Saturday, August 28, 2010
Reading in a Series in French
I have been building up my nephew's library at home. He now has officially taken over the complete last two shelves (three if you count the stacking of books under the shelves) of my sister's floor to ceiling bookshelf that takes up the entire living room wall. While I feel quite proud, about a third of his library is now in French. My nephew is bilingual. To support his linguistic development in his second language, I have been diligent to find books in French that hold his interest, introduce him to new and challenging vocabulary, and that span both story, poetry, and non fiction texts. I buy him books that his mother (who is fluent in French) and his babysitters can read to him with no problem. I also have bought him books that I can read to him (ones that are a bit simpler for the novice French speaker).
I found many series that he has absolutely fallen in love with that I can read too. Our two favorites are: Crocolou and the Petit Garcon series. Crocolou's books are simple stories all about a little crocodile named, Crocolou. Each book centers around another thing that he loves: Crocolou aime sa mama, Crocolou aime l'ecole etc. With a few re-readings of these books my nephew has been able to "learn" them and fill in the blanks, quickly and easily when i make dramatic pauses for him to chime in. Even as simple as these books are, they still introduce new vocabulary to us!
The Petit Garcon series are fun. Each one is about another little boy enjoying some sort of transportation: Le Train de Bastien, La Moto de Marco, L'Avion de Gaston etc. They also rhyme. This makes it fun for my nephew to listen to but also easier for me to read with the rhythm!
If your kids are bilingual, make sure you have the books in both languages in your house! Read them together! Bilingualism is a gift to be treasured! Spend time in the "not so dominate" language together.
If you are not bilingual, but enjoy languages and want the kids in your lives to enjoy languages too, buy books in foreign languages. Read them with your child. Study the pictures hard! Reading is a great way to learn a language and to develop appreciation for different languages. Be brave! Dive right in! Pick up a children's book in a language you studied in high school or college- practice reading it and then share it with a child! Have fun.