Proud mummy of a French reader

Our eldest daughter, L, is now 7 years old. She lived the first half of her life in France, with French as her first language. Since the age of 3 years and 7 months she has lived in the UK with English becoming her first language (she has always been brought up with both languages).

Ever since she was little she has been a real bookworm and will spend all her time reading given the chance. She has recently finished the first Harry Potter and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe in English.

I have never worried about her reading in English, as she just “got” it and now can’t get enough of reading. But what did worry me was that she might not want to go through the effort of learning to read in French: a language that is very much her second language these days.

Hubs and I have encouraged L to read in French over the last few years, but her French friends are in France, and apart from Hubs and me she has no French contact on a day to day basis.

So we decided to set the Easter holidays as a time to work on her French reading.

We needn’t have worried. Suddenly she has “got” reading in French too. As we discovered when we gave her a French book to read the other day.

I couldn’t be happier or prouder of my big girl’s achievements. So here she is. Reading in French.

I’m joining up with Loud ‘n’ Proud as I’m bursting with pride at my L’s achievements over here 🙂 Click on the linky below to see similar posts:

3 Children and It


22 Responses

  1. That’s fantastic, being fluent in two languages is such an amazing skill x #loudnproud
    Sara (@mumturnedmom) recently posted…Me and: CakeMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Thank you. We had hoped she would manage it but we were never sure if it was possible. So chuffed!

  2. That’s amazing! I think it’s very common for bi-lingual children to suddenly refuse to speak or read one of the languages. No wonder you are proud and excited, so you should be 🙂
    Suzanne3childrenandit recently posted…“I Hate School!”My Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      We’ve had to fight hard to get here as there are many times when she doesn’t want to make the effort to speak French. I am sure when she is older she will appreciate the effort she made and the achievement that goes with it.

  3. That’s fantastic! Very well done to her, no wonder you’re proud 🙂
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…Getting ‘em walkingMy Profile

  4. Judith says:

    Oh wow that is brilliant! I am really worried about whether my kids will read and write in Dutch – it’s hard enough getting them to speak it! But this post has reminded me that there is plenty of time, and of course if they can read in one language that makes it much easier to learn the other one. Well done L!
    Judith recently posted…Loud ‘n Proud Week 3: Leaving Mummy’s Comfort ZoneMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Thank you. I was always convinced it would be an uphill struggle as getting her to speak French wasn’t easy, as she always preferred to slip into the easier language of English. But once she’d found the pleasure of reading in English she was happy enough to give it a shot in French, and she found it fairly easy as she already had the vocabulary in French and the reading knowledge from English. I will write a post about teaching your children a foreign language, and getting them to read in a foreign language at some point, to share what we’ve learnt.

  5. Pauline says:

    I’m so impressed. We’re not there yet with our 2 as my eldest is not yet 3 but she loves books already and I hope it will translate into a love of reading. One of my main concerns is: what French books to introduce her to when the time comes? When I think about the books I loved reading growing up, it was mainly the Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables and the Narnia series, all of which I read translations into French. Which sort of defeats the object of being a bilingual reader. Apart from Le Petit Prince and the Grimm fairytales I can’t think of any classic French books that have captured my imagination like these ones.
    Pauline recently posted…Work adverse French are working too hardMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      At the moment the French “books” that Hubs reads to her are BD (cartoon books) like Asterix or Tintin, and she ADORES them! And equally Hubs loves reading them to her, so it’s this really special moment the two of them have together every day at bedtime. Then as for books that she reads we just got her some French books for children learning to read, and they’re easy, short stories, the plus point being that there is no “passé simple” tense which is too hard for her to get her head round for now. I will write a blog post later on about getting your child reading in a foreign language with what worked for us. But for now as long as you’re speaking to them in French then they’re getting the vocabulary which will help with reading later on.

  6. Cazzou says:

    Bravo L. – so sweet!
    I was wondering, if this is something you’d consider writing about, I’d be very interested to find out how you and your hubby went/are going about speaking both languages to your girls (i.e. does each of you speak your own language to them? Or do you both speak French only?). My little boy is C.’s age and I’ve been speaking French to him from birth, but his first words have come out in English (perhaps because he’s been going to nursery 3 days a week since I went back to work in October). The only French word he says is ‘Non!’ – typical 🙂
    By the way, I’ve not been good at leaving comments but wanted to let you know I’ve really been enjoying your blog!

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Thank you, and thank you for the lovely comment and compliment! It’s always lovely to hear that what I’m writing is being enjoyed 🙂
      What we’ve done language-wise has changed over the last 7 years (since we had L), as we’ve seen what’s worked and as we’ve moved countries. Now with child number 2 we’re doing it differently. It’s a lot to put in a comments box so I’ll try and write a post about it soon, as I’m sure you’re not the only person wondering how to do this. Until then my suggestion is keep speaking French, even if you’re being replied to in English. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  7. Mel says:

    You must be so proud of her! My little man’s English reading is impeccable but I have not really started to encourage the French reading and am worried he might struggle. Mel
    Mel recently posted…Scented Play Dough Easter EggsMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      I really am! If he is reading in English no problem and enjoying it then why not do some reading in French with him from time to time? We tried at Christmas first of all and it was still a bit too hard, this time round it’s just clicked. If he has good vocabulary in French it shouldn’t be too hard when he is ready.

  8. Notmyyearoff says:

    That’s brilkiant. Well done to her. I know from both myself and OH having different cultural backgrounds how easy it can be to just stick to English 100% of the time. Our parents keep encouraging z to learn their nativ languages too and at the moment he is picking it up really quickly but finds it hilarious. 🙂
    Notmyyearoff recently posted…Birthday Parties and Bouncy CastlesMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Thank you! It’s been hard work, but I really feel it’s paid off and I want her to learn the language of half her family and that is half of her. I really think she’ll appreciate it once she’s older… least I hope she will!

  9. Wow, well done to her, that is an amazing achievement for her age x #LoudnProud
    Sharon Powell recently posted…Word of the Week 18/4/14My Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Thank you. We’re so impressed as we tried it with her at Christmas and she wasn’t interested, it’s great that she’s cracked it now 🙂

  10. That’s so impressive! I’m happy enough my oldest can read in one language let alone two. Congratulations on raising such a keen little reader, it sets her up for such a rich life ahead.
    Jess Paterson recently posted…The Meerkat MumMy Profile

  11. Verily Victoria Vocalises says:

    No wonder you are proud 🙂 This is so fabulous. It is great that she will be able to communicate with all your family whichever language they speak x

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      I had always hoped it would be possible, but she dug her heels in about speaking French at one point, so you just never know.

  1. 07/05/2014

    […] her in French. I recently blogged about L having learnt to read in French (as well as in English) here, and in time I will blog about how to help your children to learn to read in their second […]

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