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Have you chosen English language schooling?

(25 Posts)
SSSandy Tue 16-May-06 14:25:23

If you're in a non-English speaking country, have you chosen English language schooling for your child? I hummed and ha-ed about it and ended up sending her to an ordinary German school which I hope she'll be happy with, thinking I wanted her to be at home here. However it does have the (major) drawback that she will have to attend English lessons from the third form on. She'll be 9 and have to sit through "I am, you are" type conversations.

admylin Tue 16-May-06 14:44:24

Maybe she will be like my ds and get an option - we got a choice of english french latin or russian and the school also does portugese so we were pleased about that. I signed him up for french and for latin later but then he might have to change to english as a first foreign language. That is of course if we are still here, our dream is to leave but at the moment it isn't possible

Albert Tue 16-May-06 18:38:31

When in Italy DS went to a local Italian school which was fantastic, now in Brazil he goes to a bi-lingual (English/Portuguese) school but we will be chaning at some point to a local Brazilian school since the English language schools here are not that great IMO.

SSSandy Wed 17-May-06 09:58:13

That would be nice Admylin but the school secretary told me the class teacher teaches everyone English in third form, so I don't see how she could get out of it. I decided to go ahead with the school (it's a small Catholic school so may not have the facilities and number of staff your school has), after all who knows if we'll still be here in 3 years time? Apart from this language issue and the security problem, I have a good feeling about this school.

Someone told me that from year 3 on, the school offers Arbeitsgemeinschaften (AG's) in the afternoon, like sports. Possibly they also offer language options then - French club or something? Haven't found out about that yet.

Albert, do you think you'll ever be heading back to the UK and have to get ds back into the UK curriculum?

sarahinphuket Wed 17-May-06 14:50:17

Yes my DD is in nursery at an International (British curriculum) school...........but it's where I work so it's free!

Cadmum Thu 18-May-06 13:48:14

We move to Austria in 6 weeks...

For DS1 (9) English seems like the best option...

For DD1(7) either would work but for logistics and so they can be at the same school, I will send her to the same International School.

For DS2(4) I would like for him to attend a public school because he is young enough to learn the language easily and he is already starting to read in English (mostly because I home-school the older two at the moment).

DD2 is too young for schooling at the moment but I am sure that I would base the decision on her needs as well...

SSSandy Thu 18-May-06 13:54:52

I do admire people who can home school their kids, I just don't have the patience for it. Hope you'll like Austria, very pretty countryside.

UglySister Thu 18-May-06 14:12:01

Hi Cadmun, did u know there are a good number of English-German bilingual schools in Vienna? Are you going to Vienna? You may well love Austria, a fab place to live!

Cadmum Thu 18-May-06 16:01:19

Thanks... I hope that I am doing a respectable job... TBH the schools near us when we moved back from the UK were awful and they wanted to place DS1 and DD a year ahead of their peers because they started their schooling in the UK. I was not keen on this plan because I think that they would find it challenging socially when they are older. I started the home-schooling in frustration but now I actually enjoy having them at home and not having to rush about to get them out the door in the morning. We have become much closer and I will no doubt look back fondly on this year.

Thanks for the info UglySister...I don't think that DS1 could manage a bilingual school. He is already very apprehensive about being in a German speaking country. (Can't say that I blame him since he is 9.) I hope to love it there but I am also nervous about the language barrier. (We all speak French so I would have prefered Geneva...)

Cadmum Thu 18-May-06 16:02:15

Oops! I forgot to add that yes, we are off to Vienna.

Californifrau Thu 18-May-06 16:39:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cadmum Thu 18-May-06 17:18:42

Californifrau: how old was you ds? Not too sure why I am even asking...

UglySister Thu 18-May-06 18:21:48

Hi Cadmun, I worked in the Vienna International Centre until recently. Shouldn´t worry about the language barrier as Vienna is such an international city the fact that locals speak German is almost academic if you mix in the expat circles... Having said that the German teaching is very good, I´m sure you could pick it up quickly ; ) Good luck! I´m very envious, would LOVE to go back!

Californifrau Thu 18-May-06 18:31:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cadmum Fri 19-May-06 13:47:59

Thanks Uglysister, I am really looking forward to being there so that I can stop guessing how it will all go!

Californifrau: Your post was only an answer to the initial thread's question so I must be taking things way too personally. You should not have to apologize as your answer was perfectly reasonable. I also intend to send our four year old to state school. It is really only our nine year old that would find it all too much.

I seem to have a similar feeling about the German language... I speak French and Spanish but have always avoided German. Thankfully DH does speak enough to get by and we are all busy working on the Rosetta Stone language program and counting lamp posts and the like in German.

