learn french through play
About coucou loulou
Coucou Loulou is the home of fun-filled, interactive French classes for children.
Founded by experienced language teacher Florence Guerin, we run French online courses for young children. We used to run in-person classes in North London, however my petite family and I (although, not so petite anymore, as we now have 4 Loulous of our own!) relocated to Bali, Indonesia, in April 2021.
With a focus on immersive, creative and enjoyable learning through play, all Coucou Loulou classes are child-centered, free-flowing and – above all – fun. Expect traditional (and lesser-known) French nursery rhymes and songs, movement, dance and sensory activities, with a large dose of silliness provided by cheeky Loulou the tortoise. We believe in a creative, Montessori-inspired approach to teaching and learning, working with the seasons and connecting with the world around us. Your children will enjoy their French playdate while seamlessly improving their fluency and their understanding of French – without even noticing!
Florence, the Founding Director at Coucou Loulou, is behind the playful methodology used in these classes. A multilingual herself (Florence grew up on the French-German border) and maman to three young bilinguals, she has researched the most effective ways to teach languages to young children over her 17+ years' teaching experience. She has cherry-picked her favourite tried-and-tested aspects of different teaching methods to develop a unique curriculum and style of classes, designed to tap into children’s interests, engage, motivate and challenge them throughout the year.
Florence says: “I am a trilingual mother raising three bilingual kids. When my daughter was younger, I found she could speak French (my mother tongue) but wasn’t using it in her play once she started at an English school. I wanted to instill a sense of French culture and retain her French as an inner language – the language of play and enjoyment – so I started inviting round the children of French friends for a sort of informal playdate. I was previously a secondary-level languages teacher, so I drew on this knowledge to entertain the children with stories and songs. People enjoyed it and it grew organically via word of mouth and friends of friends – soon I had formalised it into weekly classes and quit my day job. During her career, my mother had done some research on teaching through puppets, and it turns out that the sillier and the funnier the puppets, the better! So I was joined by Loulou la Tortue, my French tortoise friend, who has been my mischievous sidekick ever since.”
“My aim for Coucou Loulou and Les Petits Ateliers is to develop an enduring love of French culture in the children, rather than emphasise formal academia. All our teaching is child-centered and play-led – we explore the world around us, work within the seasons and bring nature into our classes. I keep a conscious eye on what’s happening in kids’ culture in France. My team and I are all highly experienced teachers, and I know that stories, songs and creativity are far more enduring and enjoyable than learning by rote. Classes flow freely, rather than being prescriptive or end-driven – we will never show an aspirational, ‘perfect’ end goal during an activity, for instance. It’s all about personality, creativity and a love of French language and culture. We sing about eating, drinking, tidying up and bedtime, so the children can base their learning in their own day and experience. I would love for the children to end up humming French songs as they do something as mundane as brushing their teeth! I also hope classes – for whichever age group – are relatable, educational and non-patronising for the parents. Parents can get something out of them, too!”