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French lessons for my 9 year old and 6 year old. Would it make me a ponce?

(40 Posts)
tiredemma Tue 26-Jan-10 10:09:28

PIL have made a permanent move to France. We have just returned from a short break there and have plans to visit quite often.

I have been thinking about some french tuition for both of them, but its sounds a bit poncy?

DP looked at me as I had gone mad when I suggested it, however MIL thought it was a great idea as it will come in handy for both boys when they visit.

Is it a good idea? Can Fench lessons even be arranged for this age? (Obv. school do not teach any languages)

Bucharest Tue 26-Jan-10 10:10:56

Great idea IMO.

Beachcomber Tue 26-Jan-10 10:13:04

I teach English to kids around this age. Some of the parents are doing it for ponce factor and others for reasons such as family abroad.

Generally if kids have a reason to learn a language and the opportunity to practice they pick up a lot pretty quickly.

ShinyAndNew Tue 26-Jan-10 10:15:12

Yes it woud make you a ponce. But it's also a great idea and would be very good for your childrens future.

Dd1's school teach basic French and she is only in yr 1. She already knows Bonjour, Aurevoir and how to count to ten.

EleanoraBuntingCupcake Tue 26-Jan-10 10:16:28

dd did french at nursery but is steadily forgeting it all now she is at school. i think it is a good idea if they are up for it.

twolittlemonkeys Tue 26-Jan-10 10:19:53

Great idea, being a languages person I'm all for children learning to speak a foreign language early on - go for it. I know some parents seem to do it for show but your children will have a reason to motivate them if their grandparents are living in France. I am sure there are lessons for little ones, either private or small group tuition.

Also I was recently sent a brochure for this 'Muzzy' language course and it looks quite good. I'm contemplating getting it for my two boys.

tiredemma Tue 26-Jan-10 10:21:09

Thanks for replying.

I'm not sure that I would advertise the fact that we are having French lessons to friends or other parents as it does come across as poncey, but I do feel deep down that its a good idea and helpful for the future.

abride Tue 26-Jan-10 10:22:35

Even if you weren't moving to France getting young children to learn a language makes sense. It's much easier when they're small.

Not poncey at all. Just a shame language teaching in primary schools doesn't, in most cases, amount to very much (with notable exceptions).

The ONE big difference we found when my son moved to a prep school from a state primary was how hard he had to work to catch up with French. The others had been singing songs in French, learning numbers and colours, etc. from the age of four. And it showed.

flyingdolphin Tue 26-Jan-10 12:43:36

Sounds like a great idea to me, languages are useful in life, and you are giving your children a great opportunity if you get them to start learning French now.

Do it and be proud of it - if some people think it is poncey then let them think that - their loss, or maybe it is time to find some friends with slightly broader horizons.

mumoftoomany Tue 26-Jan-10 13:55:27

I really don't get the 'Ponce' factor issue...???

And are you serious about not telling your friends and other parents that your children are learning another language??? Is it really that embarassing shock?

I'm German and, growing up in Germany, learned both English and French from the age of 5 in school. There is nothing 'poncy' about that, is there? Languages are really important imo, and becoming more so as the economy becomes more global. I really feel it is so important to speak other languages, not just for business, but also for pleasure when visiting other countries on holiday. Am I really that 'poncy'???

GrimmaTheNome Tue 26-Jan-10 13:58:14

No its not poncey - languages need to be taught young. As you've got family there it is sensible.

Hulababy Tue 26-Jan-10 14:00:36

There are french clubs and tutors for children round here. I am sure they are often part of national groups. It's a good age to learn.

My DD is in Y3 and has had basic French lessons at school since she was in Y1.

MmeLindt Tue 26-Jan-10 14:04:29

It is scientifically proven that teaching children to read at an early age is not just beneficial for their language skills, but also for their general development.

The window for learning a second language closes around 7 - 8yo. This means that after that age a child will still learn the language, but not so easily.

Added to that, if they can practice what they have learned when they visit their GP, then they have a practical use for the language which will encourage them to keep learning. It makes it less abstract.

Don't worry about what others think, it is a great idea.

My DC are trilingual, English/German/French although their French is not yet perfect.

annasmami Tue 26-Jan-10 14:12:09

I too am surprised at the OPs question and some of the responses. Of course we should be teaching our children foreign languages, the earlier the better.

