10 multimedia ways to spice up children's French-learning
A friend of mine has an enthusiastic French-loving 14 year-old son who is keen to continue his language learning outside the classroom - not in a pushy-parent way, but in a 'why can I only learn French according to my timetable?' sort of way. I said I could come up with ten fun, interactive, multimedia ways to keep French fresh in his mind in the evenings, weekends and holidays, and thought I would share them with the world - just in case there are other parents (or Language Assistants!) in the same situation. First and foremost though, here is the Why Study Languages? site to kick-start the enthusiasm.1. Everything in one place.
This is the French Cultural Institute's website! They offer all sorts of courses and classes in South Kensington, London. They have French film screenings, a children's library (good place to work, actually), a Médiathèque filled with French games, DVDs, etc. and offer language classes too.
2. Interactive learning with the BBC
BBC French is a really fun website - videos and puzzles which are fun, on top of the GCSE bitesize revision site (which also has quizzes and audio bites etc.)
3. A word a day keeps the teacher away!
Get a French word of the day straight to an email inbox, and keep on track with the Collins First Time French Dictionary which is illustrated and colourful.
4. 'arry Potterrr - mixing books and audio
Harry Potter in French - read the book in French while listening to the English audiobook - I can't tell you how well this works! Or Tintin of course...
5. French language learning magazines
Here are French magazines designed especially for language-learning children - use the search box bottom right to find something age/interest appropriate, and then a fresh new magazine filled with current topics and handy glossaries will arrive on your doormat once a month!
6. French background music while doing French homework!
French internet radio and online news radio - total immersion! When I go to sleep listening to Italian, I dream in Italian and wake up thinking in Italian! (I have done a year abroad though...)
7. Board games and card games with the family
I've heard absolutely amazing things about this game called KLOO which is definitely worth looking into. I met them at the Language Show. Potentially one to tell schools about!
8. Fun, timed quizzes about French and France
Here are some brilliant French quizzes on a site called Sporcle which I absolutely love. I now know all the US States! Probably better to learn something like French, which you'll actually need to know in life...
9. French courses and classes in the UK
Here are language courses and classes around the UK which can be done part-time, in evenings and weekends.
10. And last but not least - if you're feeling really daring: Complete immersion
This is a company called French Language Holidays which is based in Saint Raphaël in the South of France. They offer intense language classes for min. 2 weeks with other language-learning children aged 4-12 or 13-17 and you can live in a host family or in accommodation with other students. (Easter/summer holiday adventure?!)