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View Full Version : Opinions Wanted: Which Foreign Language



Paige P
07-22-2009, 09:36 AM
should I teach????? The recent yahoo article http://www.newsday.com/news/health/ny-hs-language-0720-nws,0,7625268.story?track=rss has spurred me that it really is time to work with my dc on a FL. I started studying FLs at 9 and don't even remember having to "learn" them. Let me give you some history:

I grew up overseas (in Holland), and I speak Dutch (which I wouldn't teach the dc -- I'm not proficient enough. I speak it but can't really read it unless I read it aloud to understand it :crazy: and can't write it), and I'm fluent in French (or at least I used to be :lol: ), minored in it in college and even had to teach it one year when I was teaching. That being said, I understand a lot of Spanish b/c of my French background and just being around it. I have Muzzy for Spanish and some Spanish CDs to use for the kids.

Which one should I teach the kids? I have no resources for teaching elementary French, but I can speak that fluently. I have some resources for Spanish but can't speak that off the top of my head..... AND, Spanish is a much more needed language around here.......

Maybe teach them French but expose them to Spanish, as well??????

Rachel
07-22-2009, 09:50 AM
My dh wants me to teach the kids Chinese. He thinks it will be very valuable.
I'm still trying to figure it out myself though. I won't start anything this year. I'm up to my ears in everything else already. I can't wait to see what you decide on and what you choose to teach it.

Melinda
07-22-2009, 09:59 AM
My personal opinion on foreign language is teach what you love. If your dc really, really need another language, I truly believe that God will allow them opportunities to learn.

Case in point, I'm fluent in sign language and only began learning 7 years ago when God place a wonderful Deaf lady in my life. Now I'm interpreting and ministering in that spiritually starving community.

As far as spoken language, I love French. Even though knowledge of Spanish is practical here, French is what my girls and I enjoy. Because we live in such a global community, any language is necessary and can be starting point for further studies. French is the official language of the Olympics and the UN. And many African countries speak it, too. My girls are constantly talking about being missionaries to Africa someday so knowing French will go a long way.

Sasha
07-22-2009, 12:19 PM
I've been learning Latin myself so I'm starting Latin for the first grade, I think I've probably mentioned in before that my FIL majored in Latin and he is pretty much fluent in French Spanish and Italian due to his understanding of Latin. I took french spanish and portugese in hs and college so I'm hoping our learning Latin will bring the rest back :lol:

Hollie in SC
07-22-2009, 01:28 PM
Not sure what to tell you for your family. ;) But...we plan to have Spanish and Latin. I took Spanish in high school and college and love it and it is really useful in America today. Latin was a class I took on a whim my senior year of college (long story) and I wished I had it before my SATs. I did have it for the GRE and that was :thumb:

Alicia
07-22-2009, 01:51 PM
We have started with Latin with all our dc. Several resources have suggested beginning with Latin, and then other languages are easier to learn. Also, there was a study done comparing SAT scores. Those students who took Latin scored higher than students who took any other language.

Laura F
07-22-2009, 02:11 PM
I had this dilemma earlier, too. I studied French in high school and college, and it's a beautiful language--but it hasn't been remotely helpful in any part of my adult life (except for crossword puzzles :)). I looked at different elementary Latin programs and found a few that I liked, but we're living in Texas right now and, to be honest, Spanish is just the most practical FL to learn. I ordered Easy Spanish, Jr., and we'll be learning Spanish this year!

MichelleTN
07-22-2009, 07:26 PM
I have been wondering about this too. I took French in high school but never mastered the language. Can't say it has helped me any in life. Spanish would have been a better choice for my area. I always wanted to go to Paris so I took French.

Shauna in TX
07-22-2009, 08:50 PM
With your circumstances, I would teach them French, since you will be able to speak it with them. Maybe in a few years you can start Spanish as well.

Jo in PRC
07-23-2009, 12:58 AM
Here's my vote for Chinese ;)

Paige P
07-23-2009, 07:16 AM
Here's my vote for Chinese ;)

:lol: I'd be so much as a loss it wouldn't even be funny :)

BTW, one reason I was thinking French or Spanish is b/c of their Latin base. I know that I can deduce the meaning of many words b/c of my knowledge of French.

Rachael
07-23-2009, 10:59 PM
Since you are already fluent in French, I'd say teach them French. Perhaps you can find someone that wants to swap French materials for Spanish materials? You can always add Spanish in several years.

