Language Challenge 180: French

by Corey · 63 comments

This page is for Language Challenge 180 participants only. Sign up now to join this event!

This is the Language Challenge 180 page for French. If you are working on this language, please leave a comment below letting other speakers know a little about you and your language skills. Also tell us who will be working on this language (you, your child, etc.) and what you hope to achieve.

Please leave comments with resources that you recommend in this language (online language learning, fun websites, good books in the language, online TV programming, audio programs, online stores where products in the language can be purchased, etc.).

We’ll be updating this page based on the suggestions you make in the comments section below – so add a comment today!


  • Coming soon! Tell us what resources you recommend for learning this language (in the comment section below) and we will add them here!

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{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amy Van Vranken March 2, 2012 at 8:51 am

Here are my five absolute favorite top resources in two categories: for kids and for older kids and adults.

For kids:

Radio Ouisiti
This online radio station broadcasts high-quality music (mostly in French, about 10% in other languages), stories, and guided activities targeted for ages 0-8. Older kids (and parents!) will enjoy the stories and music, but may want to opt out of jumping around the room like a kangaroo 🙂 Keep in mind any time difference between your area and Europe: after bedtime in France the format changes.

En Famille International: or
En Famille is kind of a bigger deal than most “resources,” but they did take my 9- and 10-year-old daughters from speaking no French at all to completely fluent in just 6 months so I can’t skip them here :-). They are a non-profit organization based in France that organizes long-term linguistic and cultural exchanges for children ages 9-16.

For older kids and adults:
Les Petits Citoyens
Les petits citoyens : un site ludique, pratique et interactif qui propose aux enfants de 7 à 11 ans un vrai contenu d’actualité. The webpage offers free content, centered on current events, that changes daily (except when school’s on vacation in France). You can listen and read along. There’s a realistic dialogue included every day. Since I’m not a very advanced speaker, I play the audio in little bits while listening and reading along, then pause it and try to copy the speaker’s pronunciation. There are also educational comic books for free download.

This site is still in its beta version, so it’s free for now. Watch short animated videos on tons of educational subjects, then take a quiz on what you’ve learned!

Finally, check to see if you have an Alliance Francaise anywhere near you. Ours has a decent library, some free events, and lots of expensive classes that are great when you can afford them. 🙂

Bonne chance à tous !


2 Irma Lachmund March 4, 2012 at 12:22 am

The is great, Amy. Thanks for sharing! Irma


3 Natalie Springuel March 10, 2012 at 5:43 am

loving Radio Ouistiti, THANKS!!!! My daughter was thrilled beyond belief when suddenly they told the story of cent et un dalmatiens! Now, she is wrapped in Madame Croque Enfants. Thanks for the tip.


4 Amy Van Vranken March 2, 2012 at 9:23 am

Oops! Forgot to introduce myself in my last post. I’m the mom of three: a young man(!) age 18 and two girls who are 14 and 10. I learned French in high school, enjoyed it, won some school awards, but dropped it in college when it became about reading Camus and Sartre. I much prefer real-life applications of language.

Then my two daughters participated at the ages of 9 and 10 respectively in an exchange program with an organization called En Famille International, a non-profit based in France. Sadie was matched with a French girl named Marguerite, who came to live in our family for 6 months four years ago when the girls were 10. Then the two girls went to live with Marguerite’s family near Paris for 6 months. Sadie went by the name Sarah in France and returned bilingual. The whole year was such an amazing experience for our whole family that my interest in French was dramatically resuscitated! Marguerite’s parents speak English, so we could communicate, but it was easier for her mother to email in French, so as we’ve exchanged countless emails about our daughters my French reading skills have become pretty strong! Then last year, my younger daughter, Elise (who did not have to change her name in France :-)) went to France at age 9 for her exchange with Marguerite’s younger sister, Josephine. Josephine then spent 6 months with us and left our family last July. Both French girls feel very much like my own daughters now and I miss them!!

I want to continue to improve my French so that I can connect better with our French exchange family and hopefully be able to communicate in French if we ever get to visit them in France again (we did go once at the end of Marguerite and Sadie’s exchange). My level is fairly advanced but I need to gain fluency, especially in speaking.

I also need to stay on top of language resources so that I can help my daughters maintain and improve their level of French. Both are lucky enough to be able to study it in school at the moment, but I love other fun ideas for outside school too. They just roll their eyes when I try to speak French with them, sadly…

In addition, I recently accepted the position of En Famille’s executive for Colorado, which occasionally requires me to touch base with the families of American exchange students in France. It really feels good when I can have a phone call with a French mom and not completely embarrass myself!

Finally, I’m considering going back to school to get a Master’s in Linguistics in a year or two. They require a level of second language that’s equivalent to 3 years of college study, so I’m hoping I’ll be there by the time I apply, though I’m not exactly sure what that benchmark would consist of (if you know, please leave me a comment here so I can clarify my goals!)

Looking forward to meeting you all!



