simple and totally at the discretion of the teacher.

There is a twelve step lesson guideline page at the beginning of L’Art de lire 1. This brief overview is enough to get you started working through the book and using the teaching aids.

Use the vocabulary, audio, and story to introduce each unit.

Do the exercises in the workbook.

Use the flashcards, story, and audio to review.

It is as simple as that. If you have more time, do exercises and more review. If you have a little time, just read the story, listen to the story again, or review the flashcards. Continue reading

Troubleshooting Access Difficulties

“Help! I can’t access my downloads!”

Having trouble?
Use these questions to see how to solve access difficulties. These issues refer specifically to items purchased using the former French Curriculum Club links, and not the shop links which have replaced them.

Are you logged in?
If you are not logged in, the download buttons and links are invisible. You must be logged in to see and access your download links.

Are you using the same email address with Paypal?
If you create your account and login with Nallenart using one email address, and use a different email address with Paypal, our software will not recognize you as the owner of the product. You must login with the same email in both places. If it is too late, and you are having trouble, let me know and I will reassign your access manually.

Are you using Internet Explorer?
For some reason the site works better with newer browsers such as Chrome or Firefox. Try using a different browser.

Mastering Those Difficult French Pronunciations

Babies are born imitators. They copy our movements, expressions, and mannerisms. Eventually, they copy our speech, each child effortlessly learning the sounds of her own native tongue.

It can be more difficult for older students learning the sounds of a new language.

English speakers in North America and around the world often have difficulty mastering new French sounds. While many sounds are the same in French and English, there are several sounds that are so different they can hardly be described in English!

Here is an overview of some of these difficult pronunciations, and some tricks that will help you to master them and be on your way to speaking French like a native francophone. Continue reading

Free French Lessons at Club Mimi

Nallenart’s Club Mimi has been around almost as long as Nallenart (motto: Serving Teachers at Home and School Since 1995). It was started to offer free French lessons and, yes, to draw visitors to Nallenart to buy French curriculum for their homeschools and classrooms. At first, it was just a subdomain at Nallenart but then Club Mimi graduated to its own domain,

I recently found a screenshot of Club Mimi from 2005. Do you know where the name comes from? If you have used L’Art de lire, you know that Mimi is a church mouse that is featured in the very first story of Level 1. She has become a mascot of sorts for Nallenart.

Club Mimi 2005 screenshot

Image provided courtesy of

How to Form the Plural in French – Series at Club Mimi

Nallenart’s Club Mimi has been around almost as long as Nallenart (motto: Serving Teachers at Home and School Since 1995). offers free French lessons and directs its visitors to Nallenart to buy French curriculum for their homeschools and classrooms.

If you would like to see a four-part overview on how to form the plural in French, take a look at the last few posts. Check it out, along with the other French fun, at


Homeschooling French with Confidence

driving the firetruck
This is a momentous week for me. Today my daughter is beginning to homeschool my oldest grandson, who is five years old. I am so excited for them as they begin their adventure!

While my daughter is among the most fearless young women I know, she still admitted to being a little nervous about taking on the task of home education.

Having been homeschooled herself, she is looking forward to having fun making homemade volcanos, working on art and crafts, and playing with math facts.

She also remembers that being homeschooled allowed her to get the academic learning done early in the day, leaving lots of time to play outdoors, imagine, and be creative.

She is excited to be able to give her children the same rich, positive experience.

Continue reading

Bonne année – Happy new year!


Bonne année – Happy new year!

(bun a-NAY)

Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed and happy new year!

Norma Allen and family

Free Shipping on Downloadables!



If the title of this post seems a bit ironic… it is! My shopping cart and Paypal have not been playing nice and they have been conspiring together to add shipping charges to downloadable purchases made from the Nallenart Shop.

It seems, however, that all is working well again. So if you have been having any trouble with the French Curriculum Shop, it is now safe to order your individual workbooks, etc.

Thank you for your patience as I have worked to fix this.