French Education

Topic has 33 replies.
Print Search Sort Posts:

Re: Advice needed for moving 4 year old boy to the Dordogne, please

Leanne, you are now going to have the immense privilege of bringing up a bilingual child; whatever the crackpots might say, and there are some in the teaching profession, it is a mind opening and culturally enriching experience for the child and for the parents who are watching, as they watch the bilingualism grow.
Do not let French teachers try to talk you out of it!
Some ground rules: you and your husband continue to speak English with him, and only English, whilst at school and with friends he will speak French.
If he follows the pattern, he will say nothing for a while at school, even be angry because he can't communicate, but this will pass. What is happening is that his mind is taking in the language and creating an internal "grammar" which usually takes about six months. After that he should begin chattering away in French and English.
But you must still stick to English.
BUT, do not force him, let bilingualism come naturally. MOST IMPORTANT.
Remember, we Brits are the exceptions in being largely monolingual - much of the world speaks two languages with ease and comfort.
My daughters are bilinguals and used to change languages when they got on the ferry to go to UK or Belgium and they still tick me off if I happen to use French to either of them, and they are in their forties!
Good luck, it is a great undertaking.
Too thick for a PhD!
   Report   Reply Quote

Re: Advice needed for moving 4 year old boy to the Dordogne, please

Our kids are in their 4th different school in 4 very different areas and on the whole I would say French kids are very well behaved. Teachers tend to be quite tough. When they get to college & Lycee maybe less so.

My biggest problem has been that whilst they are half French and on a day to day basis they are French they are always viewed as being half English. It is like a stigma. Never understood what the French problem is with this. Does that happen in the UK ? I am guessing politics.

You are either totally French or not French. Something the Op needs to bare in mind in the challenges to come.

To the OP. Why are you moving to Sarlat ? Just being nosey. Hope you don't mind. We where there a month or so ago.
ner ner nee ner ner!!
   Report   Reply Quote

Re: Advice needed for moving 4 year old boy to the Dordogne, please

Apologies for the delay in replying. Thanks again to both for uplifting and interesting replies. I will take it all in board for sure.
Sarlat because.... We are going to take over an existing B&B and gite business just 12km from Sarlat. Seeing as tourism is going to be our business, we wanted to be close to where the business is going to be! (How many times can I fit the word BUSINESS into a paragraph?!) We really like Sarlat too. There are some good schools around and lots for the kids to do. Fingers crossed it works out for us! Thanks again for your time with the replies. Much appreciated x
   Report   Reply Quote

Re: Advice needed for moving 4 year old boy to the Dordogne, please

My holiday home is about 8 km from Sarlat. One of my French neighbours was four in January. She can write her own name, Mummy, Daddy and three different names for her grandparents, another name for her great-grandfather and the name of her dog. All in very neat writing.
   Report   Reply Quote

Re: Advice needed for moving 4 year old boy to the Dordogne, please

Wow! Clever little girl! That's great. I really do like Sarlat. Happy holidaying!
   Report   Reply Quote

Re: Advice needed for moving 4 year old boy to the Dordogne, please

Given its popularity I think Sarlat is a good place to take on such a business but just make sure you choose the right regime for the business as that will have a direct impact on healthcare for your family. It is quite complicated stuff and healthcare is a priority. The AE thing is not going to work in that respect.

Also, don't under estimate the cost of living in France and the dreaded taxes which are higher as I understand than the UK for small businesses. Get as much info on this as possible beforehand so that you are prepared and able to budget accordingly.

When we were there in Sarlat a month or so ago we were quite tempted into buying a shop. Trouble is we could not decide what to sell. What could one sell in Sarlat ? There is already a Burtons.

Wish you all the best of luck and for the little ones at school. They will be OK. Just get that business regime and healthcare sorted.


ner ner nee ner ner!!
   Report   Reply Quote

Re: Advice needed for moving 4 year old boy to the Dordogne, please

They'll be fine. Just get them into maternelle as soon as you can and they'll soon join the regimentation with the rest of the kids. Teachers here will deal with tantrums quite effectively. If you get tantrums when dropping them off the best thing to do is just stay cheery, give a cuddle and then leave. The teachers will deal with it and they'll soon settle in.

I agree about speaking English at home but would also warn you that the teachers may tell you that you should speak French at home and only watch French TV. All my kids would not dream of speaking French to me (I obviously have an invisible 'English' label on my forehead) and can't stand French TV. I've recently moved and haven't installed UK TV at my new place so the TV just doesn't go on. :)

I don't think the teachers are correct, though French TV may help with vocabulary acquisition, as I think it's important for them to continue to absorb and communicate in English. I've seen kids who went to school early and they only speak French amongst themselves at home (leaving some parents unable to understand).

Even when they do have only English spoken at home they eventually get to the stage where they have a lot of vocabulary in French that they don't always know the English equivalent of. My son is studying a science Bac and even though some subjects are deliberately studied in English, it's at the level the French kids need, and he's considered going to Uni in England or Scotland but is quite aware that he may struggle with the language because he's only ever studied the subjects in French. It's the maths and science subjects that he worries he won't have the English language vocabulary for.
www.remaininfrance.org
   Report   Reply Quote

Re: Advice needed for moving 4 year old boy to the Dordogne, please

The teachers are wrong, their opinion just coming from chauvinism and ignorance.
How much TV do kids of that age get, by the way; my grandson at age three and a half doesn't even get an hour a week except in unusual circumstances. But he does get a few DVDs and carefully chosen Utube things in very small amounts?
Your boy will get plenty of input without adding TV to it.
Too thick for a PhD!
   Report   Reply Quote

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most Read

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine