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Intermediate-ish foreign language question (French specifically)

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Dd (9.5yo) is mostly at an intermediate stage with French (perhaps still at the beginner end of intermediate). She has a tutor and they're working through "Alex et Zoe" book 3, but she really doesn't get enough homework to last her through the week. We try to spend at least 30min/ day on French. We've been using French iPad apps to fill the time, but she's getting to the end of the ones that are at her level & plane of development (i.e. the apps for high schoolers & adults aren't quite right for her).


I asked her teacher what level of books we might want to look for, and she said that French has a verb form that is only used in writing, so kids here learning French don't tend to learn it, and even high-schoolers barely touch it. But even Kindergarten books in France use it, so she said we should try to look for books just written in present tense. This seems rather confining and illogical for us, especially given that dd is quite verbally-oriented and loves to read.


How have other folks handled this? Or French speakers, how do you transition your kids into reading a tense that you don't use in speaking? (Or am I completely misunderstanding the situation?... that's totally possible)



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That sounds pretty illogical to me too. Hmm.


I'm not a native French speaker, but I studied it in college and spent some time in France in my younger days. It is certainly important to learn to read in the passé simple, which is the verb tense only used in formal writing. Your daughter will have to learn how to form it at some point, but will probably not have to use it in her writing. I'm surprised that high schoolers only touch on it, as it's pretty standard in 2nd-year university classes.


The way I approach it (and the way I learned) is just to read anyway. Any verbs that look weird are probably in the passé simple. Most of them will be recognizable by their root, and irregular verbs can quickly be looked up.

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