Certainly this small volume embodies Charlotte Mason’s advice from Volume 1, p.300: "French should be acquired as English is, not as a grammar, but as a living speech." My familiarity with Gouin is limited to CM’s description in that same section of Volume 1. I would say based on that description that Dunn’s work applies some of Gouin’s principles:
- ". . . we must acquire a new language as a child acquires his mother tongue . . ." (And CM follows this remark with an observation that Gouin’s application of this principle may or may not be the best way to apply it.)
- ". . . the ear, and not the eye, is the physical organ for apprehending a language. . ."
- ". . . the child thinks in sentences, not in words. . ."
Dunn’s method uses immersion, even when the parent doesn’t speak the target language. It uses whole sentences primarily, rather than individual words. It uses real activities. It uses rhymes and songs. She shows you how to do this yourself, and explains the principles behind the method so you can see why it works.
Although Dunn’s method is not the same as Gouin’s, I don’t believe that represents a conflict with CM. In my reading of the Volume 1 comments on teaching French, at any rate, I sense that CM was ambivalent about Gouin’s actual method. She thought his principles were well founded, but she suggested his method might have to be significantly revised to be practical. I would suggest that Dunn’s method might fill in for Gouin’s in the homeschool of today.