Here are our 5 top tips to using books to support French language learning!
Taking time every day to read or do a learning activity with children can be influential to a child’s development, and improve both the child and the parent’s literacy skills. This past Family Literacy day, we provided you with tips on how to introduce French with books. These tips are not only great to encourage reading on Family Literacy day, but every day, and can be used by anyone, no matter how much or how little French you know. Below are the 5 tips, along with book suggestions, resources, and a fun activity!
- Pick books that are fun! Books like “C’est moi qui decide” by Elise Gravel ensures much laughter from children and parents alike. Other great titles include: “Une patate a velo” by Elise Gravel, “Trop de carottes” by Katy Hudson, and “Les lions font-ils Meuh?” by Collectif. Books that are interactive, for instance, lift the flap books, are also a great way to engage your child in reading, all while having fun. Check out our Instagram posts La Bibliotheque de Mme Amy for more book suggestions!
- Choosing books with repetition of simple phrases will allow little ones to “read” the books on their own even before they can read themselves. Children can also “read” along with you when they can try and guess the ending word if the book has rhyming text. Books that contain repetitive and predictable text include: “Ours Brun, dis-moi” by Eric Carle, or “Pout-Pout le poisson” by Debra Diesen. A lot of “Pat le Chat” books have phrases that are repeated throughout the book along with an interactive component that most of the time will leave you singing along with “Pat the Chat”.
- Don’t read the language yourself? Pick simple books with regular font and you can use the Google translate app on your phone to translate and read aloud each page. You can also check out Mme Melissa’s story time on our 123 Petits Pas’ YouTube channel. There are also lots of French story times of classic children’s books found online- grab your copy and read along!
- Does one parent not speak the language? Include them in story time too so they can learn alongside your child. Learning with your child is a great way to bond and your child will love learning with you. Plus, children’s books give you a chance to build up and develop your French comprehension skills first with simple plot lines and a visual element to accompany the text.
- Don’t have books in the language being learned? Use books of another language and practice some vocabulary (example: colours, animals, counting, etc.). Just because a book isn’t in French doesn’t mean you can’t use it for practice!
A great activity to accompany story time is literacy baskets or story bags.
Literacy baskets make story time a little more playful and interactive, and are a fantastic resource to further develop their vocabulary and understanding of the French language alongside their favourite books. Literacy baskets include your book along with a small collection of props to help you give the story life. It’s a hands-on learning opportunity for all children no matter their age! Great examples of what to include in your basket are: soft toys, puppets, farm and zoo animals, play food, textured materials and more
We hope these tips will get you started on your French literacy journey. We encourage you to try even just one of these tips today!