As a French kindergarten teacher, you know that decoding is a key part of reading success. Once your students can identify how words are composed and the sounds that each letter (or group of letters) makes, they will be able to read in French with fluency and accuracy.
However, it’s often difficult to get your students excited about the decoding process. They might feel overwhelmed when looking at a page of text full of unknown words. Also, they might be reluctant to take risks. Here are some tips for getting your students engaged in the practice of decoding new words when learning to read in French.
Make it fun
One way to get your students interested in practicing their decoding skills is to make it fun!
For instance, you could create a game where your students have to decode as many words as possible within a certain amount of time. You could also turn it into a competition between teams or even have them practice with flashcards while playing music in the background.
Whatever you choose, it’s important to make sure that it doesn’t feel like work; instead, make it an exciting activity by finding ways to make it enjoyable and engaging.
When working with small groups, one hack to make it fun is to use simple small-group games. Games are really engaging for students, and help them practice key literacy skills without even realizing it!
One of my favourite small group games is « Faire de la pizza en fusionnant ». In this game, students decode words to add toppings to their pizza. The words are pre-divided into syllables to help students read them one syllable at a time.
Focus On A Few Words At A Time
Another way to ensure that your students stay interested in decoding new words when they read in French is by focusing on just a few at a time.
This will allow them to really concentrate on understanding how those particular words are put together and how they sound when they are spoken out loud. It also prevents them from feeling overwhelmed by too much content all at once and gives them more time to practice and master each word before moving on to the next one.
I created a great game for focusing on just a few words at a time called “5 ensemble”. I’ve created this Bingo-style game for a variety of vowel sounds and sons composés, and each game board has just five new words to practice decoding.
This repetition will really help your students practice decoding in a structured environment where they will feel lots of success!
Using visuals can be an effective way for young children to learn new words because they can better understand things when they have something visual. These visuals will help reinforce what they’re learning.
You can use flashcards with new words to decode with pictures attached. This will help your students associate what they see with what they hear when deciphering new words.
You can also use another game I’ve created called “Lis et couvre” to help students connect the words they are decoding to visuals. To play, students will draw a card, decode the word, and then find the visual that matches on the board. They will cover it with a cube or counter.
My students LOVE this one, and feel so proud of all the words they can read!
Decoding new words can be an intimidating task for young learners but there are ways you can help them become successful French readers!
By making it fun, focusing on just a few words at a time, and using visuals whenever possible, you can help guide your students toward mastering their decoding skills. This will help them become confident readers – even in their second language.
With these tips in mind, you will be able to motivate your students and encourage them to keep practicing their decoding until they become proficient when they read in French!
You can find the resources featured in this blog post in my TPT store by clicking on the following links:
If you’d like to try out my “Lis et couvre” game, click HERE, insert your name and email, and you’ll get a sample for FREE for the letter Aa!