"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> urbanMamas

Parlez vous francais?

Je ne comprend pas (I don't understand) is one of the first phrases I learned in French when I took an "Introduction to French" class at the community center with my mom when I was a kid. As it turns out, my mother was a whiz at languages; I think she can speak four languages fluently. It's never too early to learn another language. Many children show keen interest and ability to absorb. Stephanie is looking for French classes for her 4 year old:

Does anyone know of anyone/anywhere that offers French language instruction (or even French summer camp) for preschoolers? My daughter used to take French lessons at the Alliance Francaise de Portland, which she loved, but her teacher accepted a college-level teaching position and the class was discontinued. I do know that there is a French preschool program at the Fulton Park Community Center, but it starts at 12:30 and my daughter doesn't get out of preschool until 12:30, so that won't work for us. There's no way we could get there before 1 p.m. I heard a rumor that they offered French classes through Portland Parks and Rec. at Sellwood Park, but I'm not finding any evidence of that online. Any other leads out there? My daughter is four and she has been BEGGING to take French classes for ages - she brings it up almost every day. (I suspect it is because she had so much fun at French class when she was younger. She still remembers all of the songs!) Since the interest is there, I really want to encourage it, but I haven't had any luck finding any classes out there for four year olds. I'm familiar with the Portland French School and the French International School, but sadly, we really can't afford the tuition. So, I guess I'm really looking more for a class or camp situation that would be supplemental to preschool for her. We live in the Hawthorne neighborhood, but I'd absolutely be willing to drive to another part of town for class. I know there are a lot of great French tutors in the Portland area. If there aren't any established classes out there already, are there any other mamas out there who might be interested in trying to start one by sharing the costs of hiring a tutor for a weekly session?


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I don't know of any children's/preschool classes but am thrilled to see this post. I lived in France for a few years and speak French to my daughter, who will be 3 in July. She understands it perfectly and uses some French though the majority of her speech is in English (she's in daycare in English all day). I would LOVE to find a French-speaking playgroup for my daughter (and myself). She really, really needs exposure to French-speakers other than me. Alternatively, I would consider sending her to a French class as another way to gain some language and interact with others in French. Any other francophone parents/preschoolers out there? Or info about preschool French groups/classes? Merci!

I might be interested in a French-speaking playgroup. I used to speak French fluently in college (I lived in Paris for a semester) and my parents had a house in France so I got a lot of practice, but now I'm getting rusty. My 2-yo daughter doesn't speak French (yet) but I'd like to expose her to it. If you do form a playgroup, please keep me posted!

I am French and I have an almost 5 year old and a 14 months old. My son is bilingual, but it would be good for him to speak French avec quelqu'un d'autre que moi! We went to Fulton immersion program for a while... I would be happy to be part of a French-speaking playgroup. We have lots of french books and french music for kids!

Bonjour! I actually know of a French-speaking playgroup here in Portland, and am more than happy to email you the contact information, if you'd like. Unfortunately for us, the group requires that the children who participate be bilingual/fluent and my daughter is nowhere near fluent(neither am I, for that matter. I had four years of French in high school and read French somewhat well, but my pronunciation needs lots of work!)

I wish that Portland Public Schools offered French at the elementary level, but the only elementary language programs I know of are Spanish, Japanese and Chinese.

We would happily join a playgroup, if the other members didn't mind that my daughter is just learning...

Stephanie, I'd love the contact info for the French playgroup you know of. Please email me: ebuck1@yahoo.com.

If those of us who have replied to this post--and others--want to form a playgroup, I'd be interested in that too. For me, it's key that the group be conducted entirely in French (by the adults), even if the kids aren't completely fluent yet or chose to speak English (can't really force a toddler to speak a certain language). Not sure how you all feel about conversation completely in French... And what kinds of times would be convenient? I work full-time; how about the rest of you?

The Portland French School offers half-day summer camp in week-long blocks for preschoolers: http://www.portlandfrenchschool.org/Documents/Camp07.pdf

The French American School offers something similar: http://www.faispdx.org/documents/Camp_brochure.pdf

What isn't clear to me from either web site is if the camp sessions are open to anyone, or only to children currently enrolled at either school. I'll see what I can find out...

I have a almost 3 year old and a 7 month old and have been looking desperately for a children's playgroup in french also. My 3 year old understands perfectly but does not speak it much. I am a french teacher who is staying home now while the kids are so young. We moved from Eugene a year ago and have not yet found anything. We live in Eastmoreland and I could speak in French for the play group as mentioned above. Please keep us posted!

I have been looking around too. My daughter is 2 1/2 and we'd be very interested in getting her started. Let us know if you come up with something. We'd love to be a part of it.


I am a native and confirmerd (licensed)French Instructor and consultant for French Language and some of you know me may be already. I have been the director of Education of the Alliance F. here in Portland for 3 years and I created the "French for toddlers" program at the Alliance Francaise from 2004 to 2006..and it was then a success for the children who attended it. (among them, my daugther Camille). Today, I opened my own business in Portland (in 2006) "TALKING FROGS", with a focus on oral communication. I create French programs for children, teens, adults and families. I am presently teaching one program for 3-6 years old for the Laurelhurst Montessori.

I will be happy to meet with you and to discuss needs, objectives and set-ups for such program.

