The first Goal of the primary French Immersion program is to expose children to the French language in meaningful and authentic ways so they can begin to develop an EAR for and understanding of the language. The long term goal is for your child to have the confidence and ability to use French effectively in their daily lives.
Young Children learn to speak any language by hearing it, being immersed in it, and building new neural pathways. At St. Gregory we are working to build an environment where children are able to hear as much French language being spoken as possible.
We do this through meaningful, engaging activities that enable children to make connections between the sounds they are hearing and what it means.
Parents can play an important role in helping children succeed in the French Immersion Program.
So how do we get there?
Step one is be positive and encouraging. Your support and encouragement is powerful. Learning a new langue can be hard. Sometimes the teacher is talking, and they won’t understand what is being said. That is part of the process. Reassure your child that it is ok to be confused. They will catch on. Celebrate small successes.
Have Fun while you Learn. You can start by learning the French word for many common objects. Start with words that are very similar in French and English. Those words will be easier and build their confidence.
You can label things around your house or look through picture books and magazines to practice some of the words.
Learn and practice some common structures. Repetitive phrases like ‘Bonjour’ (hello) or Au Revoir ( good bye) are easy ways to build confidence. Some children might children feel shy speaking a new language. Allowing them to feel confident when hearing or using common phrases can help a lot.
Learn a new word a day. Ask your child to teach you a new French word each day.
Play some online French Games This is a great site that allows you to play some games such as ‘Concentration’ (or Memory), Hangman, Jeopardy, and Matching words in French and English The site link is: https://www.quia.com/shared/french/
You can also listen to videos and online stories in French. This is particularly helpful if you don’t speak French yourself.
If at any time you are not sure what to do to help your child reach out to the teacher. They will provide you with many suggestions and ideas, directly geared to your child’s French language development.