Reflections on a Semester of Teaching French

This past school year brought a different family season for us as we temporarily left homeschooling and I began teaching French full-time at a local high school because of their last-minute need. This meant a whirlwind of change for my family, but we agreed to try out this season of work and private schooling. For the first time, our older two children are attending school three days per week (in English, not French, unfortunately) but we expect to return to homeschooling after our stay in France next fall.

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French Schools Follow-Up: Summarizing My Children's Immersion Experiences

This week marks the third week my children have attended school here in France, with my preschooler attending public school and my elementary-age child attending a private school. I'm extremely grateful that they've had this opportunity, and yet we're all glad that we will return to homeschooling (back in the U.S.) by next month. The flexibility and individualization allowed by homeschooling is wonderful, but we still feel that our time here in Lyon is wrapping up too quickly!

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Bilingual Progress Update: Before Our France Trip

Bonjour! It's been a while, hasn't it? May was a whirlwind--amidst the beauty of spring, it was my husband's busy season of coaching track, but thankfully we'll have more time together soon. This past month I've figured out some details for our first trip to France as a family. It's an extended trip stretching from July to the end of September. We figured if we're going to pay for all of us to go (we opened a savings account last year towards this goal), we might as well stay as long as possible. Without a visa, we can stay close to 90 days.

I'm really curious to know how much fluency our children will gain from their time in France! Here's where they are currently at in their French knowledge and acquisition, along with my hopes for their experience:

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Little French Steps Forward: Ages 2 & 5 Language Update

Bonjour les amis! I wrote about my children's French language use this past June, but in the six months since then I've been encouraged by my kiddos' continued language progress. My son in particular has made some solid French strides. He still talks predominantly in English, but right at the 30-months of age mark (a language milestone mentioned by Dr. Gorman in this podcast), he started using more French vocabulary, and more importantly, he became much more willing to repeat French phrases. (Perhaps we're saying au revoir to the more headstrong moments of the terrible twos?). Amusingly, he also adds his own silly tweaks to the language, saying things like "poo-poo-plaît" instead of "s'il te plaît."

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ACTFL 2014 Conference Summary: Language Learning Links

Les amis, I've been wanting to tell you about the ACTFL Conference that took place in San Antonio, Texas, just over a week ago. ACTFL is the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages; their annual conference is oriented towards K-12 teachers of French, Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, Japanese, German, and Italian. This year's conference was the second largest--there were well over 6,000 teachers in attendance!

Here are my favorite aspects of the conference:

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Our French Language Journey: A Podcast at Bilingual Kids Rock

Bonjour encore, mes amis! Just two weeks ago I shared with you my podcast with Marianna Du Bosq at Bilingual Avenue. (If you missed it, you can find it here on iTunes.) I enjoyed speaking with Marianna about what the journey has been like as I raise my children in non-native French, and I'm glad to hear that the podcast has been popular. 

Likewise, I was just as thrilled to record a podcast with Olena Centeno at Bilingual Kids Rock--and it's just been released this past week! My talk with Olena focuses more on the details and background of how I came to speak French with my children, how my family (and strangers) react to my French, and my journey as a language learner, parent, and teacher. I'm thrilled to link to my podcast with Olena for the first time here:

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