In a few short weeks, my little girl will be starting her second year of school. And it will be like starting all over again for her because, after a great deal of hemming and hawing, my husband and I decided to enroll her in the French Immersion program, which means she will be attending a different school than she did for JK.
New school. New language. It was a tough decision because we want her to feel comfortable, but we also want her learn her a second language, which can only benefit her throughout her life.
In making our decision, we attended the information session and heard the concerns of many parents; the biggest being that they don’t speak French, so how will their children pick it up and succeed at it? Lucky for us, I speak French. I’m a little rusty, but I get by.
Regardless of my ability, my daughter hasn’t had much exposure to French. She has picked up a little Spanish from Dora the Explorer, but French has not figured into her daily TV programming and whenever I try to speak to her in French, she shows off her Spanish skills and tells me I don’t know how to talk. So where do I to start if I want to give her a leg up for September? Despite what we learned in the information session (that most kids start the French program with no French at all), I want my daughter to, at the very least, feel comfortable with basic greetings and simple requests (like: Où est la toilet?) on her first day of school.
I will keep speaking to her in French regardless of her resistance and preference for Spanish. But what else can I do?
This tip sheet gave me some ideas that should prove successful in helping her prepare for her first day of school in a different language!