S is now at school and is lucky to have started French lessons in Reception (first year of primary school in the UK). Languages are often not introduced into age 7 in other schools although they are now part of the national curriculum for primary education.
Trips to France
My mum and step-dad live in South West France and we visit them at least once a year, usually in the summer. This year we will be going at the end of the school summer holidays and again at Christmas. So far our trips have focused on family and haven’t included much French to be honest, except for a few short conversations with the neighbours. As the children get older, I’d like to explore options to expose them to more French while we are visiting. They live in a rural area so I am not sure exactly what activities might be on offer but it’s would be great for them to do some sort of immersion programme or summer school.
In the meantime we’ve subscribed to One Third Stories, a monthly box language subscription service for 4 to 9 year olds. I thought it was an innovative idea for introducing a new language to school age children. S who is now 5 won’t listen to me read to him in French books for long unlike his little sister.
One Third French Stories
One Third Stories is a monthly picture book, audio book and activity pack that uses stories to teach key vocabulary – there are currently both French and Spanish editions. The books are mainly written in English with certain words in French. The idea is that you can work out the meaning of the French words from the context due to the repetition in way the text is written. As a language enthusiast, I thought it was an interesting concept and was keen to try it out.
We enjoy the books together but S I find that is a bit young for the activities at the moment. He’s happy to read the stories with me and I’m sure he’s picking up some of the vocab and getting used to the sounds. The books are good quality and will last well. I am saving all the activity packs for when he’s a bit older and a more confident reader so we can go back over them together.