Starting school can be a challenging transition for any family. For students going into French Immersion, it can be even more challenging learning a second language.
Fortunately, we asked our Toronto French tutors for their advice on strategies and tips for parents transitioning to French Immersion in September.
1) Engage Your Child: Talk with your child that they will be learning a new language and that it can be fun. Having a positive attitude about French Immersion is critical to support your child. If your child has any concerns, try to go through them in advance and mention that the teacher will assist them with the transition.
2) Make French Part of Everyday Life: Incorporating French into everyday life will help smooth the transition for your child. For example, during meal time, pick a couple of food items and learn them in French. If there is a number, colour, letter they see, work to try to say it in French. For each morning, ask what day of the week it is in French.
3) Sing Along: Singing French at home or in the car can make it fun. Check out singers including Charlotte Diamond for great songs. Here is an example of one to learn about pizza in French.
4) Watch French TV: Did you know that many of your child’s favourite shows are also in French? Try your channel guide, but also look on YouTube or the Netflix French option. There are also tons of fun and popular shows created in French like Caillou, which your child will love.
5) Learn in Advance: There are a ton of French Apps for students to get ahead of school and learn words, counting and eventually areas like verb conjugation.
As kids get back to school in January, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the first half of the school year and to make some educational resolutions.
In the new year, we usually start off with the best of intentions, but don’t always follow through with the resolutions we make. That’s why our team of tutors recommends continuing to engage your child and track their progress.
Here are some subject and skill specific ideas to help start 2017 off on the right foot.
Practice makes perfect – Math homework can be an opportunity for students to reinforce the concepts they learned. Schedule a regular time and location to develop a routine
Play Math Games to make learning fun. Here are some of our favourites
Use these helpful Math apps for enrichment or support learning in more challenging areas
Introduce Math into real life settings. For example: on the next drive learn about distance and time. Or during cooking time – learn about measurement.
Read with your child frequently and engage them by asking them to explain the story
Use flash cards to learn important words. Once your child gets comfortable, combine the flash cards to create common sentences
Label items around the house and practice reading them with your child
Sign up for a French enrichment March Break or Summer Camp
Watch online videos to sing songs and learn new vocabulary
Use sports make science fun and connect it with real life. Ie. hockey can be used to learn the Physics of friction and momentum or athletes’ nutrition can be used to learn Biology and the science of proteins, sugars and fats
Explore the world of science with these helpful apps for children of all ages
NBC Learn has wonderful videos to explain the science of everything
Organization, Time Management and Study Skills:
Use an agenda / planner
Make a consistent schedule
Provide a place to study with limited distractions and good lighting
Develop a system to track important papers / materials
Communicate with your child’s teacher on an ongoing basis
For those of us who aren’t bilingual, teaching French can be tricky, particularly with French Immersion. Fortunately, with the help of educational technology, learning a second language can be fun. Parents and students can use apps to improve on their words, very conjugation and counting.
We’ve reached out to our French tutors to get their feedback on the best apps for children and parents to use. Here are five of their favourites:
1) Learn French by MindSnacks: 9 games designed for essential vocab & conversation skills. The app keeps things interesting with rich and unique games designed to help memorize words, practice verb conjugation, and learn word gender. Plus, native speaker audio clips will help make those tough French pronunciations as breezy as a walk through Paris.
2) Lately Lily: Paris for a Day!: Pack your suitcase, hop on a plane and learn some French in Paris. Includes 4 different activities to learn common words with unique illustrations.
3) Frenchie Teachie: Learn French the fun way: with easy and fun games. More than 230 words and their article in 12 different games.
4) Verb Trainer: Search any verb in French or English, choose a tense and you will get a list of conjugations.
5) Gus on the Go: French for Kids: Join Gus, the friendly owl, as he travels around the world and explores languages. Your child can learn basic vocabulary concepts with interactive visual and auditory lessons on numbers, colors, shapes and more. Each lesson review unlocks an exciting vocabulary game that reinforces what your child has learned.
Learning French or any other second language does not have to stop in the classroom or with homework. There are a ton of great websites, games and places to visit where you can have fun with French.
We asked our French tutors if they could give their best recommendations below:
Cook in French: Think about all the great food you can cook and eat to learn French: Baguette, Éclair, Crepes, Croissant, etc. Also, take meals you would normally eat and see if you can name them in French.
Solve the Crime: Can you solve the crime in French? This website will provide all the clues.
TFO – Games: A ton of great games to improve French vocabulary, math, writing and science