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French | Ways for families to learn together

My son, Mack ’20, is studying his first-year university courses from home due to the pandemic. Recently, he approached me because he is no longer learning French at school but wanted to maintain his skills so we’ve been speaking French, listening to French music and watching French films together. This made me think of our Prep families at home and how they may support their children and help them develop their French skills. Together with my Prep French Language Acquisition colleagues, we brainstormed a list of fun and interactive activities that parents can do with their children:

Primary students:

  • Learn a French nursery rhyme.
  • Play games in French such as Jacques dit (Simon says), J’espionne (I spy with my little eye), or Quelle heure est-il M. Loup? (What time is it Mr. Wolf?).
  • Read a French book (age and level appropriate). Many students like the series Où est Charlie? (Where is Waldo?).

Middle students:

  • Listen to French music by artists such as Ben l’Oncle Soul, Bigflo et Oli, Black M, Kids United and Le Groupe Swing.
  • Read a French graphic novel such as Les schtroumpfs, Spirou et Fantasio and Zita – la fille d’espace.
  • Watch an animated film without dialogue and have your child tell you the story in French, for example, Nebula.

All ages:

  • Play a card game by learning this key vocabulary.
  • Board games like Bananagrams, Scrabble and Twister can be played in French.
  • Learn the French version of our national anthem.
  • Have a French-themed dinner or speak only French at dinner.
  • Make bread or crêpes (for parents who are able, choose a recipe in French).
  • Have a French movie night watching classics like Boule et Bill, Gaston la Gaffe, Spirou et Fantasio, Rémi and TinTin.
  • This website has French songs, games, articles, and movies for all ages.

Please remember that your student will likely not know all the vocabulary and understand everything, but if these activities are approached in a fun way and are not too long, they are a great way for parents and children to explore the French culture and practice the language together.

Tina Brunelle
French Language Acquisition Subject Coordinator