Routine, repetition, and fun are three of the most important facets of teaching your child a new language. Learn the best tips for teaching French to preschoolers.
As a parent, there’s no doubt that you want the best for your child. And one of the best ways to do this is to ensure that they’re able to learn, grow, and communicate their needs.
Whether your child learns French, English, or Spanish as a second language, simply learning another language at a young age is a great way to set them up for success later on in their lives. As we’re seeing the world shift before our eyes, remote work is becoming the norm and the workforce is becoming more international than ever. Language, cultural fluency and communication are quickly becoming key skills for tomorrow’s citizens.
However, one of the biggest challenges parents encounter is finding the best ways to introduce a second language to their young ones.
After all, your preschooler is still most likely busy mastering their first language and learning everything else that a toddler needs to discover about the world. But this is actually a time in children’s lives when acquiring a second language comes very naturally.
So at what age should they start learning French? What are the best learning tools to use when teaching them another language? How long will it take a child to learn French?
These are all questions parents have when considering a different language for their young children.
So if you’re wondering how to teach kids French, you’re in the right place!
Below, we aim to answer these questions by exploring some of the best tips for teaching French to a preschooler.
Let’s dive in!
Whether we’re talking about making their bed, brushing their teeth, or learning a second language, routine is the foundation of any new skills or habits you want to instill in your preschooler.
Research consistently shows that routines are important for children. Having a routine provides comfort and helps make their lives more predictable.
Therefore, you must build a routine around your child learning French.
Fortunately, plenty of activities you already do with your child provide the perfect opportunity to foster learning French through practice and repetition.
For instance, you might consider building a French language learning routine around their breakfast, where you use the food they’re eating to help them learn and memorize words in French.
Furthermore, routines like bedtime story, or even cleaning up toys, cooking meals, doing chores and bath time are also great opportunities for building an effective French learning routine.
The point is to find any opportunity you can throughout the day to allow your toddler to practice and repeat the new language and vocabulary that they’re learning in French.
One of the best things to do when teaching French to a child is to make learning into a game. Not only do kids love games, but research shows that learning apps, games, phonics tools, and puzzles can be effective ways to teach children.
For instance, language games like Scrabble Junior or Boggle Junior have been found to improve a child’s fluid reasoning skills and language processing speeds. And while games like these might be a bit too advanced for your preschooler, there are many other early education and French language learning games you can use to learn new languages.
Language learning games are one of the best methods for engaging your child and ensuring that they see learning French as something fun to do.
One of the best methods to teach your child French is through interactive storybook reading.
According to research, the conversations held between children and their caregivers can help improve their vocabulary in a new language.
French storybook reading can be especially beneficial when the child is encouraged to ask questions and explore their curiosity about the story.
For instance, children often ask questions about the illustrations they see in their books. These questions provide excellent opportunities to teach them new words and ideas in French that they can associate with images rather than abstract sounds.
And as we’ve already mentioned, routine and repetition are excellent ways to improve a child’s language learning skills.
Therefore, as you read and reread the same French storybooks, your child will become increasingly familiar with the vocabulary from the story, in turn, helping them improve their language acquisition skills even more.
Learning French for a kid is different from learning it as an adult because children don’t learn in the same way. While adults learn primarily through seeing and reading, children learn primarily by using a range of senses, such as touch, feel, and sound.
In other words, singing songs and memorizing nursery rhymes can be a great way to help your child learn French.
Because preschool children thrive on repetition, French nursery rhyme lyrics, combined with catchy tunes, can considerably improve your child’s ability to memorize new words and master the French language.
Plus, most children’s songs and nursery rhymes have standard translations available in several different languages.
So as your little one learns nursery rhymes in their native language, it will be much easier for them to learn, understand, and memorize the lyrics in the French language as well.
Check out these fantastic French songs that can help your child learn!
Teaching French to children at home is easy when you use French cartoons, shows, and movies for toddlers. Plus, these are all simple, fun, and effective ways to help a child start speaking French in no time.
Research shows that cartoons can provide children with a more natural approach to learning a language like French.
