Free Resources

Learning Numbers in French

We use numbers every day as we shop, play games, discuss times and dates, and interact with each other. In order to be able to function in a second language, it is important to master using numbers.

While learning numbers in French is really just a matter of memorizing them, there are many ways to make the process fun and enjoyable. The secret to mastery is to make sure the numbers are practiced out of order. Let me explain why.

As a French teacher, I have encountered many students who can count like wildfire, but have no idea how to identify a number out of order. Attempts to do so usually involve rapid counting. This can take some time when the number is over fifty!

Practice Numbers Out of Order

The good news is that there are many fun ways to ensure that numbers are drilled randomly. Continue reading

Using a French-English Dictionary to Build Vocabulary

When you have access to a good quality, comprehensive, French-English dictionary, you open up a world of possibilities to your French as a Second Language students. Vocabulary building is an important part of language learning, and having a good dictionary makes it easy and fun.

What dictionary should you buy? I highly recommend investing in the biggest and best one you can afford. Small paperback and pocket dictionaries just don’t have all the information you will need. A larger version, on the other hand, will contain conjugations, grammar, word histories, examples of world usage, and even sample letters and phrases to help you in conversation and composition.

Themed Projects

Having a comprehensive dictionary allows you to build your French lessons based on other topics that you may be studying. Continue reading

How Your Brain Learns a New Language

 

Learning and using language is one of the most amazingly unique and complex things that we do as humans. While certain intelligent animals have shown some ability to communicate using signs and symbols, including human words, these displays by chimps, gorillas, or dolphins don’t even come close to the level of speech and understanding displayed by human three year olds. We are in a league of our own when it comes to communication. 

Language philosopher Noam Chomsky theorized that people were “hard-wired” to learn language. Continue reading

Why Learn a Second Language?

There is more to knowing a second language than just the possibility of carrying on a conversation with someone who doesn’t speak English. There is more than just the possibility of travel to exotic places and being able to mingle with the locals.

Learning a second language offers an amazing glimpse into the way people in other cultures think and process information. It has the side effect of knocking the learner out of the center of the universe. We discover that it is okay that someone else has a different way of looking at things. It is a fascinating and delightful experience to see the world from someone else’s perspective. Learning a second language makes this possible.

“I have ten years.”

Here in Canada, French isn’t exactly a foreign language in that it’s an official language of Canada. It is, however, foreign to the many school-age children who have spent the first years of their lives hearing little or no French. Continue reading