Are your students learning French? They should be. The benefits of doing so are enormous. Here are just a few reasons why you should start teaching your students French:
Early foreign language study benefits students academically.
Recent studies confirm that students who begin to learn another language in childhood score better on measures of cognitive function. Foreign languages in the curriculum expand vocabulary, enrich English expression and make it easier to learn other languages later in life.
English is mostly French
French is the language closest to English. When the French Normans invaded England in 1066, they conquered not only the land but the language as well. Almost half of the words we use are borrowed directly from French. While Anglo-Saxon still supplies many commonplace words, French and Latin words (which came through French) provide the majority of abstract and ornamental words.
Teach French, Teach Liberty
Teaching French also gives the opportunity for students to learn the important contribution France made to the American colonies during the Revolutionary War, a link on the chain of liberty, as well as the role of French-speaking individuals in the formation of our government. Montesquieu and John Calvin influenced the thought of the Founders—and both were French!
How to choose a good foreign language curriculum
A good foreign language curriculum should have the following elements:
- Sense of sound: The language should be taught by mimicry, songs, rhymes, poems
- Basic Vocabulary
- Elements of Simple Conversation
- Introduces the Geography and Culture of the Nation
- The the program should be participatory, lively, repetitive and part of the child’s routine school day, limited to a short time slot in the primary grades.
Mes Premiers Pas de Français, by Dr. Carole G. Adams, is a resource for teaching French in kindergarten, first and second grade. It includes a 3-hole punched packet of plans for oral lessons, basic vocabulary, coloring pages, songs, music, Bible verses, games and other activities, an overview for the teacher, and a CD of songs. It also includes an introduction of French culture and geography for the primary grade levels. Loose leaf, 56 pages, 3-hole punched and one CD with French songs. Regular price $17.95, now 20% off for $14.36 with code FP20
Please note: Some background knowledge of French or a pronunciation guide is needed to teach using this resource. Not included: 3-ring, loose leaf binder for notebook pages.