Learning French can appear to be a daunting task. New language acquisition brings along new rules concerning grammar, spoken interactions and culture. It can be scary!
There are many obstacles to think about, however time is always better spent on the positive and fun aspects. Learning a language (to any degree of fluency) takes times and practice. Luckily WRDSB has the curriculum in place that learning starts as young as Grade 1.
Learning a new language, especially French has many benefits:
-the ability to communicate with French speakers worldwide
-the ability to read both languages on anything printed/made in Canada
-the opportunity to understand music and culture from French speaking areas
-the opportunities that exist for people who are multilingual
-chances to share known words and phrases
-being able to ask for help/directions while vacationing
In Core French we celebrate TRYING.
Listen, Think and Try is the general motto for approaching French. Being able to read and pronounce words is nothing to worry about right away as long as you try. An extension of this is celebrate when you can recall a word or can help a classmate out with an unfamiliar concept. In Core French there is a focus on oral communication and functional authentic language use (words you can use in the real world.)
To succeed in class and make the most of your time, participation is key. Engage in the subject and don’t be afraid to say “Je ne comprends pas” Help is always available if you don’t understand. Hearing students try out their French means they are learning!
As Core French is only taught a small portion of the day, learning is not always as consistent as would be ideal for learning a new language. Exposure and practice are the strongest ways to remember your new language.
Some ways to help learn French outside the classroom.
1.Play French games!
Not all games are grammar drills and some use French so subtly that you can understand everything asked of you while still learning. Games can be found online and many free French apps are available as well for learning on the go. Many translation apps can be just as fun if they read your silly sentences in French.
2.Use French at home or at the store.
-Read the French side of packages
-Point out known words in the grocery store (colours and numbers are some of the first vocabulary learned)
-Incorporate ‘fun’ French words when asking for something (Could you hand me the ciseaux? I would love an ananas now)
-Put English subtitles on for a basic children’s show in French and see how many words you can catch
-Write short messages to one another using known French ( Je t’aime etc.)
-Listen to French music
-Check out bilingual books from the library or watch bilingual programs.
3.Flip through your French ‘cahier’
Your teacher isn’t giving you work just to fill the time. Review the ‘anchor’ sheets with key vocabulary after a unit to recap. Many foundation words will be used again and help your learning in the future.
4. Share your French.
Share new words you learned and what you are learning about in class with your family. Compare French with siblings or your parents. Try to play a simple game in French with friends (Uno and Go Fish work well)