We are raising our 2 dcs bilingually (one parent one language) from birth and, as they go to school here in the UK, it is a lot of work to keep the minority language going - Saturday school, dvds, trips abroad etc. but imo it helps them learn additional languages easier.

I am also shocked that some schools (such as the op's) don't teach any foreign languages to 9 year olds...? I thought it was part of the national curriculum.

So, to answer your question, yes definately start teaching your children French if you've got a connection to France.

For what it's worth, we've tried out the Muzzy dvds and they really are terrible (and very expenive...). We took part in a free trial but sent them straight back. You're better off buying foreign language dvds from amazon (especially those that they can watch in English or French).

Good luck!

MaryAnnSingleton Tue 26-Jan-10 14:14:51

not poncy in the least,imo...ds started French aged 6 at an after school club and then went on to weekly lessons at a La Jolie Ronde class - he loved them and learned a lot...mind you he had forgotten it all it seems by the time he got to secondary school ! He still really likes French classes though and has enjoyed learning German at school

MaryAnnSingleton Tue 26-Jan-10 14:17:24


ZZZenAgain Tue 26-Jan-10 14:18:38

well if you think people will find you a show-off, you need not exactly ram it down their throats but I don't think it's something that will turn people against you. After all it's not a sort of one-upmanship but makes logical sense to me with your situation.

Also you're giving your dc the possibility to make local friends when they go to visit their gp which presumably will be quite a regular thing.

I thought there was a scheme afoot anyway to get languages taught in all primary schools before too long.

I think it's fine to look around for something nice for the dc to do, should think they'd enjoy it too.

annasmami Tue 26-Jan-10 14:19:34

In my experience, knowing one foreign language also helps with the learning of additional ones. My bilingual children (German/English) are picking up French quite quickly, probably because their brains understand the concept of a thing having different names (and the concept of different grammatical structures, e.g. genders etc).

So, another argument for getting your kids to start learning French smile.

NoFlysOnMe Tue 26-Jan-10 14:21:17

not poncey at all

your 9 yo will find it far harder than your 6yo by the way as after the age of 8 it gets a lot more difficult to learn a language.

Check out 'La Jolie Ronde' in your area, they do after-school and weekend classes for kids.

drivinmecrazy Tue 26-Jan-10 14:21:51

My DD1 started learning spanish at a kids club at about 4 as my Mum lives there, it has now meant that learning french at school is a breeze.
Am lucky that my girls school now teaches french from reception which is somewhat confusing DD2 as she was learning spanish.
They learn phonetically at that age so both have fantastic accents that I could never hope to master

Hulababy Tue 26-Jan-10 14:25:42

It is Le Jolie Ronde that DD does at school.

diedandgonetodevon Tue 26-Jan-10 14:32:45

I don't really understand the ponce factor tbh. The younger you start the easier it is to pick up a language.

My parents sent me for extra French lessons at a similar age prior to being sent to school in France and I remember really enjoying it- It was just playing games mostly so it did not feel like "learning".

tiredemma Tue 26-Jan-10 14:39:39

The ponce factor comes from the raised eyebrows that we get from people when we started our eldest son with a private tutor (because he learnt nothing in Y3, and also the comments we get about going on SHOCK HORROR a skiing holiday (and the fact that DS1 plays Rugby and Cricket but not footbal hmm Believe it or not some people think that we want to be 'Middle Class'......

I do not think it's poncey in anyway, shape or form, and apologise to anyone who thinks that I am suggesting that being multiligual means you are a ponce.

Im trying to think how I can drop it into a conversation without being sneered at by the preying vultures at the school gates.

ZZZenAgain Tue 26-Jan-10 14:55:27

just tell them you're haivng the dc learn French to save yourself having to learn it and the plan is they will translate everything for you

Honestly I think language clubs and so on are as common these days as ballet lessons. I can't help wondering if those mums at the school gates don't secretly send their dc off to French club anyway.

Wouldn't it be a laugh if you turned up for French lessons and that crowd were all there looking sheepish

tiredemma Tue 26-Jan-10 14:58:45

I wished that it was part of the normal curriculum tbh, everyone is right- after a certain age languages just dont 'click' do they?

I have found a tutor close by- did look at those suggested on here but they don't offer them at any local schools.

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