Let's Learn French by Judy Martialay ** Review**
Bonjour! Let's Learn French: Visit New Places and Make New Friends is aimed at 6-10 year olds and aims to introduce English speaking children to a different language and culture. Here's how Judy describes it:
Children meet Pete the Pilot, who takes them on an imaginary trip to France. During the trip, they learn some basic French. In France, they meet Louis l’escargot, France’s popular snail, and follow his adventures while learning more French. They bring their French back home to practice with friends and family in the activities section. In the culture corner, they learn more about life in France and have more opportunities to practice French. Finally, they are introduced to impressionist art, and learn how to make an impressionist-style picture with oil pastels or crayons.
The audio version is free and should be downloaded from the website here.
I like the way Bonjour! Let's Learn French addresses the child directly and incorporates French vocabulary within the English story at first. Linked to colourful but not overly busy illustrations, it is possible to acquire the French words within a context. The stories gradually extend the French vocabulary from single words, to phrases and a young child can identify with some of the situations within the stories, such as playing on the beach. Life in France is introduced and there are opportunities to practice and reinforce the language used within activities in different media- painting and singing.
Parents, grandparents and carers can share the book with their child no matter what their own knowledge of French might be. If they take advantage of the free audiobook version, they can listen to the pronunciation and stop the recording as they wish. The French vocabulary is only explained the first time it appears in the book but with repetition, the child can begin to acquire it naturally. It is also worth pointing out that there are downloadable worksheets and resources at the website Polyglotkidz.com.
Cat and Mouse say: Bonjour!
About the Author
Judy Martialay was born in Mount Vernon, New York, and received a BA from Mount Holyoke College and MA from Columbia University. She taught Foreign Languages in elementary school, middle and high school. During and after retirement, she devoted time to public advocacy for foreign language education with the New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers.
Judy has traveled to Mexico, France, Spain, Italy, Algeria, China, Ethiopia, Greece, Israel and other countries. She always tries to learn at least a few phrases in the language of the country. “It makes the people and country come alive; it’s like seeing life in color rather than in black and white”.
Her goal is to give all children the opportunity to experience a foreign language as early as possible. In preparation for this book, Judy received advice from several experts in the field of foreign language instruction for children.
First published October 31st 2017
age range 6-10
Thanks to Judy for a copy of the book.