Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

French for Kids: On Va Jouer (Let's Play)

French for Kids: On Va Jouer (Let's Play)

Fall 2014 DVD
Ages: 1 - 7 yrs.
DVD Price: $19.99

Whistlefritz French for Kids On Va Jouer (Let's Play) mixes music, bright CGI animation, puppets, and live-action elements for a whimsical language lesson aimed at kids two to seven. The 40-minute educational DVD features animated mouse Fritzi and human friend Marie and together they lead a lesson based on the total-immersion approach to foreign language, meaning there's no English translation at all for the material. There's a subtitled option but it too is in French.

Using music, animated backgrounds, live-action children, and text on screen, children are introduced to vocabulary for clothes, animals, parts of the body, numbers, and more. Although the host's body language and use of props helps little viewers comprehend vocabulary, it will take many repeated viewings before a child has the words trilling off her tongue. Jacket copy advises parents and teachers to watch the program with their children to reinforce lessons. But repeated viewings won't seem like a chore for children thanks to the bright backgrounds, lively music, adorable animated characters, and the overall sweet, breezy tone of the show. Marie radiates enthusiasm and a cast of young children provide energy to keep little viewers engaged.

Bonus features include an option to play the songs only; and a short segment (in English) that explains the concept of total language immersion methods. This method may not be everyone's preferred way to teach a foreign language but for parents who favor the total immersion method, Whistlefritz French for Kids On Va Jouer (Let's Play) is an entertaining and educational tool. The DVD package also includes a printed parent and teacher guide with vocabulary translations and song lyrics; and the Whistlefritz website includes a free, downloadable translation guide for parents who prefer additional resources.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2014 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster's Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

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