Tips for Early French Readers

Tips for early French readers
Reading is something that does not come naturally, and so as parents and educators, we can do a lot to help our children learn to read!

This blog post will give you a few tips on how, but be sure to listen to Madame Amy’s podcast on the subject where she dives deeper and gives example reading activities and talks about the science of reading in French.

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Learning to speak is something that comes naturally to us, reading and writing, however, does not. A child has to be taught, and given appropriate tools, in order to become a fluent reader.

Boy reading a book

Tips for early French readers

  1. Make reading a part of your daily routine. Often, bedtime is the easiest as it helps wind them down before going to sleep.
  2. Use your finger to point to the words as you read them. This helps them recognize that we read from left to right!
  3. Read in French if you can, but if not, it’s totally fine to read in English as well! English is a complimentary language since there are quite a few letters that make the same sounds in both languages.
  4. Practice phonemes (the sounds we hear) & graphemes (written sounds) with your child. <- This is ESPECIALLY helpful to beginner readers. Not sure how to do this? Madame Amy gives you examples in her podcast here. 
  5. Skip the word walls / frequent word flash cards. Instead of memorizing words, we want children to learn how to sound words out. Practicing pronunciation of sounds is far more helpful to them! (Be sure to listen to Mme Amy’s podcast for more details on the “Science of Reading”).
  6. Levelled readers are NOT helpful for beginners. Choose DECODABLE books instead. See my recommendations below:

Decodable French Readers:

My first book suggestion is a series of books by Facile à lire. These books are my favourite decodable French books for early readers. The beginning of each books provides a list of sounds, and the end has a lexicon of French words translated to English. Starting with decodable French readers like these ones will help a beginner reader to gain confidence, since they only include sounds they already know how to read.

My next decodable book suggestion is a series of books called : Une syllabe à la fois (Une syllable at a time). This is also a new series of books written based on the science of reading. There are different colours to represent each level, and each level introduces more and more graphemes and more difficult syllables. This series is recommended for age 6 + as it’s more advanced than the Facile à lire books. These books also have activities and support sheets that can be downloaded via their website.

Looking for more support in helping your child learn to read in French? Be sure to check out our new virtual “Beginner Reader Skills” French classes for parents and children! 

Have any other French beginner reader recommendations for us? Feel free to send them to [email protected]

À la prochaine les amis! 

– Madame Amy 

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