And Nellie that’s good to hear your three week trip didn’t negatively impact the ml2. I think I got nervous because some families at my children’s school go 6 weeks every summer without French support and it seems to impact their language progression. Of course after returning to school they start to remember everything again. But they do seem more behind compared to the other kids who don’t go six weeks without. But I suspect it’s also because the parents don’t do much support at home during the school year either.
Forgot to mention about our puppy. Things are going well with her. However, my husband likes to speak to her in Norwegian for some strange reason?!? I’m like, you can speak Norwegian to the dog but not your kids?!? Lol.
Yes, Amy, that’s what I was wondering. But you are right, I can just let them watch shows in French and play music in French. Next year I definitely want to go on holiday for three weeks. We are currently on holiday for 10 days and it’s so good for the kids to be outside all day and right on the water. I brought a few French DVDs and I was so annoyed the first one also had an English option and for some reason the DVD player here decided to make it play in English and because it was a Norwegian DVD player I couldn’t figure out how to switch to French and neither could my husband!! Lol. At least the other two DVDs I brought only had the French option! The problem here is that internet is not great so Netflix and YouTube are not an option. Had to be DVD. I did download some French stories onto the iPad. Next year I plan to do all of this, but make more of an effort as this year it was just 10 days so I didn’t bring as many resources as I could have.
That is great you got an American sitter for July. Also, it sounds like your daughter is doing well with reading! Well done on doing lessons with her. I just don’t have the patience. I tried one lesson with my son and gave up. Although, he is finally starting to read some simple words now. I learned to read on my own age 4, while my dad read to me. I just suddenly got it and was reading. So when I had two kids I assumed it would be the same. But no! Both of them learn through phonics and with my son it seems to take ages. It’s amazing your daughter is reading in English and Spanish already at the age of 4! Well done teaching her! My daughter will begin learning to read in French at school in September. I’m nervous about this. When did your daughter start reading in Spanish?
Firstly, great news about your daughter doing well at school in both languages. 😀 Your hard work is paying off. You are so lucky to find the ml2 summer camp. But seriously, how frustrating about the ml2 native speaker who wouldn’t speak his native language! I never understand this, when someone can so easily pass a gift onto their children and they don’t do it! Okay, maybe not so easily, lol, but easier when you are a native speaker then non-speaker of the language! I have seen this far too many times, parents who want their kids to learn the language, but who don’t want to make the effort to speak it! They might do it occasionally or try little bursts of exposure, but give up when their child doesn’t speak the language. So frustrating. I hope your daughter was able to find some friends that speak the ml2. That is the best way to get a child speaking the language.
Thanks all. My daughter whispered in my ear today and told me her brother speaks French well and makes full sentences perfectly. This is a big deal for my daughter to admit! Lol. She usually likes to say he is wrong etc. But now his French has progressed so much she finally says he speaks it well. 😀 I also heard him playing in French by himself in his bedroom with his cars. We are now on holiday and I’m thinking next year I would like to go for three weeks. But we would leave the au pair home to take care of our dog. Would three weeks be too long for the language? Or if it’s just once a year that should be okay?
My son has made a lot of progress in French. He now speaks to his friends' parents in French, even when they speak to him in English! It's quite amazing to see. I observed it the other day when one of the moms said "Hello, I am XX mum." My son responded in French and said the boy's name the French way. I asked the mom what he said and the mom laughed and said he told me in French "You said his name wrong, it's not XX, its XX!" saying the name in the French way, lol. His other friend's mom came up to me and told me that he has been speaking to her in French even when she started speaking to him in English. I'm very happy that both my children seem to make an effort at speaking French to French speakers. It's pretty amazing and I feel very lucky. I only wish I was speaking French fluently as well. I'm hoping I'll have time in August to learn more when my course work is on summer break.
I find it very interesting to see which language a child decides to use and with whom. Sometimes my daughter will randomly speak French with different kids from her school (the park is filled with the school kids after school and she will speak to and play with children from different grades). It is interesting to watch and see her speaking English or French with some. I wonder how does she decide?
Today she was playing with two friends in her grade and as I approached I asked what language were they playing in because they went quiet. My daughter said English because one of the girls did not know all the French so it would not be fair. In the park I hear many kids speaking French and many in English from the school. I wonder how they decide. I guess it might be whatever comes easiest to them. My son is definitely the type that speaks what is easiest so far, if he knows someone speaks English he usually speaks English with them. However, I was happy to find out today from his French teacher that he is doing well in French and she said that he does not speak any English to her at all. He speaks entirely in French. I noticed that he is speaking loads more sentences and fluently with the au pair as well. This makes me very happy.
I have not been on here much, because I have been catching up with school work and we got a new puppy, so I have been busy with house training her. She is such a sweet dog.