5 Irma Lachmund March 2, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Dear All,
I learnt French in high school and have travelled in France a lot, also did some French at university and think I speak it well. I want to brush up my French for a conference in Senegal this month and I am planning to travel to France during some leave in june of this year. i will be looking at more specific technical vocabulary that is related to economics and environment.

I live in Perth, Australia and am involved in Bilingual Families Perth. Some time ago we gathered language learning resources for French and published what we found here:

I am keen to connect with advanced language learners for a chat on skype or in a written chat. Enter the chat room here: Also please send me an e-mail if you wish to connect or if you have any difficulties to
If you have difficulties, please send e


6 Sophie McInnes March 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Bonjour 🙂 My name is Sophie, and I live in NZ with my 4yr old daughter and husband. I was born and raised in England, however my mum is French and we spent 6-8 weeks in France every summer until I was 16 or so. Sadly I have very few people to speak French with here in NZ though, and working full-time I have never managed to get DD to the Alliance Francaise lessons that would really benefit her. So my French could do with a brush up, and I need to make a greater effort to speak to DD – and monolingual hubby! – in something other than English. We have odd phrases that she knows well, e.g. “bonne nuit”, but little that she could use if we visited my grandparents.

Our favourite resources in French so far are the French language selection of DD’s Dora DVDs and a cute website called “Boowa et Kwala” – You have to hunt a little to ensure that you get the French-speaking section, but it’s good fun for preschoolers 🙂

That said, NZ has 3 official languages (English, Maori and NZ Sign Language) and given that I’m an immigrant and mum of a child who will be learning Maori at school I would like to know some myself. So I have signed up to a course that will be fairly intensive throughout 2012 – on top of work – so I’m hoping that there will still be room in my brain for French too 🙂


7 Kristiana Withers March 2, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Salut! My name is Kristiana and I live in Australia. I am a mother of 4 girls aged 14, 12, 8 & 6 who are all learning French at their local Christian school. I am a French and Music teacher at their school and my colleague and I are using a Canadian program called AIM Language Learning (Accelerated Integrative Method) which focuses on the spoken language first (just like learning your mother tongue) using songs, games, drama and the rule of French-only in the classroom.
I’m enjoying it though I can’t say the same for all of my students. I’ve been trying to implement more French at school (lots of French posters) and also at home (one meal a week in French only) but it doesn’t always work because my husband doesn’t speak French and the girls are reluctant. I want to change that in the next 180 days.
I’m hoping that my whole family will come alongside me in this fantastic venture and that I will be more inspired to help all my students learn to love the language too!


8 Irma Lachmund March 3, 2012 at 2:17 am

Tu habite ou, Kristiana? Moi, J’habite a Perth.


9 Kristiana Withers March 3, 2012 at 3:55 am

Moi, j’habite a Ballarat (Victoria). J’ai ecrit sur ton chatroom.


10 Kristiana Withers March 2, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Oops! I forgot to add the address of my favourite resources. I rely heavily on a fellow AIMer in Canada called Sylvia Duckworth. She has a great blog page where she puts up lots of songs, Youtube and video clips to use in the classroom.
Plus I use the AIM website forum


11 Irma Lachmund March 3, 2012 at 2:16 am

Just found some resources for advanced students

Business letters in French

Glossary/ Dictionary Business/Commerce French-English

Business Etiquette, Culture and Manners

And a lot more free links here:

Best of luck in your learning, I am looking forward to the journey in the next 180 days. Irma


12 Jessica Ward March 4, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I am Jessica and I have a 2-year-old, Noelle. We live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I am at a beginner’s level in French, but am raising Noelle bilingually anyway. I see it as a gift I can give her, if I only work hard enough! We have a Belgium woman, Odile, who comes in 5 times a week to spend an hour playing and singing with Noelle and this also serves to bolster my own language skills.
Noelle watches DVDs only in French and the majority of her music is also in French. We love the Little Pim DVD series– it has practical vocabulary and keeps Noelle’s attention (programs are 30 minutes long). Henri Des and Alain LeLait are good places to go for French children’s music.
I buy most of our French books from Lectures de France, which is located in the US; this saves on shipping costs. Their website is easy-to-use, even for relatives who do not speak French; they have a link for help in buying a gift.
The cartoons “Trotro” and “OuiOui” on YouTube are huge favorites around our house. I’ll keep thinking–we’ve been at this for over a year now, so I know I’ve dug up tons of resources that I’d love to pass on.
Noelle is using French words on a daily basis–not as many English words, of course, but I am super proud anyway.
Thanks and good luck to all during our 180 days!


13 Sophie March 4, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Salut Jessica! Have yo ever seen this blog? The mum also lives in Colorado, though I think she’s in Boulder.. Might be able to help with local-ish stuff anyway 🙂


14 Jessica Ward March 4, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Salut Sophie, Yes, waaaay back when I first began all my research–I’d since misplaced it. Thank you for taking the time to send it to me again, I appreciate it. And how neat that your mother’s in Boulder! Small world.


