French / English bilingual books and music(6 Posts)
I'm pregnant, due in the next couple of weeks. My husband is French and I am English- we live in London and communicate with each other in English because my husband is completely fluent, whereas my French is not so good. I can understand pretty well, but struggle to speak it- although I am gradually improving.
We will be using the one parent one language method, but because English is the dominant language in our house, I also want to make sure we have lots of French speaking books and music- and ideally lots of books that come in both languages. We already try to have French radio and music playing a lot (although I'm not sure how appropriate Serge Gainsbourg is for a baby...).
Does anyone have any recommendations for bilingual paraphernalia for early exposure to both languages?
J'acheterais des DVDs de amazon.fr, par exemple Le Monde de Nemo ou bien Bob le Bricoleur. Je ferais moi meme des etiquettes pour tous les objets et salles mais quand le bebe sera plus grand! Des CDs de chansons enfantines? On peut acheter les livres de "That's not my..." en francais. J'avais "Ce n'est pas mon chaton" mais mon sale chat a chie la dedans!
Second buying things from Amazon France.
When DS is a bit older (my step-mother is French) I plan to buy copies of some of the books he has now - so for example a copy of the Gruffalo in French so that he knows the story and can follow it as we go along.
In due course, as soon as your DC is ready, ALL media should be in French: TV, DVDs, online games, radio, music, nursery rhymes on CD, spoken word story tapes etc. They need never know English telly exists!
As many holidays in France as possible.
Regular contact with French grandparents, god-parents, cousins.
Absolute honouring of OPOL by your DH, even if it feels weird, as he will be primary source of the language.
French-speaking nanny / babysitter if possible.
Go to the library for French language books. Use amazon.fr. Ask grandparents for French books, but bear in mind they may need guidance as it may been a while since they have bought books fir littlies.
Seek out other French / English bilingual families so the children can make friends.
Join the French library at l'institut francais in South Ken. Get the single adult membership, then you can borrow music and films as well, borrow 20 items at a time, £35 a year I think.
Also, small children - well, mine - are natural fans of la variete francaise. My 4-year-old loves claude Francois, Nana Miskouri's Soleil Soleil, and Haut les Mains by Ottawan!
Also, you can watch loads of kids' stuff - e.g. dozens of clips of Dorothee singing folk songs - on Youtube.fr. (There is a DVD, Dorothee et le jardin des chansons which - at about £15 on Amazon for 40 minutes - is dear, but has been a massive hit with my first and now captivates my second too.)
For small babies (up to about 3 years old) may I also recommend DVDs of the Belgian series Bumba? You buy them direct from the supplier, Studio 100. You can watch the Flemish edition on Youtube (the DVD has two soundtracks, Flemish and French, but no one's uploaded the French ones to Youtube yet) to get an idea of how mental it is, but again my two love it.
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