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EFBA program for native French Speaker?
I am considering putting my 2 children, who have attended French bilingual school
since PK, into public school and sending them to the EFBA after school program 2x a
week. One will be in grade 3 and the other in grade 5. I'd like to hear feedback on
the program. How is it? Does your child enjoy it? Not sure if mine will be too
advanced for it as they already read and write in French. I'd appreciate hearing
from anyone whose children have attended. Thanks very much
My daughter was entering first grade when we left EB for the excellent
local public school. I signed her up for EBFA and she attended the
whole year but, honestly, it was a waste of time for her. She is
perfectly bilingual and The level was too low. The teachers were great
but the class was too heterogeneous. The following year I bought a
livre de Francais for the year and did the work with her and it worked
If you can be home when they come back from school at least 3 times a
week and do some work with them then I don't think EBFA is worth it but
if you have to work late then it probably is a good idea to sign them
After school French lessons
Three families are looking to hire a French instructor for after school
lessons. There will be four to five children ranging from 6-8 years, some
with a bit of French skills and some without any. We are hoping for an hour
or two two days a week. Merci.
I can recommend Ingrid Rombaut as a French tutor. She has tutored our teenage
girls for 5 years, they began working with her at ages 8 & 9. Ingrid was great
when they were younger and she has easily adapted to their ages and skill levels
over the years. We are very pleased with her work and can recommend her without
reservation. Please do not hesitate to email with questions. Dena
Depending on your location, French Education in the Bay Area (EFBA) could be a
really good option for you. They offer after-school French language classes to
students K-5 at several public schools in the East Bay. Depending on the site,
there are usually two classes, one for kids K-1st grade and one for kids in 2nd
- 5th grade. There are also separate classes for French speakers and English
speakers. There are several locations in the East Bay, with a new location
opening in Upper Rockridge this Fall. One advantage of using EFBA is that they
have been doing this since 2009 and have a well-developed curriculum to prepare
kids for the DELF. In addition, EFBA rigorously screens and trains
credentialed French teachers to teach Anglophone and Francophone children. In
the East Bay, classes will be held at Hillcrest School in Upper Rockridge,
Walnut Creek, Kensington and Alameda. With over 18 sites running in the Bay
area, Hillcrest will be the first site in Oakland.
For more information, visit www.efba.us. Bernadette
Anj is a native French Teacher. She is Highly Qualified [Master's degree-Magna
Cum laude- in teaching French]. She also has years of experiences
teaching/subbing in private schools (Head- Royce, Crowden etc.) and tutoring.
She teaches in a way that keeps her students motivated. Each class is tailored
to age-group and level. She has a lot of materials from France to work with. She
offers a play-based and academic program because no good learning comes without
having fun. First 20 minutes trial free. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you're looking for high quality After-School French classes, then try
for Fun in Lafayette. For nearly 30 years, they have successfully served
students from all over the East Bay. Their teachers are natives and fulled
credentialed FLE (francais langue etrangere). They offer after school classes
days a week for elementary and secondary school students. Their curriculum is
well designed, and supported by a large collection of books and teaching
materials. They also have a great summer program. Check their web site:
They are conveniently located in downtown Lafayette, just off the freeway and
French Class for Adults
I am wondering if anyone has a recommendation for a French
class for adults in the Berkeley area? I am open to a
private tutor (would prefer) or a small class. I am planning
a trip to France and would love to improve my conversational
French and atrocious grammar, just enough to be able to buy
fruit at the local markets and navigate daily needs. Would
greatly appreciate any suggestions!
hoping to speak french
I have the tutor for you! Simone Knowlton is located in
Albany. She is a lovely person, as well as a skilled french
tutor (and is from France) who has been doing this for
years. She is open to one to one or small group sessions. Simone BarthC)lC)my
Teacher of French
(510) 502 - 1157
I took private French lessons with Yasmina Hadri and she was
wonderful. Our conversations were very interesting, and she
had lots of good resources to encourage both reading and
Check out the language classes offered at the Orinda Community center. I've
heard great reviews from friends about the Italian classes and the same
instructor also teaches French. The course catalog is online. annon
My son has been taking French via virtual classroom with excellent results. His
teacher is Robert Roberson. He has been teaching languages ( English, French,
Polish, German and Italian ) for over 25 years to both children and adults.
Here's the link.
