To think our primary school are trying to teach my 4 year old too much FRENCH??

(44 Posts)
ThePFJ Fri 25-Jan-13 01:13:09

My 4 year old is in reception class and he is a great reader and loves learning. They are doing ALOT of french lessons with him all week and he is really getting upset because he is slow at grasping it.
Surely one little lesson a week of basics and games is enough????!!
He has ONLY just started school for goodness sake.....shouldn't there be more.. I dunno... ENGLISH lessons first??

I feel really bad for him.
Am I being unreasonable???

Booboostoo Fri 25-Jan-13 17:16:15

Totally YABU

DP and I are Greek, live in France and don't want DD to miss out on learning English when young (the only time when it's easy for someone to pick up a language) so she's growing up trilingual. My only concern is that we are late with her Mandarine!

cory Fri 25-Jan-13 16:23:59

French is very useful in that it is still spoken worldwide, not only in former French colonies, but also as a language that many foreigners will have been taught as their second or third language at school. I have found French and German useful for communicating with people from the former Eastern block who do not necessarily have good English.

I have also found it very useful for an academic career as much research is published in French (and German).

peppersquint Fri 25-Jan-13 16:18:47

merci bien paris

Fakebook Fri 25-Jan-13 16:10:15

I wish our school would teach French from reception. YABU.

fromparistoberlin Fri 25-Jan-13 16:06:39

tres bien pepper!

Psammead Fri 25-Jan-13 15:45:40

Fenix made the points I wanted to make. Language is never a bad thing to learn.

Although if he's really not enjoying it at all, perhaps you should investigate the teaching methods a little further.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 25-Jan-13 15:28:37

No such thing as 'too much French'. Any language learned is a very good thing.

Parlez-vous Francais, OP? grin

peppersquint Fri 25-Jan-13 15:22:32

Fromparistoberlin - I think French is useful as it is the nearest neighbour to the UK and therefore children may get more opportunities to practice their French skills and understand a different culture.
It is also spoken extensively worldwide - being the official language in 29 countries including places in Canada, North Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa.
It is also the official first language and official second language of international organisations including the European Union, Council of Europe, MSF, United Nations, Court of Human Rights, FIFA, the European Space Agency, the UPU, the Red Cross, Amnesty International and the African Union.
As it is a latin based language - ability to understand the basics of French opens up other language skills for example Spanish and Italian.
Further the emphasis on grammar and latin that is necesary to master French also helps with scientific study and understanding the English language.

AmberSocks Fri 25-Jan-13 13:52:49

i dont see why they should have any "lessons" at 4 yrs old?i thought it was all learning through play in reception?

CecilyP Fri 25-Jan-13 13:40:30

Wouldn't that rather depend on who you are doing business with. Still not really relevant to OP's 4-year-old.

OP, can you say a bit more about why he is getting so upset? I thought teachers generally tried to make things fun in reception.

fromparistoberlin Fri 25-Jan-13 13:33:28

cory (a) I was taking the piss
and (b) Spanish then

what use is French? and I say this as someone fluent in French and with a French degree. Russian would be far more useful in business

Alwaysasking Fri 25-Jan-13 13:31:39

Oh and btw my ds is having speech and language therapy at the moment as his English is quite behind, originally I held off introducing another language to him for this reason. But after delving into it for my course, I found this could actually help him. And his pronunciation of French is far better than his pronunciation of English grin

Alwaysasking Fri 25-Jan-13 13:29:59

YABU - I have a 4 y/o ds and am training to be a primary school teacher specialising in MFL (specifically French!). Research shows that learning a foreign language reinforces the learning of English (amongst other languages).

My ds' school doesn't introduce languages until aged 7, which I'm a bit gutted about tbh so I do it with him at home. We read his favourite stories in French (3 little pigs) and talk about the Eiffel Tower etc. The key is making it fun for the child, and tap into their interests (my ds is really into his 'towers' atm so talking about the Eiffel Tower is fun for him).

I have experience of working in a Welsh school and there is a big push for children to be bilingual. It is really fantastic how they build the Welsh into the day, so the register is called in Welsh (and a child calls it), they will be told to tidy up in Welsh, and it is generally built into the day around a brief lesson. The key is for an integrative approach, putting the language into context.

boredSAHMof4 Fri 25-Jan-13 13:18:04

..without the stealth!! grin

5Foot5 Fri 25-Jan-13 13:00:54

My 4 year old is in reception class and he is a great reader and loves learning.

