Month: June 2018

7 simple ideas to teach your child French babies and kids

7 simple ideas to teach your child French this summer

Sun’s out and Mini French does not have summer classes this term! Keep up the French with a few ideas here and make sure to download the summer activities French checklist below:

Have a great summer!

Get in touch via Facebook or email to let me know how you are getting on or for more tips!

French immersion home preschoolers

4 hacks for French immersion at home

We’d all love to have a multilingual nanny or to attend a regular childrens’ language class to give our child the gift of language, multiplying their opportunities and expanding their horizons.

But for one reason or another this is not always possible. The good news is there are some cool products and tech hacks out there to maximise our children’s exposure to our chosen language!

Here are my top 4 hacks for French immersion at home for you and your child:

Radio Pomme d’Api

If you come round our house on a Saturday morning, there will be a fair amount of noise: coffee machine making our third coffee of the day, someone complaining their little brother/ sister is licking the jam spoon, the rustle of papers that we never quite get to finish… and Radio Pomme D’Api! This is a fabulous kids French radio station run by the publishing house Bayard (where we also get our French kids magazines monthly). We listen via TuneIn (a radio app) on our Amazon Echo… “Alexa play Radio Pomme d’Api on TuneIn”. It is full of songs and stories all day long! Check it out!

Lunii

There are only a few good kids gadgets for languages in my opinion. Ones which have really thought about how children learn and what they like. We have fallen in love with our Lunii. A kids story box in the shape of a simple radio where you are in charge of the story by choosing the main character, their sidekick the place and the main object. You can dowload stories in several langauges (we have French, English and Spanish). At over £50 on amazon.co.uk you may want more info on whethet this is right for you. We love ours and I think I’ll do a full review next month. Feel free to get in touch to ask me any questions.

Netflix language settings

If your child watches the same show over and over again (in our house my daughter’s current torture instrument of choice is Peppa Pig) you could turn this into your advantage. They clearly know the story line and most of the main lines so if you change the language they will absorb the translations quite easily. If choosing a cartoon which is brand new to them, select one for younger children as the characters will speak more slowly and the themes will be easy to follow.

Depending on your device. Go into the ‘Audo and Subtitles’ options then check which languages are available. Here are some I know are available in French:

  • Pocoyo
  • Simon
  • Curious George
  • Trotro (originally French)
  • SamSam (originally French)
  • Caillou (originally French)

Music Cds and Mp3s for journeys

Music is a great way to immerse yourself in another language. It breaks down barriers and lessens inhibitions. Plus, if you have the English translations you will be learning full sentences and their meanings in no time. A time when you have your child’s full attention is in the car and feedback from families at my classes is that car journeys are a prime time for a French sing-a-long. You can downoad a Mini French Learn Through Singing Pack here.

So those are my top 4 hacks for now! Sign up to the Free Monthly Advice for more hacks

À bientôt!

Learning French Preschoolers Babies

Thomas’ Story: When & how to start a language with your preschool child?

When deciding whether to start a language with your preschooler, hearing from other parents can be very helpful. This post will answer lots of your questions and make you giggle as well!

This week I have a wonderful insight into the language learning journey of one of my Mini French families. Thomas has been enjoying Mini French sessions since he was two and his Mummy has kindly provided me with her thoughts and memories of this experience so far…

What is your background in French? 
I studied French as part of my degree at university and my husband studied it at school. Neither of us have any French relatives or connections. 
 
What were the main reasons that led you to think about starting a language with Thomas?
Firstly, I loved learning French at school and at university – it was always my favourite subject.  It wasn’t just the language itself that I loved, but also learning about the culture and the things that make France so special. I decided to introduce Thomas to a second language in order to share this love of French and France with him.  
 
Secondly, I think that it is so much easier to start learning a second language from a young age. The brain is just like a sponge – ready and willing to absorb everything that it comes into contact with.  I didn’t start learning French until the start of secondary school, this was much too late – the earlier you start, the better. 
 
What do you like about Mini French?
Thomas is continually learning lots of new things while having so much fun!  He loves all the props that are used in each class and they help him so much in terms of remembering key words.    
 
What does Thomas think about Mini French?
He absolutely loves it!  Not only does he enjoy the classes themselves but he also loves singing the songs at home too. We can’t go out in the car now without a Mini French CD!  
 
Has Thomas surprised you with any of his French knowledge?
He surprises me all the time with what he is quietly absorbing – from being able to count up to twenty, to knowing more animals than I ever knew before going to Mini French classes!   
 
Has he ever done anything funny in French?
I have a lasting memory of walking past my parents lounge only to see poor Granny on the ground with Thomas on top of her merrily singing “Elle descend de la montagne a cheval” at full volume – poor Granny was being treated like a horse!  
 
What is Thomas favourite French song?
Probably the one that he has just finished singing; he honestly seems to both know and love them all. If I had to pick one, it would be “Trois petits singes” as this gives him the perfect excuse to jump around on his bed for five minutes. 
 
What are your aspirations for Thomas’ language journey?
I would love for Thomas to continue learning French for many, many years to come.
 
Did you think you would be able to help Thomas reach this level of French at this age?
Definitely not! Mini French has been a huge help; the classes are great fun and I find the other helpful resources, including the blog, extremely useful at reminding me to add a little bit of French to our everyday lives – it really does make all the difference. 
 
What would you say to parents thinking of starting a language with their children?
Just go for it, you will be absolutely amazed by your child’s ability to pick up another language so quickly.  
So there you go – I hope this post was helpful if you are wondering how to start a language with your preschooler!
Get in touch with any questions. Why don’t you start your wonderful journey today?