15 Sophie March 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm

LOL she’s not my mum! She lives in England, and I’m in New Zealand – long distance world in our case 🙂


16 Jessica Ward March 5, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Sorry, Sophie, didn’t read carefully! ; )


17 Jennifer March 4, 2012 at 10:12 pm

I’m a mom of a 4-year-old son and a nearly 2-year-old daughter and I’m hoping that I can pass on my love for the French language. I studied in high school but didn’t go on to study in college. I’ve managed to hold onto some of the language through listening to music, doing a bit of reading, and studying here and there. I really want to move from my intermediate stage. Here are some resources that I’ve used: -You can listen to the podcasts from the site or subscribe on itunes.

For those who like books: The Ultimate French Review and Practice (David Stillman and Ronni Gordon). My class used this text as a supplement and a few years after graduation I saw it at a bookstore and had to buy it. It’s meant for intermediate and advanced learners. I recently stumbled upon this but it looks like there a lot of audio clips to help with pronunciation.

One last piece of advice; listen to as much as you can. I have a station on Pandora that I listen to (I like Carla Bruni) and I even subscribe to French news on itunes so I can hear the language spoken at a normal pace.

Thanks for all your suggestions!


18 Nichola March 5, 2012 at 2:30 am


I’m Nichola a native English speaker who, along with my partner, am raising my 16 month old daughter bilingually using my non-native French.

I studied French from the age of ten and am lucky enough to have also lived in France for a while during my twenties. I absolutely believe that language ability is always a work in progress that needs nurturing and am very excited to sign up to the Language Challenge 180 to give a new dimension to my language learning and practice.

In terms of resources, I myself write a blog chronicling the language development of my daughter and pointing to a myriad of French and bi/ multi – lingual resources. Here you will find a “non-native crib sheet” ( ) which is a list of words and phrases for use by French language learners wishing to speak French with their young children.

If I were to hand pick a few other French resources for you to have a look at, I would definitely start with the following:-

French Radio London( ) – French radio station aimed at Francophones living in London. The news bulletins are a mixture of Uk and French topical news stories. Music is a mixture of English and French language music. Lots of interesting interviews and discussions.

French Word a Day ( )is a great blog which posts vocab around a new theme three times a week.

Finally, the gem amongst all resources I have found so far is the ( ) dictionary and language forum. I don’t think I have had a language query yet that hasn’t been adequately answered through the language forum on this site.

I look forward to getting to know you all more over the course of the challenge 


19 Rashauna H March 20, 2012 at 9:33 am

I absolutely love your blog! I read it when I’m supposed to be working, but it has great tips!


20 Nichola March 20, 2012 at 9:37 am

Rashauna thanks so much for your lovely comments re my blog. You have brought a big smile to my face 🙂


21 shahrooz March 5, 2012 at 7:26 am

This is my favorite site. It leads to hundreds of others to choose from. I love Il Etait Une Fois, and TV5 Mond has language sections. is also good for cartoons.


22 Anne March 5, 2012 at 1:17 pm

My name is Anne, I’m French and live in Guernsey, Channel Islands (UK). My husband is British and we have a 2 years old son. We use OPOL with him since he was born. He doesn’t speak a lot but has a mix vocabulary of French abd English words.
As theinority language, I use DVDs in French to get him more exposure to this language. Oui-Oui is one of his favourite.

I unfortunately do not know any useful websites but will visit the ones you all mention.

Au revoir


23 Anabel March 5, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Bonjour! My name is Anabel, and I’m working on raising my kids bilingually even though I don’t speak French. I have two daughters, ages 8 and 3. We’ve been working on learning French for about 5 years, so I’m really excited about this challenge to get our energy renewed. I’m basically still a beginner, but I’d love to progress farther.

Over the years we’ve gathered a variety of resources. Our favorite is actually the local used bookstore, where we’ve picked up any number of board books and children’s books in French, as well as some of the French versions of BrainQuest.

Les Petits Livres ( is sort of like Netflix but for French childrens’ books. is fun for kids

My daughters love Tchoupi; we have several of the books, and they also like the cartoons we found here:

We also use the “Alex et Zoe” curriculum with my older daughter, and my younger enjoys the “Il etait une petite grenouille” material. My older daughter works with a tutor, while my younger just listens to the stories and looks at the book.

There are some additional resources here: which might be useful for those looking for curriculum.



24 Seana Parker-Dalton March 6, 2012 at 6:02 am

We’ve got a nice selection of books from a friend who visits France frequently. We also love The book/CD sets “Un Deux Trois” and “100 Comptines” Both collections of nursery rhymes and poems. We’ve listened to them for years and my kids still love them. I am really excited to see all these other resources–I have been unable to find much on youtube previously for my kids. (Guess I didn’t know where to look!)


