What do you do when you child is bilingual and heading to secondary school? If they can speak French, the main language taught in UK secondary schools, should they still do it?
How well do they speak and indeed write French? If they are truly bilingual then you have to ask the question: ‘Do I want my bilingual child learning the French words for rubber, ruler, pencil, window etc.?’ (Think of the words you can remember from learning French at school!) I think if you are like me you will have concerns about your bilingual child being taught a language they already know!
I did not for my son Sacha who is naturally bilingual; hardly surprising with a French mother and long summers spent with his grandparents in France and with French friends his own age. So when he moved to secondary school last autumn I did not want him to learn French – he is already beyond the standard he would learn throughout secondary school.
However, we could use the fact that he’s been exposed to other languages he’s good at it and keen on, to get him to learn yet another foreign language. So I actually requested that he learned Spanish and he is thriving and well on the way to being trilingual.
How do you decide if you child should learn French at school? Well here at the VICI Language Academy we are happy to guide you on your children’s ability versus what they would learn if they took the language at secondary school.
A question we are also asked as children move from Primary to Secondary School is whether they should continue learning French, or indeed any other languages, with us at the VICI Language Academy in Newbury and if they are going to be able to learn the same language at school – it is a good question and one we answer thoroughly in our next blog.
I just started secondary and told my dad about how harsh our French teacher is. She makes us learn about seven words off by heart everyday and makes us do tests every week. I find it very difficult and my dad asked if there’s an option not to do it. I couldn’t find any answers, is that an option? I want to learn Spanish in third year but not with the same teacher :/
What a pity! A language is ‘alive’ and should therefore be taught in a very interactive and dynamic way. You need to speak to your school and ask if learning a foreign language is compulsory, the chances are … It is! Don’t be put off by it, try and approach it differently. Watch movies you like in French, listen to some great French music… You’ll see that it can be really quite enjoyable to learn/speak another language!
there’s no way round learning a little by heart to get ahead in life wherever it is whatever you’re doing. you put yourself in the slow lane by refusing to do a bit of hard learning. sorry.
No need to apologise! Thank you for taking part in the conversation! In our view, language is communication and as such, should be used and practised as such. Learning rules is crucial. Learning by heart counter-productive.