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Old 05.12.2008, 18:58
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Encouraging my 8yr old to read in French - success!

Hi all

Just thought I'd do a little post about something I've found that is REALLY working for getting my 8 yr old son to try and read French. He's been in the local school since April, but is quite content to not try too hard with the language as, after all, 8 yr old boys don't actually speak to each other apart from yelling 'Bang! You're dead - my turn now!' or somesuch nonsense.

He's a very keen reader in English, and I've been trying for some time to find something for him in French that's at an easy level but not about fluffy bunnies living in an enchanted wood. Well, I think I've cracked it. I've subscribed to this daily children's newspaper:

http://www.playbac.fr/boutique.97.les-abonnements.php


That's right, 'daily'. Every working day, a 4-page sheet turns up in the post, taking an issue from the current news that's relevant to children and making it into a National-Geographic-for-6-to-10-year-olds feature piece. He's been getting it for a couple of weeks now, and they've covered Japanese whaling, how they're paying girls in India to attend school, how astronauts will recycle their pee to make clean water, how they're feeding homeless people over winter, the highest jet-pack flight, the meaning of Advent - all sorts, much of it very interesting to 8 yr old boys (and girls).

He loves getting post every day. He prefers 'little and often' with my efforts to improve his French, so 3-4 mins puzzling out the article and reading the pack page comic (always on the same topic, so he has to read the article to get the joke) are fine for him. As it's non-fiction with lots of small text blocks and pictures, it's not too hard for him to have a bash at working out the words, many of which are similar to English as they're scientific.

I'm enormously pleased, and just wanted to share in case others were having the same sort of problems.

kodokan
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Old 05.12.2008, 19:05
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Re: Encouraging my 8yr old to read in French - success!

I wonder if its possible to get that here? I'm not an 8 year old, but I am trying to learn french and it sounds like a really good way to learn basic vocab and grammar.

Hrm. Thankyou for posting. I'll have to try and see if its possible to get that in Zurich!
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Old 05.12.2008, 19:11
vwild1
 
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Re: Encouraging my 8yr old to read in French - success!

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how astronauts will recycle their pee to make clean water
Be suspicious of young boys bringing gifts of water on a hot day, that one might come back to haunt you..

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Old 05.12.2008, 19:13
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Re: Encouraging my 8yr old to read in French - success!

Hi InShan

That's the nice thing about it - it's suitable for adults too, which is why my almost 9 yr old doesn't mind trying to read it. Today the one about whaling had a large photo on the cover of a whale being harpooned (just on the border between taste and gruesomeness to satisfy him!) and an explanation inside of how it's all changed from bobbing about in a small wooden boat throwing harpoons by hand to how they now use ones that explode in the whale. I know this sounds bad, but it's honestly very educational, like an encyclopedia!

My French is intermediate and I can read most of it fairly easily (but still pick up some new vocab each day). My husband, a beginner, enjoys picking through it too, and feels it's helping him recognise sentence structures.

kodokan
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