Kids and language sometimes have a marvelous relationship. Those who learn the best are often the ones who barely realize that they are learning. This has been my own experience with Chinese, which I read at a native level without really ever having been in a Chinese language classroom. While I was taught to read at a very young age, the bulk of my learning and improvement took place when watching T.V. and following subtitles. Similarly, French never felt like work to me because it simply preoccupied my thoughts. With these experiences in mind, here are some resources that just might get your kids' blood pumping.
External language learning resources:
- DuoLingo - a free language learning platform that uses daily goals, XPs, and "lingots" to motivate learning. The focus is on sentences, not textbook grammar, though grammar is also introduced as "hints" or available to those who read the discussions on each question. I must admit that I have caught a few pronunciation mistakes on the French platform, but all in all it is still an excellent learning tool.
Interesting instructional videos:
- Le Petit Monde - if your kids haven't outgrown cartoons, this is a great YouTube channel for learning the French language. The speakers are slow and clear, and the videos range from straight instructional videos to songs to stories.
- Cuisine Rapide - for the foodies who love getting their hands dirty, this channel has lots of great recipes, and the speaker is also very slow and clear and repeats words and phrases a lot throughout his videos.
- C'est pas sorcier - this TV show is a bit beyond your kids' capabilities at the moment, but it's too awesome to not mention. It's basically a kid's discovery show, with science and mind-blowing facts about things we never think about...from the optical illusions involved in the construction of Versailles to how rubber is made. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a subtitled version, but there may be some out there!
Family-friendly French movies:
- Les Choristes - the plot of this film centers around Clément Mathieu, a self-proclaimed failure of a musician, as he takes on a new job as a supervisor at an institution for dysfunctional youth. Initially exasperated with the dangerous misbehavior of the children, Mathieu reaches out through music and revives the kids' lost hope through mercy.
- Le Petit Nicolas - a young boy named Nicolas is led to believe that he is going to have a little brother. Believing that the baby will replace him, he and his group of friends go out of their way to make sure that this does not happen. This film is hilarious and really shows the world through the eyes of these young children.