Sharing the Love of Languages

Posts tagged ‘français’

La Veille de “Sunny Earth Camp”


Tonight’s “la veille” (the night before) Sunny Earth Camp. Even if it’s rainy, tomorrow will be sunny! It’s my first ever “Sunny Earth Camp” and I just cannot wait! It has been two years in the making and the day has finally come. Since the “birth” of the  “Sunny Earth Academy,” I have dreamt of this day. With life’s busy twists and turns of the past couple years, the time was just not right, but the day has finally come! I will welcome little linguists into our home and treat them to a one hour French “camp.” My hope is that everyone has so much fun they don’t want to leave and they definitely want to come back next week and the week after!!! I also hope that this camp will help my children embrace speaking French. I am one of the only people they see on a regular basis who speaks to them in French and my French is far from perfect. Plus, I slip into English often as I am married to a monolingual. The kids need a boost like this. They both will help teach the others and act as my assistants. I will be using AIM which means little to no English at all. I am sooooooo ready and excited for this Sunny Adventure!  🙂
Sunny Earth Sun in Texas by ZakTo read a blog post I wrote about AIM, visit here. Special thanks to Zak for the photo! 🙂



Spontaneous Speech by the Sunny Earth Kids


Soleil has started speaking French spontaneously! It is so cool! I have created this blog post so I can start recording some of the things she is saying.

1. Où est le chat? <–Along with other “Où est…” questions. Read more about where she got this phrase from here.

2. Je suis petit. <—She’s missing the “e” to make petit feminine…but I am raising that affective filter to stop and correct her spontaneous speech! What I do is say back a sentence about myself using the proper pronunciation of “petite” in the feminine form.

3. Je suis triste/contente/malade/etc. <—Special thanks to @jeannedelalune for this gem that has taught the children these useful phrases. To see her amazing website, click here. Soleil has really taken a liking to Mimi la souris. You can read more about this “liking” here!

4. Et puis ça. <—She said that tonight 6/10/13 when we were finished reading one book, gearing up for next, and she wanted yet another after!

5. Ça c’est bien/bon/amusant/chouette/etc.

Numbers 4 and 5 have come from Soleil without coaching or special repetition from me…I’m not quite sure where or how she has picked them up, but it must be things I’ve said along the way many times over without realizing.


Geo has started speaking some French. I will record what I am hearing in this section of the blog. It is not spontaneous speech yet. However, when I speak to him in French and ask him a question, he will give me one or two word answers in French. If I provide him with two possible answers to the question, with a “question totale” (AIM Language Learning technique) then he almost always will answer in French. For instance today at the dinner table, I asked him if he wanted more chicken in French but I phrased it giving him two possible answers: Est-ce que tu veux encore de poulet ou ça va? Do you want more chicken or are you all set. Geo answered with “ça va.”

Geo is not up to answering in a complete sentence yet, but we have not been pushing him to speak French because of his speech delay. You can read more about Geo’s language journey at Geo’s World of Words.

1. Bonjour

2. Papa mon baiser <—A song he has picked up from his sister that he sings around the house. Read more about that here.

3. Merci <—With the touch cue for “c.”

4. S’il te plaît <—He needs me to provide his touch cues for the “s,” “t” and “p” sometimes. For more on Geo’s touch cues, read here.


Both children have certain words and phrases they say only (or mainly) in French. As they come up, I will record them here. (There are many, but I have trouble remembering!)

1. Jolies lumières<—One of the children’s favorite pastimes is driving around during the holiday season at night to scope out all the “jolies lumières” (pretty lights). Even monolingual daddy says it en français, now!

2. Frites<—They love les frites! I cannot wait to take them to Belgium!!!

3. Le panier sale<—This is what I call where they put the dirty clothes. I didn’t know how to say hamper, so I just named it “the dirty basket.” This will probably become one of the many things that will have to be unlearned and retaught when we finally go live in Québec or France for a bit!

Mimi la souris

Mimi la souris is an adorable creation by our friend, Nathalie Bonneau (aka @jeannedelalune). Her website has a variety of fun animations that the Sunny Earth Kids keep coming back to time and time again. There are many fun resources for French on the Internet, but to be honest, there are only a handful that have attracted Soleil & Géo’s attention. Nathalie’s website is one of them!


