How I learned to love French as a second language in an English province

Education By Jess Thodas
professeur d'anglais apprendre une deuxième langue chien pug vue de Montréal

Learning a second language is often viewed as difficult and frustrating, but with some adjustments in our learning approach, we can make it easy & fun! 

Being a Canadian, I always valued the importance of knowing French and English, but, growing up in Alberta, my French resources were limited. After I repeatedly insisted, my parents enrolled me in a small French immersion school for kindergarten. I remember enjoying the school, but I switched to an English school a few years later to be with my siblings. However, starting in junior high school, I switched back to French immersion as I loved the language but found it difficult to learn more than the colors and the days of the week with my weekly 30-minute French class. Although I sometimes felt it frustrating to express myself in a new language:

I learned more in one year of French immersion than in my six years of French classes.

The main takeaway from my experience in learning French in an English province is that repetition and practice are essential. I was speaking only English outside of school, so a 30-minute class once a week was not enough to help me learn French. Instead, being able to work on French every day through conversations, videos, music, and games

Practice and repetition are essential in learning a new language. But it is also important that your little ones are engaged and enjoying the activities at home to encourage them to continue practicing every day. That is why I recommend incorporating one activity in their new language daily that they already love to do. This could be something like watching a TV show, watching a movie, reading a book, listening to music, having a short conversation, doing an exercise video, playing a video game, playing a sport, doing a scavenger hunt, doing a word search, or any other activities they enjoy but in their new language.

Learning a second language can be frustrating and challenging at times, especially when your little ones feel like the work is daunting or that they can’t express themselves in their new language. Incorporating fun activities in their new language can help your little ones enjoy learning a second language!


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Child listening to a teacher on a screen
Happy teenager