Computer French Lessons for Kids

Valorie Delp
learning French on the computer

If you have a child who is interested in French but you don't have the time to teach it (or you can't teach it) computer French lessons for kids is the way to go. In this day and age, there are numerous options for getting French lessons on the computer.

Comprehensive Curriculums: Buying Computer French Lessons for Kids

There are numerous programs that you can buy and if your child is serious about learning the target language, they are well worth the investment. What to choose depends on:

  • Your knowledge of the target language.
  • Your child's ability to navigate a computer program.
  • Your child's age.
  • The type of learning that best suits your child.

One advantage to having French lessons on the computer is that it can make learning more fun for kids--and take the pressure off of mom.

Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone is touted as one of the best computer learning programs around. It uses an immersion method, and you will not hear any English while you're reviewing the lessons. The program is set up to show you a group of pictures, say the words associated with the pictures and then "test" you on what you've learned. There are several modes to work on various aspects of the language.

Advantages:

  • You will never hear spoken English which helps to develop thinking in the language.
  • Pairing vocabulary with pictures helps ease memorization.
  • Rosetta Stone offers two full years of curriculum.

Disadvantages:

  • Some people have complained that it is difficult to navigate.
  • It develops good vocabulary but offers little practical speaking experience.
  • It is a little dry for younger children who may be more interested in games and such.

The Learnables

This is as much a complete language course as it is a computer course--The Learnables offers workbooks, teacher's editions, and other tools to help your child learn French. However, The Learnables does offer a computer course which is a computerized version of the original book. The Learnables use an immersion style. However, unlike other computer classes, this one looks "child friendly."

Power Glide

Power Glide is another popular computer language learning program with one major advantage: it was designed entirely for children to learn the language, as opposed to a program that is an adult version repackaged for kids. The program includes language learning games, as well as what is known as Diglot Weave Stories--where you see a picture representation of the word said in French. The courses can be accessed online which eliminates the need of fussing with CDs. You can view a demo of the program here.

Muzzy

Muzzy is an old standard in foreign language learning for kids. It has cute cartoons, an engaging story line and all the other ingredients you'd want for your children to learn French. The BBC site also offers videos and other lessons in French.

Online French Lessons for Kids

There are a variety of ways to access computer French lessons for kids via online sites. You can often download a demo before you buy any of the aforementioned programs. However, if your child is simply interested in exploring the language, you might want to consider the following sites that don't offer a comprehensive program, but offer enough to have a good grasp of the language.

Hello World French

Very cute site that offers a whole slew of lessons from the very basic to a little more advanced. It also offers games that kids can play to reinforce concepts.

Hello Kids in French

Hello Kids is a kids' website for French-speaking kids. This site is an excellent, award winning site and while you'll to know some French in order to navigate it, it's not impossible. One way to use this site is to stick to what is familiar. For example, the site often reviews or shows previews (in French of course) of children's movies that your kids probably know. The site also has coloring pages, and other activities.

Using the Computer for Learning French

While there are some definite benefits to using the computer to learn French, there are some down falls as well. Remember that your child is only going to learn to be fluent in a language if he/she learns to speak, write and read in the language. However, rest assured that it is entirely possible to teach a child a foreign language and that one just needs a little perseverance!

Computer French Lessons for Kids