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Parlez-vous français? (French for Kids)

Learning another language is a great way to expand your child’s world and with French you’ll add a dash of sophistication to your little ones’ vocabularies, as well as introducing them to the culture of France (Who doesn’t love chocolat or croissant!). And a recent US study of bilingual children who learned French and English found that being bilingual could give them a cognitive edge.

French is a fabulous language for kids to learn. The CD resource Sing and Learn French is aimed at 3-10 year olds and a collection of a beautifully illustrated book and CDs that introduce children to languages and cultures through fun songs and pictures. The simple ABC system is A: Look at the pictures; B: Listen to the songs; and C: Sing along and dance. This collection introduces basic phrases in French and vocabulary to do with colours, numbers, food, animals, greetings and the weather.
For a splash of music from France, the ever-reliable Putumayo Kids presents French Playground – a delightful collection of family-friendly songs. This CD is full of whimsy, fun and a certain je ne sais quoi!
Universe of Song features popular songs in French, including the classics Alouette, Au Clair De La Lune and Frere Jacques. The lyrics in the accompaning booklet are in both French and English to go your child a greater understanding of what they are listening to and singing.
The Little Pim DVD series are a great place to start. The series features unique “entertainment immersion” whereby animation and real kids combine to teach simple words and phrases for everyday activities. Little Pim French for Little Kids is a three-DVD pack and each 35-minute DVD contains seven five-minute episodes and introduces over 60 words and phrases. The three discs cover “eating and drinking”, “wake up smiling” and “playtime”.

Foreign language books are also great additions to your home if you are aiming on getting your child to learn another language. The French language Big Hungry Bear (Le Gros Ours Affame) and There Was An Old Lady (La Vieille Dame Qui Avala Une Mouche) are beautifully illustrated picture books. Big Hungry Bear is unusual in that it features a large two page picture with very few words. The reader meets an adorable little mouse who never says a word, but answers the reader with a wonderfully expressive face. In this book the reader talks to the mouse.  The repetition in There Was An Old Lady assists children to remember words and phrases with visual cues and simple language. A great way to build confidence in kids who are learning a language.



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