i did french to o-level [instantly dated!] and chris didn’t. i think our basic background knowledge of languages is therefore on the quite poor side, and its one of the many things i would hope to do better for SB and BB. i decided that they were going to be exposed to languages, and because i did an adult ed class in german, so felt more confident in that [though no more confident] that german was going to be it. they both enjoy muzzy german but… it seems that actually french is where SB wants to be, particularly so she can holiday there as well. i have taken a deep breath, analysed my priorities, and it is predominantly confidence over competence, as i think i was more competent than confident, and so it was all wasted! Having decided this, it became easier to decide how we were going to start. we enjoy sitting and reading a book together, so my first resource was the lucy chat books, and around that we built conversations, discussing who we were, weather and a few basics. the girls liked parroting back the french words, and i liked doing it. voila! a plan for us. so this is what we use. i have to say that this is a very parent intense way of doing it! we do it little and often. it is backed up by counting in french, looking at things in french, colours etc etc verbaly. the books were bought as seconds or bookpeople on the whole [which is why a bit eclectic!] , but linking to amazon.
core/frequent used books
first fun with french – ah, we like apple tree farm! and talk around the words, girls choose the page
lucy chat series of 4 from the book people, we really like these, and read them alot.
i can read and speak french – SB starting to have a go with this one on her own – more a learn french than story book.
i can read french - whole series from the book people, different levels of french skill, we read the easier ones a lot.lots of bits to discuss around
bilingual first books – also a set from the book people. just a few words, aimed at little children. both girls like them though, sb reads on her own and asks to be ‘tested’!!
l’art de dire – recently bought on recommendation, it is a structured oral programme and then moves on to written, but is quite clear that written should be followed at quite a delay. since katy – my french guru – thinks that written should be started quite late on, then fine by me!
leo chat goes to school and the comes to play one. these are ok, and its nice to have different books, [and were bargains!] but not as good as above.
un deux trois – not so keen on this one, as no easy translation for me!
we have bonjour les amis one and two in videos, and the girls really like them
goldilocks. these 2 are a bit more complicated and have more repetition in them, and better for SB – a next stage book really. they come with cd’s, but we didn’t like the cd bit.
when we go to france, i plan to be brave and look for learning to read books in french at a hypermarket.
and i continue to be tempted by this: french for children
oh, and we have an usborne picture dictionary, and SB does the french on education city, we make up games – the car game, shrieking vert, rouge or whatever our colour is [bb always blanc], with the toy farm the where is the… game [always a hit] etc etc.
I guess what i might be vaguely replicating is the acquisition of our first language, and at somepoint it will have to progress on really, but its fun and we enjoy it. for us books are the way to go. i am just concerned that my french will run out!!