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Why you should choose French for one of your child’s extracurricular activities

extracurricular activities, actividades extraescolares

Now that it’s the end of the school year, many parents are considering the choice of extracurricular activities for the 2019/2020 academic year. In Madrid the offer is wide and the choice can be difficult. Amongst so many choices such as tennis, dance, initiation to music and theater, the election of the most appropriate can be overwhelming

 

Parents sometimes have the following 3 main doubts when choosing French as a second or third language for their children:

 

  •  Will adding a new language at such early age hinder learning a student’s mother tongue?
  •  Isn’t English more important?
  •  If a child is at school all day, shouldn’t their after-school activity should be fun? (This takes for granted that a French class is not fun!)

 

We will address these in turn.

 

The bilingual child

extracurricular activities

 

Many parents fear that if their child does not speak their mother tongue well, adding another language will delay the acquisition of their first language. In reality, many recent studies refute this.

María Kihlstedt, psycholinguist and professor at Paris-X University, author of Bilinguisme: tout se joue avant sept ans”, Liens, No. 36, 2005 says that a child’s brain likes to play. Although you can learn a language at any age, we do not do so in the same way as a young person. Before the age of 7, language is a faculty that children discover and experience. Thus to learn a language in the same way as your mother tongue, you must learn it before that age.

The brain of the child has the ability to separate languages. It is not necessary to master a language to introduce a second, or even a third language. The child’s brain is not overloaded by an additional language, but rather stimulated.

In addition, 3 and 4 year olds are more able to distinguish and reproduce sounds than older children. This will allow them to speak without accent. Nor should the fact that they might mix languages ​​be a concern. Many bilingual or trilingual people do it and it is not a problem when it comes to distinguishing languages ​​and expressing oneself correctly.

 

Why French, in a world dominated by English?

extracurricular activities

Nowadays it will it will be irresponsible to deny the importance of English for  the future of our children. In fact, many of our students already study English or will learn it sooner or later as a second language at school. What makes French the perfect language to learn as an extracurricular activity is, as stated in the previous paragraph, young children’s brains have enormous capacities for learning languages. In a world as globalized as ours, speaking two languages ​​is no longer enough.

 

There are many reasons why you should choose French:

  1. It is the fifth most spoken language in the world and it is present in the five continents.
  2. France and Spain are neighboring countries.
  3. In Spain, French is the third language studied (after Spanish and English).
  4. In Madrid the strong French-speaking community makes French a language that is very present in the economic and cultural life of the city.
  5. Learning and speaking a language opens a window (or several) to the world. In short, it allows children to better understand another culture, which gives our children the possibility of being true citizens of the world.

 

Extracurricular activities: yes or no?

 

Learning through play

extracurricular activities

The other concern of parents is the one concerning extracurricular activities. Our children spend many hours in school and adding a few extra hours of activities means they sometimes have rather long days. Without going into discussions of the pros and cons of the activities, it can be simply said that all the specialists agree on the fact that if we put our children in extracurricular activities, they have to be fun and entertaining.

 

As we have said, young children learn languages in a natural way, as if it were their mother tongue. Teaching a language to a young child is not the same as teaching a language to a teenager or adult. The most primitive form of child learning is through play.

French classes do not have to be boring!

 

Using an adapted methodology that takes into account the way in which children perceive the world with all their senses, we transform the classroom into a playground. Children feel free to explore French in a natural way. Simply put: by fostering their creativity we create a favorable environment that facilitates learning.

 

If you want more information about the Les Petits Français program, or wish to register your child to French class, Contact Us

 

extracurricular activities

 

 

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