Francophone Education


How to create FrancoZones
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FrancoZone space

To create a FrancoZone space in your home, choose a spot in a common area (though not too close to a source of distraction such as a TV) where you can set up a small table or desk. It's easy to find something for under $25 on Kijiji, at garage sales, in the classified ads and elsewhere. You may be able to pick up a chair, too, or just take one from elsewhere in your home.

Be sure to choose a spot that's handy for you, perhaps close to the kitchen. (One day while house-hunting, I discovered a child’s play/work area tucked away in the basement underneath a flight of stairs. It was a tiny, enclosed space with room for only a tiny person — not at all suitable for a FrancoZone.)

If it helps, stake out the limits of your FrancoZone with masking tape on the floor. Some parents actually consider this to be a key element of their Zone.

Outfit your FrancoZone with items such as crayons, pencils, an eraser, a ruler, etc. Consider borrowing or buying a dictionary suited to your child's level, as well as any other resources that may be fun and useful.

Since the focus of a FrancoZone is French language and francophone culture, why not decorate your space with French-related posters and other items? If your child is into drawing, you won’t need to buy many decorations since she or he will produce an endless stream of masterpieces…

If your child is a bit older, you could put up the francophone flag of your province or territory, or even the whole collection of Canada’s francophone flags. How about printing some family photos (a visit with distant francophone relatives, etc.) and putting them on the wall?

FrancoZone times and activities

A FrancoZone can also exist in time. There are moments every week, if not every day, where parents find themselves in their children’s company for the same reason, such as driving them to dance lessons, karate, soccer, music, hockey…

You can take advantage of these occasions to create a FrancoZone time by listening to the radio or music in French or, if you’re able, conversing in French.

There are doubtless many such moments in your family life that you and your spouse could convert into FrancoZones.

You can also conduct regular activities in French. For instance, watch weekly TV shows in French, prepare and eat certain meals in French (e.g., every Friday supper), clean the house in French (okay, that might not be the best example because the idea is to have fun together), and so on.

The most important thing to remember is that FrancoZones are intended to help your child develop lifelong habits in French. No matter what times or activities you choose, make sure you do them consistently.