Friday, April 24, 2015

random Frenchy, teachy things

No time for full blog posts this month!  But at least I can make a bulleted list of some of my recent Frenchy and/or teachy thoughts….

gratuitous shot of G&G at the zoo

  • A mom I know who occasionally uses her non-native French with her teen daughters told me that she has discovered a way to cut down on the speed and intensity of their arguments: she announces things like curfew in French, and when the girls protest, they have to do so on French too!
  • Grandrabbit's Play, where Carol and I taught two French classes for kiddos, closed last month, so we won't be teaching there again.  :(
  • But I now am leading three separate weekly French tutoring sessions: one with a four-year-old, one with a group of siblings ages four through nine, and a duo of ten-year-old boys.  (See those toes down there?  These three very different classes are keeping me on them!)
  • The afore-mentioned siblings are already bilingual (from Spanish-speaking homes), and it's sooooo cool to observe how completely unfazed they are when I speak French to them for 30 minutes at a time.  No freaking out, no funny looks, no demands for translation.  It's like they know that they'll get it eventually, and in the meantime, they are understanding enough to have fun.
  • I saw the four-year-old at school; she was wearing a t-shirt with an owl on it, and when she saw me, she pointed to it and said "hibou!  hibou, Sarah!"
  • The mom of the other four-year-old told me excitedly that she can't wait until she and her daughter can converse in French.  Should I tell her that half an hour once a week won't lead to that anytime soon?
  • Griffin is really enjoying the following three resources in French: the magazine "Youpi! J'ai compris!" along with the free animated videos on nonfiction topics available on Brainpop and the geography games on Jeux de geographie
  • Gwyneth continues to assert that she doesn't know how to speak French whenever I ask her how to say something or other in French.
  • Gwyneth also continues to tell her nanny, "My daddy doesn't talk French or Spanish.  My mommy talks French and English.  I talk French, English, and Spanish."
  • Her pronunciation (in English) is gradually improving, which means that "Spanish" sounds like "panis" or "panish" now, instead of "penis."  (Oh, the shocked stares I intercepted when strangers heard my three-year-old announce, "I wike penis.  Mommy wike penis too.  Daddy don't wike penis.")
  • Gwyn and I attended a classmate's birthday party where we and one other family were the only anglophones there!  I ate spicy salsa, drank hibiscus cooler, and practiced my Spanish.
  • I've done three storytimes in French at the library this semester, and they're going well.  Themes: love (in February for valentines day), animals, and Paris. 
  • We've had two French playdates so far, each very different, and for the next one this weekend, I'm going to bring more games and puzzles and toys (and thus fewer French learning games).
  • Several private schools are offering French camps this summer, and I'm determined to send Griffin to one or two of them.  And there are Spanish camps in the area, too--including one at a farm!  I bet both kids would like those.
  • I need to make more time to blog and read the blogs of those I admire!  


  1. Thank you for all these ideas! I think it would be great to explain to the mom of the 4-year-old what she can expect from your lessons. I'm afraid in any case you will have to speak about it at some point.

    1. Oh, I know....I just hate to deflate her enthusiasm! No doubt that she's seeing her daughter learn a few words per lesson, which does not a conversation make.