Friday, January 19, 2018

Winter Reading 2018 Bonjour ! Let's Learn French


When I was a Latin student in high school, my teacher had a favorite coffee mug with the slogan, "Monolingualism can be cured" on the side. It always made me laugh, the idea that only being able to speak one language was some sort of illness that could be cured. But the idea is true, especially with tools like Martialay's book. 

Written for elementary school students, the book takes readers on an imaginary trip to France. The characters Pete the Pilot and Louis l'escargot help bring the story to life and make the learning fun. Each section of the book has a different focus, with phrases that fit the situation provided. Helpful words to introduce oneself and meet new people are followed by words one might use on a trip to one of France's lovely beaches. After the story are lists of colors, days of the week, and people and things.

To help practice, there is a play that young readers can perform. Instructions for using pastels to create an impressionistic picture, the music and lyrics to the song "Ah! Mon beau chateau!" and even a "Coin de culture" with details of French culture all work to present words and phrases in ways that capture the imagination and give them a context. At the back is a list of all the words, organized in order of their appearance in the book. There is also extended support from the website,, which offers an audio version of the book, advice for parents, articles on learning foreign languages, activity sheets, recipes, a video to go with the art activity, and a game.

Whether you are a parent hoping to broaden your child's linguistic skills, or a teacher studying other cultures with your class - you will find Bonjour! Let's Learn French (and it's companion book, Hola! Let's Learn Spanish) a painless way to begin your journey. 

I received a copy of the book from the author for review purposes.

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