It will take time, it will be frustrating but it will be worth it. Don’t expect them to go to school in French then revert to an English speaking environment with English speaking TV at home. Encourage them to spend time with their peers and surround them with the language. You will progress as well. I worked in an environment with NATO children and I have seen many children learn and succeed in a second language. I have also seen a lot of British families who put their children into the German education system with great results, one of them went through thecBritish system before switching to do a degree in German in a German university. He did very well despite the language pressure and he was older than your children. Find out what support you are entitled to and can get, be patient and profit from the experience.
And do let them see that you are making huge efforts with your french too. Have the radio and TV set to french stations. Go and see films together in french, things that they know or have seen, animation, or American block busters where the storyline is usually quite straightforward.
If you all immerse yourself in the language & culture in 6 months all will be well.
All tv, radio, and movies are in french… we cannot afford english luxuries on one budget. I am going to ask the schools if any teacher needs an aide and if they do-id be happy to help!
You can become an assistant de langue or a vacataire if you have a degree, you need to approach the college or lycée and they will do the paperwork with the Rectorat, if it is possible.
You will need photocopies of your academic qualifications. You do 12 hours/week as an assistant de langue, 200 hours in an academic year if you are a vacataire.
Being a vacataire is harder work than being an assistant and if you have never taught before I would not recommend it.
As an assistant de langue you are either back-up in class with the teacher or you have a small group of up to a dozen pupils for conversation.
You will discover that the French system is fairly rigid and you can’t just be a volunteer.
Despite my age, this is something that interests me. I have a rather old degree in education
[B.Ed(Hons)] and good experience of teaching learners up to first degree level. I have a sound grasp of English grammar and syntax, and am confident in the classroom and scholastic arena.
What are my chances of being considered? Realistic assessments please. No need to spare my feelings.
Worth having a chat to the administration of a local college and or lycée or directly the DRH service at the Rectorat.
Which Académie are you in? There should be a link on their website for registering as a possible vacataire.
I’d have thought they would jump at the opportunity if you were interested in being a vacataire.
I don’t think there’s an age limit but I may well (as I so often am) be wrong.
Thanks, Véronique, I will investigate those leads and see where they may take me…
Académie de Caen seems to be responsible for the Calvados and Manche départements. Will look further into their possible requirements and opportunities.
You can get a lot of information from the Rectorat site, have a look at the organigramme, that should give you an idea of whom to talk to. Bypass the monkeys and talk to the organgrinder
Excellent. Otherwise would have to brush up on my monkey etiquette and communication, groin- and axilla-scratching in the style that combines a comfortable informality with a degree of unthreatening authority and self-assurance, not amounting to implied superiority, but pointing to the inadvisability of challenge. Avoiding the baring of teeth or chattering softly. You clearly know the ropes, Véro!
Perhaps one day I may be privileged to offer you a few choice nuts I have stashed away in a safe place against such an occasion as our meeting in the jungle treetops?
Well thats a bummer…Im a pharmacy tech by trade and used to be a teachers aide when needed in Cali. Seems its a lot more rigid here with diplomas and certificates. None are needed in Cali…so thanks for giving me the “head’s up”
That’s France for you I’m afraid.
Its ok! Just learning! And that is something i love to do!
I’ve had four kids go through the french system. Compared to English and especially American systems it’s very rigid with emphasis on correction rather than encouragement. I’ve seen other kids go through the system learning French on the way, one is now studying at a French university to be a French Lycée teacher so it is very possible but will involve some heart ache. As the mum be prepared to pick up the pieces at the end of some days and always remember that you are giving your kids the chance to be bilingual and multi-cultural. Also, the French teaching profession is studied with some fantastic teachers, not all, but you will find those who will give of themselves to help your children especially if you go and make contact. I know this can be daunting when you don’t have much French yourself but it could make all the difference to all of you. Best of luck!!
I agree…I wrote the principal to have a meeting and to express my concerns. All school work , homework, etc is in French…how can they do the work let alone me try to help!
Thank u for ur kind encouragement… much needed!️
What did you expect when you brought your children into a French speaking environment? They will cope but you need patience and time.
Not wishing to state the obvious, but was this not to be expected? Is work and homework in US school not all in English? I don’t know of a country where state schools routinely offer lessons in multiple languages. As you say, if they don’t speak French they won’t be able to make progress at all, so the priority has to be for them to learn French. Can you find a private tutor for them? And as another poster suggested, you could learn at the same time, it could be fun.
Yes it’s obvious…but we also let schools know 3 months ago that they will be attending. Principal promised things would be ready…they r very nice there and I’m sure all will work out!
Thanks to all who point out the obvious!
There is only so much a school can do, their budgets and staffing are based on their normal intake. You will be relying on a lot of goodwill to help your children to integrate but they will and they will eventually progress. As Vero suggested, get them to retake this year allowing them twelve months to get to grips with the new language, curriculum and culture.
I’m not sure what more you expect the school to do, it sounds like they had help already sorted out ready for when you arrived, but I do think there’s a danger that if your kids see you taking the attitude that onus is actually on the school not on them, which from your posts you seem be tending to think it is, then there is a danger they are not going to take on board the fact that it’s up to them to get their French up to speed asap.
Trust me Anna…my kids know the importance of learning French and r doing their best…but teachers need to meet at least half way.