In Kindergarten, your child learns to
To find out more about what your child is learning, talk to the teacher. You may also refer to the Language Arts Practices: Orientation Guide for information regarding the program's guiding principles and recommended practices.
Your child's teacher assesses students on their ability to understand and to communicate in French. The teacher will report your child's progress in areas such as:
What do you mean by "viewing" and "representing"?
Viewing: Viewing is when children get information and are exposed to ideas that are presented visually, such as in photographs, videos, or drawings. Viewing involves understanding visual images and connecting them to accompanying spoken or written words.
Representing: Representing is when children present information using a variety of media, such as charts, posters, diagrams, photographs, videos, drama and mime.
How can I help my child (even if I don’t speak French)?
Talk with your child about school work. Even if you don’t know French, you can still be an interested and supportive listener.
Help your child become familiar with your own traditions and stories.
Read with your child every day in the language spoken at home – reading skills are transferred from one language to another.
Encourage your child to read for pleasure in French or in English. Invite your child to read with you and listen to your child read in French.
Watch French programs or videos, listen to a French CD and visit French websites. Give your child opportunities to get to know Francophone culture, activities and events in your community, in Manitoba and beyond.
Give your child access to French books for reading enjoyment and reference books such as visual dictionaries.
How do Children Learn to REad and Write in a Second Language
"The process of learning to decode texts in French is not very different from learning to read in English or any other Western language. Children must first understand how texts "work": which way is up, and where text begins and ends. They must also understand that symbols and words can represent concepts and that a message, once written, does not change.
Once children begin school, they learn that letters represent sounds and that different combinations of letters are used to represent all the words they hear. When studying French, students learn that the sounds associated with some letters differ from those used in English, while many stay the same. With guidance, students also notice that the structures of sentences differ somewhat between French and English. Comparing languages also reveals each language’s quirks and reinforces prior knowledge and skills. Although students may mix up these sounds and structures at first, they quickly learn to “code switch” between French and English.
One of the most important factors affecting reading and writing in a second language – including French – is oral vocabulary. Students who quickly and accurately decode (or sound out) words may not understand what they are reading because they do not know what those words mean. Students must spend as much time as possible hearing, viewing, and speaking in French so that their vocabulary grows to levels allowing them to understand and enjoy the texts they are tackling. Your child’s teacher, school, and division may therefore delay formal reading instruction in order to focus on oral vocabulary acquisition.
Rest assured that this vocabulary work – in French and in English – better prepares your child for learning to read successfully. Any delays in formal reading instruction are typically made up by the end of Grade 4, at which time students should be literate in not one, but TWO languages."