25 Eve Bodeux March 6, 2012 at 9:40 pm

My husband and I are raising our two sons bilingually in French. He is a native speaker and I am a non-native speaker of French, but have spoken it for many years and lived in France. We currently live in the US. We have tons of resources – books, magazines, movies, songs, music, games, etc. that we have invested in over the years and think all that is very important. Almost too many resources to share! But, today in the mail we just received a postcard telling us that our subscription to TV5 (French-language channel in the US) on DishNetwork now includes a 24/7 French-language children’s network. We just checked it out and it is awesome – a lot of the French kid shows my boys already love and some new ones. I do like online resources, but, also, sometimes, it is nice to just be able to watch “TV” on the actual television! We are very excited about this! If you get TV5 in your area, you should check out this option.


26 Sophie March 6, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Thanks for this! We can’t get anything but France24 news here in NZ (good for me, not much use to hubby or DD), but looking at the TV5 kids website I see we can introduce DD to one of her favourite book characters on “tv” – T’choupi 🙂


27 Jane Storr March 7, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Hi, My name is Jane and I am from the UK originally, now living in Brisbane, Australia. I have been thinking about getting back into french for a couple of years and a few weeks ago decided that this year would be the one. Fortunately for me I was then advised of this challenge. I studied french in school for 8 years, including french literature so I would rate my proficiency as rusty intermediate – it’s 30 years since I left school. My hope is that by the end of the challenge I’ll roughly be back where I was at 18 and then I can build from there. My current resources are pretty meagre, I have started watching the french news programme on SBS, and am hoping for a few films before too long. I also have a basic introduction to french called Facon de Parler. At least it’s helping my confidence in remembering what I do know. I’m not really good at sitting looking at web sites for long periods of time, but I do appreciate all the links everyone has provided so far. I do want to have a varied approach though, so, I have just subscribed to a french monthly magazine and ordered a fuller book on grammar. If anyone knows anywhere in Brisbane where I can buy/borrow french books, audio tapes and films I’d really appreciate that information.
If there is anyone doing the challenge in the SEQ area who would like to meet up from time to time to chat in french (assuming my confidence levels soar in the coming weeks!), please let me know. Jane


28 Carolyn Anderson March 8, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Bonjour tout le monde! I, too, am so excited about reading your stories and learning all these new resources! My background: I grew up in Montreal and learned French in immersion at school, in the community, and at work. I’ve lived in the US (near Seattle) for the last 16 years and have had little opportunity to use French… until I had baby in 2009, that is! My daughter is now almost 3 and she is bilingual in French/English, with French actually being her stronger language (I’m a SAHM and I’m the “French parent”, which is probably why her French is stronger). My husband grew up in Ottawa in a bilingual family, but never was interested/pushed into really learning French. So, he’s a passive bilingual.
We do OPOL; something I wasn’t really comfortable with at first (my biggest fear: How is my daughter going to really know me if I don’t use my native language with her?!) It is working smashingly! (And I do feel that she knows me well, btw 😉 My daughter is now also in Spanish preschool and in only two months she has basically picked up Spanish, too. Most importantly she has a love of languages – she plays with French and Spanish, makes linguistic “jokes” by telling me that a ladybug in Spanish is “la coccinella” or a key is “la clea”… It’s wonderful (albeit sometime confusing for me!) Our family goals in the challenge are for me to improve my spoken French, especially in using more complex verb conjugations (I’m now holding my daughter back in terms of learning more complex sentences) and I’d also like to improve my reading skills. My husband would like to become an active bilingual and start speaking more. And my daughter will learn by osmosis through our improvements. That’s one great thing about being 2½… 
I’m Canadian and living in the US, so most/all of my resources are North American. Here are some of my best suggestions for bilingual kiddos:
I started up a French playgroup in my area using a website called This was a great way to meet other like-minded parents and find my daughter some French-speaking playmates.
If you’re in a big city, chances are there’s an “Alliance francaise” location there. L’alliance francaise in Seattle offers classes, storytimes, a mediatheque, Christmas activities for kids, etc.
On YouTube we watch a lot of Caillou, Trotro, T’choupi, and Franklin la tortue. We also have some DVDs of “Max et Ruby” that we got from . Just go to YouTube and type in “caillou francais”, etc, and the right videos should come up. A great supplement to hearing French all day from Mum.
Our library system ( has a language learning program called “Little Pim” that is free for library members. I’m using Little Pim to supplement my daughter’s Spanish and it’s great. It’s too basic for her in French, but is helping scaffold her Spanish.
Renaud-Bray is a popular bookstore in Quebec. They also sell music, games, toys, and movies:
You can find bilingual French toys at Toy R Us in Canada. They’re all the same electronic, bilingual toys that you find at Toys R Us in the US, but they’re in French instead of Spanish.
Chapters/Indigo is a bookstore chain in Canada with a good selection of French books.
Amazon Canada is also a good source for French books and music. Just switch the website to French and search for a specific title.
Fleurus publishes some amazing books for children in a series called “L’imagerie des tout-petits”. The books are picture books (or “imageries”) and are wonderful for children. Also wonderful for adults trying to pick up vocabulary! I just can’t recommend these highly enough. They have them at Renaud Bray and and I’m sure you could order them from France.
If you have a Half Price Books store near you check their world language shelf regularly. We once found about 20 French books (clearly someone’s collection from France) for $2 a piece! Amazing!
A great book for parents is “Bilingual by Choice” by Virginie Raguenaud. I got mine at A very supportive book with lots of great ideas and stories.
Songs in French for Children. Available from The only problem with this CD is it doesn’t come with lyrics. You can look them up online, but I found it tough to learn the lyrics without having them printed out for me.
Chansons et rondes pour s’amuser. Choisies par Henriette Major. Published by I bought this CD/book at Renaud-Bray and it is amazing! Really fun, traditional French songs and it comes with a book full of lyrics and drawings. And, the book contains instructions for the actions that go with the lyrics. There are several books/CDs in the series – Chansons droles, chansons folles; 100 comptines; etc.

