To think our primary school are trying to teach my 4 year old too much FRENCH??

(44 Posts)
ThePFJ Fri 25-Jan-13 01:13:09

My 4 year old is in reception class and he is a great reader and loves learning. They are doing ALOT of french lessons with him all week and he is really getting upset because he is slow at grasping it.
Surely one little lesson a week of basics and games is enough????!!
He has ONLY just started school for goodness sake.....shouldn't there be more.. I dunno... ENGLISH lessons first??

I feel really bad for him.
Am I being unreasonable???

ripsishere Fri 25-Jan-13 01:17:35

IMO, any language exposure is a good thing.
My 11.8 DD seems to have an ear for foreign. When she was your DS age, she was at school in Bangkok and had a daily reading, writing and speaking Thai lesson.
OTOH, she was surrounded by Thai people so it had context.
How long will your DS french go on for and does it have a purpose?

ThePFJ Fri 25-Jan-13 01:31:12

I have no idea... like I say.. he has just started school and 1 french lesson a week seems right to me... not loads. Or even a few french 'games' during the week would be fine.... I wouldnt mind him building to a French GCSE or whatever it will be at 16 years old... but he is 4...
We don't plan on living in any other countries and there is no real 'need' for him to learn it, I would love him to learn it.. I just need the school to slowwwwww down! Just a bit... o.O

Forgetfulmog Fri 25-Jan-13 01:34:12

YABU. It's much easier for a child to learn another language when they're young like your DS. God of the school wasn't teaching French that would probably be wrong as well shock. Not trying tone rude but it seems that schools just can't win at the moment.

As to your DS situation, maybe you could speak to his teacher if you're concerned?

manicbmc Fri 25-Jan-13 01:37:24

My kids learnt loads of French from watching TotsTv. This was many many years ago but it was fun.

I wish I had been able to keep up with the Greek I had learnt when I was 2. I was born in Cyprus and was bilingual until we moved back to England.

Kungfutea Fri 25-Jan-13 01:39:34

My dd is in kindergarten (like yr1 in uk) and goes to an international school. She has a French lesson every day. I love it tbh, especially with French where getting the right accent is so important.

Kungfutea Fri 25-Jan-13 01:40:45

Although your ds shouldn't be feeling bad about the lessons, i think your problem is with the quality of the lessons not the quantity.

ThePFJ Fri 25-Jan-13 01:44:13

I have started teaching him french basics at home and he is great doing that with me... I felt so bad with the way he is reacting at school I have being trying to help him out.... so maybe Quality IS an issue?! sad

I used to teach Primary 10 years ago.. so I know teaching early is good and I do feel empathy for schools and teachers..
I just feel frustrated for my boy.

ApocalypseThen Fri 25-Jan-13 06:36:10

If he's feeling bad, do you think your hostility towards him learning French might be part of it? If you're encouraging him to reject the lessons and feel put upon for doing them, it's not helping him.

YesIamYourSisterInLaw Fri 25-Jan-13 07:11:58

How do you know there is no real "need" for it? I used to think like that about French when I was at school and now 8 years later I would love to live in France so I'm having to learn French as an adult. I wish I'd paid more attention when I was younger, you never know how things will change

KatAndKit Fri 25-Jan-13 09:14:06

One lesson a week is fairly useless. Shorter sessions daily are much more effective than a one off hour per week.

boredSAHMof4 Fri 25-Jan-13 09:35:57

so basically you only want the school to do lessons your son can shine in?

I think YABU, but you have a point about French, why is it the go to language? why not Spanish, Mardarin or even Russian they are all more useful in business than French I would have thought?

Flobbadobs Fri 25-Jan-13 09:41:43

It will help him massivley when he gets to high school, DS's year were the first in the school to start regular French lessons (twice a week iirc) from year 2 and he remembers an awful lot now he's in year 7. He's not the most academic boy so being able to already do the basics has given him a massive ego boost grin.
It also helped when we went to Disneyland Paris, he could speak more french than his poor old parents...

Greythorne Fri 25-Jan-13 09:41:47

Well, one hour a week will mean he learns virtually nothing useful.

