Tag Archives: French vocabulary

Sit still or wiggle?

Just because children are told to sit still, that doesn’t mean that’s the best way to study.

“Put a group of 8 year olds in a room and play some music with a clear rhythm, and they will move.  Some will move gracefully, others may jump about waving their arms and kicking out.”

We looked at my colleague as he said this – still an enthusiastic and highly energetic dancer himself, although well past the age most people associate with anything more than a slow waltz.

“So it’s a primitive response to rhythm,” said another of the editorial team in a ‘I’m stating the obvious’ voice.  “Does that help children learn French?” 

“Yes,” said the dancer.  He swears by dancing, dances modern styles rather than ballroom several nights a week, and travels across the country, even across Europe whenever possible.

“But most people don’t dance,” came the counter argument.

And then I got the point.  True, in our society most people don’t dance – but children do dance.  In most cases, no one has taught them, they just do it.  Which is why dance and movement are ways to teach other subjects – in this case French.

Because if you can actively involve the body, learning comes more naturally and stays in the memory far longer.

Which is why we have a DVD of simple routines which combine movements with repetition of important phrases, making learning languages easy and enjoyable.

To see how click on this link, it takes you to a part of the les couleurs video where Lynn Dryden, the author of Jouez, Dansez et Apprenez le Français demonstrates her dance routine with the children of Mountfield Primary School in Newcastle.

“Show me research that suggests that sitting still enhances learning,” I said, and there was silence for once in my office. 

“Movement is distracting,” replied the main objector on my team (why is there always one nay-sayer in every group?)  

“But not when everyone does it,” I replied.

And so here, for each topic, in addition to the main dance routine, there is also a bank of movement activities that introduce and reinforce the vocabulary, enabling the whole topic to be taught actively.

These tried and tested routines and activities have been developed by a language specialist who is also a qualified dance teacher and have been utilised with pupils and students of all ages, achieving outstanding results throughout.

There is more information on Jouez, Dansez et Apprenez le Français on our website.

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, French, Key Stage 2, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Music, National Curriculum, Physical Education (PE), Primary school, Teaching Ideas

What are the two most important factors that determine the success of French lessons at KS2?

For many years the answer to the question above came down to one factor: “the availability of a specialist teacher”. However, in recent years matters have changed.

This is, of course, mainly because so many primary schools don’t have a specialist language teacher. As a result publishers have put a lot of energy into the second important factor: creating materials that are specifically designed for use by the teacher who is not a language specialist.

Following this work, KS2 courses in French are now available which include stories, songs, games, and activities along with lesson plans giving creative teaching ideas that can be used by specialist and non-specialist teachers alike.

The teaching of French via stories has itself created something of a revolution in the way French can be taught by non-specialist teachers. Because stories introduce children to language structures in a natural and fun way, pupils quickly develop the ability to communicate and use the language with confidence themselves.

This is very much the basis of our particularly successful “Learn French with Luc et Sophie” scheme. Throughout this story-based scheme there is a combination of appropriate level storybooks for the children to read with clearly laid out, easy-to-use, creative teaching ideas aimed specifically at the non-specialist teacher. This complete approach takes the stress out of preparation and planning.

Each of the 14 units in “Learn French with Luc et Sophie” is based around a story featuring a young brother (Luc) and sister (Sophie) and their friends and family. The stories are topic-based and introduce key vocabulary and language structures relating to the topic. Each unit also contains an original song to reinforce vocabulary.

One problem teachers encounter when trying to share a story with a class is how to make sure everyone can see the pages and follow along. To ensure this isn’t a problem, we’ve created audio enhanced e-book versions of all the stories for use on a whiteboard. What makes these e-books particularly beneficial for non-specialist teachers is that with the click of a mouse you can hear them acted out by native French speakers so children will hear correct pronunciation.

Pupils will love the humorous twists at the end of the stories and will naturally pick up the rhythm and intonation of the language. Indeed, their confidence and self-esteem will grow when they realise they can read and understand these French stories.

Also, to help embed vocabulary and grammar language structures there are sentence-building activities for use on an interactive whiteboard.

In short, what happens is that the children will not only learn French through the evolution of the stories provided but also through the multiple ideas for teaching. This will make it easier to recall what they have learned and to use it to create sentences of their own.

There are full details about the scheme on our website along with links to our article on the seven reasons why using stories as a way of teaching French is particularly beneficial.

I do hope you will find this interesting.

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

We are giving away ‘Bonjour, ca va?’ to anyone who requests it!

Request your FREE copy of the Bonjour, ça va? Worksheet Collection

« Includes song lyrics, an embedded audio track, a music sheet and teacher’s notes

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, French, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Teaching Ideas

What’s the best way to introduce French vocabulary?

Flashcards are an excellent way of introducing primary school children to new French vocabulary. They are incredibly versatile and can be used in many different activities.

Furthermore, using flashcards promotes the use of the French as the meaning of the word will be obvious from the image, so there is no need to say the English equivalent.

While it is possible to make flashcards from images, either hand-drawn, cut out from magazines or found on-line, this is a time-consuming process.

To make your life easier, we have created packs of Mon Vocabulaire French flashcards. These time-saving resources are available as pdfs, so you can download and use them straight away.

