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French/English teenager boy(9 Posts)
Hi, my son is french but born in UK and only lived here. He speaks English all the time and always went to an English school. So now at nearly 14, his french is pretty bad, he can talk broken french and make himself understand if he wants something!
I speak french and he replies in English (although he understands all i say).
As any of you encountered this? any tips?
Very common. Any tips for what? To get him to speak better French, answer you in French?
The best thing to do is not put any pressure on him. He might become more interested in speaking the language in a few years time, or never. It is his choice.
Do you often go to France?
If he was born in the uk doesn't that make him British ? ( misses point of thread)
Do you speak French at home? Has he always spoken English to you? It's common for teenagers to not want their parents speaking their own language in public, I'm banned but then they moan about my accent when speaking the language of the country we live in so I can't win! In private though he should have a good grasp of French, is French the language of the home or English? If he speaks broken French I would just repeat the correct way and leave it. It will sink in I guess. The other alternative would be to move to France for a year but I know that's rarely possible or practical.
We are already encountering resistance in our 4 year old DGS whose DM IS European. She speaks to him in her first language and he replies in English. As a teenager couldn't he be sent to France for a few weeks every summer or a week each school holiday?
I have always spoken to him in French. He went to a french nursery to start with and didn't speak a word of English until he changed nursery to go to one affiliated to the primary school i wanted him to join. He became quickly bilingual. That's when he started Reception that things started to go downhill and he was replying in English more and more...
I tried through Mumsnet to meet french mums but the kids where talking English to each others! grrr...
We go to France about 3 to 4 weeks a year.
This year we are going for 3 weeks, meeting friends and family that don't speak English. Then when we return, he is going back the next day with PGL to a french centre with British kids. I doubt if he speaks french, although i suspect he will probably show off a bit!
CremeFresh, nationality is not based on where you are born but on Parentage.
I didn't know that ! Glad to be put right .
Same situation here.
I'm french, DH is British and the dcs have only ever lived in the uk.
I think that what you are describing is VERY common. It's very hard work to ensure that your dc keep up the second minority language. I know plenty of mums who speak french (or whatever language they speak) with their dc only for them to answer in English.
My way around it has been to INSIST that they answered me in French. ALWAYS.
I don't have the possibility to go back to France for that long so I had to make sure they had as much contact with french as possible on a daily basis.
Ive also organised for them to have some tutoring in french (yes I know it sounds crazy) but that's a way for them to HAVE to speak/write in french wo being grumpy about it.
I would try this year and lay the rules before you leave. Once you are in France, the inly language allowed is french. You will NOT answer if he speaks in English. After 3~4 weeks he will have got into the swing of things much more. And then keep that up once you are back home.
Btw I don't agree about the 'not putting pressure on him'
He has a HUGE opportunity there. And of course he doesn't see it.
A good friend of mine was in that situation. Her dc moaned and moaned about have to do french GCSE and then A Level. Moaned about having to speak french etc etc.
That was until he turned 18yo started Uni and realised what a fantastic skill h head and how many doors were opening for him.
I also know a few adults who now really regret that their own parents haven't pushed them to speak that minority language.
Other things worth thinking about. I'm gathering from your postbthat your DC isn't British even though he has only loved in the UK?
Seeing the instability in the political arena atm, this is even more essential for him to have a good grasp of french TBH.
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