I mean the children who go to "école maternelle". How to teach them reading in English? Which books are for this age? Where can I find English speaking freinds for my children? I live in Niort.
We have fun in our house - I have a Lancashire twinge - flat vowels although my accent has been softened a lot since I've lived down South/France for the last 15 years (or posher if you asked my family), Darren's accent is Surrey (not horsey but I would say a bit posh sounding). We always have the BATH vs Barth argument, Glass vs GLARS etc. Recently it has been funny though as Jasmine and Izzy have been doing 2 days a week at a Nursery here in London and have picked up a cross between an Essex and East London accent. It's all yeah, wha etc. Plus they are watching videos on Youtube for learning their ABC and picking up American pronounciations too. They keep being corrected by Daddy but I think it's funny and I can't wait to see what happens when they start Maternelle and pick up a French accent.
Ooops, sorry, typed without thinking as usual - my brother would not be impressed either as he lives in Canada with his 4 kids, so we have the full range of accents when we go back to our parents in South Yorkshire (which is probably one of the worst English accents). I'm not a fan of any strong accents and apparently my daughter talks with a very strong local accent, which my Cote d'Or friends tell me is not good but my French is not up to correcting her.
We live in Burgundy more or less in the middle of France with not many English speakers around, so I cringe every time the kids sound as if they should be walking round with a ferret in their pockets!
There are good tips about it. If you want your kid to learn English always:
-set cell-phone, laptop and other electronics in English
-search for some English summer camps (something like this http://www.esl-schools.org/en/language-summer-camps-europe.htm or this http://www.internationalsummercamps.ch/?lang=2). maybe it is too early now but later use it.
-Invite English-speaking friends from time to time
as for books, it depends on the kid. For example, if my sister doesn't like reading, she would not start reading in any language. However, I know she likes movies and cartoons. So I just find good ones for her in English))) I know also one more tip. My friend used to teach her kid love English by listening to and talking about English songs because that was the only thing she liked. :)
Tracy, thank you very much for your educative remark. Thanks a lot for the site!!! It's just really super!!!
Do you live far from Niort ? :-)
Thank you very much for you messages!
Suzanne, many many thanks for such full answer. Your advice is very precious for me. Such a pity you live far.
I'm studying the question in Franglais Kids. I've also joined Niort habitants' group, haven't found anybody yet over there but I don't loose the hope :)
We used Jolly Phonics and good old Janet and John. There is also a great site called www.starfall.com if you can get over the American accent. I'm not keen on Oxford Reading Tree as it teaches word recognition rather than teaching kids how to figure out the word on their own.
Hi - my girls are (almost 4, 2 and 1) and I am currently teaching them to read in English (early days) with the following:
Oxford Reading Tree series including flashcards - very basic stories over 6 levels with regular characters and simple language to build reading skills
Usborne Phonics Stories (Fat Cat sat on the Mat - includes a CD of all 10 stories which is great for car and pronounciation) and I also have the flashcards to go with this.
I also adore Julia Donaldson books - I have nearly all her kids ones I think - these are great rhyming stories for parents to read and introduce some fabulous vocabulary to the children.
Spot (Dog) books - very simple but good illustrations and the kids like them
Hungry Caterpillar - always a favourite
The Maisy Mouse series
and good old Topsy and Tim are all firm favourites in our house.
I have to say I've really been lucky being in England for a while as I've been part of a kids book club and so got a whole library to take back to France with me - unfortunately you are too far away from me to meet up, but please do join Franglais Kids - loads of advice about bringing up Bilingual children in France.
Make sure you have books in the house, read to them in English, teach them using flash cards simple words and words from stories they are familiar with.
Thanks a lot for your advice!It's appreciated!
Firstly, join the Franglais Kids group where you will find some answers to this question on reading. Secondly, look for and join your local group where people who are closer to you can probably help best of all. Both groups are there on the home page on the left hand side.
Third point is that you do not say whether your children are reading at all yet. There are lots of books available on Amazon alone and I am sure you will find advice here, but the starting point for SFN-ers will be to know what to advise you.
Having said all of that, my two were too old by the time we came so I'll now pass...