Including a parent who doesn’t speak French

Including a parent or caregiver who doesn’t speak French can be difficult.
But, guess what? You don’t need to know the language prior to joining your child’s learning journey.
Yes, it can be hard to learn a second language as an adult as a lot of factors come into play… mainly time issues and the fear of making mistakes. However, we have found some ways for you to find those moments, to just jump in, and learn some French. 

Plus we want you to know that mistakes happen and it’s completely ok! In fact, it’s good to show our kids that we are always learning and with that mistakes happen. After all, that is how we grow and develop new skills. 

Our top recommendation to help in including a parent or caregiver who doesn’t speak French is to participate in one of our 123 Petits Pas programs with your child. Our classes and programs are geared toward child and PARENT involvement and you don’t need any prior language learning. There are helpful tips and hints included in every class, and you will be having so much fun with your child, you won’t even recognize that you are learning French too! 


Another way to get involved in your child’s French learning is to do hobbies that you and your child already know and love. 

Love to cook? Try a new recipe with the ingredients and instructions in French. One of our favourite websites for this include:
The languages Kitchen.

Is hiking or nature trails more your thing? Why not do a French scavenger hunt together! You will learn some new vocabulary and enjoy the outdoors. We often include some “Cherche et Trouve” activities to go alongside our classes, but you can also use our French cheat sheets (found on Instagram) as a scavenger hunt activity too.  

You can also go to a cafe or restaurant and try ordering in French. One of our favourite cafes is Mamie Clafoutis, located in Westboro Village. You get a delicious treat and a great real world experience to practice your French with your child. 


Reading books together is always a great way to get involved. In some of our previous blog posts, we list our top favourite books to read together. Reading together can improve your and your child’s literacy skills. Our best tip if you are learning yourself is to pick simple books with regular font so you can use Google translate app to read aloud each page. Plus the simple plot lines, and fun and beautiful images that help accompany the text will make it simpler and more enjoyable for everyone! 


If you love doing arts and crafts together, start small by discussing the colours you are using in French, or the materials. Our Instagram page is also filled with different crafts that you can do together with a list of materials, supplies and French vocabulary.   

Another way to get involved in your child’s French learning is to let them teach you! Get them to teach you a song they learned, or to read a book to you. Ask them to practice presentations to you, or tell you about their day in French. They will gain practice and you will learn some new stuff too. 

Including a parent or caregiver who doesn’t speak French can be hard, and it’s not easy to learn a new language alongside your child, but I promise it can be lots of fun! By learning French with them, you will nurture the idea that you are someone they can not only learn from, but also with. Learning together will be a great bonding experience for you both and you will create memories that will last a lifetime. Go ahead and try learning French together, then let me know about your progress. I am always here to help!

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