French Education

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Re: Education advice for our 12 year old

Just realise you may be messing with her future for your own desires. Have seen several "late comers" of teen years end up with many problems mainly because they have not the sufficient written and spoken french they should have learned at primaire first and then thrust into a collège world which is very alien to british kids,especially the longer days and homework.My son even had a british girl in his class at Lycée with three words of french only, she lasted about two weeks as no one knew what to do with her. Think ahead to Lycée at 16 and even before that age they have to decide on a future career before the Brevêt. My daughter was not quite ten when she can here and we were told then that any older and she would have been refused and even then no special help, just thrown in the deep end. She did however do an extra year in primaire and did have intensive french tuition in the UK prior to moving which helped no end. She went on, like her brother to gain a french university degree but those extra years and tuition helped. Knowing what I do now from all these years in France, no way would I ever have considered bringint the kids here if they had been older, it is far too late. HOWEVER if your daughter is very academic and finds education easy, especially language and grammar and don't forget she will still have to do english,french and a third language too, she may settle but you should warn her that it will be hard for some time to start with and be prepared for tears and tantrums.
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Re: Education advice for our 12 year old

Just to add to idun's comments that you need to carefully investigate the health care situation, if you are not planning to work in France.
Also if you are going to be dependent on a £ income, you should budget at Euro/£ parity, as some of the most well regarded currency analysts are now forcasting an 8% drop in the value of the £ against the Euro, by the year end.
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Re: Education advice for our 12 year old

 Val_2 wrote:
... but you should warn her that it will be hard for some time to start with and be prepared for tears and tantrums.

If she is going to be 13 then IMHO depression can set in if she were to feel at all alienated by her lack of teen-speak French. It can also be extremely tiring to have to spend all day speaking, or trying to speak, another foreign language; trying to comprehend what is said never mind trying to absorb what is being taught.

Sorry if this seems overly negative, but this plan really does need careful thought - for your daughter's sake.


Computing - it's another world
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Re: Education advice for our 12 year old

I'm afraid my advice would be that it is far too late at 13 to consider this move. Of all the teens I know who moved to France often at a younger age, than your daughter, not one has really managed to master the written language. Spoken, not so much of a problem but her written French is unlikely to be at a sufficient level to gain any meaningful qualifications. Bear in mind as well that the French system uses the calendar not academic year to assign children to a year group. If she is born between September and December she sill be put in the year above where she is in the UK. It is likely she will have to redouble at least one year which may have a social impact on her,

French school children are some of the most stressed and unhappy in Europe and for good reason. They are tested, tested and tested again, learning is by rote and is expected to be regurgitated word for word, help for non Francophone children is patchy so don't rely on it and also don't expect your child to necessarily be welcomed with open arms. Some schools, especially the underfunded ones are far from happy at having to spend their hard won funds on kids that don't even speak the language. The education system in France is in crisis at the moment. If you can get hold of a copy of Peter Gumbel's book 'They Shoot Schoolkids Don't They' have a read for a warts and all take on French education.

I can't imagine why you think your child would have a better life in France. My children would certainly not agree and would not trade their new life in the UK for their old one in France.

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh but I've babysat so many parents who've dumped their teenagers in French schools then watched in horror as they have become functionally illiterate and gone off the rails.

I know some people say 11 but IMHO 9 is the latest you can leave it before the child's education will be seriously affected.

If you can't find a way for your daughter to stay in the UK until she has finished her education then I wouldn't even consider moving.
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Re: Education advice for our 12 year old

Taken from another place but shows graphically just how easily things go wrong.

I would like to pick some brains as to what my daughter could do. She is 18 and stuck in 2de Generale with nowhere to go as her marks in French and maths are so poor (all her other marks are ok). She has already redoubled twice and her confidence is now rock bottom being overtaken by 15 year olds who constantly tease. The problem is we arrived here 2 years ago and she really hasn't made headway in French, and she has always been poor at maths. Her moyen in French is 7.5, her moyen in maths is 7. Whereas all the other subjects are around 12, apart from English 17.
She wants to be either a primary school teacher or a teacher of English abroad.
But I think her failure in France has left her depressed and she really doesn't seem to want to do anything any more. Any talk of a private tutor or extra lessons makes her more depressed. The fact that we have very little spare money is also a problem.
So I want her to try to find a job here until she can get her feet back on the ground, hopefully this will give her some confidence and perhaps she could do a Open University course or an Access course allowing her to go to a UK university in the coming years.
I don't think I am being unrealistic or pushy. It's her decision that she wants to teach and she was really quite a bright pupil in the UK but unfortunately our decision to come here to live at a tricky age for her has derailed her plans and set her back a few years.
What would happen if she went to ANPE? - what chances would she have of them being able to find her a job? (I know that's impossible to answer but any advice would be gratefully received) And the dreaded question: Would she be able to claim unemployment benefit if they can't find her a job? As this could enable her to pay for a course.


A European Rahinja.
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Re: Education advice for our 12 year old

I read this one on another place too and thought it was a good example of how things can and do go wrong forcing teenagers to move to France without prior years spend in primaire and collège first. This poor kid dosn't stand a chance of being employable in France and as for being a teacher, well, certainly not here as qualifications are the be all and end all to even be considered for the concours. Best solution is for them to head back to the UK and start again and get some training etc there where the girl can understand the language at least.
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Re: Education advice for our 12 year old

And yet, if that is what she really wants then she can do it in the UK. It is the expense aspect for many that becomes the problem. She won't be able to get loans for her education until she is at university and needs supporting until that time.

She isn't alone though, I know enough french kids in the exact same situation. This is what happens when a kid doesn't slot perfectly into the nice round hole of french education.

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Re: Education advice for our 12 year old

We arrived 3 years ago with one son starting in CM2, the last year in Primary School and one son in CM1. The CM2 son only just got in as his DOB is Jan, otherwise it would have been 6 eme-1st year at College.

We knew we were hopefuly just in time with them both learning French written and verbal before comencing College.

They have both found it difficult with no extra help offered to them. They both redoubled the 1st year which was the best, so when comencing college, they could be fairly fluent written and speaking.

I would not have come over with them starting at College, they are both now very compentant 3 years on, but it has been VERY VERY hard. Hours of homework and revising lessons each day to be sure they have understood everything. My eldest is now at the same level as other French children in his class, my youngest started college this week, and it's going to be a toungh year for him.

Would I do it all again if I had known? Not sure, I just know that it has been hard and for a child to start at college, will be very difficult and I would not recomend it. Now my kids love life here and speak French and German, but it was bringing a 10 and 12 year where also the schooling is very different. I thought at least Maths would be the same, but it isn't.

If you serioulsy want to come over, I would seriously look at internatioal school. Don not let her start in College. She will feel isolated and alone.
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