I have started teaching him french basics at home and he is great doing that with me

Stealth boast alert grin

AngelWreakinHavoc Fri 25-Jan-13 12:57:38

Are you sure they are not having a french based topic week at school?

TheBigJessie Fri 25-Jan-13 12:53:26

Also, a reception-age child needs help at home. How many of the pupils have parents who can comprehend and help with Latin cases, never mind Russian ones? Hey?

But hey, all languages must present the same amount of difficulty for English native speakers. Obviously. I mean, they're all foreign and all foreigners are the same, ain't they?

The above is extreme sarcasm, by the way.

cory Fri 25-Jan-13 12:32:16

fromparistoberlin Fri 25-Jan-13 12:15:04
"yanbu

ridiculous to do it so yound when they are still learning ze anglais!

anyway, should be russian, spanish or mandarin ideally if they are really pushing it

get em into those BRIC economies I say !!! "

Have you any idea how long it takes to learn Mandarin to the point where you can actually use it in a work context? And how difficult it is to find qualified teachers?

Russian also quite a bit more difficult than either French or Spanish.

fromparistoberlin Fri 25-Jan-13 12:15:04

yanbu

ridiculous to do it so yound when they are still learning ze anglais!

anyway, should be russian, spanish or mandarin ideally if they are really pushing it

get em into those BRIC economies I say !!!

honeytea Fri 25-Jan-13 12:06:39

Yabu studies show that children who learn 2 languages do better in all subjects not just languages.

You might not plan to live abroad but your child might well move abroad when they are older.

As for your child not being good at French it is probably good for him to not be fantastic at everything,

Children learn language better when they ate younger, here in Sweden they learn to speak English at preschool but don't learn to read and write Swedish until they are 7. The kids here leave school with better results in Swedish than English kids have in English and the best foreign language results in the world.

cory Fri 25-Jan-13 12:04:50

Can you find ways of making it more fun for him? My mother taught me English and German at a similar age and partly as a result I have native speaker competency in English, know enough German to read a novel or watch a film, and had the confidence to learn French and Spanish to a good level at a slightly later age.

My dc had the half hour a week of French in primary: not only did they learn nothing, but by the time they got to secondary they were convinced that you foreign languages take so horrendously long to learn and you're still not going to get anywhere, so there is no point in trying. So they haven't really learnt much in secondary either: however good the teachers, that attitude gets in the way.

honeytea Fri 25-Jan-13 12:04:28

Yabu studies show that children who learn 2 languages do better in all subjects not just languages.

You might not plan to live abroad but your child might well move abroad when they are older.

As for your child not being good at French it is probably good for him to not be fantastic at everything,

Children learn language better when they ate younger, here in Sweden they learn English at preschool but don't learn to read and

fenix Fri 25-Jan-13 11:17:32

YABU, and I'm dismayed to read this is coming from a former teacher. The state of language education is dismal in England, and it is largely due to ignorant attitudes like the one you display.

How much time is 'a lot'? The more language exposure children can have, and the earlier, the better. Think of how a child learns English - through thousands and thousands of hours of listening, then speaking words, making phrases and finally sentences. I think the golden number is around 10,000 hours.

You hope to replicate a similar level of comprehension through one hour a week? In terms of language skills, one piddly hour is next to useless, although it may have some value if it sparks the children's enjoyment for languages.

Languages might seem worthless or unnecessary for you, but that's your ignorance showing. You're doing him as much of a disservice as if you believed that maths was a waste of time because we have Excel and calculators. Stop projecting your own misconceptions and paranoia about languages on your son.

Languages are the key to understanding other cultures and values, religions, important events in history, understanding English and enjoying international literature. It's great for sharpening your wits and having a good memory later in life. It's a great feeling when you can talk to someone in their language, and that without your skills, you wouldn't be able to communicate.

valiumredhead Fri 25-Jan-13 10:58:46

Earlier the better ime!

naughtycloud1 Fri 25-Jan-13 10:33:54

id be happy if they,d did teach more language skills especially if your traveling one needs to speak the language when being in a forien countrygrin just like i need to learn english and spell better.

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