Whether your child attends a bilingual school or an American school, whether you speak French at home or not, you’re probably wondering how to keep up his or her level of French over the summer break.

The most important thing during the summer and long vacations is to cut out routine and change habits. This doesn’t mean doing nothing, but rather opting for a different “strategy”.

For example, if your child has been diligent all year, taking classes on a regular basis, lighten the pace. If he’s been reading a lot, try podcasts. If he’s had little grammar-conjugation, try a little more. If you’ve skipped French altogether this year, try creating an ambitious program for the summer. Finally, if your child attends a bilingual school, don’t try to redo the whole program, but rather open him up to new things using podcasts, books, scientific discoveries…

Whatever the objective, it must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realisable and Time-bound) to be effective.To help you, I suggest several avenues:

To increase your exposure to the French language:

Here are a few solutions if you’re not a French speaker yourself and/or if you’re short of time:

Reading and writing

  • Write postcards to family, French-speaking friends, French teacher….
  • Ask them to write down shopping lists, recipes, etc.
  • Suggest that they keep a vacation diary in which they can write a few sentences each day about their best moment, a memory, an anecdote…
  • Read: during the summer, Les p’tits livres offers a special subscription and/or a visit to the Bay Area’s French-language bookshop, so that he/she can choose books directly and have the pleasure of seeing and touching them…

If you’re short of ideas for reading, you can find my selection of 10 books per year here.

If you’re more into vacation workbooks

Jules et Léonie are vacation notebooks at a good academic level that follow a historical framework, with a cheerful, colorful layout.

And why not smart apps to accompany them wherever they go?

  • A fun, interactive app for learning to read: Corneille is an app for children aged 3 to 8.
  • Savio – Based on the French national education curriculum, children work playfully on spelling, grammar, conjugation and vocabulary from CE1 level up to collège.
  • Projet Voltaire – Designed for middle and high school students, it offers a training and refresher course in grammar, conjugation and spelling, with a personalized path, tests and exercises. The interface is a little austere, but progress is guaranteed.

If you’re looking for unique ideas for new activities throughout the year, you can follow my Facebook page (applications, websites, shows, games, books…) and tips.

I wish you a pleasant summer and I’ll see you in September for new articles on bilingual education.



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