Help your child in French immersion when you don't speak French


How to help your child in French immersion when you don’t speak French? 

Learning a new language can be challenging. It is known that children are natural language learners: their lack of inhibition and adaptability makes it easier for them to pick up sounds and words.  
As parents, we want to ensure the most successful outcome for our children, so supporting them in school is one of our primary concerns, but how can we help our children when we don’t speak French?  

  In today’s article, we will share a few ideas to help you support them in their learning journey, even if your knowledge of French is limited.   

French resources 

The internet has made access to technology and information accessible. Many great French resources online can help you work on grammar, vocabulary, listening, and comprehension skills. Some of these resources are self-guided and education-based, making it easy for your child to follow instructions with the help of audio and visuals to understand what is being asked.   

If you prefer physical books, you can always visit your local library or visit us or email us so that we can recommend something ideal for your child’s level and interests!  

Do not get rid of your native language

The concept of bilingualism has evolved in the past couple of years. Studies now show that we use our native language as a point of reference when learning a new language. Research also suggests that acquiring a second language is related to the person’s performance in the native language.  

Forcing your child to only read French books or listen to movies and music in French will likely discourage your child and not help in the learning process. Enjoying the process is essential when it comes to education.   

Stay positive 

Consistency and positivity are key when tackling the difficulties that may arise when learning something new. Speaking a new language is like any other skill. You need a lot of practice to progress. Without practice, your child will have a more challenging time with French or any different new language. Even if it means practicing 10 minutes a day, make some time for the new language and let your child know that it is okay to not get it right immediately.   

If one day you feel like your child is struggling more than usual or that the time, it’s okay to take a break on that day and come back later. Progress is rarely straightforward, and setbacks are normal; staying positive is vital.  

Look for help  

If you feel like schoolwork is starting to become overwhelming regularly, it’s a good idea to look for the help of an expert French as a Second Language teacher. This help can be in the form of a private tutor or even joining an advanced French class. Both options have some advantages; private French tutors can cater the help based on your child’s work and level. Group French classes can help your child engage with other French learners their age, find support in an experienced teacher, and feel more confident by reinforcing vocabulary and subjects they might have seen at school.   

Ultimately, helping your child in French immersion when you don’t speak French can seem daunting, but encouragement and support will positively impact your child´s studies. There are many benefits of learning a second language; some are apparent, and others, like cognitive skills, will be less apparent but largely beneficial for your child. (The fact that you are reading this article is already a huge plus!)  

Want more useful French language acquisition tips? Let us know on our Social Media post! 

Discover our French Language courses for children here!

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