I look forward to trying out some of the new resources that you’ve all mentioned! Bonne chance a tous avec ce defi! 🙂


29 Natalie Springuel March 8, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Bonjour a tous!
Je m’appelle Natalie. I have lived in Maine (USA) for 20 years, but grew up in Washington DC area in a French-speaking Belgian family, with most of my older siblings born in Belgium and trips to the home land every year or two. In Washington DC, there is a large francophone community (including schools I attended) so my upbringing was more European than American. Now, my American husband and I are raising our nearly 5-year-old daughter in a bilingual household. THough Maine is close to Canada, our resources are sparse compared to urban areas, so we do what we can… I speak to our daughter in French and my husband in English, but she lives in America and goes to pre-school in english so much more english comes out of her mouth than french. That said, she does love to correct her father’s pronunciation in French. And i am determined to find motivators to get her to speak more in french.

Hands down, the best resource we can suggest is getting a subscription to French kids’ magazines from Bayard Press and Milan. We started with Popi from Bayard Press when our daughter was one, and have progressed to Pomme D’Api for 3-7 years old. We’ll keep progressing to the next age bracket as the years pass. I grew up with these magazines and it is lots of fund to share them with our daughter. There are monthly characters and stories, craft activities, and devinette and so much more. We also have recently subscribed to “Histoires Pour les petits” from Milan which brings wonderful, imaginative stories to our door each month. These two publishing houses have LOTS of other magazines to chose from, depending on your kids interest and age level (options through adolescence and young adult I think) .
You can find them at and
They are not cheap, they come from overseas, but we order them at least at some discount from a Bayard agent based in DC. I will try to find her contact info and post if people are interested!

A bientot!


30 Dolinda March 9, 2012 at 8:05 am

I am a Dutch native living in Colorado after coming here on a college exchange almost 22 years ago….I have a 21 month old daughter and am very interested in teaching her French. I used to be an Ok French speaker but after all this time in the US I have lost a lot of it. Still understand it fairly well but speaking is a lot tougher.

I am more interested in teaching her French than Dutch. My family speaks English. My dad is fluent in French and my parents spend 6 months out of the year in French speaking Switzerland. I am exposing my daughter to some Dutch through music and a few books but I would like to focus on French (I suspect she will spend some time with my sister down the raod and will be immersed in Dutch that way) for both her and myself.

We listen to a lot of French Children’s music and have a few books that sometimes she is interested in,other times not. We watch little Pim almost daily (while I am cooking). I would love to find a French playgroup nearby but the closest I have found is 100 miles away in Denver. There is not much interest/demand for French where I live. Luckily I can get a fair amount of material on amazon (unlike Dutch materials) and we also discovered Caillou and Trotro on youtube. The bilingual baby blog mentioned above is a good resource as well. The Alain Le Lait music is great and he also has several songs on youtube. Currently she uses oiseau and jaune instead of the English words and knows a lot of bodyparts (but isn’t saying them yet).

I am very intrigued by the En Famille Program and will check that out (we have some time!). Not sure how my family would feel about sending my half Dutch daughter to France instead of the Netherlands but French would be more useful than Dutch in general and I love French (hopefully she will too).

I love seeing all the resource input from everyone.

Jennifer, is your husband French or are you winging it like I am as well. Nice that you are able to have a native French speaker come several times a week to spend time with your daughter.

Anyway, just thought I would share my story as I love seeeing everyone elses.



31 Carolyn Anderson March 10, 2012 at 8:17 am

Hi Dolinda,
Sounds like we have similar backgrounds, situations, and goals with our kids. A book that I found quite helpful in the beginning was “Play and Learn French” by Ana Lomba and Marcela Summerville. Its available on I liked it because it gives you the proper way to say everyday things, so even if you’re at the “brushing up on your French” stage you can still communicate with your child with confidence. 🙂

Raising bilinigual kids is a great way to improve our own languages, isn’t it? A huge committment, but we love it!


32 Dolinda March 10, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Hi Carolyn

I actually do have that and it is on my iPod, I just haven’t listened to it too much yet (and I can’t figure out how to get to the songs on there that are int the mp3 file that I cannot find. I figured downloading the cd to iTunes would take care of that but it didn’t). My daughter is currently demanding music at all times so we mostly listen to that. I should start listening to it when she isn’t in the car so I can brush up on it 🙂

I am trying not to go too crazy on buying a bunch of books, but it is just so tempting especially after checking out the website. It can get pricey in a hurry!


