There is a limitless sea of apps and YouTube videos for parents who have kids in French Immersion programs, or who are interested in having their child gain some additional experience with the language on their own.
It’s hard to know where to begin! Fortunately, we’ve had a lot of great apps recommended from within our community from both online French tutors, as well as students themselves.
Here are 5 resources to get you started on the right foot, and you’re definitely going to want to bookmark this first one.
While there is an app called IDÉLLO Family which allows you to peruse most of the same content, you may want to go straight to the IDÉLLO website instead. It is a great resource and worth a bookmark.
What is it, you might ask? It’s a huge aggregate of 14,000+ vetted French resources categorized by user (Parent, Teacher, Student). There are books. There are games. There are videos. There’s just about everything.
Yeah, that does sound a little overwhelming but once you realize how precisely you can filter stuff depending on both you and your child’s needs and interests, we promise it will not seem so daunting.
Also worthy of noting: IDÉLLO is part of TFO (short for Télévision française de l'Ontario), a Franco-Ontarian public media company, which means that its content will be geared towards the Canadian French learning experience.
Gus on the Go is a great app to begin with for French vocabulary and words because the app is supplemented with lots of free printables located on their site. The app is voiced by a native French speaker from Paris.
Gus on the Go is available on the Apple Store, the Google Play Store, and Amazon’s apps for Kindle Fire.
It can be challenging to find French kids’ books to keep your child reading. So Boukili might be perfect: it has a collection of over 120 illustrated books grouped by reading level, theme, and skill to help encourage your child to read. Bonus: it’s made by TFO servicing Canada, and there is no cost.
One of the greatest selling features of Duolingo is that it’s absolutely free. Many adults are even using it for 10 minutes or so a day. As you progress through learning, Duolingo adapts and begins to test pronunciation and spelling as well as simple identification.
For a quick dabble to stay in practice with reading, speaking, and thinking in French, Duolingo’s hard to beat, and widely recognized as one of the best free language apps out there. But it’s important to note that there’s not as much emphasis on conversational listening and speaking as some of the paid apps can offer.
Unlike Duolingo, FluentU comes with a price tag attached to it. But that said, you may be able to secure some educational pricing through your son or daughter’s school – it’s worth an ask. FluentU has a lot of video content with interactive elements, and the app is well-designed. Is it worth a long-term subscription? Generally, reviewers say it has some limitations in the kinds of content available, but many say it’s still worth a trial because of the educational quality of the videos.
Bonus: be sure to also check your local public library, in-branch and online, for more podcasts, books, videos, and educational resources in French! Local libraries around the GTA and across Ontario all have curated French resources just waiting to be made use of.
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