This is because the child will learn to associate the sounds of the French language with the images and objects on the screen, combining both visual and auditory learning. Over time, this helps them develop a more natural way of speaking a new language.
Check out these excellent French cartoons for kids!
When teaching French to preschoolers, you must ensure that learning activities aren’t dull or monotonous. And that’s why the list above mostly includes simple, fun, and entertaining activities.
Not only do young children respond better to fun and exciting activities, but fun activities are also more memorable.
For instance, when you teach your child a new song in French, whether by making funny faces or dancing around and being silly while singing, it can help them remember the new words, terms, and sounds they’re learning.
The idea is to get them happy and excited when teaching children French. It shouldn’t feel like a chore or something bothersome to do.
This way, your child will learn to be excited about their new language acquisition skills, and the lessons they learn will stick with them as they grow.
Whether you’re working on teaching your child French, English, Spanish, or any other language, it’s crucial to understand that it will take time.
Research indicates that it can take as long as five to seven years for a child to master a new language at an academic level.
Therefore, while it’s great to start their French language learning experience at a young age, you should acknowledge that developing their French language skills will take time and consistency.
French games, storybooks, music, and cartoons are all excellent language learning tools. But there’s nothing better than practicing French one-on-one with another individual.
Whether you speak French yourself or know somebody who does, maybe an aunt, uncle, or their grandparents, it can be highly beneficial to have your child practice French speaking regularly.
The more your child is exposed to natural conversational language, the quicker they’ll be able to pick up on things like idioms and dialect.
Here at Bilingual Bebe, we believe that the best approach to learning any new language is an engaging, interactive environment, where children engage and interact with their French language speaking teachers and other children of the same age who possess the same fluency levels as them.
Bilingual Bebe’s virtual French classes comprise small groups of no more than five students at a time. Our online French learning classes ensure that each child benefits from the classroom learning experience and dynamic all while being given plenty of one-on-one time and attention from their teachers.
With an expert-built French curriculum and French teachers who know how to connect with children on a deeper level, your child will be mastering everything from French grammar to everyday French dialect in no time.
Bilingual Bebe’s group language learning environment also means that children are happy to be with their friends. And more than that, it ensures that they’re excited to learn French together, participate, and have fun while doing it!
Click here to start your FREE trial of Bilingual Bebe!
We’ve now covered some of the best tips for teaching French to a preschooler. Let’s review some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from our French language learning parents.
While there’s no right or wrong when teaching French to kids, building a routine and forming good French language learning habits early are the best ways to start them on the path to linguistic success. French learning games, books, songs, and simply making learning fun are also great ways to reinforce good language habits at a young age.
Researchers believe that children’s brains are most ripe for receiving and learning new information until they are near the age of three. However, studies have shown that second language acquisition still peaks at or before the age of 6 or 7, other claims that this window extends until puberty but they all agree that learning a secondary language only becomes more difficult the older we get. So if you want your child to learn a second language, it’s best to start their French language education at a young age.
Yes, a toddler is at the best age to learn French as they are still learning and decoding their first language. Although it takes time and consistency to acquire French vocabulary, teaching your child French at a young age is a great way to plant the seeds of language early, which you can then nurture to grow over time as they continue to learn.
While each child’s learning curve will be different, research shows that it can take five to seven years for children to fully master a second language. Teaching kids French is easier when you start them early. Therefore, the sooner they begin learning French and building their new vocabulary, the sooner they’ll be fluent in their new language.
Fortunately, many simple yet fun and practical language learning resources exist to help you introduce French to a preschooler. And because there are so many benefits to learning a foreign language, getting your child started as early as possible is crucial.
We founded Bilingual Bebe on the idea of helping parents teach their children a second language as early as three years of age. And today, we’re one of the leading online language learning platforms for children.
But unlike other language learning tools, your child won’t just be learning from repetition.
With Bilingual Bebe, your child gets a genuinely immersive and educational French experience that will put them on the path to mastering their new language as quickly as possible.
We have an expert-built French curriculum where they’ll get to participate and have fun while learning vocabulary, grammar, conjugation, culture and more!