Our Top 10 Tips to help your kids learn French
So you’re thinking about some private French lessons for your kids, but are wondering whether it’s worth the investment? Don’t worry, we understand. As parents ourselves we know how hard it is to keep young children’s attention for more than five minutes!
At VoulezVouloz, our French tutors have years of experience teaching French to children of all ages. We work hard to understand what makes them tick and which French teaching methods are actually going to be effective. Over the years we’ve learned a trick or two that we thought we’d share, these tips are especially effective if you child is aged between three and ten.
So here are our Top Ten Tips to help younger kids learn French!
1. Pictures speak louder than words: With young children (especially those who can’t yet read) it’s all about images. Flash cards, pictures and colouring are all fun, interactive ways to help them learn French without them realizing they are actually learning!
2. Making French stick: Post it notes are a great invention and a perfect way to learn French. Try writing out useful words (check our resources section to get your started) on post it notes and sticking them things around the house. You could even use different colour post it notes to help them learn different genders words; blue notes for ‘Le’ and pink notes for ‘la’ for example.
3. A breath of fresh air: Sitting at the kitchen table might seem ideal for your French lesson, but kids like to move around! Our tutors often take children into the garden for their French lesson. Naming things they see, or jumping on a trampoline while they learn. Our tutors are also happy to accompany a parent and child on a trip to a café, or supermarket to make the French experience real!
4. Today is French day: Pick a day of the week where the entire family tries to speak French, or if this sounds hard, just one mealtime. This can be a fun (and very funny) way of driving French into little heads. When Mummy starts describing her day in French or Daddy names each dish as he’s washing up, they’re sure to get involved.
5. Join in: A French lesson is not an alternative to childcare (our French tutors require a parent or legal guardian to be present at all times) so why not sit down with your child during their lesson and join in for a while? Children desperately want their parent’s attention and approval, so if they see you learning and enjoying French, so will they.
6. It’s a play date: For younger children, don’t even use the term ‘French lesson’. It will surely put them off. Present them with something like ‘Our French friend Marion is coming to play with you’ – that immediately puts the child at ease. There’s no need to perform or succeed, all they have to do is have fun (while speaking French!)
7. French TV addicts: Although we may hate it ourselves, children love TV. You could be really strict and ONLY let your children watch TV in French, or you could buy some of their favourite DVDs in French and say that every second time they watch it they must watch it in French. By hearing the film in both French and English, their little brains will absorb it easily.
8. French books: As above, it’s a great idea to buy their favourite books in French. Abbey’s bookshop in Sydney (where you get 10% off language materials when you mention our name) has a range of popular titles in French (think Spot the Dog, and the Mr Men series). Read a little to your child each night then make a list of all the words you don’t understand to run through with your teens at their next lesson.
9. Let the lyrics do the work: Your older children probably already have an iPod or iPad so why not borrow it and download some funky French tunes? Speak to your tutor about the latest cool releases in France and also you can Google the lyrics to help them understand what they’re hearing. If they play them regularly you’ll be surprised how much French they learn without really trying.
10. Repetition: If you just have one French lesson a week and don’t reinforce it with any of the other tips above, the French won’t stick. Try to ensure you spend some extra time in the week going through what your child has learned in a relaxed way so that they’re not waiting a week for French top up.
At VoulezVouloz we work hard to match our handpicked French tutors to your child’s individual needs. We ensure they have the right skill set and experience to guarantee a great French learning experience, but also we want to ensure you child genuinely likes their French tutor and enjoys their company (it’s extra hard to learn from a teacher you don’t feel comfortable with!!)
Learn more about our French lessons for kids
These are just some of the reasons why we’re known as Australia’s favourite French home-tuition service!
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