Learning a second language, especially the French language, can be exciting as it can open numerous doors for future success.
When you study the French language at school, it helps you build towards your career and discover a whole new culture.
To explain the importance of the language non-natively, the French language is the fourth most spoken language in the US, according to the US Census Bureau.
But why learn French at school?
Being able to sign up for classes like French at school can change a kid's life. Their young minds grasp ideas far better than adults; this means they can quickly learn and speak the language.
Furthermore, schools provide students with the latest resources to learn. These books are monumental in helping students reach their goals faster.
And if you're still wondering if it's worth it to make your child go through extensive grammatical exercises, vocab lists, and oral revisions, think no more!
Superprof's French-language guide will guide you through the language of love and help you understand why your child should start taking French lessons at school.
Why Learn French At School?
Most middle schools in the US offer foreign language classes in their curricula. This means every student will have a chance to learn a language other than English.
But why is it important to begin so early when you can wait and learn French language lessons more effectively when you're older?
Language classes are taught in schools for several good reasons, and if you're wondering why French in particular? Well, here are five benefits of learning the French language at school:
1. Improves English
Here's an interesting fact: did you know that Latin and French make up about 58% of the English vocabulary.
Moreover, French alone has inspired 29% of English words. Many also believe that English has adopted roughly 10,000 French words.
It's no secret that both English and French have several commonalities, and these make learning new vocabulary a lot easier.
So, if you're stuck on a French word in the middle of a conversation or learning, making a quick guess based on your English vocabulary can probably lead you to it.
Furthermore, learning a foreign language, especially French, can enhance your understanding of English.
For instance, when you learn French grammar, it can help you understand English grammar far better. That's because both French and English (Germanic language) are closely connected.
So, when the English teacher at school starts teaching about verbs, adjectives, nouns, etc., you'll be able to understand better than students not taking French language lessons.
Additionally, if you hear or read unfamiliar English words and identify French roots, chances are you can decode the origins.
For instance, "inevitable," an English word, resembles "eviter," a French verb, meaning to avoid. If you pair it with a negator "in," you'll get inevitable.
2. Learn Helpful Vocabulary And Expressions For Your Holidays
By learning how to speak a new language, you can break the stereotype of Americans being monolingual, alongside improving your confidence. Plus, it can also make your holidays in France much more manageable.
Whether you get a smile in exchange for saying "merci" or make friends during your family holiday trips in France, putting the French language into practice can help you make new friends and gain memorable experiences.
3. Participate In French Language Exchange Programs
One of the major parts of learning a foreign language at school is "language exchange" programs.
A French-language exchange program is a week-long visit organized by both elementary and middle schools where US students host French pupils and help them enhance their English abilities.
Likewise, Exchange students from the States often visit France and meet French students who help them learn how to speak the French language fluently.
When you participate in a French language exchange program, you'll learn a lot about their education system and will also be able to meet French students of your age.
Although living with a total stranger in another country might seem a daunting task for teens, however, it's arguably one of the best ways to enhance your French language skills.
4. Make French-Speaking Friends
Apart from the fact that you'll get a chance to make many lifelong friends during your exchange program, if you learn how to speak French fluently, you open yourself up to communicating with 275M French speakers worldwide!
Befriending a native speaker is an exciting and helpful way to learn while learning on your vacations or even out of school. This way, you'll always have a French tutor by your side.
5. Take Advantage Of Your Young Brain
You might be familiar with an old saying: learning a second language becomes difficult as you age. And it's true! Young children are like sponges, which means that they have a natural readiness to learn.
This is most apparent when they begin learning a foreign language and show results quicker than adults. The reason behind this phenomenon is that young children benefit from their age and lack of responsibilities.
On the other hand, adults are bogged down by their work and extraneous situations that they prioritize ahead of learning a language.
Meanwhile, school students spend most of their days in a conducive environment optimized for studying and learning.
Middle-School French Lessons
If you want to benefit from every opportunity of learning the French language, you must start your journey to fluency at the soonest.
In the United States, there are many valuable opportunities for middle-school pupils to learn the French language.
Several private and public middle schools provide French lessons as a part of the curricula or provide foreign language courses as electives.
A typical middle-school French class in the US would include:
- French language history
- Understanding French culture and influence over the world
- Learning how to communicate efficiently in French. Written and oral communications would be emphasized in the class
- Understand the French language in both spoken and written form
If the middle school in your area doesn't provide French language classes, there are plenty of other ways to learn French, such as private French tutoring.
Superprof's private French tutors are experienced and qualified tutors ready to help you or your child excel at learning a second language. You have the option of taking either in-person or virtual lessons!
Check for French classes near me here on Superprof.
High-School French Language Classes
Language learning classes are available primarily to high-school students in the United States. According to one survey, one in every five students in the US is taking a foreign language course.
Moreover, these numbers will grow immensely with time as bilingualism gains popularity in America.
If a high school offers several different French immersion programs, the chances are that they may take a placement test to enroll you in one.
Various high schools in the US also offer advanced French-language education. These are different from the usual high-school-level French language classes.
Programs such as International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP) might be available too. These programs provide advanced French learning for those with preexisting basic knowledge.
IB and AP French language courses emphasize perfecting a student's writing and reading abilities in French and focus on expanding French vocabulary so you can reach conversational levels.
These high-school French language programs may be a bit more challenging; however, with the appropriate teaching techniques, tips and practice, you'll be able to overcome all learning challenges and talk fluent French in no time!
Learn French With An Expert
Unlike adults who find learning French more challenging than other languages such as German, Spanish or Italian, kids find all foreign languages equally easy to understand.
That's why your children should take French lessons at school because not only will they learn a new, most-spoken language but it also helps them understand English far better!
However, with the pandemic, their school may find its resources restricted. In that case, head on over to Superprof — the most comprehensive directory of private tutors in America and the world!
Sign up, fill in your details, and find a French tutor in your area, today!
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