Learning another language is a great way for kids to find out about other cultures around the world and French is a popular language spoken in many countries on different continents. Learning French, like any second language, can be intimidating, so it’s important to provide additional resources that they find enjoyable and engaging, that are separate from their traditional textbooks.
One way to help kids connect with another language in a casual way is comics. Comics are a universal form of literature that children are introduced to at a young age and tend to love immediately. Comics match dynamic and fun images with a small amount of words, usually in the form of colloquial dialogue. With so few words on a page and with picture cue’s to help with story comprehension, kids are not overwhelmed and encouraged to identify what the words mean.
Like most kids, French children love comics and you can find a great range of comics in the French language at sites on the Internet such as Amazon’s UK website, which is as easy to order from as their US site. Kids who speak English will be drawn to foreign language comics in the same way that they are drawn to comics in English. The pictures draw them in and then they are motivated to identify the words.
Some of the comics recommended for younger readers are Yakari (by Derib and Job), Garfield and Star Wars Adventures. All these comics are aimed at young French readers from ages 6+. There are colourful images and few words. The vocabulary is limited and at the level you would expect from a similar book aimed at young English readers.
To help with searching on Amazon’s UK site for French language comics try adding the following terms. The term for graphic novel or comic in French is BD, short for bande dessinee and the term for volume is tome. You may find that searching for BD comes up with more mature selections so start with the phrase “tome” and one of the titles suggested above.
So if you can’t seem to find a volume of Yakari in French (as it is also available in English) you can try a search for “Yakari tome”. Yakari is also available as a prose based book so make sure you choose a comic version.
Helping kids to love a language for life is helping them realise that people in countries share similar thoughts and feelings, and finding out we all love comics can help in that process.