Try the Alliance Francaise in Berkeley: http://www.afberkeley.org/
French learning for mixed ages
Does anyone have ideas for a family wanting to have fun learning
French together? The kids are 4 and 6 with no prior experience;
the parents know some basics and would like to relearn. Close to
Albany is ideal for a class. Movies or fun audio books are good
too. Appreciate any suggestions!
I don't know of a specific program for you, but I suggest
that you contact the French schools in the area---either
French-American International in San Francisco, or the
French-only schools in Berkeley, San Francisco or Marin. I
do know, for example, that French-American offers beginner
French classes during the year, and has French camps in the
summer. French fan
You can check out www.langokids.com for great French classes. The ages
range from tots to elementary ages so there are good groupings (and a
lot of classes are good for siblings...plus there is a great sibling
discount:)). Hope that helps!
My 1.5 y/o daughter and I currently attend a French Montessori immersion school
in Martinez called ''La Maison des Enfants'' which is run by a native French
speaker and 30-year Montessori teacher Sophie Phillips. There are different
classes for different age groups/abilities (from babies up through elementary &
beyond). Sophie is a gifted and passionate teacher who is refreshingly down to
earth. From our house in Lafayette it's 20 mins. door to door, and given the
exceptional quality of instruction/education I would travel much farther than
that! Contact Sophie at tel 925 372 7361 or www.montessorifrench.com. Good
French bilingual playgroup for toddlers?
My husband and I have started talking to our 13 month old in
French, in the hope that she will become bilingual. Neither
of us are native speakers, though we have both lived in
France and my husband went to EB in Berkeley as a child. We
likely will not be able to afford EB for her, so we want to
expose her to other French-speaking children through a local
playgroup. Does anything like this exist already? We live
in Kensington, and would love to find something close by,
ideally that meets on weekends as we both work full time.
Lango: Foreign Languages for Kids has a great French toddler group.
They meet on Mondays from 10:30-11:15 in the Rockridge area. You can
check out the website at www.langokids.com to see if it's what you are
French class for young kids
I am looking for a class or other fun activity that can help
my kids (ages 3 and 6) learn French - a mommy and me class,
etc where they can learn songs and some basic vocabulary. I
don't have hopes of them becoming fluent, just would like a
chance to build on the French their grandmother teaches
them. All the recommendations on the website are outdated
and Lango doesn't meet at a convenient time for us. I'd also
be open to an individual tutor or babysitter if the cost is
not too high, if anyone has recommendations. Merci.
There are fantastic french classes offered by EFBA throughout the bay
area. EFBA is a non-profit that offer french classes for French and
English speaking school-aged kids. In any case, their approach is
play based and the kids have fun learning. We go to the Kensington
site but you should go to their website to see what location is
nearest to you. www.efba.us
For your youngest one there is a new, affordable, French Preschool
opening in the fall near Lake Merritt see
Bonne chance! Learning french too
French Conversation Textbook for high schooler
I am tutoring a high school honors French student with an
emphasis on conversation. I speak natively. Do you know a
good textbook that features dialogues and conversations of
daily French language. This should be the primary feature
of the book, not grammar. I haven't really seen anything on
Hide This French Book would probably be a lot of fun for
your student, but has material that the parents might object
to, perhaps. I used to teach Russian and my students loved
Learn French By Podcast is pretty great. A wee bit on the
dry side, maybe. It is not a text, but a bunch of
conversational lessons grouped by theme. The podcasts are
free. You can pay to get the text lesson guides.
In high school I studied the Rock Opera La Revolution
Francaise and loved it. It is also not a text, of course.
you could plan to listen to and try to understand and
discuss one song per tutoring session. The nice thing about
songs is that it is fun to listen to them over and over
again as you figure out the words. And then you could use
each song as a jumping off point for conversation. The song
topics range from the Rights of Man to Marie Antoinette on
the morning she is taken to the guillotine, to Charlotte
killing Marat in his bathtub. Brainy, bloody and bawdy but
never boring. Susan
Can anyone recommend a group setting for teens to practice French over
the summer? Would Alliance Francaise be suitable? Thanks.
I'm an adult and have been taking classes at the Alliance Francaise in
Berkeley for quite some time. Classes are small (8 max.) and
congenial. The teachers are native French speakers and very nice.
The students tend to be adults, though. I think a teenager would have
a good time if they got one or two other teenagers to enroll in the
class with them. The Alliance also has monthly conversation evenings,
movie evenings, and an occasional interesting lecture, all in French.