33 Carolyn Anderson March 12, 2012 at 7:10 am

If your daughter likes music, you may like “60 Premieres comptines pour bebe”. You can get it at (US). And yes, the books can get super expensive in a hurry! I find that they’re much cheaper to order from Canada on or than to order from France. I have a friend who uses (a US company) to get French books but I haven’t used them myself. I also emailed the librarian and asked how to search for French books on the library website. It turns out it’s a complicated process! They do have a hundred or so French children’s books available, though, so that has worked well. 🙂


34 Dolinda March 12, 2012 at 7:05 pm

I actually got this CD and this one which were a pretty decent deal on I actually go to the French amazon to listen to the samples and to look at reviews before buying and I am pretty happy with both of these. I just ordered a few books from the website and they seemed pretty reasonably priced and have already been shipped.

The site is really cool (for me obviously). I just wish I could use it on my iPad but you need a flash player.


35 Dolinda March 9, 2012 at 9:44 am

Oops, I meant Jessica since she has the 2 y/o and lives in CO (and seems to be in a similar situation as I am).

I also like World of Reading (I think it is, sorry no clicky since I am on my iPad) for books/DVDs etc.

I have le Kiosque for my iPad as well and magazine are pretty cheap that way. They also have kid magazines but I have not tried those yet or the app for android/iPad etc is a very good resource for looking up words (and there is a forum associated with it as well)


36 Jessica Ward March 17, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Hi Dolinda,
No, my husband is American and learning French right along with us. If you don’t mind my asking, do you live north or south of Denver? I belong to the playgroup you mentioned and it is a really great group of people, but I understand your not wanting to travel that far to participate!


37 Dolinda March 17, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Hi Jessica
I live in Pueblo. I actually would be interested in the playgroup. It is in Parker, right? I looked at it on but to get the details you had to sign up so I chickened out. How often is it and what day/time of the week? I work MWF mornings but wouldn’t mind driving up to Denver from time to time if it’s on a Tuesday or Thursday. Parker is just over an hour (ok maybe an hour and 20 minutes if you stick with the speed limit…) so not too bad. I do that drive regularly. I would love to work on my French as well. It is amazing how simple kid related things can be so hard because that is not stuff you learn when you learn a language.
Are you on Facebook by chance? It might bee easier to communicate that way? If you are just look for me. My last name is Gibson. What end of 2 is your daughter? I just bought a few books from lecturesdefrance website and they were here in 4 days. I love the T’choupi books and will probably order more. My daughter isn’t all that interested in watching DVDs yet (which I guess is a good thing) but will watch Little Pim (or “au revoir” as she calls it :-)) and 1 episode of Trotro and Caillou on YouTube (the same one).
Anyway, let me know if you can provide me with some info on the playgroup. If it is something I can do I will email the lady that organizes it. What is the age range of kids?
Thanks for responding!


38 Jessica Ward March 17, 2012 at 7:42 pm

I live VERY close to you! Please email me at I think it will easier to talk by phone (if you’re comfortable) and I’d rather not post my phone number.
I look forward to hearing from you!


39 Dolinda March 18, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Sent you an email last night. Let me know if you don’t get it…:-)


40 Dolinda March 9, 2012 at 9:52 am

One more oops…it is if the moderator could change that, that would be great as the site I marked earlier is some Religious page and I certainly do not want to offend people. I should have check the address first…


41 Corey March 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Hi Dolinda, I updated the earlier reference to point to Glad I could help! 🙂 — Corey Heller


42 Irma Lachmund March 12, 2012 at 7:34 am

I have ordered may books from before, very reliable, based in northern Germany. They send books world wide wthout postage charge per sea mail.
If you are in a hurry you pay extra for air mail.

Check out the link on the right side of the page and compare prices for the books with your other supplier. Would probably not work if you are just browsing, but if you are after a particular book that might be a good way to get it. The ad says they link to 55,000 books in French.


43 Dominick March 19, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Hey all,
I created an open spreadsheet on Google Docs, editable by anybody even if they don’t have a Google account, where people can add their sentences and translate sentences that others have added into their native language, I have included about 60 English sentences with Italian translations already, I think it could be a good collaborative effort among everyone…

Original url:

I was inspired by this open document of “conversation connectors” translated into many languages:



44 Nichola March 20, 2012 at 9:39 am

Dominick this is a fabulous idea – thanks for sharing.


45 Amy Van Vranken March 20, 2012 at 5:59 am

The French language is being celebrated today worldwide. Bonne fête de la francophonie!

Comme chaque année, le 20 mars, les francophones du monde entier fêtent la Journée internationale de la Francophonie. Le thème choisi en 2012 : “Le français est une chance”.

