Little French Steps Forward: Ages 2 & 5 Language Update

Bonjour les amis! I wrote about my children's French language use this past June, but in the six months since then I've been encouraged by my kiddos' continued language progress. My son in particular has made some solid French strides. He still talks predominantly in English, but right at the 30-months of age mark (a language milestone mentioned by Dr. Gorman in this podcast), he started using more French vocabulary, and more importantly, he became much more willing to repeat French phrases. (Perhaps we're saying au revoir to the more headstrong moments of the terrible twos?). Amusingly, he also adds his own silly tweaks to the language, saying things like "poo-poo-plaît" instead of "s'il te plaît."

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Simple Christmas Crafts & Activities for Little Learners

C'est la saison de Noël! This December I've enjoyed the gift of time with my children to do some simple crafts and activities: beeswax candle rolling, making gingerbread houses, and biking the Christmas lights at Portland International Raceway. If these experiences are new to you like they were for us, you'll appreciate a few details about how they worked and what we learned.

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College Ready Kids by Age 12? The Brainy Bunch Book Review

Last April, I watched a Today show episodefeaturing a family who has had six children start college by age 12. Kip and Mona Lisa Harding homeschooled their children and published a book about their family's educational journey entitled The Brainy Bunch: The Harding Family's Method to College Ready by Age Twelve. I was intrigued by their story and read The Brainy Bunch over the course of a few hours during my flight to Texas a few weeks ago.

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Beginning French Lesson 5: Numbers, Likes, & Dislikes

This lesson was the fifth weekly class for beginning French students (ages 8-12) after a two-week break. We focused on reviewing conversational phrases and playing BINGO to reinforce numbers through 79. We also began an activity that helps students learn basic sentence structure and gives them familiarity with using a bilingual dictionary (online and printed versions). This lesson was designed for a 50-minute class

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ACTFL 2014 Conference Summary: Language Learning Links

Les amis, I've been wanting to tell you about the ACTFL Conference that took place in San Antonio, Texas, just over a week ago. ACTFL is the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages; their annual conference is oriented towards K-12 teachers of French, Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, Japanese, German, and Italian. This year's conference was the second largest--there were well over 6,000 teachers in attendance!

Here are my favorite aspects of the conference:

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Gratitude for Generations

Bonjour, les amis! I've been at a foreign language teaching conference in Texas (ACTFL), where I was thrilled to learn about the current state of French education in the U.S. I also appreciated the opportunity to glean ideas for classroom and home teaching--I'll share the best of what I learned next week.

In the meantime, happy Thanksgiving! I cherish this holiday. It is personally relevant because my great, great grandma (who lived in Massachusetts until her death at 104) shared that our family geneology descends from John Tilley Howland--the fellow who fell off The Mayflower during a mid-voyage storm but was rescued by rope. How's that for a tenuous family thread?! He went on to be the second-longest living survivor of The Mayflower, and the home where he and his wife Elizabeth lived is the only original pilgrim home remaining in Plymouth today.

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Our First Autumn Homeschooling: Rhythms & Realities

Winter doesn't officially arrive here in Oregon until next month, but strangely, we've already had our first light snowfall and an ice storm, so it feels as though autumn is already past. In addition, my daughter has started learning a Christmas song on violin, so I've been reflecting on how our first autumn of homeschooling went now that we're transitioning into winter.

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Beginning French Lesson 4: Numbers & Calendars

This beginning French lesson, the fourth in a series of seven, helps students review basic numbers and gain familiarity with vocabulary for the days and months. Allons-y! Let's go! (Here are links to previous lessons onetwo, and three.)

Lesson 4 Goals:

  • Review French names of numbers 1-21; gain familiarity with numbers through 79
  • Learn a song featuring the days of the week in French; gain familiarity with the 12 months
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