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Settling English kids into Spanish school

Settling English kids into Spanish school

Old Mar 11th 2011, 2:54 pm
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Default Settling English kids into Spanish school

Me again. Hi

Looking into moving to the Canary Islands, but this question is for everyone who has kids in a British or Spanish school, either on the mainland or on (in?) the Canaries:

Did you put your kids into a private British/International school, or did you enrol them in a local Spanish state school? If you went for the Spanish option, how old were they when you enrolled them? Did they already speak Spanish and, if not, how quickly did they pick it up and were they very "lost" for a long time while they couldn't speak the lingo?

We would be intending to move to the Canaries for good, and not needing to put our kids back into the UK system, so in principle the Spanish system would be good for us - but I don't know anything about it and need some expert opinions!

Thank you.
Vicki
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Old Mar 11th 2011, 2:55 pm
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Default Re: Settling English kids into Spanish school

P.S. I should have mentioned that our kids are aged 6 (currently in Year 2 in the UK) and 4 (will be starting school in Reception in September 2011).
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Old Mar 11th 2011, 3:06 pm
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Default Re: Settling English kids into Spanish school

Your kids are the perfect ages to go to Spanish school.

The only thing you should look out for is to make sure the school you choose doesnt have too many English speaking kids, as then they stick together and their language doesnt improve, although tbh your children are so young that this probably wouldnt matter either.

There are other posters on here who have kids at Spanish schools so I'm sure they can add their experiences
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Old Mar 11th 2011, 3:17 pm
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Default Re: Settling English kids into Spanish school

Thanks cricketman. I would prefer my kids to go to a Spanish school, but being a mum I can't help but worry about how on earth they would manage to communicate for the first year or so - particularly as our eldest will be at least 7 by the time he starts school there ...
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Old Mar 11th 2011, 3:40 pm
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Default Re: Settling English kids into Spanish school

The people that I know with children the same age as yours have picked up perfectly the language very fast, I think it would be beneficial to put them into spanish schools and I speak as a mum they will do very well, relaly do not think you need have concerns
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Old Mar 11th 2011, 4:37 pm
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Default Re: Settling English kids into Spanish school

Originally Posted by Mixer
Me again. Hi

Looking into moving to the Canary Islands, but this question is for everyone who has kids in a British or Spanish school, either on the mainland or on (in?) the Canaries:

Did you put your kids into a private British/International school, or did you enrol them in a local Spanish state school? If you went for the Spanish option, how old were they when you enrolled them? Did they already speak Spanish and, if not, how quickly did they pick it up and were they very "lost" for a long time while they couldn't speak the lingo?

We would be intending to move to the Canaries for good, and not needing to put our kids back into the UK system, so in principle the Spanish system would be good for us - but I don't know anything about it and need some expert opinions!

Thank you.
Vicki
when we first came to Spain our 2 were 4 & 7

we decided toput theminto International school, because we had been moving about a bit already & weren't sure if we were staying

after about a year we decided to stay & moved them to Spanish school - the best decision we ever made!

If we were to do it all again we would put them straight into Spanish school & save the 10K€ - even if we only stayed a year it would still have been the right thing to do at that age

they both settled in really quickly & were chatting away in Spanish after about a term & have never looked back

some kids do take longer to settle in & some never do, but at the ages of your two, it's certainly worth a try
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Old Mar 11th 2011, 5:59 pm
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Default Re: Settling English kids into Spanish school

Argh lynnxa!

I had just about decided that it was going to be international schools, and then you come along with your positive story about Spanish schools and shake things up again ...

My son is dyslexic, which is why I'm worrying about it so much. I think he would find it so much harder to learn everything in a new language when he already struggles in his native one.

My daughter, on the other hand, would have no problem fitting into a school in any country in any language. I am seriously thinking about sending one to international school and one to Spanish school!

Vicki x
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Old Mar 11th 2011, 6:44 pm
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Default Re: Settling English kids into Spanish school

Originally Posted by Mixer
Argh lynnxa!

I had just about decided that it was going to be international schools, and then you come along with your positive story about Spanish schools and shake things up again ...

My son is dyslexic, which is why I'm worrying about it so much. I think he would find it so much harder to learn everything in a new language when he already struggles in his native one.

My daughter, on the other hand, would have no problem fitting into a school in any country in any language. I am seriously thinking about sending one to international school and one to Spanish school!

