I received this product free for review. All opinions remain my own.
As a FSL (French Second Language) teacher and extreme francophile, I love products that will help little ones learn French. Of course, my Cub already speaks French, since we live in Montréal and his Papa and extended family (not to mention his Day Care Mama) all speak to him en français. However, we received our DVD at the moment parfait… during our extended visit at my parents’ place in British Columbia. (Where Cub is still, after almost 4 weeks, replying “chien” every time my parents say “dog” to him!)
Cub adores this DVD, and I make that generous assessment based on these facts:
- As soon as he spots the case, he asks to watch it;
- He laughs when he watches it;
- He wants me to rewind (is that still the right verb?) the songs to watch them again;
- He follows along with all of the gestures and movements (which is a first… he doesn’t even move along with Bo on the Go!)
I adore this DVD because:
- It teaches French through immersion: there’s no translation, just French. To help viewers (children and adults alike) understand what’s going on, the gestures and images are exaggerated and repetitive;
- The children in the DVD aren’t Disney-fied child stars with freakish grins and syrupy, sing-song voices… they’re ordinary kids, feeling a bit goofy in front of the camera and just being kids (I think this really appeals to Cub, too);
- The songs are the same as on our On Va Danser CD, which is great for reinforcement.
On a pedagogical level, I think this DVD is right on target for kids with no French experience as well as younger kids who do speak French. The DVD is recommended for ages 1-7, but I am not sure it would hold the interest for kids in kindergarten and up.
Don’t expect flashy production with this DVD: the children and host appear in front of simple-but-colourful computer-generated backgrounds. I would love to have seen some “real world” scenes, with the children performing in familiar settings like in a park or a classroom. (I have no idea if this makes a difference to Cub… maybe it’s just a grown-up observation!)
You can buy or rent your copy of French for Kids: On Va Jouer (Let’s Play) at Amazon.com! (<–affiliate link)
Gotta pay the bills...