5 Ideas For Teaching French To Children As A Second Language
Our children learn language primarily by listening to us as we talk, as we read to them, and as they watch TV and other media.
We do not need to do a lot of active teaching for our kids to learn the language that we speak. However, for them to learn a language that their parents do not speak, we do need to actively expose them to it through other means!
I am teaching my young girls (5 and 3) French. While I did study French in school and college, I am by no means fluent and need help!
Here are 5 ways you and I can actively help our children to pick up the sounds and vocabulary of the French language
The Cultured Kid offers monthly French language learning bundles that are full of helpful resources. You will get access to exciting vocabulary videos, lesson plans, flashcards, audiobooks, and interactive online games.
This program is especially good for the parent who...
But not ALL screen time is bad.
In fact, it can definitely be used to your advantage when it comes to teaching your kids a new language.
Keep screen time for your little one's language journey as educational and as interactive as possible.
Every mum on the face of the planet already has a schedule without an inch to pinch.
I love what one of our mums in The Cultured Home program, Anneke, did to fit language lessons into her busy family schedule.
She did a screen time swap!
Her son Soren would normally spend time watching Peppa Pig during the day so she simply swapped Peppa Pig for one of The Cultured Home language videos.
I thought this was such a great way to fit language lessons into the day without having to find ‘extra’ time.
Cos if there IS extra time, mum needs that for a 5 minute coffee break, ta very much!
So have a think about...
Her little family lives in the only province in Canada that is bilingual!
Paige homeschools her children, 5 and 3 years old, and her daughter had been asking for years to learn French (don’t you love that!?)
Paige, not being a native French speaker, felt stuck and out of her depth when it came to teaching a language she didn’t actually speak.
Paige learned French in school but didn’t remember much of it.
“I thought, how am I going to do this?!”
“My biggest fear was the accent. I wanted to say words properly and correctly so they had a good foundation.”
She was also afraid of getting overwhelmed and trying to do too much too soon.
Figuring it was time to dive in (ready or...
Did you know most of the parents in The Cultured Home program aren’t actually fluent in the language they’re teaching their kids?
I think that is SO amazing!
They’re proof you DON’T need to be a native-speaker to teach your kids another language.
I’m proof too - I taught my kids French without being a native speaker.
I did it, heaps of parents in our program are doing it...and so can you.
I’ve rounded up 5 easy-as-pie tips to help you learn a language with your kids.
Start with kids lessons
The great thing about learning with your kids is you’re literally both starting from the same place!
This means you’re gonna get a bunch of value from following along with lessons in a language program designed for kids (hint hint: The Cultured Home!)
You’ll likely get ahead quicker but starting from ‘ground zero’ together with the basic lessons is a great jumping off point
Oh, and once you realise...
Storytime is such a great way to introduce a second language and help your child read new words in a fun, natural way
But...I totally get the idea that reading a story in a language you don’t speak can be intimidating for non-native speaking mamas - because I’m one of them!
I made it work though - and my kids language skills really blossomed with simple bilingual storytime.
Here are some super easy tactics you can use - native speaker or not - to teach your child a second language through books.
This is one of THE BEST tips for non-native speakers when it comes to introducing a second language.
Choose the bilingual book of a story you know and enjoy telling (in English) so you start with a familiar foundation. For example, The Hungry Caterpillar was a hit in our home in English and French.
Grab my list of recommended books for easy bilingual storytime here
We all know how...
At just 4 years old, this mini multi-lingual darling was speaking 7 different languages -
English, Spanish, German, French, Chinese, and Arabic - in addition to her native Russian.
And no, Bella wasn’t raised by parents who were fluent in all 7 languages and her mom doesn’t consider her a genius - just a ‘regular’ toddler who happened to love learning new languages.
Be ready to get inspired by little Bella and her mama Yulia! They prove what is possible when you start teaching your child from a young age - even if you don’t speak the language yourself.
According to Bella’s mum Yulia, a native Russian speaker, the key is to start introducing your child to their new language (or languages) as early as possible.
She introduced English to Bella at just two years old and noticing her interest and ease...
“We’ve travelled the world, learnt lots of languages and I thought it would be a great idea to pass that skill onto my kids!”
Meet Miche. Originally from South Africa, Miche is a globe-trotting mama who joined the Cultured Home Program to teach her kiddos ( 2, 4 and 6 years) to speak French.
Questioning her ability to teach a language she didn’t speak herself
Although she was familiar(ish) with French sounds, Miche admits wasn’t 100% confident in her capability to teach the French program to her kids.
“But once I got into the program, it was almost like I didn’t need to have any background in French - it was so clear on how to pronounce the words watching the videos.”
Exactly! That’s how The Cultured Home program has been designed. To make it easy-peasy for all mums, especially non-native speakers, to introduce a new language to their little ones.
“It was pretty easy to do. Once I got into the lessons, I...
Did you know that your kiddo’s young mind is wired to pick up new languages naturally?
Lucky them, huh! Us adults can have a tougher time getting a handle on new vocabulary.
This is why it’s ideal to introduce a second language early, even while they’re still learning English.
Giving your child a motivating, fun environment and activities to learn new words will help boost the cognitive milestones they hit in those early learning stages.
Let’s take a look at some easy-peasy ways to nurture your child’s second language development at home from bubs to 8 years old.
Play is the universal language of kids and plays (pardon the pun) an incredibly important role in helping your child learn new words and phrases. If you missed my article about play-based learning, I recommend checking it out over here.
Play helps develop listening skills, the ability to follow...
Stepping into the world of raising a bilingual child can feel a little bit daunting.
It’s certainly how I felt in the early days of teaching my kids a second language.
Whether you’re a native speaker or not, you’ve probably got a few questions you’d love answered about the whole raising a bilingual child adventure….
Can I teach my child a second language while they’re learning English...or will it totally confuse them?
How much time do I need to dedicate to teaching?
When should I start?
For these answers and more, I chatted with educator and trilingual mother, Madalena Xanthopoulou from The Alma Collective.
Born in Brussels (the French part) to a Greek speaking father and German speaking mother, Madalena experienced first hand what it's like to grow up with a multitude of cultures and languages.
She is passionate about providing not only her children with language opportunities but...
“How many languages can kids actually learn at the same time?”
It’s a question I’m asked a lot by mamas in our Cultured Home crew.
The super-quick answer?
Kids (including toddlers) can learn to speak multiple languages at the same time. 2, 3, 4….or more languages at once.
If you’re like WOAH…...check out this mini-language genius for even more WOAH-ness! At just 4, Bella Devyatkina could speak six foreign languages plus her native Russian!
But the number of languages your child can learn simultaneously really depends on a variety of factors. So, let’s dive into the longer answer to that question.
The amount of exposure your child has to multiple languages will play the biggest role in how well they get a handle on each one.
Parents can come up with all kinds of strategies to promote language exposure at home!
Let’s say in a...
Simply fill out your first name and email address and within a few minutes you can be playing your way to fluency with your little ones!