Sur ce lien, retrouvez les milliers d’événements organisés dans une centaine de pays et territoires pour la Journée internationale de la Francophonie. Participez à l’opération « Le français est une chance », ainsi qu’à un jeu en ligne du Programme alimentaire mondial où la langue française se met au service de la lutte contre la faim.


46 Amy Van Vranken March 20, 2012 at 9:42 am

Have you visited It’s a vocabulary game that helps fight hunger around the world, en français ici: Rendez-vous sur, un jeu de culture générale en ligne où chaque bonne réponse vous permet de reverser 10 grains de riz au PAM pour permettre de nourrir ceux qui ont faim dans le monde, un jeu pédagogique et amusant avec un impact réel. À l’occasion de la Journée internationale de la Francophonie 2012 sur Freerice : l’OIF et le PAM appellent à tous les francophones à travers le monde à tester leurs connaissances en vocabulaire français et sur la francophonie et à s’engager dans la lutte contre la faim!


47 Rashauna H March 20, 2012 at 9:44 am

Bonjour! Je m’appelle Rashauna. I am just now getting to write on the French page since I’ve been busy with Spanish for my daughter. My background: I am currently living in Fayetteville, AR (a town with very few French resources). I am the mother of a 21 month old and welcoming another daughter next month. I began learning French as a second language in elementary and loved it! Unfortunately, my high school only offered Spanish as a foreign language so I had to make the switch. I tried to switch back in college, but couldn’t fit most of the course into my major. I am so ready to start learning again and possibly share it with my two daughters as well! Definitely looking for resources.


48 Seana March 22, 2012 at 9:43 am

While we were wandering around on youtube we stumbled onto Barbapapa (do any of you remember those large colorful bean-shaped blobs from the 70s?) The cartoons are not exactly uh, high production value, but my kids have become totally obsessed with them–and the dialogue is very clear, and easy for a non-native to follow/understand. It’s the first thing my son asks for when he gets home from preschool!


49 notafish March 22, 2012 at 11:50 pm

My 4-year old loves them. We bought a series that also pedagogic (where the Barbapapas tour the world and tell about fauna, flora and the likes) and she’s learned a whole lot watching them.


50 Seana June 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm

That sounds great! Where did you get it?


51 notafish March 22, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Hi there. My name is Delphine and I am French. I live in Germany, where my husband raise our kids in German and French (he’s German, and speaks German to them). So far, so good. My oldest Daughter goes to French School so her French could benefit from more outside input than just my speaking to her.

I wanted to share some ressources with which I grew up and which I am using today with both my children (my son is 2 years old, my daughter is 4).

For music, I recommend Anne Sylvestre above all. Apart from being my favorite singer of all times (she also sings for adults), she has an amazing répertoire of children’s songs (you can find the list of CD’s here: All of those are amazingly rich in vocabulary and smart, they not only tell a story, but are fun to sing along and touch on real life experiences and advice.
For starters, I advise “Chansons pour” for the smaller children, a series of “songs to” which go from “song to clean your ears” to “song to play with mum”.
On a more thematic note, you also might want to try the “Mots magiques” (the magic words) which list all the important words, such as “Merci” (Thank you) and “Pardon” (Sorry), but seriously all of her CD’s are of high quality. Her French is clear and the tunes enjoyable.

For reading, I advise The collection “Albums du Père Castor” by Flammarion. Those are usually of a very good quality, both in the language and the stories. Some of the older ones (see here: are classics and have been reedited in the new collection ( – some of the older ones do have strange French (you can see the language evolution) but all in all it’s a very good selection of bedtime stories that my 4-year old enjoys a lot.


52 notafish March 22, 2012 at 11:53 pm

Ah sorry, made a mistake in the previous post about me. It should read “my husband and I raise our chlidren…” 🙂 If you can correct it that would be great. You can discard this comment. Thanks!


53 Anabel March 25, 2012 at 12:44 am

I was looking around, and I found the section with French childrens’ software in French (for French speaking children) located here:—learning-in-french.cfm . I am particularly interested in the Adibou & Adi software for my girls (ages 4 & 9); they have some French already so I think they could manage it. But I was wondering if anyone had any experience with these programs? Are they any good?

Thank you for any insights!


54 Dolinda March 25, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Has anyone int he US ordered from amazon Canada? It looks like shipping is only $1.99 per item or $7.99 per order. This seems pretty reasonable. I am just wondering if you have to pay customs on anything. I am mostly looking at buying books and maybe DVDs.
Thanks 🙂


55 Anabel March 25, 2012 at 11:05 pm

I’ve ordered from, and the shipping pricing isn’t displayed well. At least when I ordered last year, the base rate was $7.99, with $1.99 additional per item in your order. I ordered 6 items, and the shipping was almost $20.

I’m curious to try now, given what Mme. Bodeux shared about pricing.


56 Eve Bodeux March 25, 2012 at 3:32 pm

About ordering from Amazon Canada…I have, but not recently. My own experience was, that in the end, it was not cheaper than just ordering directly from Amazon France, and Amazon France has a much wider selection. A lot of the items I wanted were imports to Canada anyway (from France), so we expensive. Note that if you order from Amazon France, you do pay shipping but no VAT if you live outside the European Union, so it evens out in the end. That was my experience.