Mimi is definitely a favorite! Soleil, who is now 5 1/2 years-old, wanted to write a story about Mimi. She cut up a bunch of papers, told me what to draw and asked me to help her write the phrases in French on a separate sheet of paper. She then colored the pages and copied down the French for each page. I photographed the pages on colored paper with the iPad, then uploaded them to Explain Everything. Soleil and Géo have been learning French from birth, but they are still not entirely comfortable speaking in French. The Explain Everything app helped Soleil record her French speech in small comfortable chunks. Here’s what we ended up with:

Soleil insists that it is not the end…that Mimi’s story must go on. We will see what other adventures Mimi will have! Soleil’s current obsessions include egg hunts and sleepovers…it will be interesting to see what Mimi will end up doing next! Perhaps we can get Géo’s help on the next one!!! 🙂

Thank you, Nathalie, for making French come alive for our children…complete with fireworks and iron-eating robots! We are so grateful you exist!

French Playlist Extravaganzaa

We have our 100th subscriber on YouTube! In honor of this event, we have compiled this list of Playlists for French teachers and learners. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

L’alphabet français

Bonjour! Comment ça va?: French greetings and basic phrases, questions and answers

Catchy & Easy French Songs: A list of French songs that are pleasantly repetitive and/or have easy tunes for quick learning

French for young learners and the young and young at heart: Over 100 videos for young linguists!

Kinesthetic French Fun: Get up and move while learning French! Read the notes on some videos to learn how to play games or do movements that go along with the song or activity.

Fun French Cartoon called Barbapapa

Les histoires: Stories in French

Les histoires: A playlist of stories in French by Sylvia Duckworth

Hilarious French Cartoon complete with a talking pineapple called Téléfrançais

Les nombres et l’heure: A playlist dedicated to the French numbers & time

Boowa et Kwala: A blue dog and yellow koala sing adorable songs. We love to learn them and sing and dance to them! Animations by which has a wonderful interactive website for children ages 0-7.

Trotro: A French-speaking donkey and his adventures…a favorite of my 4 and 6-year-olds!

Le calendrier et le temps: French Calendar & Weather Playlist

C’est l’Halloween: A playlist of Halloween-themed songs and videos.

C’est Noël: A playlist of Christmas-themed songs and videos

L’arbre est dans ses feuilles: Canadian folk song

Am Stram Gram This French choosing rhyme is great for learning the sounds in French and fun for kids to use when making a choice

Les dinosaures: Playlist for little dinosaur lovers

Robots: Playlist for little robot lovers

Les sons français: Songs for learning all the French sounds

Comment est-il?: Learn how to describe others and yourself with this “What is he like?” playlist

Le Petit Nicolas: A cartoon about a little boy and his adventures

Sam le pompier: A cartoon about a fireman and his adventures

Les animaux: Learn the names and sounds of animals with this playlist

Les animaux: Sylvia Duckworth’s playlist includes videos featuring animals

Les couleurs: A playlist dedicated to learning the colors within a context of a story or a song

Les couleurs: A playlist about the colors in French by Sylvia Duckworth

Thomas en français: Thomas the train is available in French!

The following playlists are more geared towards learners at the secondary level:

French for Secondary

La Musique

Les questions en français: (Some videos may also work for middle school or elementary school)

Here are some other channel’s playlists that are definitely worth a look!

We like playlists because it’s a safer way to show our kids videos on YouTube. We still monitor them, bien sûr!

If you have any that you think  we should add, please contact Audrey at MERCI! 🙂

French For the Family (Videos with subtitles)

Boowa et Kwala (Chansons…in case we missed any above in our playlist!)

Chansons et comptines

More to come, so check back! 🙂

Aquí está un árbol de navidad

We are so happy to announce that we have been working together with Jeanne de la Lune (@Jeannedelalune) to create a Spanish version of this well loved French holiday song. Please click on TRANSCRIPT (pdf) to view the lyrics. The song really makes more sense once you read the story. Please find the text and audio of the story read by Fabiola Valdez (@NhsValdez) below.

Esta es la historia de un pequeño árbol de navidad. El árbol espera que alguien le elige en el supermercado. Es orgulloso y espinoso.
Un niño y su papá elige y lleva el árbol a casa y para decorarlo. Él es feliz y brillante.
Es la noche antes de Navidad. Todo el mundo se reúne alrededor del árbol y para cantar villancicos. Él es feliz cantando.
Ya pasó la Navidad. El niño y su padre quitan las decoraciones. El árbol está triste y llora porque se pregunta que va le a devenir.
El papá y niño pequeño cava un hoyo en el jardín y lo replanta. El árbol es feliz. Crece mucho y cada diciembre regresa a casa para la Navidad.

El_arbol_de_navidad2.mp3 Listen on Posterous

Little ones really love to act out this song as they sing it. In this video (French version) you can see this for yourself! The actions used are a mixture of invented ones and gestures from AIM Language Learning.