Tips on making french more fun?

(9 Posts)
Raspberry123 Wed 11-Dec-19 13:46:50

DD1 is in year 5 and has french lessons and french homework (learning vocabulary).

She is bright and in top groups for English and Maths. We go on holiday to France camping in the summers. She is very reluctant to speak French when we go (like will not utter a word) and learning her vocab for the weekly tests consists of looking at the words for 10 minutes the night before and alot of crying which is tedious. She will say 'test me' and then clearly doesnt know any of the words... Therefore she is far off 100% correct in the test at school - which is fine, if she were trying. If I ask her if she thinks that's ok her defence is that X only got 2/10 confused. I've explained what other people get in the class is not the point...

Is there anyway I can boost her interest / confidence in French. She is very capable but clearly not motivated for some reason. Anyone know of any apps / cartoons / games that we could try?

My husband and I can speak GCSE level French at best so it is not as though we are fluent! We realise French is not critical for a 9 year old but it seems a waste of time for the classes if she is not retaining anything?

OP’s posts: |
ShawshanksRedemption Wed 11-Dec-19 21:56:28

I've used an app called DuoLingo - might be worth a try?

There are also resources on YouTube. Learning words as part of a song can really help too (again YouTube is useful for that)!

Whynotnowbaby Wed 11-Dec-19 22:00:24

If you google “Memrise decks” or “Quizlet” you will find brilliant online vocabulary learning programmes. On both you can enter your own vocabulary so you are learning precisely what you need for a test and the kids I teach love it, from beginners right up to A level, I feel Memrise is slightly better but I have colleagues who are firm believers in Quizlet and that one has more games so may be better for a younger learner. Duolingo, mentioned by post, is great but can’t be customised to test the exact vocab you need for a test.

PlanDeRaccordement Wed 11-Dec-19 22:04:21

Try reading Asterix graphic novels to her in French.

PlanDeRaccordement Wed 11-Dec-19 22:10:04

Netflix U.K. also has French shows, films and cartoons in French that you can stream too.

LeGrandBleu Thu 12-Dec-19 01:23:26

I can't really blame her and I am French!
Learning sporadic words must be soooooooo boring!

If your French is not too bad, try making fun, silly and stupid sentences with the weekly words, say she has to learn "courgette" , make the sentence " la maîtresse a une courgette sur la tête" or if you are afraid it might risky in case she repeats the words in class, " le maire de Londres a organisé un concours de lancer de courgettes" .
Or try to combine 3 or 4 words from the list in the most absurd sentence.

Root learning words is not teaching a language. She is going to HATE French which is too bad, because it is fun. Read some tintin with her and have fun looking for the swear words used by the capitaine Haddock , tell her that for every test without a single mistake, you will teach her a swear word, there are so many in French that you will find some "soft ones" and make sure to put a pretend cigarette in your mouth and a baguette under you armpit while you practice your best french accent.

Play around the words, for example how " merci beaucoup" is easily mispronounced in "merci beau cul" which means thank you nice ass !
That "merde" is a way of saying good luck, as saying bonne chance brings bad luck and everyone will hate you.

We have a great sense of humour and take a lot of liberties with words.
Word lists are stupid, so I am with your DD on this one.

twoyears Thu 12-Dec-19 08:20:44

I second duolingo. It's addictive and completely free.


Sammy867 Wed 18-Dec-19 22:01:29

We use one third stories with my 4 year old; their method is to randomly interchange french and English words within the stories; so in book one the dinosaur will talk about his red shoes, then it is changed to chausseures rouge then it will go back to red shoes again later in the story.
The first books are all colours, numbers, greetings whilst the second is based around food etc. They deliver them monthly through the post with an activity pack, book, audio file and craft project.

Definitely more fun for children. We now use their method in everyday life, swapping words between french and English. she’s now started to speak more and more French as her vocabulary is based on things which are relevant to her life. (This has also meant I am now learning french alongside her as if she only speaks it once a week in class she’s never going to understand it)

wanderings Sun 22-Dec-19 07:23:14

My dad said that as a child who hated French, getting his hands on some original TinTin books was a game changer for him.

Label things in French. A primary school I know has lots of things around the school labelled in French.

I'll also second trying to make sentences with the words - learning lists of words without any context can be soul-destroying.

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