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20 October 2014
BBC SchoolsPrimary French Language Lab

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Primary French 1
Primary French 2
En france
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Parents' notes

Tips on helping your child learn French

  • Children will notice words which have the same or similar form in both English and French, e.g. six, France, lettre) in texts, and can guess meanings from contexts.
  • Help your child to read and understand written text in the foreign language. Different sound-spelling rules apply in French (e.g. the silent 's' at the end of words, the nasal sounds of 'en', 'an', etc) and careful reading and repeating of written texts will reinforce correct pronunciation.
  • Singing in French can help to develop self-confidence, as children focus on the music or rhythm rather than worrying about pronunciation.
  • Children enjoy the challenge of learning and practising new language on their own. Although they need support and encouragement initially, they progress to become independent, autonomous learners. Soon they are able to work alone with a pc and dictionary, developing their French skills and knowledge in the same way as they do for other subjects.
  • Some TV programmes, e.g. coverage of the Grand Prix or European competitions, give details of competitors or towns in France, which can give clues about the pronunciation of certain letter formations in French- e.g. Le Mans, Bordeaux.
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