French for reception children with ESL

(11 Posts)
Pigletin Thu 04-Oct-18 10:04:33

Hi all - my son has just started reception and he has English as a second language. His schools is offering French as an optional club (during school hours) and I am debating whether it's a good time or if it's too early to start a third language considering he's having to adjust to English as well. He is doing well with English, he can spell, write the letters, does well with phonics, etc, but it is a change for him having to communicate in English all day. Would be grateful to hear from parents who have been in a similar situation, what did you do, is adding a third language a good idea in reception? We won't be able to help with french at all as neither of us has a clue...Advice please!

OP’s posts: |
user789653241 Thu 04-Oct-18 10:26:41

I would go for it. Children's brain is very flexible. Plus, foreign language at reception level won't be so intensive. And you don't need to be able to help, there are so many great online free courses.

brilliotic Thu 04-Oct-18 12:52:58

Hm. Usually I agree with irvine... and no, I don't think it would hurt for your child to go to French Club.

However I also think it would be rather pointless. Even four year olds don't 'pick up' a new language by having 30 minutes exposure once a week.

Your child is bilingual already and doesn't need exposure to another language in order to realise that there are other languages out there that work differently.

Our school has a lunchtime French Club open from Reception. Some children have been going consistently from the start. In the first two years they didn't really learn anything at all (some couldn't even say 'hello'). In Y2 they started actually picking up some things. But when DS started in January of Y3, he caught up with the rest of the club within about 5 weeks. With kids who had been going to French Club for over three full years already.

So I would say save your money, let your child go run around and let off steam at lunchtime rather than going to club, and re-visit the question of learning a MFL in a couple of years or so.

SleepingStandingUp Thu 04-Oct-18 12:55:12

I wouldn't. It's vitally important he gets fully to grips with English ASAP, sounds like he's doing fab but I'd spend this year really focusing on that.

What is his first language?

He could always pick up French next year, he'd probably be fine only speaking two languages at 5(!)

user789653241 Thu 04-Oct-18 12:56:51

Oh, is it during lunch time? Then, no I wouldn't if so. Play time is far more important.

Pigletin Thu 04-Oct-18 13:21:23

Thank you for your comments. Just to clarify, it's not during lunch time and it's not taking away from play time. It's a bit strange as it's scheduled from 2:30-3pm so when they're supposed to be "learning". I will have to ask exactly what they do in this time as definitely not keen to take him away from playing outside.

I'm not even worried about him learning the language, just exposure and general development. I would have chosen Spanish myself, but only French is on offer

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SleepingStandingUp Thu 04-Oct-18 15:03:35

What is his first language op?


Pigletin Thu 04-Oct-18 20:10:42

It’s Bulgarian

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SleepingStandingUp Fri 05-Oct-18 08:22:32

I was wondering how close it was to English or French, whether there was enough similarity like with French and Italian? Turns out I have no idea!
I just don't think thry need all the extra pressure at 4, he's already learning one foreign language with English

PeonyTruffle Fri 05-Oct-18 08:24:43

I wouldn't, focus on the English and then introduce another language at a later stage

Pigletin Fri 05-Oct-18 15:29:03

Thank you all for the feedback. I will listen to you and not sign him up this year.

OP’s posts: |

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