Tel : Isabelle Colard-Tyler, M.A+

A tres bientot, je l'espere!
Bien a vous,


Laura (who posted above) and I have been talking and decided to meet Saturday May 12 at the Portland French School's "Marche en plein air." Any other French-speaking mamas and kids are welcome to join us. From there we can see about possibly forming an ongoing francophone playgroup. We'll meet in front of the school's main doors at 10am May 12. I don't know anything about the marche en plein air except that they're advertising French products, food, and activities & entertainment for children. Hope to see some of you there.

I am VERY interested in a French speaking playgroup. However, my situation is a little different from the others who have posted. My son is only 6 months old, but I want to start early talking to him in French. So far I know, "Ta couche est sale?" and "Changeons cette couche" from a Teach Your Baby French CD. I don't speak French except for a few phrases like those but would love to learn too in an immersion environment and what better way than to start with the very basics. I wouldn't have much to contribute to the group languagewise, but as a stay-at-home mom, I'm interested in getting to know other moms who want to speak French with each other and with their children. So I'm not a French speaking Mama --YET. Might a willing learner like myself be considered to join such a playgroup?

Hi there,
I just came across this site and am very interested in finding out if you've created a group! My baby, however, is due in a couple weeks-- so he'd be quite a bit younger than yours. Having completed all my higher ed in French/Francophone studies and spent 2+ years living in France, I will be speaking to our little guy 100% in French. I, too, have been disappointed to see that PPS does not offer French at the elementary level and have considered proposing offering extracurricular classes at several... any suggestions? Where do your kids go to school?:) I wish there were a public school immersion program for French (like there are for Spanish and Mandarin, I believe)... I know that we're a ways off for our baby, but it's had my wheels turning...:) Anyway, please let me know if you all have created a playgroup. We are going to try out the Alliance Francaise playgroup as we'll be 100% in French, but I'd love to join another one, too! I'd also be willing (in a couple months, as I said I'm about to deliver:) to create tailored preschool classes for any of you who might be interested. Feel free to email me. I hope people are still checking this thread- I see that it's from a couple months ago...

B.A., M.A. French

I can't vouch for this class, but it caught my eye as I was looking through the Fall 2007 Catalog for Portland Parks & Rec:

French "pour les enfants"

I am also interested in joining a French playgroup and a preschool class for my 2 1/2 year old son. I have only taken a French conversation class, but I am starting College level French 1 at PCC at the end of September. I'd love to practice with other moms and have my son be immersed/around other speakers while I learn the language, too. Please contact me at nschreiber@integrity.com with any information about a playgroup or preschool class. Thank you so much!

Mamas, we received the following email, in case anyone is participating in a bilingual playgroup:

Hello! I'm a freelance writer working on an article about helping kids become bilingual for Metro Parent Magazine. I saw some postings on your site from local moms looking for bilingual playgroups, but I can't find any information about whether or not the playgroups were ever formed. Is there any way you could help me find families in the area who participate in bilingual playgroups? (One or two families would be great!)

Thanks so much for your time and any assistance you can offer! I'll look forward to hearing from you soon.


La Creche Nursery presents

Le Samedi Francais: Club pour Enfants
Pour les enfants qui parlent le français.

Educational social club for children who speak French at home and/or attend a French immersion program. Parent cooperation is encouraged; organize club events or volunteer in the classroom. Language activities and games; stories or short films and group discussions; art, music and movement. Snack is included.

Pour les enfants ages de 3 a 5 ans (les moyens) et de 6 a 8 ans (les grands).

de 11:00 am à 12:30 pm
de 1:00 pm à 2:30 pm

For more information, contact Anna-Gaelle at (503) 234-0861 or email lesamedi@lacrechenursery

La Creche Nursery presents

Mon Parent et Moi
Club de langue francaise pour parent(s) avec enfant(s). Parent conversation and child play group. Think Mommy and Me classes in French.

Share parenting stories, discuss developmental milestones, and participate in creating a new French immersion environment for your child(ren). Group size fluctuates from class to class. Bring a snack, a beverage, or a baking mix (quick home recipes are encouraged). We always have something for the children to eat.

de 9:00 am à 10:30 am

For more information, contact Anna-Gaelle at (503) 234-0861 or email lesamedi@lacrechenursery

I don't speak French (only a year in school) but I'd love to introduce DD to it sooner rather than later. I'm a firm believer in immersion and feel that's one of the reasons I never went further with it. If there's a playgroup or something for younger children (mine is 1 1/2), I'd be interested, both for myself and for her.

p.s. Murielle - I don't have your email but I will email your husband. It's been nearly a year? We've been terrible about keeping in touch (with anyone).

We are thinking of hiring a children’s French teacher to give lessons to our son in our home. We’re looking into 1-3 lessons per week, and would love to include 1-3 additional children. We live in the Piedmont neighborhood (N/NE Portland) near I-5 and transit. I think it will cost $7-$10 per lesson, per child depending on the size of the group. If anyone is interested in joining us, please email me at PiedmontParent@ymail.com. Thank you! Nicole

This is a really old thread, but I would love to learn / revive the sentiments. I am a second language French speaker, my partner is native French, and our daughter is 3 months. We would love to connect with a group / resource to keep the language going! I can be reached at julesjoffrin2@hotmail.com


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