My dh is french and would jump at the chance to live there. We have a huge family network of only french speakers and a house, but it's at least an hour from an international school. My dc don't really speak French as my dh is very fluent in English and as he works very long hours and is often away, they are English speakers, with a smattering of French. They could not converse. They are 5 and 3.
Would they settle And learn the language quickly or should I think about putting them in a french school just in case we move? Ds will be attending an ib school and dd plans to start school in sept. I'm not sure about putting them into a French school just in case one day we end up in france!!
The top children in our 11 year old's class speak at home : English, Swedish-English, Taiwanese, Japanese-English.....they do all have a life outside school in French too though. The Taiwanese gets no help from home with French at all. It might make a difference that here in our end of Brussels, multilingualism is the norm and the monolinguals are the Belgian French or French French children.
I can still remember DD's first dictée from CM1 6 years ago "Notre drapeau national a été hissé pour la premiere fois en 1789.....".
The same week, the village vet knew it by heart too. But he'd probably had to learn it himself, too.
I can still remember "The Inchcape Rock" from 1966 - good exercise for the brain, and St Agnes Eve from English Lit in 1972 - exactly the same poems that my mother learned for her school certificate in 1931. That "St Agnes' Eve, bitter chill it was, the owl for all his feathers was acold".
Good for learning to speak with a proper rythmn and all the tonic accents in the right places in English.
The hare limped trembling through the frozen grass and silent was the flock in woolly fold! Lots of learning by rote for my dc in their French school - well it never did me any harm. I agree with Bonsoir. Put them in the French school for primary at least - you can always think again for secondary, but from the sound of your set up if you don't get their French up to speed now you will not have the option later on. I also think that starting in the French system and moving to the English would be a nice surprise for them - the other way round would be a nasty shock!