Californifrau Fri 19-May-06 18:31:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cadmum Fri 19-May-06 18:40:46

Thanks. I will likely take you up on the offer.

For now, I am trying to remain positive and really hopeful that it will just go swimmingly for everyone.

Are you feeling happier in California? I have very good friends that live not far from you... He is from the UK and she is from the US so their children are the perfect mix and ever so bright and cute.

scienceteacher Fri 19-May-06 18:43:32

I used to sub teach in an international school in the UK. I remember having a conversation with some of the teachers there about the other international schools that they have worked in around the world. They said that whatever country they were in, even if the teaching and curriculum was in English (as would be the case in British and American schools), on the playground, the kids all spoke to one another in the local language. Therefore, they do pick up the local language and customs.

I am not in the situation now, but I would say that if you are an internationally mobile family, then the IB is a good option, especially if there is an Early Years (up to UK Y6) and Middle Years programme (UK 7 - 11). If you are staying put during your child's schooling, then local schools seem like a good idea - international schools have a big drawback of catering for a very transient population, with kids arriving and leaving all the time, and this can be quite traumatic on friendships.

UglySister Fri 19-May-06 19:27:13

Hi Cadmun, you really have nothing to worry about re any perceived language barrier. I´m also a linguist but simply dislike the German language, always did, still do, even though I do speak it when necessary! In all my years at the VIC I never once came across any stigma towards those folk who didn´t speak German although it did seem ridiculous for those who had lived in Vienna a lifetime! You´ll settle in just fine!

malodorantemelly Tue 23-May-06 09:26:17

It was very important for us to send ours to local village school, (in france). It has only done them good, dd1 was 3 when she started, and ds1 was nearly 6 having done one year of english school. They are doing very well with the language now, only been here just 9 months.

I never considered an international school, we moved to france to intergrate, not become outcasts!

SSSandy Tue 23-May-06 09:33:13

How do you find the French school system compares? I don't know much about it. I'd be interested to hear your experiences. When does school start and finish? Is it 9-3? Do they get a warm lunch and is English a compulsory school subject in primary school for instance?

SSSandy Wed 24-May-06 10:06:07

malodorantemelly, I chose a normal local school for the same kind of reasons but we pass an International School every morning and afternoon and I've noticed it seems a very sociable, friendly kind of place. In fact I've been wondering if I made a mistake not applying there. Took dd to ballet yesterday which is directly opposite that school so lots of kids from there. The mums are SO NICE, 2 Dutch, 1 German married to an Australian and 1 Nigerian.

My main reason for not choosing that school was the fact that most families are not here to stay and I wanted dd to have a more settled childhood than I did and more continuity in her friendships.

Can't help thinking though that I might have enjoyed the other school more! Notice that parents are always straggling in there late in the mornings, chatting to each other, seems very laid back
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Admylin, wonder if your kids wouldn't be happier at that school. It's called the State International School in the Pfalzburger Str. If you do end up here long-term, might be worth looking into?

admylin Wed 24-May-06 18:05:47

SSSandy, I wanted my kids to go to pfalzburgerstr and we tried to find a flat near there but it didn't work out, I didn't want to have to travel through berlin on the underground every morning so I have to live near the school . I have 2 or 3 alternatives nearby so we will see!

MrsSchadenfreude Wed 24-May-06 23:03:28

Yes...we wanted to send ours to a French speaking school, but ended up in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium. DD1 didn't really speak much English when we arrived here (she was 3 and we had lived in Romania until then) and I had visions of her not being able to speak anything fluently. As we knew we would only be here for a few years, and the Belgians don't do "proper" school until they are 6, we did feel that our 2 would probably find it difficult going back to UK aged 6 & 8 after a few years in a different system and language.

If we were here permanently, I'd definitely have sent them to a local school though. I see children who spend their whole lives here in a British/American bubble and can't even speak to the local people. I think that is wrong.

Nightynight Thu 25-May-06 00:05:38

Sandy, our French school was approx 8.20 - 3.55, for Mon, Tues, Thurs and Fri, plus Saturday mornings. The hours were a right pain, and cut into the weekend. They got a really long lunch break, and there was no canteen - all the children went home for lunch.
this was a village school in the sticks though.

Academically, they are way ahead of English or German schools as far as I can tell. Probably need to be, to learn to read and write French!
They do joined up writing in the first year (age 6), as well as learning poetry off by heart, and by 7, they know what a noun and a verb are and they start to decline verbs.
sigh - how I miss France.

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