5 Sep 2008

Using You Tube to learn French

Charlotte Mason advocated a little foreign language every day. This quote is from Home Education and talks about this:

The daily French lesson is that which should not be omitted. That children
should learn French orally, by listening to and repeating French words and
phrases; that they should begin so young that the difference of accent does not
strike them, but they repeat the new French word all the same as if it were
English and use it as freely; that they should learn a few - two or three, five
or six - new French words daily, and that, at the same time, the old words
should be kept in use - are points to be considered more fully hereafter: in the
meantime, it is so important to keep tongue and ear familiar with French
vocables, that not a lesson should be omitted. The French lesson may, however,
be made to fit in with the spirit of the other out-of-door occupations; the
half-dozen words may be the parts - leaves, branches, bark, trunk of a tree, or
the colours of the flowers, or the movements of bird, cloud, lamb, child; in
fact, the new French words should be but another form of expression for the
ideas that for the time fill the child's mind.

We've been teaching Jemimah French in this way since she was a toddler.

We use a variety of media - good French picture books, folk songs and DVD's being among those. One of the most useful has been a series of 'French karaoke' videos of various French childrens songs created by Angelaying and posted on You Tube . We're currently learning Cadet Rouselle - take a look:

Generally it is really difficult to learn the words to a foreign song - I have trouble enough learning the lyrics to English ones - but these little videos with the words down the bottom make this much easier. They're cute too - Jemimah loves them!

Another wonderful You Tube addition to our day was L'alphabet en chantant:

It only took us a week to learn the French alphabet using this one!


  1. My 7yr old son says..."Frenchly funny!" Think we'll listen to this one every day. Very catchy.

  2. I was making an attempt at 5 words a week, or thereabouts... and I kept losing track! It's no drama to introduce them, it's the keeping them in 'circulation' that I have trouble with! Any pointers?
    Also, any recommendations of 'good French picture books'? We have a collection, but they're all translations of English favourites, and sadly, the appeal doesn't always translate:-( (But I didn't feel confident at trusting to _my_ French for selecting anything else!)


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