57 Dolinda March 26, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Thanks for the info on I just went through the ordering process without actually finishing the order just to see what it would cost me. For 8 books the total was €84 (half of that was shipping!) so about €10.50 per book (almost $15). I was able to get some of the books at for $9 (not including shipping although one order was free shipping). The books I looked at on I have not been able to find here.
So it is sort of pricey but not too bad if it is something you cannot find here since the price of the book is cheaper than here.
Did you have to pay customs on your order to get it into the US?

I also realized that I could sign into the French amazon account with my US sign in…all my info was already there so that was sort of nice.

I tried a very similar order on and it ended up being about $12.50 per book including shipping. So a bit of a difference but not too bad. The selection on was not as good and it didnt have the majority of the ook I was looking for. Not sure if you would need to pay US customs on orderss from Canada.

So no actual orders were placed but since I was able to use my log in for both sites I figured I would play a little and see and post here as it may help others should they want to order from either/both sites in the future.


58 Nichola March 27, 2012 at 1:12 am

Also, do try The Book Depository – although they have a relatively limited stock of French books when compared to Amazon, those they do have are well priced and even more appealing they deliver FREE worldwide 🙂

I also find great for bilingual texts. They are based in France and the maximum delivery cost to England is only Euro 1.85 (not sure about costs for delivery to the States).


59 Eve Bodeux March 27, 2012 at 8:05 am

Regarding, the more books you get, the price usually goes down a bit. You do have to put in that your “ship to address” is outside the European Union and then it will take of VAT and only show shipping. No, I have never had to pay custom taxes on books from (they actually usually ship from Germany for some odd reason – where their warehouse is, I guess). I have been ordering from them for about 10 years and, like you say, all things considered I prefer their selection to any other source and the price, in the end, is not much more, or the same. To buy French books in the US, my own experience has been that they are imports and usually pretty expensive anyway, with much less of a selection. However, I will check out the bookdepository too. Thanks!


60 Natalie Springuel April 3, 2012 at 3:37 am

For those living in the states, one more great resource for french books for cheap:
It is a netflix-like system where you pay ahead for however many books a months you want (we do three). They send them to you and when you send them back, you get a new shipment. You specify a few things about your kid(s), what they like, age, gender and such, and they pick a selection for you, or you can make special requests (you can browse their library online). We love the surprise each month and it is usually right on for interest. Lots of joy when they started sending “Caroline” stories (her uncle had given her his tattered couple ones from when he was little, they are ageless/timeless classics!). Sometimes there are book with CD’s to listen along. Really great resource for not much money each month and helps grow that passion of reading new books. (Quote from this morning: maman it’s cool parce que la radio lady is talking to me!) Super nice people on the other end of the emails too.
Natalie S.


61 Jenny May 28, 2012 at 5:38 am

Bonjour! My name is Jenny, and I live in South Carolina, US. I studied French in high school and college and earned my teaching certificate in French. I studied in France for a semester in college and lived in Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa for 2 years after college. I taught elementary French in the US for a couple years before having children and deciding to stay at home with them. For the past 5 years, I have taught weekly French classes for preschoolers and elementary students in my home and through the local parks and recreation department. I struggled to find a curriculum I liked, so I developed my own. I am in the process of editing it to try to sell to others who may want to teach preschool French classes in their communities.

With my own children, I have done French with them off and on for periods of time. With my first son, I spoke to him in French only for a couple days a week, but I honestly didn’t see many results. He seemed to be learning more from participating in my French classes with other children than he was from my speaking to him in French. So I gave up for a time on working with him much aside from class and practicing things from class. For the past year or so, I have reinstituted a French time with the kids (I now have 3). I do 30 minutes a day with them in French only- songs, music videos, games, puppet dialogues, crafts. I have seen some results with this. If nothing else, I am at least exposing them to the language. My 5 year old can now understand a lot of what I say, though his he speaks only a little of it. My two year old is just beginning to understand and speak.

I have enjoyed reading all of your resource ideas. Thanks for sharing. We like: Alain Le Lait- French songs for kids

Muzzy- It’s a bit dated, but I found it super-cheap on Craigslist, and the kids enjoy it still

LingQ- This one is for me, not as much the kids. You can listen to audio files of all kinds of things and follow along with the written transcript. You can also get involved in live chats and the like.


62 Andrew June 2, 2012 at 4:42 pm

hey my name is andrew was wondering what dialect of french you are learning and how do you all learn? please feel free to email me
I am learning canadian french. cant wait to hear from you
au revoir!


63 David I August 12, 2016 at 8:09 am

Bonjour! I run and created a site called
The site offers hundreds of tutorial lessons for beginner and intermediate students. I also record and post live lessons via Skype. The site’s vocabulary page is especially useful as the vocab lists are very extensive. Merci! David I.


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