Recently we had a chat to Sabine, founder of My Little French Club, an online resource to help your child learn French at home.
Sabine, you are the founder of the blog My Little French Club. What is it?
My Little French Club is a platform, in blog form, where I share ideas of activities that I do or have done with my son to maintain his French learning at home. The blog is in English to help bilingual families (or non-francophone families who want their child to learn French) to to find their way around too. I also share my tips and tricks as a parent.
You offer French activities and printable files to help children learn French at home. Are you a French teacher?
No, not at all. I am a passionate mother who doesn’t want her son to lose the French language. My husband is French of Cambodian origin and unfortunately he understands Cambodian but does not speak it back. So he did not pass on this language to our son who cannot communicate with his paternal grandmother. We didn’t want this cultural loss to happen again with French.
I have been creating lots of activities for my son since he was very young. My son is now 4 years old and I make a lot of files so that he can immerse himself in French at home and learn lots of French vocabulary. My files can be printed out at home and I show parents how I use recycled objects or things that we already have at home; the idea is not to encourage the purchase of materials or supplies.
Before establishing My Little French Club, what did you do in your professional life?
I have not left my professional activity in the legal field. My Little French Club is a sharing platform.
Why did you start My Little French Club?
I was already doing a lot of activities in French at home which I shared on some groups. More and more people asked me for my files so I started My Little French Club to have a sharing platform, a place parents can refer to for their French resources.
What are the challenges in having children learn French in a non-francophone country like Australia?
The biggest challenge for me is that our children are immersed in English from morning to night and every day: in shopping centres, in shops, in cinemas, at nursery or school, with local babysitters, with neighbours, etc. If we don’t make an effort to speak and read in French at home, it is a language that will naturally be lost (like Cambodian for my husband). Often as parents, we are short on time and it is “easier” to speak in English. So I try to make life easier for parents with my printable files at home. I’ve already done all the research and design work for them – now it’s just a matter of printing and getting started!
A few months ago for Valentine’s Day, you created a number of activities for children like hearts to colour in, objects to count, drawings to trace… How do you find your ideas?
I follow the official curriculum of the French Ministry of Education to get an idea of what is learned in kindergarten. I also take a lot of inspiration from my son and what he likes and very often all the other children like it too!
You have several free files to download and print at home and other products that cost only $6. Is the goal to help people instead of making money from this site?
My files are either free or paid for but at less than $6-$8 per 100 page file. I want to keep it attractive so that as many mini-frenchies as possible can benefit from it. The aim is to remain on a sharing model for parents who wish to keep French at home.
Anything else you wish to add about My Little French Club?
I hope that parents and their little French children will enjoy this project. Feel free to follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest @mylittlefrenchclub.
You can find My Little French Club at https://mylittlefrenchclub.com/
Did you learn French as a child?