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The Importance of Language Exposure

Updated: May 4, 2023

The blog post emphasizes the importance of language exposure when learning a minority language like French in an English majority province like Ontario.





In Ontario, where English is the majority language, learning a minority language like French can be even more challenging. But as research shows, exposure to the minority language is key.

Did you know that a child must be exposed to a language for at least 40% of their waking hours to have a good understanding of that language? (Thordardottir, 2011). This means that simply attending French class at school is not enough. As parents, you play a crucial role in providing your child with the necessary exposure to the language outside of school.


Here are some tips to help your child get the exposure they need to succeed in French:

  • Encourage your child to watch French TV shows and movies, listen to French music, and read French books.

  • Find a French-speaking community or group in your area, and attend events or activities where your child can practice speaking French.

  • Consider enrolling your child in a French immersion program or a French language summer camp.

  • Use French in your everyday interactions with your child, even if you don't speak the language fluently. Simple phrases like "Bonjour" and "Comment ça va?" can go a long way.

Remember, learning a second language can be challenging, but it's also incredibly rewarding. By providing your child with ample exposure to the language, you are helping them develop important skills that will benefit them for a lifetime.


If you have any questions regarding your child's speech development. Please contact me here.

 

References


Thordardottir, E. (2011). The relationship between bilingual exposure and vocabulary development. International Journal of Bilingualism, 15(4), 426–445. https://doi.org/10.1177/1367006911403202












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