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Returning to uk, how to maintain my kids new language?

(6 Posts)
naturalbaby Tue 14-Mar-17 11:03:11

After 3 years in German speaking Switzerland, we are returning home. I had hoped to stay for longer so am looking for options so they can keep speaking German. We will be too far from the German school in London and I cannot find any German classes for primary kids in our area - plenty of French and Spanish though!

I've thought about an au pair.... are there any other options? I am trying to speak as much as possible at home so it becomes more 'normal' but my German is not a very high level so I don't want to speak too much is it's not correct.

ellaki Tue 14-Mar-17 11:35:05

Hmm a German speaking nanny/au pair seems to me the best way to go and would prob be the smoothest transition/way to keep using the language (more organic than say a German class once a week). Perhaps there are some German focused playgroups somewhere? Also not sure if watching German television might help??** (If they do watch tv).

lemonapple Tue 14-Mar-17 12:31:31

Formal lessons at least twice weekly
Swiss German, Austrian or German au pair
Yearly exams, like British Council for English
Long summer holiday in Switzerland
Songs, poems, books, maths, films, music...
Strong exchange programme with friends there
Basically spending the majority of their holidays there and sometimes without you there, so are immersed

Pupsiecola Tue 14-Mar-17 13:18:48

We left Singapore four years ago after a year. My son, then 10 was having daily Mandarin lessons at school there. We found a tutor on our return to the UK and he has been having a weekly one to one lesson since then (sharing a lesson with another pupil for the last year). He is now in year 9 and is about to do his last controlled assessment for his GCSE . The tutor lives 40 minutes away so once a week we've done that return trip. It's been a bit commitment but we reached the point of no going back a few years ago. No-one at home speaks Mandarin. He's good at it, but it's been tough because he is very bright but puts minimal effort in to anything academic, because for him that's usually enough.

It is possible to continue with the language, and it will be easier with something more widely spoken such as German. Can you find a tutor? Anyone you can share a lesson with to reduce costs and increase interest (my DS has enjoyed the shared lessons, possibly because he shares with a 16 year old girl lol).

Is there a university with a language department? A big uni near us does a Saturday club for Mandarin speakers for example (no way I have ever got my DS there though). Not sure how old your kids are though (my son was primary age when we moved back).

Good luck!

naturalbaby Tue 14-Mar-17 16:00:23

My kids are 5, 7, 9. We've had a tutor at home for their German at school so reduced travelling would be a bonus but it would be nice to socialise with other German speakers.

We plan on regular holidays back but can't predict that we'll have available finances - we hardly travelled before due to finances.

Once we've got a spare room sorted I'll look into an au pair. There is a big University nearby so that's a good idea.

We're already pretty full on extra curricular activities with 3 kids who are into different sports. There are bilingual schools in the uk, such a shame we won't be living near them!

caffelatte100 Thu 16-Mar-17 10:16:01

For longer holidays abroad, how about a house swop if finances are difficult... lots of websites that can help with this...

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