Category Archives: Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

French songs to sing to tunes you already know

J'aime beaucoup Chanter en Français!

The songs from J’aime Beaucoup Chanter en Français are now available to download from our website for FREE.

You can sing in French about transport, countries, school subjects and many other topics you may have thought couldn’t have songs written about them!

The songs are easy to learn because you will already know the tune. The music includes: the wheels on the bus, Polly put the kettle on and Twinkle, twinkle little star.

Follow the link below to the book page on our website and scroll down to the Sample audio files.

https://www.brilliantpublications.co.uk/book/jaime-beaucoup-chanter-en-francais-511

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, French, homework, Key Stage 2, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Music, Teaching Ideas

Le monstre a faim- The hungry monster

Le monstre a faim

Sue Cave, one of the authors of Physical French Phonics, has produced a teaching video that shows how to write and make a little storybook, based on The Hungry Caterpillar.

Sue uses the Physical French Phonics system to teach the pronunciation of the words. Children who have been learning French at primary school for a year will enjoy completing this project but anyone can have a go! We know many pupils are already familiar with the Physical French Phonics system and will recognise the artwork but by watching and using this video any child can follow the story and create their own book.

This is a step-by-step lesson for primary age learners of French and is for independent learning. It leads to a creative writing project of a mini-book based on the ‘The very hungry caterpillar’ by Eric Carle. It will revise days of the week and the plural form of nouns. It includes the teaching of phonics, grammar and dictionary skills.

You will find the video via this link:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRgXukuNPKcq0B9Ubjau9Og

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, French, Key Stage 2, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Teaching Ideas

Sing your way through isolation with J’aime Chanter

All the songs from J’aime Chanter are now available to download for FREE from our website (see Sample audio files). We hope you enjoy singing your way through your isolation.

https://www.brilliantpublications.co.uk/book/jaime-chanter-207

If you have a spare moment (unlikely we know) we’d love to see how you use the songs. Perhaps you could set-up a singalong through social media.

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, French, Key Stage 0, Key Stage 1, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Music, Nursery and Preschool, Primary school

Physical Spanish Phonics has been published

You have been asking for a Spanish version of our popular Physical French Phonics for ages and we have been working tirelessly on it for you.

Well, the good news is it has now arrived!

Physical Spanish Phonics is a multisensory approach to teaching Spanish phonics. Interactive video and audio files are used to teach Spanish phonics by getting physical with sounds and actions.

Find out more on our website: https://www.brilliantpublications.co.uk/book/physical-spanish-phonics-888

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, How children learn, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Spanish

Faster French with more understanding

What are the two activities that develop pupils’ ability with French far more effectively than any other?

The answer is, as you may already know, through the use of stories and through singing.

Because both stories and songs put the French the children hear and vocalise into a full context, the words become much more meaningful and become learned as part of sets of phrases which are a part of everyday experience.

As a result, the more you can encourage the children in your class to speak French sentences and to sing in French, the more rapidly they will progress.

Which in turn is why Learn French with Luc et Sophie is such a successful approach to the teaching of the language at KS2.

Each part of the course incorporates no fewer than 14 French storybooks written at the appropriate level along with creative teaching ideas to maximise the pupils’ ability to learn to speak the language.

Each story is topic-based using simple sentences based around key vocabulary and language structures.

And then, in addition, each unit contains an original song to reinforce vocabulary.  Because the children will be happy to sing the songs over and over, the vocabulary and grammar becomes more deeply embedded within their consciousness.

Indeed, if you have ever noticed how children can pick up the lyrics of everything from nursery rhymes to popular songs you will appreciate just how incredibly powerful the rhyme and song element can be – especially when, as in this case, the songs are written to fit exactly with the vocabulary being learned.

The Learn French with Luc et Sophie course follows the Foreign Language Programmes of Study in the September 2014 National Curriculum for KS2 and is written with non-specialists in mind.  

Full details of the Years 3 and 4 course can be found here while the Years 5 and 6 part of the course is explored here.  In each case there are sample audio files of the songs and sample materials.

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, French, How children learn, Key Stage 2, lesson plans, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Primary school, Teaching Ideas

How did it all start?

Why knowing the origins of human communication helps us find better methods of teaching a foreign language.

There is much debate as to the way in which human language developed as our species evolved.   But many would agree that an early part of the evolution would have been the calling out of warnings of danger.

And it follows from this that the ability to tell stories must have come much later.

However, although as a species we had to wait for the evolution of the ability to invent and tell stories, this ability to tell stories proved to be a major evolutionary step. 

For whereas “Watch out behind you” can save an individual from injury, storytelling can bring a whole group together with a shared understanding.

In short, the few words that constitute a warning helps the individual.  The story preserves the unity of the whole group.

And it is because being part of a group remains so central to our lives that the use of storytelling in learning a foreign language is such a vital tool.   The children who learn French or Spanish with stories as a core part of their learning, can share their new learning and feel part of the group.

This is why our French and Spanish courses for years 3-4 and 5-6 are based around stories.  For just as our ancestors evolved language as a way of telling stories, so the power of the story remains, and enthuses children with the desire to learn a second language.

You can read more about our story based language courses for Spanish and French through the links below…

Learn French with Luc et Sophie 1ère Partie Starter Pack (Years 3–4)

Learn French with Luc et Sophie 2ème Partie Starter Pack (Years 5-6)

Learn Spanish with Luis y Sofía 1a Parte Starter Pack (Years 3–4)

Learn Spanish with Luis y Sofía 2a Parte Starter Pack (Years 5–6)

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, French, How children learn, Key Stage 2, lesson plans, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Primary school, Spanish, Teaching Ideas

The habit of memory

What is the most effective way of helping children learn to use French phrases and grammar without thinking? 

Although it may not seem always to be so, most humans forget very little.  In other words we don’t lose memories; we lose the habit of recalling that memory. 

Fortunately this can be overcome, for when we have a meaningful link for a memory, rather than just an isolated memory, the knowledge in that memory can stay with us for years. 
 
In these ways French phrases and grammar become memorable and instantly available – and if those memories are regularly accessed they become habitual. 

For example, the use of “pas de” in French can seem like just another random phrase to remember.  But there is a simple way of helping children to understand and use the phrase.

What we can do is tell children that when a French person ‘has’ or ‘owns’ something, that person cares about its gender because they are very interested in the things that are theirs.

However, for things that don’t belong to them, they see no point in indicating the gender. That is why, instead of using ‘un’, ‘une’ or ‘des’ in negative sentences, they just use ‘de’.

So they say, “Il y a un chien” (there is a dog), but “Il y n’a pas de chien” (literally, there isn’t any dog).

Here’s another little memory trick that fascinates children – the fact that son = his or her.  Although objects in French have gender,men and women are equal and, thanks to this, there is no difference between ‘his’ and ‘her’ in French.

Unforgettable French is full of tried-and-tested French memory activities based on sound and idea associations that help engage the memory and make phrases and grammatical points habitual.  

You can download our “How French Works” flowchart via our website to see the most logical way of introducing French grammar and vocabulary using the Unforgettable method.

For more information or to order the Unforgettable French 2nd Edition for just £19.99 as a printed book, £13.99 as an e-book or you can order both formats for just £24.19, visit the website. 

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, French, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, lesson plans, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Primary school, Secondary school, Teaching Ideas