Any tips on helping them to read in french?

(Jo Braham) #1

My son is 6 and his birthday is in December, he is currently in C1 but the new teacher has had a meeting with us about his reading - he is the youngest in his class and only been in french school for a year (started september 2009).

all the other pupils are reading, which at this stage he is unable to - any tips out there from parents been through this and what we can do to help him


(Katie Osborne) #2

my son who is also 6 has been learning at school a superb phonics method called planete des alphas which is very visual and children really relate to it. His french wasn’t brilliant in GS but has made some really good progress and this method works well for him as due to being bilingual he can pick out the sounds of words really easily. there is a good webiste
where you can get some good exercises to work with or some books - which we have bought.

hope helps


(Wendy Wise) #3

I found this discussion on Radio 4 and thought you might be interested Jo

(Jo Braham) #4

thanks for all the tips - will check out amazon

(Jo Braham) #5

we have parents evening tomorrow so going to ask for help and extra lessons as he used to have them twice a week last year - thanks

(Jennifer Clayton) #6

Agree with all the above good advice, but should school not be suggesting some help too? Obviously they are aware of it - is there not some kind of support assistant who can give extra help, either during lessons or an after school “soutien” session?

(Wendy Wise) #7

I agree, reading should be fun and he will do it in his own sweet time. Make sure there are plenty of good picture books always around the house with very few simple words, buy paperbacks or borrow them from a public library if you live near one. Try pop up books or things like “The very hungry caterpillar”, but in French… , or Maurice Sendak “Where the wild things are”… , you yourself don’t need to be fluent in French to read and enjoy them with him. There’s the Spot books… which children love, there’s lot’s of repetition which they love too. There are even picture books with no words which create reading readiness, he looks at the pictures and tells the story himself. There are rubbish children’s books too, so if in doubt, got to a children’s librarian, who would be delighted to help or a good bookshop with a picture book section and ask for advice. If you have a younger child perhaps he could read to them, you’ll find that with something like the Spot books, he’ll want it read time after time and will know the words by heart (and may even correct you if you miss a word out) so be able to “read” them to a younger brother or sister - how grown up is that! Hope this helps.

(Catharine Higginson) #8

I think the most important thing is not to stress about it and just carry on reading to him. Kids all learn at very different rates - my eldest taught herself to read at 2.5 , next one couldn’t read in English in reception age 4-5. We moved to France and because she wasn’t expected to be reading, it took the pressure off and by six and a half she was (shakily) reading in French. (She is a dec birthday too and it makes a big difference) It took her until 9 plus to become a confident and fluent reader in both languages - nowadays she always has her nose stuck in a book.
My father went to a progressive school where you didn’t have to do anything if you didn’t want to and didn’t start reading till he was 8 and its never held him back!

Right that’s enough esp as I’ve juts reiterated most of that on the phone! xx

(Jo Braham) #9

yes speaks french but I tend to read him english story books at bedtime as not fluent speaker like my husband who will read him his french book from school that he has chosen from the library

(Wendy Wise) #10

Does he speak French? Does he read in English?