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What would you do?

(7 Posts)
rrbrigi Tue 18-Mar-14 11:25:03

We are a foreign family living in England since 2004. We have a son who is 5.5 years old and speak two languages. He is in Year1 in an English school. I work part time and my husband work from home. I am pregnant and our baby due in July. Because of our circumstances we have the opportunity to move to Spain during my maternity leave. So it would mean that my son could go to a Spanish school for a year (from Sept 2014 to July 2015) and learn Spanish.

I do not know what to do. Stay here or move to Spain for a year and come back. Finance is not an issue, because my husband can keep his job and he can work from Spain to the same English company and I would be at home with the kids. The main reason why we would like to move is to give the possibility to our son to learn Spanish. As a foreign family in England we do know how important is to speak languages. My son learnt English in the school so I hope he will be able to learn Spanish in a Spanish school as well. Also when he was around 3 years old, we had a Spanish au-pair for 3-4 month and at the end of the 4th month my son was speaking a little Spanish with the au-pair.

But I am not sure that moving to Spain would be our choice, because we had some social issues in Reception with him. He find hard to get friends, however he is very popular in his class now. He did not speak in the class for a long time in Reception (for the time until he learnt English). I am also not sure how frustrating would be for him to go to a class in Spain where he cannot understand even a word. (We do not have money to start to teach him Spanish now). But he already was in a situation like this in Reception in England, so probably second time won�t be that hard. Also his grandparents live in England in our house and he has a very good relationship with them and I am afraid that it would cause some problem for us in Spain when he cannot be with his grandparents. But in the other hand it is an opportunity for us and if we miss it won�t come again.

So, please help me and tell me what do you think what are the pros and cons for both situation and which one would you choose and why.

NomDeClavier Tue 18-Mar-14 11:29:25

I personally wouldn't. You would have to work incredibly hard to keep his Spanish going when you came back and that will take money as well as time. He seems well settled where he is and I would like on the disruptions of new sibling, new school, new language, no grandparents etc.

rrbrigi Tue 18-Mar-14 12:03:30

When we came back he can attend in his primary shool to a Spanish afterclub to help keep up his Spanish.

But I am afraid of the disruptions too.

NomDeClavier Tue 18-Mar-14 14:44:39

A Spanish club won't be a high enough level to maintain, let alone extend. The other children there will be so far behind he'll be doing colours and numbers. To really support a foreign language you need around 4-6 hours of interaction/writing a week plus books/TV/audio materials. Even if he becomes fluent he won't be in a position to teach himself more.

Language aside it's a lot of change and I don't think the potential benefits are worth it.

noramum Sat 22-Mar-14 14:24:28

What is his second language? How well does he speaks both? Do you or your husband speak any Spanish?

For me it is more important that DD speaks her minority language - German - and can read and write than adding a third language to the mix, especially one where I would have to work hard to keep it alive, even more when I can't speak it.

Learning a foreign language is compulsory in primary schools as well. What is his school offering and when?

When you move, would you be able to move back to your current address? Your son will loose his school place, what is the situation with schools in your area? Where I live place are going like there is no tomorrow, DD could end up anywhere.

In Spain he would have to attend school, they start early like in the UK. I would feel he would drop several levels as he would not be able to participate in class and you would have to learn with him at home, would this be possible as you would have another baby? Have you investigated if he would be entitled to additional support at school? Would you actually get a school place easily?

I feel you try to live a dream but it may become a drama instead.

rrbrigi Mon 24-Mar-14 10:14:45

He speaks Hungarian and English; I would say both of them as a native speaker. His English is excellent because of the school and his Hungarian because his grandparents live with us and they do not speak English. In the UK he is in Year 1 now, so by the time we would come back he would go to Year 3, where I think the 30 members for a class is not a limit any more, so I think he could go back to the same class. But I will speak to the head teacher if we decide to go.

None of us speak Spanish, but we would go to near Gibraltar where are lots of English people. I know the school is compulsory from the age of 6, so I think he has to get a place in one state school and he will attend to year 1 again. He is very good learner in the English school, and I think some of his classmate won�t be in the level where he is now in a year time. I know we will have a hard year when we come back, because he needs to learn harder, but I am confident we can do it, either with me or with a teacher. In Spain I would not like to spend time teaching him English, Math at home. The Spanish language will be enough for him for that year (and I also would like him to enjoy his time with his sister and me). I heard that in the part in Spain where we would like to go, most of the Spanish state school have Spanish classes for children who do not speak the language, because lots of foreign families go to live there.

rrbrigi Mon 24-Mar-14 10:24:02

We already asked him if he would like to go to Spain. He is quite intelligent to understand my reasons and the pitfalls as well. And I told him that we are just trying to decide, so it is not sure yet. He seems happy to come and it surprised me, because he needs to leave his grandparents and friends here for a year. In school he does not have a best friend but he plays with everyone.

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