Teaching English to French children


Does anyone teach English to children?

I have been asked by my sons school if I will go in one afternoon a week (voluntary not paid) to take CP and CE for half an hour each to teach them basic English.

Have no idea where to start - does anyone have any advice or links to resources?

Thanks for your help

This is an excellent thread, something I’ve recently been discussing with my other half, I was thinking of volunteering at our local primary when our eldest starts there next year. Keep it going! Well done Natasha sounds like fun!

Hi Natasha,

Happy new year!

I hope your classes are still going well. Just one thing which I found helped a lot was getting the children to ask each other questions, rather than replying to me - got them all involved and interested.

The BBC was good for me too and all the books already mentioned, especially the hungry caterpiller!

Have fun!


I do - I find myself speaking A LOT of French! The CNED site is quite helpful as to what is taught when. Very basic is fine. I usually spend the first 10 sessions or so solely on vocabulary with a question and a phrase e.g. 20 food words, the question ‘Please may I have?’ and ‘I’d like’. Any more than 20 words is too much, really, at this level in an hour - 10 probably for half an hour. If you can play games, like pairs or match up or anything like that, it would help. If you’re a teacher, you’ll find Paul Ginnis’s excellent ‘Teacher’s Toolkit’ invaluable. I usually start with a quick ‘test’ - display the words, ask them which ones they know (and be prepared for them to know them all and thus change my lesson at the last minute) and then say you will test them at the end! (They like tests and auto-evaluation in schools) and then I’d do something with giant words, or match-up cards, giant flashcards, games (Anna Scher’s 100 activities for Drama is excellent) - but Bon Courage!!!

well done. Have a look an the bbc website - they have some great stuff for teaching english


Just to let you know I survived my first afternoon! Only just though… some of the kids are a bit excitable and I didnt do several things I had planned as they just didnt understand me!

Early days though so hopefully by the end of the year they will be fluent!

Brilliant thanks for your advice. I am starting teaching on Thursday and have to admit that I am haing sleepless nights about this… crazy as I am normally so confident!

I know I am going to do a ‘theme’ each week i.e., for 1st week will do hello, goodbye, introducing yoursef and then each week something else like numbers, colours, months, weather etc etc

But after that I am stuck! I have found a site called ‘Dream English’ which offers free songs and worksheets to download so think I may use this as basis.

Any last minute tips would be great!


Hi . I’m a French mum to franglais children and I also teach English to young children.

Children love interactive lessons with singing, movements, and lots of repetitive work. My son is “learning” English at school, so far, they’ve done songs about numbers, presenting yourself, orders (sit down, stand up) … If you can get flashcards, that would be useful. Make it fun!

Here are a few links I keep in my bookmarks, they are official websites but full of resources:

Schools are meant to follow the national curriculum and the teacher is now meant to teach a foreign language. As this is often impossible, some teachers take “unofficial” volunteers instead of a paid external “intervenant habilité” (budget restriction means their contract are not renewed!). Look at the websites to have an idea of the themes to be covered.

I’ve created a small website (www.lechatterbox.com) and I think I’ll add some of those links in a resources page.

sorry think i replied the the wrong place. I too work with the teachers in my children’s school and as a basis they use stories - simple ones that my children have (mostly) grown out of - we have provided and will carry on providing the school with their “biblioteque anglaise” - Meg and Mog, the Hungry Caterpiller, Spot etc. The CP teacher this year started by teaching numbers 1-10, hello, good bye etc. They also sing repetitive songs - we wish you a merry christmas, Old Mc Donald had a farm to name a couple and they involve my children too. Colours, fruit (have a fruit tasting session etc). Think VERY basic. I personally teach 5ieme and we will not touch another tense apart from simple present until about christmas time. Hope it helps

Hi Natasha,

I did this for around 4 years from when my son started in petit section until I had my second son. I enjoyed it hugely, though it was scary at times! As well as the children benefiting (they can all sing “if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands” in a dodgy Yorkshire accent now!) it gave me a brilliant insight into how the school functioned/differences to what I knew etc. Obviously, they were slightly younger, but if you want any help with what we used to do etc let me know…good luck!

Good afternoon everyone
I was delighted to find this thread. I moved to France a few months ago. I am a teacher who primarily taught children with special needs of all varieties. I am now about to launch myself into the world of teaching English / singing/ both. I found the suggestions here excellent and now I am asking for advice as to whether in addition to contacting local schools, should I also approach le Mairie to possibly find a room to offer classes in. I am happy to hold some community singing events too, to give back and to get to know everyone. I’d love us to sing in English, if this would appeal. Your thoughts and comments would be most appreciated.

If you want to run classes you may need to constitute an ‘association loi 1901’ or else be a microentrepreneur. Primary schools may need to register with the Rectorat. Good luck! If you think I can be of any help do contact me.

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Thank you Veronique. I am sure that I will have lots of questions so I will definitely be in touch. I am looking into becoming an auto-entrepreneur as we speak.
Best wishes


Hi Lesley and welcome to the Forum.

Apart from the teaching side of things… you might like to contact your local Comité des Fêtes. Many social groups/clubs start up under the auspices of the CdF - thus benefitting from their Insurance.

So many CdFs are grateful to have volunteers who want to help and/or offer their skills (of whatever sort) for the benefit of the community.

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Good morning Stella
Thank you for your advice. I will certainly contact them and let you know.

Best wishes


Thank you @Natacha Wright for this education section.

  • In there, do you want to limit the span to the school matter ‘English’ or to expand it to all school matters, incl languages and sciences ?

  • or , otherway speaking but aiming at opening same topic : There should be a general section gathering tutors* with parents of students, don’t you think so ?

  • : Of course incl. e-tutors !