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Montreal Families

Interactive tools help kids struggling in French

New reports show that elementary and secondary students are falling behind in French reading comprehension and spelling. To counteract the difficulties facing students, Alloprof (an educational resource organization) is improving its free academic support services. On February 13, it launched two revamped interactive tools.

New help online

A new version of its online game Grimoire allows kids to discover and grow creatures by answering reading questions. Improvements to the game aim to make it more visually appealing and fun, and the addition of new types of interactive questions promotes better student progress. Now available on all platforms, the game also gives children the opportunity to meet local authors such as Simon Boulerice, Gilles Vigneault, Jacques Newashish, and Annie Groovie.

In addition to the game, a new interactive exercise aims to help elementary students gain independence when reviewing the spelling of vocabulary words. The exercise can be based on a list created by Alloprof, a teacher, or a parent, and allows the child to write the words they hear and receive feedback on whether the word is spelled correctly.

French more difficult than math

The additional help comes at the right time. A survey conducted by Léger at the end of January 2023 found that French is the school subject causing the most difficulty. Among the parents of the Quebec school-aged children surveyed, 40 per cent identified French as the subject that generates the most challenges, well ahead of mathematics, which came in second place, at 18 per cent. History trailed in third place with 10 per cent.

Annie Harvey, spokesperson for Alloprof says that text comprehension is a vital skill to develop during school, and that difficulty understanding a text can lead to challenges in all subjects. “We know that giving children a taste for reading from an early age is a guarantee of academic success, and games can be a great way to interest young people who are more reluctant,” she added in French.

Support for parents and children

An additional survey shared among 350 parents revealed that parents’ greatest concern about their child’s school career is related to motivation and perseverance (36 per cent), followed by stress and performance anxiety (25 per cent). To help combat parents’ fears and support children, Alloprof offers practical tips and downloadable tools to help parents encourage school attendance and to better answer questions such as “What is school for?” or “Why am I learning this?”

To encourage children to ask for help and aid with their motivation, Alloprof is offering the Gagner à s’aider contest until April 30. By posting a question in the Help Zone — a help forum open seven days a week and moderated by professionals — students can win one of three $500 scholarships. Harvey says that the Help Zone allows students who shy away from asking questions publicly to be able to do so confidentially.

To find out more about the free services offered by Alloprof visit alloprof.qc.ca

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