I spoke last week about how I’d introduced activity vocabulary to La Belle Fille; this week I’ve extended that to include swimming vocabulary. In our forthcoming trip to France we’re planning on taking our little family swimming so our oldest daughter can have a positive experience to relate the move to. I would like her to continue the swimming lessons she’s already had back home (although I understand the lessons in France are very different from those in the UK). To make sure she understood what was happening I thought specific vocabulary would be helpful.
For the activity vocabulary I’d made posters around the home to refer to. But for this activity I’ve taken a more mobile route. You see when my daughter goes to her swimming lessons we are often very early – I’m a bit of a fusspot about timing. She’s often changed and waiting by the pool sometimes with 15 minutes to spare. As every mother knows, an excitable child by a poolside is a hazard! I have to constantly stop her from running round and things – eek!
One week I decided to distract her with French swimming vocabulary on my phone. We looked up the words, like swimming costume, and she pointed out where she could see them in the pool. Learning in an environment is a great way to teach as context helps so much.
So I decided to make her these laminated vocabulary cards. It means that whenever we’re finding waiting by the pool difficult we have something to do. You can download them here (Swimming).
I’ve done this now with the activities from last week too and they’re just as great – if we’re early for preschool we have something to do. We look inside the room that’s been set up for the day and she says what she thinks she will be doing. Then when I pick her up she can automatically refer to her French vocabulary cards to say what she’s been doing.
As La Belle Fille can read well in English she’s starting to feel comfortable transferring this skill into French which, after all, is a very similar looking language. The other week when I brought the swimming cards out for the first time she happily read out some of the vocabulary before I told her what they were! I think this is because these little expressions or simple words are not overwhelming – they’re really just the same as the 1000 first baby words books.
If you try these and find them useful I’d love to hear from you, or if you have any successful tips yourself. I’m happily starting to link up with many other mums trying to teach their children another language on Twitter now, so if this is your thing I’d love to hear from you there too.