You don't have to be enrolled in a class to attend them. Check out
their website (www.afberkeley.org) for details.
Wanna-Be French Speaker
Alliance Francaise is for students 18 years old and older.
So if that is not an option, you could look at Berkeley City
College. Sometimes UC Extension has an intensive laguage program,
but it may be pricey and go for more hours than your teen may be
interested in. Perhaps Ecole Bilangue offers an informal gathering.
Know any teens visiting from a francophone country? Perhaps your
family and theirs could get together and chat for a while in english
and awhile in french - i know, not so easy for teens to do.
Have any French speaking neighbors or friends? Even speaking French
with a local shop owner can help.
Just aren't as many options for learning French as there are for
learning Spanish around here.
You can look on line at TV5.org and go to the ''langue'' portion (see
list on the left side), also you can get the francais facile edition
of the news at rfi (radio france). Also free podcasts such as
CoffeeBreak French, hosted by some Scots!
Ayons bon espoir!
My family and I are traveling to France for a few weeks this
June and not one of us speaks a word of French. We cannot
afford private lessons, which run about $80 per hour. And we
don't have time to all go to various schools where classes
are offered. So we are looking into language tapes for me
and my husband and our 9 year old daughter. There are several
that have been highly recommended, but we are at a loss as
to which one would work best for our needs. There is Rosetta
Stone, Berlitz, Pimsleur, and Muzzy (for children). And I'm
sure there are others. We don't aim to be experts at French,
but we want to at least feel confident enough to be able to
communicate with the French people as we travel around. And
we want to be able to read the signs and read the menus and
the train schedules, so that we are not totally lost and
confused. Is there a language tape that would help us learn
enough French to get by? Which language program would you
recommend? We only have about 2 months to learn. Is that
enough time? Laurey
I don't have suggestions about particular products, but I do
have suggestions on how to focus and what to look for in a
product. You really don't have time to tackle the French
verb system or really get in much knowledge of grammar, etc.
A product that teaches useful phrases and basic
pronunciation of words and phrases will be best. The kids'
program, Muzzy, will do some of that, but you also need to
know how to pronounce the letters of the alphabet, both as
letters (A-B-C-D etc.) and as they appear in words (a = ah,
i = ee, roughly, etc.). And you need to know your numbers.
Practice those. And as far as phrases are concerned, you
need a product that contextualizes phrases culturally -- for
example, it is appropriate in France to say 'Bonjour
madame/monsieur' when entering a small shop, and 'au revoir'
when leaving the shop. That kind of information should be
included in the product's materials. Learn the most basic
phrases and practices (greeting, thanking, requesting,
asking) and the numbers, and take along a phrase book like
the phrase books of the Berlitz series, where you can point
to something if you're not sure how to say it. and kudos to
you for making the effort! Sometimes Parisians can be
impatient with clumsy French, but I found that beyond Paris,
my attempts at the basic polite phrases were appreciated.
My wife and I went through the Pimsleur 'Basic French' five
CD lessons and found them to be helpful. We had previously
bought and then discarded another company's basic French
lessons. I still have the Pimsleur if you want to borrow
it.I'm in Oakland near Lake Merritt. tvote
Learn French by Podcast
This is introductory french told through a mock spy game.
Caveat: the spy says 'Oh shit!' several times. My kids
enjoyed listening to these, but they are intended as an
intro to french for adults. http://www.missioneurope.eu/
free french lessons at the bbc website
Try http://coffeebreakfrench.com by Radio Lingua Network
(they have other languages too). Geared toward travelers,
they offer short, useful vignettes and I believe you can
subscribe to or purchase additional materials.
You may want to try your local adult school, but first
investigate whether it will be useful for travelers. Some
use college textbooks, which isn't very helpful if you want
to learn basic travel words and scenarios. Bon voyage!
My daughter is 9 years old and has several times expressed an interest in
learning French. I'm not sure why. French is not offered at her school, and
we don't speak a word of it here at home. She has simply become fascinated by
the idea of it, and loves the way the language sounds. So I was thinking that
it might be nice for her to take a fun introductory class to the language and
culture, but I don't know where to go. I looked into French fo Fun in
Lafayette, but unfortunately those classes meet several times per week which
is a huge commitment for us. That will not do. Plus most of those kids have
been in that program since preschool age, so they are all much further along.
