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Losing your spanish after returning home.

Losing your spanish after returning home.

Old Nov 28th 2009, 12:14 pm
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Default Losing your spanish after returning home.

Hi

We are considering a move back to the UK next year.

My main worry is that the kids will forget all the spanish that they have learnt in the 2 years or so we have been here.

It would be such a shame.

We would love to stay for a least another four years so that its more ingrained and I too may be fluent. Unfortunately, earning a living is harder here.

If we move back, are there any ways to keep the spanish langauge up? Any ideas?

Kids are 2, 6, 7 and 11

Thanks

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Old Nov 28th 2009, 1:17 pm
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Default Re: Losing your spanish after returning home.

It is virtually impossible to keep up a language (fluently) unless you use it everyday, I've heard people say you need 20 hours a week, but does this really matter? Your kids will be better at all languages than their peers and will probably be able to maintain some Spanish forever, even if you never speak it again.

You could look into private lessons (expensive), a language school or trying to find a Spanish family/community back in Blighty.

My daughter (then 8yo) completely refused to speak, listen or do anything else in Italian when we returned. It is a shame, but Italian is of no great use to anyone living in the UK and being brilliant at English is far more important, imo, than being OK at English and Italian.

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Old Nov 28th 2009, 5:00 pm
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Default Re: Losing your spanish after returning home.

Maybe you could use the Spanish mode on all your DVD's when you get back.
Not sure why, but Dd who is 4 loves her movies in Spanish and is convinced she can speak it She can only count to 10 and say hello goodbye etc.
Not sure where she gets her ideas.
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Old Nov 30th 2009, 11:48 am
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Default Re: Losing your spanish after returning home.

Originally Posted by manamama View Post
Hi

We are considering a move back to the UK next year.

My main worry is that the kids will forget all the spanish that they have learnt in the 2 years or so we have been here.

It would be such a shame.

We would love to stay for a least another four years so that its more ingrained and I too may be fluent. Unfortunately, earning a living is harder here.

If we move back, are there any ways to keep the spanish langauge up? Any ideas?

Kids are 2, 6, 7 and 11

Thanks

The problem is, that your children probably haven`t been exposed to the language long enough to remember it and will probably lose most of it. The only solution would be a Spanish language teacher in the UK and if you have the money in the future, easter and summer holiday trips for your children, to stay with Spanish speaking families in Spain. From my early teens onwards, I would spend school holidays with English speaking families in the UK and by the time I was almost 18 I was practically fluent or at least a high intermediate level.

In the modern world, languages are essential of which English is the prize language and most employers love not only to see two languages but three.
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Old Nov 30th 2009, 4:15 pm
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Default Re: Losing your spanish after returning home.

Originally Posted by Jules Europe View Post

In the modern world, languages are essential of which English is the prize language and most employers love not only to see two languages but three.
I agree. English is the international language, but other language skills will probably become valuable assets for British kids in the future. You are just a lot more marketable in many fields if you have a couple of other languages, either at competency level or, better still, approaching fluency.

The EU - like it or not - is going to be a reality for a while and offers trans border employment opportunities, but you're going to need languages to really take advantage of these. One of my son's friends in SA got a good engineering degree and a fantastic job with a German company (I think it was Mercedes), with a recommendation that he learn German. They gave him a 3 month basic language course, and posted him to Germany for 6 months. It nearly finished him at first, because his colleagues were instructed to treat him as a German, and speak German all the time, but he was pretty good by the end of it!
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Old Nov 30th 2009, 4:36 pm
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Default Re: Losing your spanish after returning home.

Originally Posted by Jules Europe View Post
The problem is, that your children probably haven`t been exposed to the language long enough to remember it and will probably lose most of it. The only solution would be a Spanish language teacher in the UK and if you have the money in the future, easter and summer holiday trips for your children, to stay with Spanish speaking families in Spain. From my early teens onwards, I would spend school holidays with English speaking families in the UK and by the time I was almost 18 I was practically fluent or at least a high intermediate level.

In the modern world, languages are essential of which English is the prize language and most employers love not only to see two languages but three.
What do you reckon should be a third? French ? German ? Please don't say chinese.....

Who here has 3 ?
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Old Nov 30th 2009, 4:58 pm
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Default Re: Losing your spanish after returning home.

Originally Posted by manamama View Post
What do you reckon should be a third? French ? German ? Please don't say chinese.....

Who here has 3 ?
I actually have 4 (Spanish, Catalan, English and French) I would recommend though that a good third for your children to be German, as it gives them a dominant language in central Europe.
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Old Nov 30th 2009, 5:10 pm
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Default Re: Losing your spanish after returning home.

Originally Posted by MartynK View Post
I agree. English is the international language, but other language skills will probably become valuable assets for British kids in the future. You are just a lot more marketable in many fields if you have a couple of other languages, either at competency level or, better still, approaching fluency.

The EU - like it or not - is going to be a reality for a while and offers trans border employment opportunities, but you're going to need languages to really take advantage of these. One of my son's friends in SA got a good engineering degree and a fantastic job with a German company (I think it was Mercedes), with a recommendation that he learn German. They gave him a 3 month basic language course, and posted him to Germany for 6 months. It nearly finished him at first, because his colleagues were instructed to treat him as a German, and speak German all the time, but he was pretty good by the end of it!
I think for an English speaker, German is a very good second language to learn and also very useful from a working perspective. It`s probably more useful than French, Italian and Spanish. It of course it depends on the desire of the individual and what they want to achieve with the language. If you`re not interested in or like a language, then its going to be very hard to learn it. Also the intonation of a language is very important and for this reason native English speakers can master German quite quickly.
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Old Dec 1st 2009, 12:52 pm
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Default Re: Losing your spanish after returning home.

Originally Posted by Jules Europe View Post
I actually have 4 (Spanish, Catalan, English and French) I would recommend though that a good third for your children to be German, as it gives them a dominant language in central Europe.
German ...Ich sprechen ein bischen deusch..I learnt French and German at school so I know a bit of both, but French is far more gorgeous.

Although my liverpudilian accent is well suited to the German throaty pronunication.

Well done for knowing 4. I plan on my son especially learning another soon as he has picked up Spanish amazingly (better than the girls). He is very sociable and I think he is a natural at languages.

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Old Dec 1st 2009, 1:50 pm
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Default Re: Losing your spanish after returning home.

Originally Posted by Jules Europe View Post
I think for an English speaker, German is a very good second language to learn and also very useful from a working perspective. It`s probably more useful than French, Italian and Spanish. It of course it depends on the desire of the individual and what they want to achieve with the language. If you`re not interested in or like a language, then its going to be very hard to learn it. Also the intonation of a language is very important and for this reason native English speakers can master German quite quickly.
I agree that German is an important language to learn.
I disagree that it's an easy language to master, whether the the learners be English or not. From my own experience it's at least 3 times harder to learn than a Romance language like Spanish. For example suppose you want to translate "I met him in a small street". The last three words cause all sorts of calculations in German. Is it a stationary position (use dative) or a movement into the street (use accusative case). The adjective ending changes according to the pronoun used (in this case it's "a"), the gender of the noun ("street") and the case - dative or accusative. It's a nightmare!
Ah well. Übung macht den Meister"! (Practise makes perfect)
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