Over the weekend, my daughter's best friend from France visited London. We saw her one night and the next day for a play date. It was interesting to see, they went from a friendship built on speaking entirely in English to speaking entirely in French. Her friend is still able to speak English, but prefers speaking French, as it's easier for her. She moved to France last year and before that she favoured English, which is normal, as most favour the ML language. I assumed they would mainly speak English, as they built their friendship from when they could just talk in English (just before age 2).
Last year when we visited them, the girls spoke mainly English together and some French. My son also started speaking French to the visiting friends (the younger sister) as well. The next day for the play date, I wasn't there because we were on the way to buy a gorgeous new puppy. She is such a joy and we love her! The au pair said the girls spoke entirely in French on the play date as well. I was curious if the previous day my daughter spoke French just to make me happy, but no, she chose to herself, as she continued to speak only French to her friend while I was away. I felt a bit bad though, as I know it would have been good for her friend to practice her English. I did make an effort to speak to her in English when I saw her. She spoke to me in French some of the time, I think because she assumed I must speak French now too if my daughter speaks French! I understand a lot, so would just respond back in English.
I was told by a French mum that my son's French has really improved. I'm happy with his progress. I have not made any effort at all the past several weeks, due to my circumstances. My mind has just been elsewhere. I just let the au pair talk and play with the kids and read when she decides...which is usually every day. But I need to get back on track to encourage more reading etc. It's funny as well, we have this beautiful puppy and sometimes my kids speak French to her. The puppy will probably learn to understand commands in both languages, lol.
I heard it's very difficult to get into the bilingual schools in France. My friend tried with her daughter (they were coming from the UK), but the application was not successful. However, do not let that put you off. I would try and cross fingers that luck is on your side. So many people told me it's impossible to get kids into the Lycée in London, but it happened. I applied halfway through the year because I had listened to people saying you have to be French to apply. If you don't get in the first time, I would keep trying. Good luck!
Thanks Raquel and thanks for the advice Adam Beck . I agree with you. I need to make some more time for myself. Also, make sure to enjoy all the simple beautiful moments of life and simple pleasures. Life is different after a parent passes and I'm not sure it ever gets back to normal. However, I'm looking forward to enjoying the simple things.
I just got contacted by the breeder we have been in touch with and a puppy is available! We have been waiting almost 6 months for a certain type and now is the time. She is 5 weeks old and if all goes well, she will be ours in 3 weeks! We are a family of dog lovers or shall I say pet lovers (at least me and the kids! lol). My husband seems to only love dogs. We have been waiting to get a dog for years! In fact, before my daughter was born we were planning to get a dog, until I realised I was pregnant and decided to put the dog on hold. Now we are ready and very excited!
On another note, French is going well. I hear both kids speaking French to the au pair. My son is speaking more and more French so this makes me happy. I haven't done any planning for the languages and think I will just leave it to the au pair for the next few weeks as I have to catch up on my own course work and day to day activities.
Thank you everyone for your kind words. It has been such a tough few weeks. I am finally back on the way home. I am on the plane as I type. I can't wait to see the children and miss my family so much. The au pair said they have been very good and speaking loads of French. Of course, as I'm not home they're getting loads of one on one with the au pair. My in-laws visited while I was away and said the au pair is lovely. I'm very happy it worked out well with her. I look forward to returning to London and getting back to a normal routine. I will hopefully have some positive language updates soon.
Wojtek, thank you for the video. I watched it too late. But I appreciate you posting it.
My father passed away Monday evening. It was very difficult, but at least we were with him, so he was surrounded by loved ones and he lived a full life. He got to see his daughters grow up, happily married, and meet his grandkids etc. I am thankful for this. I also asked my father to show me a shooting star when he makes it to the other side, to show me that he is still here and that there is something after life. The night my father died, my mom and I went outside to find our shooting star. To our amazement, we saw two! In all of my life, I have never seen a shooting star where I grew up, and I spent MANY nights outside looking at the stars for ages. It was quite special and comforting. It was even more special that my mother also got to see it with me and two times! If we blinked our eyes, we would have missed it.
No more updates on language progress for my kids, but my au pair said they are both doing well and speaking loads of French. I look forward to seeing them soon! It's been a long trip away from them! I've never been away from them this long.
I had to make an emergency trip to the US, as my father is in the hospital with Sepsis. I left the kids at home of course. I am on here as a bit of distraction. It's been long days waiting in the hospital, but it doesn't look good.
Today, I spoke to my daughter and she told me she got Star of the week again, which made me very proud. This time it was from the new French teacher, who is covering her previous teacher for maternity leave. It was for my daughter making a lot of effort speaking French and always raising her hand to answer the questions in French. This made me so proud. When I was still in London, the same teacher spoke to me (at first in French, until I responded in English). She told me that my daughter is speaking loads and doing really well in French.