We need something closer to home (we live in El Cerrito), that is not a huge
time consuming commitment. Afterall, I have no idea how long this interest of
hers will last, and I don't want to introduce the language to her if it's
going to be overwhelming. Something more simple, yet still fun, that meets
only once a week would be great. Or some form of a camp that meets for a week
If she is more serious after that, then we might consider something more
Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Try calling Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley
1009 Heinz Ave
Grandparent of EB student
My four year old daughter has expressed a desire to learn another language,
and especially is interested in French. We can't take the classes at French
for Fun in Lafayette because she is already enrolled in a preschool during the
same hours. We are looking for recommendations of parent/child French
classes/activities or other things that might get her going on the language.
My daughters have learned quite a bit from Ana Lomba's book/CD
combos. Little Red Riding Hood/Petit Chaperon Rouge and
For preschoolers I think Ana Lomba's Play and Learn French is
really good. It gives you the vocab and songs and expressions to
make fun french lessons out of everyday things like bathtime,
rides in the car, going to the park, having breakfast, and
If I recall correctly, this is for kids. But you can call them
(Oakland library, see oaklandlibrary.org)
French for You
Contact: Temescal Branch 510-597-5049
Learn the French language and culture via songs, poems,
grammar and conversation from an experienced French teacher. Two
Fridays each month, April through July, call the Temescal Branch
for details. Advance registration is required.
Location: Temescal Branch, 5205 Telegraph Ave.
My 11-year-old daughter wants to learn to speak French. She has
been talking about this for some time, so the idea seems to be
sticking. Can anyone offer advice on a low-pressure, effective
way to begin learning another language? I would prefer not to
engage in formal lessons, especially something that would
become a weekly regimen; and I would also prefer that it not
involve a computer screen. Face-to-face contact would be great,
though! Thank you!
Though your daughter is still a bit young, the absolute best way
to learn a language (and support any learning that has already
taken place) is to spend some time where the language is spoken,
among people who speak it every day. When I was fifteen I spent
two months in Germany with a wonderful family who launched me on a
lifetime of speaking German. Later when I was eighteen I went
abroad again, lived with a family, and added another language. In
both families there were members who spoke no English, and so I
was forced to deal day to day in the language they spoke. It was
sometimes difficult, but I don't think there's any really
effective way to achieve real fluency otherwise. I would first
travel with her to countries where French is spoken (Canada for
one) and then think about having her go on a youth exchange if at
a professor of foreign language and culture
http://www.early-advantage.com/ The BBC's Muzzy program.
Great program for kids.
Does anyone know of a good beginning french class being
offered this summer for a 15 year old? Or does anyone
know of a good french tutor? Thanks for you help.
International High School (IHS) in SF is the English
speaking program of the French American International
They offer French classes in the summer,
among other classes.
I am paticularly impressed by the French instruction at
the school. In her third year there, my daughter is
approaching fluency in the language, and her accent is now
superb. I believe the summer program would be equally good
as that offered during the regular school year.
Here follows an entry from the weekly e-newsletter from
the principal's French-speaking secretary, briefly
describing the summer program, with links to further info
July 19 (until August 13), 2004: IHS Summer Enrichment
Program begins 18 courses available $600.00/class program
hours 9-12 and 1-4pm Register Online at www.ihs-fais.org
starting mid-February. Questions? keiths AT fais-ihs.org Tel:
415-558-2038 Fax: 415-558-2010
Summer Class description at
You can register on the following link
We are looking for a French tutor who has experience and enjoys
teaching young children. Play-oriented language instruction to
prepare for down the road. Ideally this would be in a small
group setting (3-5 kids) around 4-5 years old. Any
recommendations, suggestions, or ideas? Thanks.
My 4-year-old daughter Mary attends a playgroup called
''French for Little Ones'' taught in a woman's house in the Oakland
Hills. She has been going for a year now and really, really
enjoys it. It is play-based learning. There are other more
intensive programs around, I understand, in LaFayette and in
Piedmont, but Juliana keeps her program fun and low key. In
fact, she's got a group of kids from the Piedmont schools who
attend the early morning french lessons that the Piedmont schools
offer but go to Juliana's classes for a more light-hearted
foreign language experience. Juliana tries to group kids
together who are similar in age and experience. If you're not
happy with your group, just talk with her and she'll work with
you to find the right mix of kids. She gives the kids a snack
too. She lets parents try the class without a commitment (it's
$10/class) to stay for the semester. She doesn't hold classes in
the summer. You can reach Juliana at 601-0739.
