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Teaching Tips

Below are a few teaching tips, but also feel free to email with any questions you have during the language learning experience and I will be glad to help you!

Teaching Tip #1: Bingo

Playing Bingo is fun for any age and is incredibly useful when reinforcing vocabulary like colors and animals. Go to the games page to print out a blank Bingo sheet that you and your child can fill out together by drawing pictures or adding words.

Teaching Tip #2: Songs

Almost every child I've ever taught loves to sing and listen to songs. I found a great web site that has the French and English lyrics to lots of classic children's songs like Old McDonald. This is a very subtle way to teach your children French.

Teaching Tip #3: Practice Makes Perfect

Okay, I know that is an age old adage, but it's true. Children are wired the same as adults and need to practice their new language every day. It's easier for them and for you.

If you took a foreign language in high school or college, I'm sure you understand what I mean. During the summer break, you probably lost a lot of what you learned. So when you started back with your language classes, you had to review a whole lot of what you previously learned.

I am not saying that you have to do a whole lesson a day or anything like that. I'm a mother too, I understand. Some days you just try to make it through the day. But on days like that, you can still just do little even if it's saying 'Bonne Nuit' at night to each other and to their stuffed animals.

My advice is to just let them hear the language on a daily basis even if it is only 1 phrase. They will remember that it is 'French' and what they learned on other days.

Teaching Tip #4: Ici, Ici

I think it's important to teach your children very everyday words in French. Especially for young kids when their vocabulary is so limited. For example...Lately I've been working with my kids on 'ici' for 'here'. When we read a book in English or French, I ask them were things are and they will point and say 'ici, ici'. Even my 2 year old caught on in a matter of minutes. Now whenever both of my kids want to say 'here' in English, they are saying 'ici' without any help from me. It's really a wonderful feeling when you know you have something mastered and it is etched in their minds. Other words to use this method are: there, this, that and other common phrases of children.

Teaching Tip #5: Quality, Not Quantity

When you use Flip Flop French, make sure you don't over do it. If your child/student gets distracted and starts looking around the room, or trying to get off their chair, it's time to stop for the day. It's best to get a routine going for when you practice French and use your Flip Flop French workbook, that way they expect it and eventually will look forward to their 'French Lesson'. For my children and for the students I have taught in the past, I think that learning a new language is easier in the morning when they are fresh - about 10am. They are not yet hungry and not yet ready for a nap.

Also, remember that you can reinforce whatever you learned that day in your Flip Flop French workbook in other activities throughout the day and continue to reinforce it in the future. Use the French names for colors as much as the English names for colors. Perhaps you can use the French names for colors in the morning and then change to the English names for colors in the afternoon.

Try different things to motivate your children. You know them best...and as we all know all kids are different so try different things. If your 3 year old like cars, then focus on the colors of cars that day. However, if you 5 year old is really into trains (like my son), then you can play with trains while practicing French. He'll never even realize that you're trying to teach him something. Just find something that interests them and then run with it.

And most importantly have fun!!!!

Teaching Tip #6: Vocabulary

Add new vocabulary to your life. You can join a French word a day website and every day you will be emailed a new word. You can then learn it and introduce it to your child as well.

Teaching Tip #7: DVD French Tracks

Check and see if your children's DVDs have French tracks and during your child's TV time you can let the watch their cartoons in French. You can also download French Music from the internet and play it for your children.

Helpful Web Sites

Here are some helpful web sites with further tips for teaching foreign languages to young children:
  • French as a Second Language Activities with M. Renaud
  • UpToTen.com
  • Kids-R-Crafty
  • Foreign Languages Teaching Ideas
  • For more teaching tips and creative ideas please visit Yvonne's blog at:

    FlipFlopFrench.blogspot.com