I'm also happy to report that my au pair says my son is doing really well and has progressed a lot. He only speaks to her in French and if he doesn't know the word in French right away, he thinks of it and makes an effort. This makes me so happy.
I've been away for one week from the kids and it looks like I'll need to be away another week. It hasn't been easy, but at least I know they're in good hands. The grandparents (my husband's parents) are visiting so they're keeping busy and of course our au pair is there, whom my MIL has said is great and singing her praises. This also makes me very happy to hear.
Homework starts here at 3 as well. Although they don't seem to be so strict. It's more writing names, counting and phonics. But not all schools seem to do it. I sent my son to a different nursery to my daughter and while he was there he never had homework and it was all play play play. It's good that you're able to get the grandparents to help with homework. Homework falls all on me at the moment and I really need to figure out a good system. Right now the children only really get English homework. The French is just read the French book and practice the songs at home (which my au pair does). But for English, both my kids get homework and I can't seem to get a good system going. Does anyone have a good time they do homework (the writing and math bits)?
Hi Amy, what a great idea! I wish I could do this for my daughter in packed lunch, as she would never check her school bag. But her school serves hot lunch at school. Maybe I could leave it on the kitchen table for when it's breakfast time. This might also help my son, who really doesn't seem to understand the concept of reading. He can recognise some words, but as for sounding them out and getting what he is saying, nope!
Thanks Nellie, I agree. We will keep our daughter on the Lycée side. People tell me all the time how difficult it is to get in, so we're very lucky we got her in.
I have a friend who mentioned her son is struggling on the French week. He cries because he doesn't want to go. I have had other friends who also had this problem in the past. My suggestion was to help him by getting an au pair and making efforts to help him learn French. I think that's the most important to help with the success of language is making sure to give the proper support (if you aren't able to speak it yourself). You can't just send your kids to the school and hope for the best. It's so important to help outside of the school. It's the same for the ML language, you help outside of the school with the homework etc. I also sent suggestions of the books to buy, games to play etc. I really hope this helps, as I know it's heartbreaking to bring your child to school crying.
My heart breaks once in a while when my son cries at pick-up because he sees me pick up my daughter once a week, while he stays at school for Atelier (which is afterschool club). My daughter does hers another day and I pick him up and leave her behind, but she's fine with this. I had to do it like this because the atelier they wanted were on different days. Okay, well the atelier my daughter wanted was on a different day to the atelier we signed my son up for...which was more our choice then his, lol. It's for phonics help with his teacher and actually a lot of his friends do it too. He just gets sad when he sees me at pick-up and he knows he can't go home with me that minute. I wish they wouldn't bring the kids staying behind outside to watch all the other kids go home!!!
Thanks for the advice. I don't have to decide until my son starts in September I just learned and a spot opens in my daughter's class. I just wanted to prepare my thoughts ahead of time. Basically it's only when he's at the school through the British system that she qualifies, which I'm happy about as it buys more time. But I am learning towards keeping her Lycée and playing it safe. Of course, saving the money would be great, but we live comfortably as is so I think it makes sense to have peace of mind. However, I think my husband would rather save the money...but I'm the one in charge of the children's school so I could convince him that we should keep her on the Lycée side.
Sorry, it's very complicated how it works. Basically, my children are in the French section, called the Lycée. But within their class, half the children are coming through the British section, which is won via lottery and free. So 14 Lycée kids and 14 British kids making the class a total of 28 children. Half the kids pay a fee of 8,500 GBP a year for their spots while the other half (births half get in for FREE!). It is the same education. However, French follow admission via calendar year and British side do from September to August for admission. Therefore, my son had to start one year early than he normally would have because he entered through the French system, therefore we pay 8.5k a year for him and my daughter. However, we applied for the British lottery, which he would qualify for the next year, because of the way his birthday falls (October), and he won a spot! But he would have to repeat the year, as he would be entering through the British side, which we are prepared to do, as academically, he is just not ready to progress. He is still not getting reading and to be honest, my feeling is...what's the rush? No reason to rush through school and start him a year early, unless he's a genius! Also, it saves us 8.5k a year.
I only feel guilty because he has made good friends and is happy. But the friends come and go as the school is international with families moving to new countries etc. So if we accept the spot, my daughter will then qualify for a free spot too. But this would mean we gamble for secondary. We can afford to pay her yearly fee. However, of course it is tempting to save the money! Especially, as some children from the free side have gotten into the secondary! It just seems unfair to pay all this money, when others don't pay and they get into the secondary anyway! However, because she won't be going for 5 years to secondary, who knows what will happen. If she gets into secondary, then my son automatically gets a spot because of sibling priority. I am leaning towards to keep paying for her and accept the free spot for my son only. However, this is a big chunk of money 40k for school fees after 5 years, when I could get the same exact education for free. I know it's so confusing! I hope my explanation helps clarify things.