Vicki x
lol!!

my younger daughter is dyslexic - and although the school has never officially used the word (they seem to not like it) they picked up that there was a problem almost as soon as she started there at age 5

she has had lots & lots of extra one to one help outside the class & has until this year also been given extra time for exams - she doesn't need it now

she can read & write in 3 languages now to age level - & she has had no real problems studying in both Castellano & Valenciano - the local language

yes, sometimes it has been a bit of a struggle for her - but that's the nature of dyslexia - and she finds Spanish less problematic than English - possibly because it is more predictable, so when things get a bit jumbled it's easier for her to work out

sorry - is that another spanner in the works
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Old Mar 12th 2011, 8:41 am
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Default Re: Settling English kids into Spanish school

Originally Posted by lynnxa
lol!!

my younger daughter is dyslexic - and although the school has never officially used the word (they seem to not like it) they picked up that there was a problem almost as soon as she started there at age 5

she has had lots & lots of extra one to one help outside the class & has until this year also been given extra time for exams - she doesn't need it now

she can read & write in 3 languages now to age level - & she has had no real problems studying in both Castellano & Valenciano - the local language

yes, sometimes it has been a bit of a struggle for her - but that's the nature of dyslexia - and she finds Spanish less problematic than English - possibly because it is more predictable, so when things get a bit jumbled it's easier for her to work out

sorry - is that another spanner in the works
Yes it's another spanner but that's what we need - lots of facts and examples to help us make up our minds. I'm ver grateful to you for sharing your experiences.

I'd better have a good long chat with my son's literacy tutor, and also I'd find out if there are any private literacy tutors in the Canaries who we could access if necessary - tutors who teach both English and Spanish.

My son's dyslexia is not severe enough to warrant a statement in the UK, which in some ways is a good thing of course, but in other ways it's a complete pain because at least if he had a statement his needs would be clearly set out ... ggrr, I need some sun!
Vicki x
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Old Mar 12th 2011, 9:42 am
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Default Re: Settling English kids into Spanish school

Originally Posted by Mixer
Yes it's another spanner but that's what we need - lots of facts and examples to help us make up our minds. I'm ver grateful to you for sharing your experiences.

I'd better have a good long chat with my son's literacy tutor, and also I'd find out if there are any private literacy tutors in the Canaries who we could access if necessary - tutors who teach both English and Spanish.

My son's dyslexia is not severe enough to warrant a statement in the UK, which in some ways is a good thing of course, but in other ways it's a complete pain because at least if he had a statement his needs would be clearly set out ... ggrr, I need some sun!
Vicki x
my dd's dylexia isn't really severe either - no idea if she'd get a statement in the UK or not

in all honestly I'd just let him go to Spanish school & give it a whirl - and forget about English for a while too -that's what we did & it has worked for our two

the special teacher at school recommended this - better than confusing the issue at first
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Old Mar 13th 2011, 9:59 am
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Default Re: Settling English kids into Spanish school

Put my 4 year old straight into Spanish school, having never been to an English school. Heartbreaking at the time to see her as the only English kid in the school and not being able to speak a single word of Spanish. However, she was fairly fluent by that Christmas, and completely bilingual now (she is nine). Best thing we ever did!!
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Old Mar 13th 2011, 3:15 pm
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Default Re: Settling English kids into Spanish school

I'd go along with putting them straight into Spanish state school(s)
Our now-9yo was 4+ & as someone else said, only British child in his year (there was a Dutch lad but their only common language was of course Spanish because the Dutch system doesn't start school til 6+ so he had no English)
Having said that, I have two thoughts - not flies, just thoughts
1) Just give some consideration to longer term - yes it seems silly now and doesn't even slightly mean looking at the negative - but at some stage you will want to be sure their English is seriously up to scratch
2) Not that it will matter if they DO become confident, fluent, etc, but don't make the mistake of thinking that children who are happily, confidently, fluent in Spanish are bilingual: there are other threads touching on this, but the consensus (someone will come along and correct if I'm wrong!) is generally that you need lots of native-Spanish speaking at home to stand any chance of that

(and yes, our son is now in British International school - only Brit in his year - and keeping up with his Spanish as well as now achieving the right standards in English: but of course the English element in Spanish schools must depend hugely upon where the schools are)
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Old Mar 15th 2011, 8:56 pm
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Default Re: Settling English kids into Spanish school

As a teacher, your kids will have no problem with going to a Spanish state school. I've seen it many times, at first maybe they'll be a bit lost, but it's amazing how quickly kids pick things up, especially at such young ages.

I believe that state school here are very good and speaking from experience take good care of the children. My daughter started this year, although she speaks Spanish, English and Catalan at home is only 3 and was in the habit of mixing the languages up. Now, after 7 months at school, not only is she speaking all 3 with a good fluency, she's also writng words down. We're very impressed with that!
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