I have DNieces and nephews in the UK and after years of French in primary, they can count to 10, recite the days of the week, sing Frère Jacques and.....that's it.

My French DH will say to them, 'salut, ça va? Comment tu vas?' And they look ^ completely^ blank.

So, perhaps your primary school are actually trying to get past the above and teach the kids something useful?

fatcuntroller Fri 25-Jan-13 10:24:18

On balance I think yabu. Children learn through repetition so a half hour slot once a week would teach them nothing. Learning another language is only ever going to be beneficial, and children can pick languages up more easily than adults.

That said though, I have a degree in a foreign language and didn't start learning it until secondary school, so it doesn't necessarily follow that its best to push it from such a young age.

KenLeeeeeee Fri 25-Jan-13 10:27:19

YABU. This is the best age to pick up languages, and learning a foreign language can help understand English too if you discuss the differences in vocabulary & grammar. My primary age sons are learning Spanish & love it.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Fri 25-Jan-13 10:30:03

I wish they taught my DD french at this age! At the minute French German and Spanish are up to me, and i'm not great at any of them.

TheBigJessie Fri 25-Jan-13 10:30:10

I think YABU, but you have a point about French, why is it the go to language? why not Spanish, Mardarin or even Russian they are all more useful in business than French I would have thought?

At this point, the language that the school can best teach is best. Seriously. Incompetently taught Mandarin or Russian would hold the children back far more in the future, if they ended up studying either when older, than a good grasp of a completely different language.

naughtycloud1 Fri 25-Jan-13 10:33:54

id be happy if they,d did teach more language skills especially if your traveling one needs to speak the language when being in a forien countrygrin just like i need to learn english and spell better.

valiumredhead Fri 25-Jan-13 10:58:46

Earlier the better ime!

fenix Fri 25-Jan-13 11:17:32

YABU, and I'm dismayed to read this is coming from a former teacher. The state of language education is dismal in England, and it is largely due to ignorant attitudes like the one you display.

How much time is 'a lot'? The more language exposure children can have, and the earlier, the better. Think of how a child learns English - through thousands and thousands of hours of listening, then speaking words, making phrases and finally sentences. I think the golden number is around 10,000 hours.

You hope to replicate a similar level of comprehension through one hour a week? In terms of language skills, one piddly hour is next to useless, although it may have some value if it sparks the children's enjoyment for languages.

Languages might seem worthless or unnecessary for you, but that's your ignorance showing. You're doing him as much of a disservice as if you believed that maths was a waste of time because we have Excel and calculators. Stop projecting your own misconceptions and paranoia about languages on your son.

Languages are the key to understanding other cultures and values, religions, important events in history, understanding English and enjoying international literature. It's great for sharpening your wits and having a good memory later in life. It's a great feeling when you can talk to someone in their language, and that without your skills, you wouldn't be able to communicate.

honeytea Fri 25-Jan-13 12:04:28

Yabu studies show that children who learn 2 languages do better in all subjects not just languages.

You might not plan to live abroad but your child might well move abroad when they are older.

As for your child not being good at French it is probably good for him to not be fantastic at everything,

Children learn language better when they ate younger, here in Sweden they learn English at preschool but don't learn to read and

cory Fri 25-Jan-13 12:04:50

Can you find ways of making it more fun for him? My mother taught me English and German at a similar age and partly as a result I have native speaker competency in English, know enough German to read a novel or watch a film, and had the confidence to learn French and Spanish to a good level at a slightly later age.

My dc had the half hour a week of French in primary: not only did they learn nothing, but by the time they got to secondary they were convinced that you foreign languages take so horrendously long to learn and you're still not going to get anywhere, so there is no point in trying. So they haven't really learnt much in secondary either: however good the teachers, that attitude gets in the way.

honeytea Fri 25-Jan-13 12:06:39

Yabu studies show that children who learn 2 languages do better in all subjects not just languages.

You might not plan to live abroad but your child might well move abroad when they are older.

As for your child not being good at French it is probably good for him to not be fantastic at everything,

Children learn language better when they ate younger, here in Sweden they learn to speak English at preschool but don't learn to read and write Swedish until they are 7. The kids here leave school with better results in Swedish than English kids have in English and the best foreign language results in the world.

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