Ideas for At-Home French Practice

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By Mary Clements

Here in Ontario we are experiencing déjà-vu lock-downs and schools closing in-person learning indefinitely. Like last year, parents will be expected to somehow manage the unsustainable situation of working and managing online school at home.

Over this past year we’ve noticed the two areas that declined when students were out of in-person school were French listening and speakingopportunities, so I asked our teacher Jackie, what are some tips and resources that parents can use with their children at home?

French Teacher Jackie’s Tips for At-Home Learning

1) Practice reading everyday:
-look at the picture with your child
– help them break up the words into smaller segments (ie. maman= m/am/an)
– try saying the word a few times to see if they know a word familiar to it
– look at the words around the word to determine meaning.
– re read and try again!
– always try to determine the 5 Ws (who, what, where, when, why and how) of a text
– if child is reading independently, ask them about their book and have them summarize the plot to you

2) Practice listening to French often:  
Listen to podcasts, videos, short clips of a show and ask questions. If you don’t understand French, try and figure out together by pausing and discussing and celebrate the words and parts you can figure out. Even just listening without understanding will help sharpen the child’s ears to different French sounds.

3) Check out these online resources: 
Il Était Une Histoire- Reading for junior/intermediate French Immersion Readers. This website allows you to make a free account and read many stories, fables, poems, documentaries and legends en francais!

Raz+  -This is an excellent website which all of my tutoring students adore! The stories are varied by level and grade covering a variety of fiction and nonfiction topics. Parents or guardians can create an account for a free trial where they will have access to the books, as well as comprehension activities/worksheets after they read the book. Books are appropriate for beginner readers all the way up to junior levels.

SAVOIRS – This website is magnifique for intermediate aged students who wish to improve or practice their listening skills. This website provides short and long listening videos which are transcribed for those who need it. This website can also be used for school projects as many non fiction topics such as the environment, francophone culture, history and health are included. There are also questions at the beginning and end of the videos to quiz your comprehension.

Coffee Break French- This website is a great podcast website where students can listen and learn french, with whichever level they are at: beginner, intermediate, upper intermediate or advanced. The speaker talks in both english and french and provides many new phrases and dialogue pieces that are very useful for everyday french conversations.
*to use the website, hover over the “Podcasts” button at the top of the page, click “Coffee Break French” and then click your child’s level.

TFO KIDS-  fantastic website for kids ages 2-8 “Mini TFO” which allows them to watch tv shows and listen to a variety of educational topics such as hygiene, science and math!

TFO – A series for tweens en francais!

TFO Documentaries- Documentaries and Interviews for teens about various political and cultural news in Francophone Canada. Some topics include unusual facts about the human body, the benefits of laughing, ways to combat stress and many more!

Chez Mimi (Youtube)– This series is called “Chez Mimi” (At Mimi’s house). It is a series on youtube where Mimi navigates through her daily life. Many tutoring students and students within the school board love to watch this series because it is funny and the videos are transcribed in english. Students can watch at ease of understanding and have fun too!
*This link takes you to the first episode of the series.
*Age group: can be used for core

Boukili-  This website is one of my favourites! These books are engaging for students and include a “read text” feature where the author reads the book to the listener.

Here’s our worksheets we’ve been working on this past year as well: 

Regular Verbs:

Irregular Verbs:
 I also compiled a list of very useful tools that all students should be aware of:
Other Topics: