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About This Blog

This blog is for anyone interested in raising their children in a foreign language--meaning a language which neither of the parents speak natively.
We have used the approach where both parents speak the target foreign language (in our case, German) to the children. Neither of us is a native German speaker, yet we have spoken German in our home for the past 20 years and have 8 German speaking children. In this blog, we hope to share our successes, our lessons learned and a few of the insights that we've gained along the way.

Is French Feasible or Futile? Thoughts of Trilingualism

With our older children, we tried introducing French a few times. I checked out some French audio tapes from the library and I had a few French children's books that we would read now and then. Why French? Well, my sweet husband speaks French. He served a two year mission in France for our church when he was 19. I took two years of French in high school. I also took a few semesters in college. I am NOT fluent. I can understand basic words and grammar. I can say things like "Je m'apelle Nina." I think if I studied it again that a lot would come back to me. But since I haven't tried to keep it up, I have forgotten almost all of my French.

Anyways, so why am I blogging about French? Well, I am somehow convinced that I could give my kids the equivalent of two or three years of high school French. I don't expect them to become fluent or to speak native-like. However, I do believe that they have the potential to acquire much better pronunciation if we start at a young age than they would if we waited to introduce the language until they were teenagers. What are other reasons why I might want to introduce French? Well, why not?? I can speak some French, so why not pass what I know on to my kids. In fact, I can learn right along with them.

How do plan on doing this? Well, I'm not exactly sure yet. I've been showing them French children's videos since they were little. I have French apps on our phones and tablets, which the kids love to play. We have some French books and a daddy that speaks some French. I think that is enough to get started.

I have been mulling the whole French thing over in my head for a year or two. I realized that if I really want to push French, that I will probably end up pulling my kids out of school part time, because there just isn't enough time after school to really learn a language. I have some awesome ideas about that, but that will have to wait for a later blog post. All I know, is that I want start soon. They are at an age where they are just soaking so much up. I don't want to miss this precious developmental stage in their lives.

I find myself searching the internet often for any French material I can find. I'm also looking for a fun children's French curriculum that we can use. I'd prefer one designed for native German speakers who are learning French. If anyone has any ideas or recommendations, please share them in the comment section below.

As you can see in the video below, the kids already are enjoying French. They are fascinated by it. Being bilingual, they understand the concept of different languages and that there are different ways to express yourself. So, I think their little minds are very open to the idea of a third language. Maybe we'll start something like "French Fridays" and use that day to really focus on French. I'm getting super excited about the whole French thing. There is so much technology available to help me out. See my Technology Post.

The video shows the kids watching a cute French YouTube video. They had been playing outside in the pool. When they came in, I had it playing. They were sucked into it and didn't go back outside. I loved that they immediately started imitating the words and sounds. They thought it was neat that the French alphabet sounded more like the German alphabet. As I watched them, I realized that I need to continue to feed them French. I'm excited to find out where we'll end up on this new linguistic venture.


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