How to learn a language?
The million dollar question! Linguists, academics, teachers and parents have long debated the perfect way to learn a language, however we believe that there is no one perfect formula. Each person is different, interested and stimulated in different ways, so therefore we should not consider only one road to becoming a French speaker.
Gentille Alouette uses a variety of methods which we will highlight below.
Full Immersion: (Laure – can we have a picture of a fish in water here?)
An immersive approach to learning a language is one often championed by language schools. Through repetition of phrases, context, gestures, visual cues and own background knowledge, a child is able to understand a new language without interruption from translation. This way takes some time, however has been proven to yeild fantastic results.
Our counting pages, recipes and songs adopt the full immersion technique.
Direct Translation: (Laure – can we have a picture of Lilou talking to Jean with speech bubbles – one saying Bonjour! The other saying Hello!)
Bilingualism is the ultimate goal for any language learner and translation from one language to the other is essential as part of that journey.
Our stories are carefully written and presented on the page so that it is easy to find the equivalent words in each language. The stories can also be read in the home language at first and then can be introduced either by the adult or by listening to the audio support afterwards.
The colours page is always translated in simple phrases that can be repeated by the adult and child. All of the games and colouring instructions are in dual language too.
Integrated Approach: (Laure – can we use a small version of your mixing bowl from la galette song?)
In some instances you’ll find that a text is a mixture of both English and French. For example our cultural page where we look at specific traditions and aspects of France, we explain using the 2 languages. You can read it as a mixed language and you’ll be surprised at ow quickly your child understands the French word.
This will not confuse them. Their incredible brain is able to distinguish between languages far better than we can imagine. In fact if you listen to most bilingual speakers, they often mix up and switch between languages. You are simply encouraging your child to have an elevated awareness of communication !
Let us know which method works best for you!
(Laure – can we put our facebook and instagram link here)
Pronounciation: (Laure – can we have an image of the wolf and a speech bubble saying “Au-dessus ou Au-dessous…?!)
All of our stories in Alouette are accompanied by an audio support which can be found on the audio page on the website. Each story is told by a native speaker and we are lucky to have a number of different story tellers to listen to.
In addition to the stories, all of our keywords, recipes and counting pages are available to listen to whilst you read through the books.
It’s very easy to find, you can even use the QR code found throughout the book which transports you directly to our site.
Music: (Laure can we have a picture of the choir singers?)
Music is incredibly important for all of us in creating memories, making an experience pleasurable and for overall having lots of fun.
Music plays a key part in language learning as it not only assists in the development of a child’s speech but enhances the repertoire of their language without any effort!
Alouette feature only traditional and true French nursery rhymes, sang in France, by French children. Chante, chante chante!!! You can sing along to the songs on the website too.
Images and Graphics: (Laure – can we have “Bonjour les amis” text in multicolours)
Alouette is bursting with bright, colourful, original and beautiful images which spark the imagination of our children.
The 3 main characters who pop up in each issue and throughout the activities encourage your little linguists to continue learning through familiarity and fun.
Vocabulary: (Laure – what about a picture of a coccinelle or something like that with the definition next to it in text…)
Each book contains key vocabulary which is repeated throughout several times. You have a chance to review the language through games and audio support.
Further reading: (Laure – can we have one of the characters reading a book?)
We suggest different French books to read at home as an a alternative to reading in English. Try out well knownstories which your child already recognises to make it easier to understand. The recommendations we make are based on books that have been tried and tested on our children and also in many classrooms in the UK!