The Burnaby French Language Preschool recognizes the immense value of play in fostering a young child’s development and the benefits of learning through play. It also strongly encourages the involvement of parents in their children’s preschool experiences. The overall objective of this preschool is to provide a happy, safe and stimulating play and social environment for young preschoolers to experience the joys of a creative childhood while developing their self-confidence as well as an increasing awareness and familiarization with the use of the French Language at a young age.
The preschool curriculum is designed to provide a nurturing, healthy and balanced setting to meet the needs of the developing child in all areas of his/her social, emotional, physical and cognitive and creative development. Free play, arts and crafts, group time, songs, snack time, outside play are an integral part of the daily routine and schedule. A monthly theme is usually chosen to guide some activities but is by no means prescriptive. Often, the value of designing curriculum through children’s interests influence the structure of the classroom activities and the teachers are always ready to spontaneously respond to individual needs around the selection of activities.
Within this play-based approach and framework, French language is also promoted by the teachers who attempt to introduce simple words and concepts in a gentle pace through individual conversations with children engaged in different play activities as well as through group activities such as story time, songs and finger plays. Snack time is a favourite teachable opportunity for French words since this is such a highly social and enjoyable time for the children. You may take heed that this initial introduction to French at this age is a gradual ongoing process that will follow its natural course throughout the year(s) to come. In the initial stage, children normally learn French by first practising their listening skills and becoming familiarized with the sounds of the French words. Then as they become more comfortable with the meaning of the words, they might attempt to use the language naturally in their play or while participating in singing. Moreover, the reading corner in the classroom always provide an enrichment and exposure to a wide selection of English and French books.
The preschool also views parental involvement as a critical component of the program. Much to the delight of the children, parents on their duty days can participate in their children’s play and also have opportunities to learn and observe children’s needs and behaviours in group play situations.