French Education

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Dyslexic Child

Hello, I'm new to the forum so apologies if this has been covered before.    

We are looking to move to France this year, however our daughter (13) is dyslexic, her French is non existant as she had a French teacher at her school who was French and he refused to teach her as she struggled and he couldn't/wouldn't spend the extra time helping her. The school pandered to his tantrum and took her out of French lessons altogether.   Her other subjects are fine provided she uses a laptop, her reading and writing are ok but possibly not what you'd expect for her age.  This does not however mean she is stupid, she's far from it. 

It seems to me from what I can tell on forums etc that the system in France is possibly not going to be that helpful to her, she will pick up speaking very quickly (she's good at that) if she hears them, so I've no concern about her actually learning to communicate.  

I understand you can get English Speaking schools, and as our area is not set yet, we could aim to be close to one.  Would that be better or am I looking at homeschool?  If we homeschool, which is no problem, we'll get get a distance learning course to keep me/her on the right path.  What happens when they assess her?  Can she use a laptop etc and provide her work to show what she has done, or is it all by test (which she'll fail miserably)?  Sorry for all the questions but any advice would be helpful.  Thanks in advance.



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Re: Dyslexic Child

As far as I know the only english - speaking schools in France are the International schools, which aren't free, not sure of the costs. You can find their websites online. There's one near Toulouse, and I think there's one at Pau.
There are others too.
As for assessment and support for dyslexics, I think that's unpredictable - some areas are very helpful, others, there's no help at all.
Other people will hopefully add more to this.

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Re: Dyslexic Child

In recent years there have not been that many posts about young families moving to France, probably in part due to the poor economic situation and week £ to the Euro.
However, I do recall some years ago several posts on experiences about educating dyslexic children in France which were not favourable and confirmed your impression that the French educational system was not geared up to cope.
As for private schools, the ones I know of in the South of France are extremely expensive.
One thing I would add is that in the past when there have been discussions about children moving to France from the UK who are not fluent in the language, the consensus seems to be that 13 is probably too late, as they will have started the most critical stage of their secondary education.
I am sure you are aware that the current economic situation in France is bad with the country being seen as the new sick man of Europe having near record levels of unemployment and therefore if you do not have a job to go to, now may not be the best time to move.
Most members on this Forum and Brits in France tend to be early retirees or retirees so fortunately not in a position of having to make a living in France.
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Re: Dyslexic Child

Welcome to the forum Missy. If you type 'dyslexic child' in the search box on this forum you'll come up with threads from posters and their experience - probably not very up to date though. A few posters have had experience with education of dyslexic children in French education. Good luck.


Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.


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Re: Dyslexic Child

Sorry to say this Missy; and by the way welcome to the forum, but Sprogster is absolutely correct in his assessment. Forgive me for guessing but going by the age of your daughter I would think that you're probably of working age, and the bureaucratic hoops people from abroad who need to work here have to jump through in France would be huge, let alone the problems of your daughters needs in education. Maybe your experience of the French teacher in England might give you a clue, although I must say I can't believe you took that lying down. Why not take a year over here to rent a house and try it out?
NickP
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Re: Dyslexic Child

Thank you all for replying.    I did go back through the posts but most were early to mid  2000 time and I did wonder if things had changed, they certainly were not very positive.  Saying that I cannot say I have found England to be particually good at catering for dyslexia unless you spend half your life shouting for help.   Sounds to me as though home education may still be the way, and i've got the general impression that as long as you follow a course recognised in France you are unlikley to go far wrong.  Its quite difficult to get any kind of grip on the education system from the UK without speaking to somone already in it, to discover the pitfalls etc.  I am not convinced that she would leave school with much in the way of qualifications as her dyslexia was picked up too late (we'd been saying since she was 3 but it wasn't diagnosed until she was 11, by which time she couldn't read or write, she can now but thats sheer determination on our/her part) and very little was/is being done, so I am not sure a move to France has any major disadvantage for her in that respect.    Thank you all for helping I do appreciate it.

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Re: Dyslexic Child

NickP,  Hell I didn't take it lying down, its a long ongoing argument which now sits with our solicitor and the head of education, but either way currently its not got much done, although they talk a lot! :-(  I did rather assume that his attitude to her may well be general, he doesn't seem to understand why she cannot do it, and no amount of explaining to him, that she can do it, she just can't write it or, but go over it again seems to help.  But yes, that is pretty much the attitiude I expect to come up against, but as he's of an older generation I did wonder if maybe attitudes were changing.  You still find the older UK teachers less tollerant than younger ones, in my experience.

We have family over there but they do not have children of school age, so we are proably aware of more pitfalls than some about coming over, but not about the education system.  My husband lived out there for several years with work previously but again without us.  We will pretty much have to rent for a while anyway, we have 2 properties to sell over here and a business, and until all sell, we cannot do what we would like, so we will be coming, still owning property in UK.  Which to honest, I am rather pleased about just incase my daughter and I don't like it, we have a option to come back.  Thats not being negative, just trying to be a bit practical.  :-)

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Re: Dyslexic Child

Missy, welcome.
I am going to stick my oar in here based on a child who was absolutely slaughtered in the Belgian system, then saved by Cambridge exams and a minor British university and who now runs her own business very successfully..
My gut feeling is that your daughter will do far better in the British system as it is more responsive to the needs of dyslexics, whereas in France she will simply be dumped in the back row. Recognition of dyslexia is by no means universal here her treatment would vary according to the teachers she has.
Home schooling is an option but why put her through the extra burden of having to try to function in a foreign language when she already has problems in her first one?
Remember that the French system is very unforgiving and designed to put people in boxes for life.
Your daughter is almost into her exams cycles here, so maybe it is too late for a French education.
Too thick for a PhD!
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