Learning a foreign language through Picturebooks

Learning a foreign language from a Picturebook

Is it possible to read for pleasure in a language you don’t speak?

Books are one of the quickest and most effective tools we have to gain an insight into how other people think and feel. Sharing a picturebook in a foreign language offers a real-life learning experience that enhances and enriches more formal language lessons.

Seven Stories was invited to take part in the Tyne2Seine Project, working with schools in the northern suburbs of Paris and on North and South Tyneside. Using a collection of picturebooks in both French and English, we shared them in a spirit of joyful curiosity.

What happened?

Both in France and the UK, the workshops were a great success, with children participating happily and responsively. Being exposed to the rhythms and cadences of another language as part of an enjoyable reading experience motivated students, with many children observed returning to the foreign-language books independently. Teachers were inspired to use books in this way to engage children and inform their practice.