9781554096800_Mon_Vocabulaire_Au-Zoo Brilliant Publications

Au Zoo – French flashcards and activities for At the zoo

9781554096794_Mon_Vocabulaire_A-La-Ferme Brilliant Publications

À la ferme – French flashcards and activities for At the farm

9781554096763_Mon_Vocabulaire_La-Maison Brilliant Publications

La maison – French flashcards and activities for the House

9781554096688_Mon_Vocabulaire_Animaux_domestiques Brilliant Publications

Les animaux domestiques – French flashcards and activities for Pets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The flashcards are available in 2 sizes. The large colour images are ideal for display on an Interactive Whiteboard. The smaller colour pictures can be easily printed out and made into flashcards for use by individuals or small groups.

We have Mon Vocabulaire packs for many popular French topics:

  • Les animaux domestiques
  • Comptons!
  • Les fruits et les legumes
  • Les forms géométriques
  • La maison
  • Les jours de la semaine
  • Les mois de l’année
  • Les parties du corps
  • À la ferme
  • Au zoo
  • Noël
  • Halloween
  • La Saint-Valentin
  • Pâques

In addition, with each pack you get reproducible activity sheets to reinforce the vocabulary:

  • Coloriez – Introduce new vocabulary
  • Associez les mots – Match the French word to the corresponding illustration
  • Illustrez les mots – Review vocabulary by drawing the image of the printed word
  • Écoutez les mots – Listen to the new words as students mark the corresponding word that the teacher reads aloud
  • Copiez les mots – Spell the new word by printing or writing
  • Mots cachés – Find the hidden words in the puzzle then match the word to the corresponding image
  • Décodez les motes – Match symbols to letter codes to decipher the word
  • Le bon ordre – Unscramble the letters to form the correct word
  • Mots croisés – Identify and spell the word for the corresponding image
  • Mots illustrés – Create a unique word picture
  • Le jeu – A two-player game that reinforces pronunciation and/or spelling of the new words
  • Le livre – Produce an illustrated short-story about the theme.

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Filed under French, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

What French words should you teach first?

Whichever words you choose, you will find this new collection of 1000 French words a great starting point.

My First 1000 French Words - Brilliant Publications

My First 1000 French Words

My First 1000 French Words is a fantastic introduction to essential French vocabulary from animal words to types of food and members of the family.

Action-packed illustrations introduce your eager young language learners to essential words in French – plus a few fun ones. From having breakfast together to visiting the zoo or a fantastic art gallery to learn about colours and shapes, these characters will bring new words to life on the page and reinforce those words that you already know.

Each spread features a central scene teeming with details to discuss and discover. French vocabulary surrounds the main picture. Each French word appears along with an illustration to help reinforce learning, a helpful  pronunciation guide and the English translation.

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Filed under French, Nursery and Preschool, Primary school

Decreasing dependency on Google translate

Or, to put it a different way « Diminution de la dépendance de Google traduit » (Note: actual Google translation of the blog title!)

Are you looking for a simple way of encouraging pupils to access the French vocabulary they need (without resorting to online translation packages)?

Mon Petit Vocabulaire - Brilliant Publications

Mon Petit Vocabulaire – mini French word book

Sample page from Mon Petit Vocabulaire - Brilliant Publications

Sample page from Mon Petit Vocabulaire

Primary children need to be able to access vocabulary to encourage them to speak, listen and write in French. But when they are just beginning to learn French, even the simplest bilingual French-English dictionaries can be overwhelming. It is understandable that some students feel the temptation to go online.

If you find this is the case, we have a solution for you. We publish Mon Petit Vocabulaire – mini (A6) books containing French vocabulary sheets for 33 popular primary school topics. Each page features 9-10 illustrations labelled with their French names. The booklets are colourful, fun to use  and support all French teaching schemes in use in primary schools.

Mon petit vocabulaire covers the following topics:

  • Salutations (Greetings)
  • Les nombres (Numbers 1 to 20)
  • Les nombres 20 à 100 (Numbers 20 to 100)
  • Les couleurs (Colours)
  • L’alphabet français (The French Alphabet)
  • Les jours de la semaine (Days of the Week)
  • Les mois (Months of the Year)
  • Les saisons (Seasons)
  • Noël (Christmas)
  • Les fruits (Fruits)
  • Les légumes (Vegetables)
  • Le restaurant (Restaurant)
  • Un pique-nique (Picnic)
  • Les boissons (Drinks)
  • Le temps (Weather)
  • Les vêtements (Clothes)
  • Les accessoires (Accessories)
  • Les parties du corps (Parts of the Body)
  • Ma famille (My Family)
  • Les animaux domestiques (Pets)
  • Les petites bêtes (Insects and Mini-beasts)
  • Les animaux sauvages (Wild Animals)
  • Les animaux de la ferme (Farm Animals)
  • Les animaux des bois (Woodland Animals)
  • Le système solaire (The Solar System)
  • Les objets de la classe (Classroom Objects)
  • Les matières (School Subjects)
  • Les sports – Je joue….. (Sports – I play…)
  • Les sports – Je fais ….. (Sports – I do ….)
  • Qu’est-ce que tu joues? Je joue … (Musical instruments – What do you play?)
  • Les formes (Shapes)
  • La France (Map of France)
  • Les Français célèbres (Famous French People)

Mon Petit Vocabulaire is available from Brilliant Publications in handy packs of 10 mini-books.

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Filed under French, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)