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Importance of Oral Expression

In francophone minority settings, it is particularly important to ensure that children express themselves orally in French every day. This allows children:

  • to "speak" (oral expression) as in a game without taking risks, creating a feeling of success;
  • to practice pronouncing French sounds (the 36 French sounds are not all found in English; for example, the French sounds “on, un, in, an” and “u”) - speaking uses 37 muscles, and they must be exercised;
  • to train the ear (listening) to understand French and to learn how to focus;
  • to increase their knowledge of French by being exposed to new words, and to rhymes (language structure: mon toutou doux; mon chaton rond; turlutu chapeau pointu; bain, main, pain; ballon, bateau, balai);
  • to improve their vocabulary (ti-minou, chaton, petit chat). 

  Songs and nursery rhymes are particularly well suited for oral expression for small children, because we can link words and gestures in many cases.  Try to integrate nursery rhymes that describe what we do into the child’s daily life.

  • For example, to the tune of London Bridge is Falling Down:
    • C’est le temps de ramasser, tous les jouets, tous les jouets, c’est le temps de ramasser et de tout ranger.” (It’s time to pick up all the toys, all the toys, it’s time to pick up all the toys, and put them all away).
    • C’est comme ça qu’on se lave les mains, on les savonne, on les frotte bien, c'est comme ça qu'on se lave les mains, on les rince et on les sèche.” (This is how we wash our hands, we lather them, we rub them, this is how we wash our hands, we rinse them and dry them).
  • For example, to the tune of “J’ai du bon tabac”:
    • C’est la collation, on se lave les mains, c’est la collation, il faut des mains bien propres!” (It’s snack time, we wash our hands, it’s snack time, we must have very clean hands!).

 *To hear the melody of this song, click on Chansons pour enfants and scroll down to the audio segment that allows you to listen to “J’ai du bon tabac”.

To find out more…

  • GRANDIR CBMC Activity card series - Several of these 40 cards, which are the French adaptation of LEAP BCTM Activity Cards and can be downloaded for free, include activities using the 4Rs. They provide parents and early childhood professionals with activities that are simple and easy, presented in four series. (Please note that 4R activities are found only in the French language cards.)
  • Chansons pour enfants" - This CD, produced by the Fédération des parents francophones de C.-B. (FPFCB), contains some 30 songs from the traditional Francophone repertoire, in two versions: with voice and music, or music only. They are an ideal complement to the GRANDIR CBMC resources, as the songs featured are among those used in the various activities. The songs are available for free download, and the lyrics can be obtained on the FPFCB's website; the CD can also be purchased from the website.