Taking French Outside of the Classroom

Learning a new language can be challenging, but it can also be a lot of fun. If your child is learning French, they need to practice the language outside of the classroom. Luckily, there are so many ways to enjoy learning as a family. 

Families can cook together. You can make a family favourite but speak to each other using all the French you can. Try to translate some of the ingredients or learn the measuring tools in French (cuillère à table = tablespoon, cuillère à thé = teaspoon, une tasse = cup). You could also find a recipe in French and try to follow the instructions. Your family may like to make a Francophone dish such as la quiche, la ratatouille, la poutine, or la tourtière. If you have a sweet tooth, you may want to try les crêpes, les macarons, les éclairs, or la tarte au sucre. You can find recipes in English or French in magazines, cookbooks, and online. 

“If you like a recipe you make, print it out or copy it for your recipe book,” said Lilly. Cooking together or even just reading a recipe in French, will help build your child’s vocabulary. 

You can take the culinary adventure into your community too. In Fernie, we are lucky to have businesses with French-speaking owners and/or employees such as Le Bon Pain and House of Gato.  

“Whenever I go to Le Bon Pain, my mom says that if I want a treat, I have to order in French,” said Paxton. As a family, you can order in French by saying ‘Est-ce que je peux avoir _____ s’il vous plaît’ or ‘Je voudrais  _____ s’il vous plaît.’’ 

“If a small city like Fernie has places to order in French, then big cities will have options too,” said Jacob. Whether you’re travelling for a hockey tournament or a family road trip, make it a goal to make a stop at a French-speaking establishment. 

“Ordering in French helps expand your vocabulary and helps you to be comfortable speaking to other people,” said Lilly.

Play games together at home or in the car. If you’re travelling this summer, or your child has activities out of town, there are lots of games we recommend for in the car. I Spy, a card game to practice numbers, 20 Questions, Hangman, and Password are all games you can play in the car. 

“I Spy is a great game for beginners because you can practice colours, objects, and size in French,” said Chuck. Families can also download Heads Up or Duolingo onto an electronic device for their child to practice French in the car. 

Kids will also learn a lot just by listening. Listen to music or a podcast together in French at home or on the road. 

“Music is good because it gets stuck in your head and you’ll be singing it all day,” said Dottie and Ayda. We recommend you listen to the Manie Musicale playlists on Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Playlist. 

“My favourite Francophone songs are T’as le temps by Julien Canaby and also Matin, midi, soir by Missy D,” said Eben. When you listen to music in French, you hear different accents which helps with comprehension and pronunciation.

Make French a part of family trips. In Canada, we are lucky to have two official languages, French and English. If you’re going to a National Park or Historic Site this summer, speak to the employees, take a tour, complete an activity, or read their brochure in French. Families should also check out Francophone festivals and celebrations when travelling out of town. Travelling east? Include New Brunswick or Quebec in your trip. Looking into summer camps? Why not try a French summer camp such as the BC Family French Camp.

There are numerous, fun opportunities for families to support their child with practicing French outside of the classroom. Pratiquez et amusez-vous! 

La classe de Madame Brower: Aila, Ayda, Chuck, Cohen, Connor, Corbin, Dottie, Eben, Elliot, Emma, Ethan, Evie, Finn, Haleigh, Jacob, Kealan, Keira, Kylar, Lilly, Lorelai, Maeve, Nolan, Paxton, Roman, Sophie, et Viktor.