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Francophone Education

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Speak French to our child?
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Do you live with a francophone spouse in an English-speaking part of Canada? Perhaps one or both of you speak French as a second language? Have you as a couple decided that you want your child to be fully fluent in French?

If so, tell the French-speaking person in your couple to go to the nearest mirror...

... because that's where he or she will see the person who's best able to help your child learn French!

Easier said than done

This is a simple fact, but putting it into practice can be a real challenge for some parents.

Why? Because many mixed francophone/non-francophone couples speak English together. That's Ottawa_pathwaythe language they get to know each other in, and it becomes a natural part of their lives. In fact, it's so easy to speak English in an anglophone setting that even some francophone couples choose to do so, for a variety of reasons.

When kids come along, however, some francophone parents feel a strong desire to pass on their language and culture to the next generation. And that's when things get complicated, especially if those parents have spent a few years speaking English to their little ones.

It's about as easy to switch languages with someone as it is to start brushing your teeth using the other hand. That is to say, it's awkward for quite a while, but eventually you can master it.

One parent's experience

Here's how one francophone parent made the change. After speaking English to his daughter for the first five years of her life (as did his anglophone spouse), this Franco-Ontarian father came to realize that he really wanted his little girl to be fluent in French. He knew he could help make that happen, so he decided to change the language they spoke together.

The first time he said something to her in French, she looked at him sharply and said, "Daddy, speak to me in English." He understood her reaction because it felt strange for him, too. But he'd made his decision and stuck to it. It took six long months (!) but eventually it became natural for both of them to speak to each other in French.

Taking time to talk together

How many francophone parents don't speak French to their kids because they don't want to irritate their spouse? I'd say as many as there are non-francophone parents who wish their francophone spouse would speak French with their kids. It seems there are many couples out there who need to sit down and talk about what they want for their children!

Parents_with_bb_from_Fusion

You'll find more about this, including some questions you may wish to discuss with your spouse, on pages 13–18 of Fusion, as well as throughout Chapter 4 of that book.

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Do you live with a francophone spouse in an English-speaking part of Canada? Perhaps one or both of you speak French as a second language? Have you as a couple decided that you want your child to be fully fluent in French?

 

If so, tell the French-speaking person in your couple to go to the nearest mirror…

 

… because that’s where he or she will see the person who’s best able to help your child learn French!

 

Easier said than done

 

This is a simple fact, but putting it into practice can be a real challenge for some parents.

 

Why? Because many mixed francophone/non-francophone couples speak English together. That’s the language they get to know each other in, and it becomes a natural part of their lives. In fact, it’s so easy to speak English in an anglophone setting that even some francophone couples choose to do so, for a variety of reasons.

 

When kids come along, however, some francophone parents feel a strong desire to pass on their language and culture to the next generation. And that’s when things get complicated, especially if those parents have spent a few years speaking English to their little ones.

 

It’s about as easy to switch languages with someone as it is to start brushing your teeth using the other hand. That is to say, it’s awkward for quite a while, but eventually you can master it.

 

One parent’s experience

 

Here’s how one francophone parent made the change. After speaking English to his daughter for the first five years of her life (as did his anglophone spouse), this Franco-Ontarian father came to realize that he really wanted his little girl to be fluent in French. He knew he could help make that happen, so he decided to change the language they spoke together.

 

The first time he said something to her in French, she looked at him sharply and said, “Daddy, speak to me in English.” He understood her reaction because it felt strange for him, too. But he’d made his decision and stuck to it. It took six long months (!) but eventually it became natural for both of them to speak to each other in French.

 

Taking time to talk together

 

How many francophone parents don’t speak French to their kids because they don’t want to irritate their spouse? I’d say as many as there are non-francophone parents who wish their francophone spouse would speak French with their kids. It seems there are many couples out there who need to sit down and talk about what they want for their children!

 

You’ll find more about this, including some questions you may wish to discuss with your spouse, on pages 13–18 of Fusion[GT1] , as well as throughout Chapter 4 of that book.

 

While you’re at it, why not share your experiences[GT2]  with other parents, too?


 [GT1]Lien vers FUSION Page principale ENGLISH.

 [GT2]Lien vers Forum.

 
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