Has anyone had experience with (or know of) a French language class for 4
year olds in the East Bay? Our daughter is making up her own French words
for things, so we figure she may like to learn the real French words. I (her
mother) speak very limited French and her father speaks almost none ("Ou est
lechocolatier?"). We visited our French cousins last year and they are very
interested in many future exchanges between our 4 year old and theirs. We
don't wish to be too pushy; yet, if she is interested, we would love for her
to get a good basis in the language now and make future visits even more
meaningful. We've seen the mixed reviews of the Muzzy video tapes and hope
for a more personal touch.
I don't know where specifically you are located in the East Bay, but there is a program for children called "French for Fun" in Lafayette that may be worth your checking out. Their number is 925 283 9822 www.frenchforfun.com
[editor] updated April 2004
There is a French school in Lafayette called "French for fun", which is openned to kids
of all ages and offer immersion classes a few times a week. I do not send my kids there
because French is their mother's tongue, but I know of many American families who do and
are very happy with it. I personally know the woman who created and directs the school, Catherine
Jolivet, she is very passionate, loves to teach and organize every other year a trip to Provence with her students and their families (my neighbors are going this summer).
If you want your child to become bilingual and think he (she) would enjoy a more academically oriented system, there is the option of the French/American school of Berkley, some families belonging to this list have their kids there and would certainly share their experience with you if you are interested.
I did run into a library book you might want to look for:
The House That Jack Built, by Antonio Frasconi
call letters on spine were listed as "JP Mother Goose"
Copyright 1958, library of congress card catalog #58-8625
This great book has the text in English and French on each page, and a
"review" section at the end that asks things like "Who built the house?"
Since it is so old, you might have a hard time finding it. Perhaps you
could request it on interlibrary loan, however. We got it out of the San
Leandro Main Library (we will have it till 4/11).
I would still recommend Muzzy--Allegra still watches Muzzy quite a bit, and
even requests it occasionally. We work on colors and numbers in Spanish
quite often, which is something my limited Spanish can handle. Muzzy might
not be sufficient by itself to teach the language, but would probably be
good support, especially since neither of you is very fluent. (BTW:
Allegra does the same thing--she tries to make up Spanish words for things.
It's very cute!)
Have fun! Dawn
Does anyone know of a French language program suitable for a 5 y/o? We would
love for our daughter to learn French but did not want the entire pkg. of
Ecole Bilingue. I would love to find something that was a low-pressure, fun
way for her to be exposed to and immersed in French language for a few hours
a week in a way that would be appropriate for her ie: songs, counting games,
alphabet, early reading- maybe even a summer camp program?? Does such a thing
Consider the BBC Language Series. This is a series of animated
videos, with associated audio tapes, books, and CD-ROMs,
especially geared to children from 1 to 10 years old. They come
in at least 6 languages (French, German, Spanish, Italian, and a
more limited selection of materials in Japanese and Irish Gaelic).
The kids watch the videos instead of other TV, and absorb the
language in a more "natural" manner than we adults did in high
school. My 3-year old daughter really loves her Spanish set.
For the first week after she got it on her birthday, she refused
to watch anything else. And she now occasionally says a word
or two in Spanish (after only 2 months!). It helps that both her
sister and I know some Spanish (in fact, her sister used this
same set in her Spanish Immersion class in 4th and 5th grade!).
I also read some children's books to her in Spanish (Pegasus on
Shattuck has a pretty good selection of non-English Children's
books). I also discovered to my happy surprise that the Berenstain
Bears Living Books CD-ROM ("The Berenstain Bears Get In
a Fight" and "The Berenstain Bears in the Dark") that I bought her
recently has one of the two stories in both English and Spanish! (This
particular one won't help you with the French, but if you keep your
eyes open, you might find something similar--say a CD-ROM of
Madeline in French?). The website is http://www.early-advantage.com/.
Check it out!
French for Fun in Lafayette: Total Immersion Programs for Young Children
offers classes for children ages three to five. Classes are offered on MWF
and TTh. The classes are taught by Madame Jolivet-Johnson, a French native
and credentialled teacher. The classes are taught it a cute little cottage.
She offers a fun, friendly preschool-like program. The parents I have spoken
to who have kids in the program rave about it. Unfortunately the program is
very expensive. I would have liked to have enrolled my daughter, whose
father is French, but the program is out of my price range.
The teacher also offers classes for grade school kids.
[editor] updated info as of April 2004:
Our new telephone number is 925 283 9822 www.frenchforfun.com
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