By Sarah Dodson-Knight
Photo credit: rick
Valentine’s Day is upon us, which makes this the perfect time to teach our children how to talk in another language about the people they love!
I’m an American raising my three-year-old son bilingually (English and French), so the examples in this series will have to do with our second language, French. However, the activities and ideas are applicable to any language and will focus on the younger learners (those not yet literate in the second language).
In “Family, Friends, and Français,” we’ll explore the following:
- relevant vocabulary (in this Introduction);
- Music, Rhythm, and Rhyme (Part One);
- Art and Drama (Part Two);
- Literacy Activities (Part Three);
- and Tactile and Kinesthetic Activities (Part Four).
Join us on this romp through the French family tree! A new article will appear on Multilingual Living every two weeks.
Introduction: Vocabulary about Family and Friends
First, familiarize yourself with terms used to label family members and different kinds of friendship so that you’ll know which words to use to describe the people that your children know. Consult any first-year French textbook or visit these websites:
- A short list of the very basics
- A short list of family members with links to related categories like pets, along with simple explanations of useful grammar (ie, “I have two cats,” “I have no dogs”) and a child’s voice pronouncing the key words (a very kid-friendly site that will serve as good review for parents struggling to remember their high school French!)
- A longer list, plus explanation of how to say “my” with these words
- Another long list, this one with helpful adjectives like “adoptif” (adopted) and “cadet” (younger)
- A medium-sized list with pronunciation
- A family tree; mouse over the figures to hear the French word pronounced (no English translations)
- Useful for describing family members’ jobs: list of professions
- Baby-related vocabulary (with pronunciation) (in an extensive list)
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