Friday, January 15, 2010

Parlez-vous français ?

That phrase and the numbers from 1-10 are the extent of my knowledge of the French language. Nevertheless, in our quest to raise multilingual children we have decided to learn French as a family. If you read my post last month, you would know that we decided a while back that we wanted the boys to learn a third language but we could not decide what that third language would be. I appreciate all of the emails and comments that I received with suggestions and advice to help us make a decision.

I have spoken to several parents that would like their children to learn another language and ask me where to start. I tell parents that you must first decide what is the outcome that you are expecting from your child's language skills. Would you like for your child to just get an introduction to the language (colors, numbers, etc.)? Would you like for you child to be able to speak at a conversation level? Would you like for you child to read, write, and speak fluently? For us the answer is the latter.

Now that you have decided the level that you hope for your child to obtain, you have to realistically decide whether you are willing to put in the time and effort it take to make that happen. Research has shown that for a child to become fluent in a language he must be engaged in it for 30% of his waking hours. After much discussion and research we realized that they only language besides English and Spanish that we could come close to providing enough exposure to would be French. Here are some of our plans for our French education in the coming months.

1. Kid videos. Almost every video sold in the US has a French language track. I am going to look through the kid videos that we have and see what which ones might work. After that I will search our public library.

2. I plan to use the internet to look for free materials and websites. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. :)

3. I have several friends who are French teachers. They have suggested that I hired a college student who is majoring in French to come to the house to play with the boys once a week and only speak to them in French. I love this idea but I am curious as to whether it would work out.

4. I am going to keep looking for a playgroups or storytime sessions in French in our area. There is an excellent French private school that is WAY out of our budget. They do provide, however, camps and classes in the summer.

I am lucky that Diego is very receptive to learning another language. He is already used to the idea that there is two ways to say everything. He has no problem understanding that there will now be a third. We are starting slowly by just counting objects in French here and there. One very strange thing for me is that I am teaching Diego a third language (French) while using my second language (Spanish.) It is going to be a challenge but I am exciting to start this journey of learning with my husband and sons.

If anyone has any resources that you would would recommend, I would love the help!

13 comments:

  1. If you want, I'll pass on all the nursery rhymes I've translated into French and sing to my kids. I'll type them all into a document and forward them to you in the next few weeks. How are you going to go about it? Themes for each week? I hope you share the resources you will use because I could sure use some for the French too. It seems like it is much easier to find things in Spanish. Also, check youtube. Type in the name of the cartoon you want and French after it and you can find French video clips. They have Maisy (Mimi la Souris) and Petit Ours. My daughter likes those.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is great! What a great plan you have! I know that hiring a babysitter or college student really works. It is incredible the progress they make if they love talking and playing with whoever you find. Just make sure that they never speak Spanish or English to them. If they do, then they will rely on that. Good luck! Sounds fun!

    ReplyDelete
  3. wow! that is amazing! keep us posted!

    ReplyDelete
  4. That is an exciting endeavor. I am going to look forward to reading about your adventures in French!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I can't wait to hear what all you do. I have to admit what little Spanish I speak has an absolutely horrendous accent, now my sign language has no accent......

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm very excited that you've picked French, because French and Spanish are the two languages I want my kids to learn (I speak much better French than Spanish, and my husband only speaks French). There are some great songs for learning French by a guy named Alain le Lait - here's his site:

    http://www.yadeeda.com/alain_le_lait.htm

    Hmm, looks like that site may have some good Spanish resources too?

    A few of his songs are on youtube, too, like this one:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZNjGzp1FW0&feature=related

    ReplyDelete
  7. Te admiro! Eres muy valiente por esto.
    A proposito, te deje un award. GRACIAS
    http://2pequenostraviesos.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  8. OH, I also love this site:

    www.poissonrouge.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have to admit - a major guilt trip here. We sit on two languages at home that my daughter is NOT picking up enough. We are making a major effort on German this year including a month long trip to Germany in the summer. After that - Russian, here I come :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. neat :) I'm excited to follow along on your journey, French is also a language I want to teach my daughter! I found some great french websites for my daughter to play on that you might want to check out http://handmadebeginnings.blogspot.com/2009/12/wednesdays-words.html

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am looking forward to reading about learning french as a family. Emily can sing the days of the in French and I would like to start working on more. Unfortunately my French is limited. I do put her videos on in French, however she was not very excited about it. I am going to keep trying it though :0)

    ReplyDelete
  12. As a Canadian I took French in school from kindergarten to gr 9. I plan to introduce French before he starts school as well. Here is a resource I found for french worksheets, you need a subscription but they have good previews.

    http://www.enchantedlearning.com/language/french/matching/

    ReplyDelete
  13. Incroyable! Bon courage! You already do so much with your boys and language. I've got some ideas in mind; I think I'll gather them on a post on my blog and let you know when it's ready.

    ReplyDelete

My Favorites

Counter