Thanks Amy! I will order those tomorrow. If my son isn't ready for them, he eventually will be! But you're right, the descriptions are not usually too long, so it could be a good option for him!
And yes, I think we will accept the spot for him, but this also means my daughter gets priority for a free spot when one opens up in her year. However, if we accept for her as well, this means we might not be guaranteed a spot for the lycée in secondary (so age 12). So that is my concern, as it's a gamble. So far it seems children coming from the free spots have gotten spots, but doesn't guarantee it further down the line, especially as it's very over subscribed as it is. Does that make sense? So benefits would be we save money now on my daughter's tuition (and my son's). But we wouldn't be guaranteed a spot later down the line.
That's nice the British Council organised some activities. Were you able to meet some new English speaking families? Or do you already know them all? How often do they organise these activities? Have you thought of getting something more regular going with the families that attends these? For example, making it a monthly thing.
It sounds like your daughter is doing well in reading! My son still struggles with this. He knows the phonics sounds, but doesn't seem to get them when stringing them together. What lessons are you using to teach your daughter?
What's on your mind right now? Just type and hit "Enter" to share it here!
Wojtek: Adam, will you be watching in a few hours the football match between our national teams?
Jun 28, 2018 20:27:10 GMT 9
Mayken: Happy birthday to two bilingual monkeys: Adam Beck's daughter Lulu (14) and mine (8).🎂
Jun 29, 2018 23:10:16 GMT 9
Amy: Happy birthday to your 2 bilingual monkeys Mayken and Adam Beck !
Jun 30, 2018 5:15:05 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken, that's true, but in our case, the U.S. didn't make it to the World Cup this time! Japan has gone through, but they'll probably get knocked out very soon...
Jun 30, 2018 7:22:16 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Wojtek, Poland won! I was disappointed, though, to see Japan hold the ball at the end of the game because they only wanted to go through to the next round. I understand why they did that but I wish they had played harder...
Jun 30, 2018 7:24:42 GMT 9
Wojtek: Well, it suited both teams to slow down the ball. However, it was really unexpected and peculiar
Jul 1, 2018 1:16:27 GMT 9
Mayken: On the train from Cologne to my hometown, I saw a boy about 9/10 and his older sister. She was fluent in German but spoke French with a slight accent, he spoke only French. They were visiting their grandparents. I was intrigued but didn't ask.
Jul 1, 2018 22:06:55 GMT 9
Wojtek: Does anyone know an online English speech language therapist? I thought that it could be a good idea to get my girl evaluated in her ml...
Jul 6, 2018 4:02:38 GMT 9
Mayken: Yay! My 8-year-old daughter passed her ml swim test today! After swimming & diving, the pool attendant asked her to recite the swimming/safety rules (our recent captive reading), and she knew them all!
Jul 6, 2018 21:28:23 GMT 9
Adam Beck: NEW! Bilingual Lives: Ana Cristina Gluck, Author and Publisher of Multilingual Books for Children (with a Book Giveaway!) buff.ly/2ziSQ4J
Jul 7, 2018 11:28:32 GMT 9
Agnese: First words. What to expect? My son is 10 months old. He's still babbling, but I've noticed some different sounds depending on the situation. I wonder if he'll start saying his first words in the next weeks (or months, who knows?). What should I expect?
Jul 11, 2018 0:30:24 GMT 9
Amy: Don't expect anything Agnese. Just let it happen, and then what he says will hit you like a train. It's an amazing moment. Just live it and don't overthink it. Whatever he says, in whatever language it is, it is a magical moment.
Jul 11, 2018 5:11:14 GMT 9
Agnese: I've recently found a further (annoying) challenge: when I speak ml (Italian) to my child (10m) in front of ML acquaintances, they are making jokes about what I said (mostly accent, similar unrelated words...). What do you think is the best way to act?
Jul 15, 2018 13:04:11 GMT 9
Amy: Agnese, it is simply because they never had the opportunity to be acquainted so closely to that language. Just smile and keep going. Over time (even if this may seem long), the comments will fade. Don't show your son you are embarrassed by your ml.
Jul 16, 2018 3:56:41 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Agnese, I strongly second Amy's advice! Stay strong and continue speaking Italian!
Jul 18, 2018 6:22:37 GMT 9
Adam Beck: And Agnese, keep in mind that, above all, the highest priority is your bilingual aim, not the other passing concerns that are part of this experience (for us all). Don't let these distract you from the greater goal.
Jul 18, 2018 6:24:49 GMT 9
Agnese: Thank you! After this setback I feel stronger than ever! The same day of the incident I ordered plenty of books in the ml on Amazon and I'm reading every day new research on bilingualism and bilingual education. I'm ready to defend my goal! Thanks
Jul 19, 2018 18:37:58 GMT 9