As a French language centre that offers French classes to all ages, we sometimes encounter questions from parents who ask us how they can help their kids learn French outside of the classroom. Depending on the place where you live, it can sometimes be challenging to find the opportunities for them to use their French when it is one of your main languages.
In this article, we will provide you with a list of things you can do to help your kids learn French in a fun and immersive way.
Learning a new language can always be challenging, even for children! However, kids have the advantage of a developing brain that adults don’t have. When teaching them new French vocabulary, it is always best to go for the number one proven method: reading books.
Even if you do not speak French yourself, exposing your children to books adapted for their age can help them develop vocabulary. Multiple bilingualism studies have shown that children use their mother tongue to relate to words in another language. Our number one suggestion would be that you buy or borrow French books or magazines adapted for their age. Don’t know where to start? Think of going to the library and asking for help! Librarians can guide you through the process of selecting the right book.
Board games are a fun and interactive way of improving vocabulary. In Canada, you can find the French versions of your favourite games. Some examples are Scrabble Junior and Ravensburger! Mom and her cubs French Edition, Family Scavenger Hunt card Game in French, Mini Bingo French Edition, Ravensburger! First Words Game French Edition, among others. Remember that the end goal is to improve vocabulary, so don’t worry about pronunciation if you can’t get it right!
Technology can come in handy when thinking of innovative ways to learn French. Many apps have been designed to work on French vocabulary and grammar through games. Through games, your children pass through a series of lessons that can help them improve their language, with the bonus of not worrying about pronunciation.
How about planning a movie night? Use these occasions to play a movie in French and turn the subtitles on. This will help children associate words with sounds. Don’t know where to find French films? Stream them online or borrow one from the media library!
Many books are directed to language learners that include audio support. If you cannot find books with audio support, you can always rent out a book and try to find the audio version of the book online. You can also use our digital media library to find audiobooks.
Your kid loves music? Play French songs and look up the lyrics online. It will help improve listening comprehension and vocabulary at the same time. There are many streaming services like Spotify, where you will be able to find French song playlists like ours!
There’s no better way to improve speech than interacting with other francophone speakers. If your city doesn’t have a predominantly francophone community, you can always rely on language centers, such as ours, to participate in activities that gather likely interested people.
If you know any native French-speaking families, it is an excellent time to organize a playdate. Children learn through their peers, and if French is their social language, it is a perfect opportunity for them to practice and even learn new expressions!
What are some of the activities that you do to help your child learn French? Let us know in our Social Media post!