Stacy in OR
07-24-2009, 09:30 AM
That's a tough one. I took Spanish all the way through college, and I took one year of French. I have had many opportunities to use the Spanish and it would even help me get a job if I were still working. I can't think of any time that I've actually used the French (other than deciphering French-derived English words). Spanish, at least where I have grown up (California and the southwest), seemed like the most useful language to learn. If I were choosing the language my child would most likely use where we live now, it would be Spanish. However, there is a lot of advantage to teaching something you already know well and your right, French and Spanish are similar. If they learn French now, it would be pretty easy for them to pick up Spanish later. I vote for French!!

MicheleStuart
07-24-2009, 10:42 AM
The plan is to start with Prima Latina this year (2nd grade). I just ordered the materials today. I speak Spanish and teach PS Spanish but DS wants to learn French (Paige can you move closer?)
Michele

Paige P
07-24-2009, 12:36 PM
The plan is to start with Prima Latina this year (2nd grade). I just ordered the materials today. I speak Spanish and teach PS Spanish but DS wants to learn French (Paige can you move closer?)
Michele

:lol: Too funny!!!

I just keep thinking about how, even now, I'll clean the kitchen with the kids helping, and will jabber at them in French or will sing some silly song. I *know* this stuff. It would be SO much easier to teach them what I already know. I'm really leaning towards French...... I just need some elementary materials........... We'll see.....

Alicia
07-24-2009, 04:49 PM
We have used Prima Latina and Latina Christiana from Memoria Press. They also have a French I and French II course. I plan to order the French I for my ds, as I have also taken French.

http://www.memoriapress.com/descriptions/first-start-french.html

MarieD
07-24-2009, 09:00 PM
Sanskrit could be fun. :cool:

Alice R
07-24-2009, 10:52 PM
I speak Spanish (as a second language) and my life is better because of it.

Work related? I get all the referrals. ;)

My husband speaks Spanish also and he does well with work also. ;)

It depends on WHY you are teaching a foreign language? For fun? For family things? For work/business?

I don't know if there is a day that goes by where I don't say "thank God my mother insisted I took Spanish in high school" I wanted to take German. Uh, hello??? There are no German children who need speech evals. :lol: It is that critical and important for my work that I can speak Spanish.

I'm very biased towards Spanish. :thumb:

If you look at some of the projections for immigration, Latinos are going to dominate. Spanish is going to be a major player in the future.

I think in many parts of the country regarding jobs, it comes down to "X speaks Spanish and English, we want that person" I want my kids to be able to compete with other people and not be left out. I see how MUCH it has helped me and I want my kids to have that advantage.

Even in my daily life, I have a cleaning woman and she does not speak a word of English...only Spanish. I have a babysitter and she speaks only Spanish. I've had landscapers come and do work, I can talk to them and make some deals with money etc. It's all Spanish. I found some guys to repave my driveway...again, all Spanish. Not that i'm suggesting only Spanish speaking people are in the service industry but realistically, yeah, I deal a lot with Spanish both at work and at home. Spanish is everywhere.

French is a great language but would you really use it? If it's just for fun, then yeah, do any language that you enjoy. But if you are going for practical, Spanish ranks high.

I just think that Spanish is just plain practical.

Beth in Texas
07-25-2009, 07:21 AM
I would love, love to teach the children Russian. I just think it would be neat with our family heritage.

However...

I'm leaning towards Latin and/or Greek.

Sue S
07-25-2009, 11:35 AM
I took French from 6th to 12th grade. I am more familiar with it and would probably teach my dc french.

Although I would love to learn latin too!

Paige P
07-25-2009, 04:37 PM
It depends on WHY you are teaching a foreign language? For fun? For family things? For work/business?




I think developing the *ear* for languages is a good thing. Just exposing them to the sounds of the language helps with whatever future language they want to pursue. Plus, learning a Latin-based language does help with vocabulary development.

ETA: This may sound abrupt, and I don't mean it in that way. My mind just isn't fully thinking at the moment :lol:

Alice R
07-26-2009, 08:31 PM
If it's for fun, then do whatever language your kids are interested in. And what is easiest for you to teach/practice.

Jo in PRC
07-27-2009, 01:20 AM
Paige,

I'm sad I couldn't talk you into Chinese...but maybe you'd like to join us in our Yi studies. I have to confess that learning Yi makes Chinese seem simple. :lol: So far we've mastered "Thank you" (ka sha sha) and "You are welcome" (ka ah sha) and "How is your health?" (New de shirty vah vah). If you'd like to learn with us, you can check out this site:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuosu_language

Spanish is looking better and better. :lol:

Hollie in SC
07-27-2009, 06:17 AM
:lol:

I just keep thinking about how, even now, I'll clean the kitchen with the kids helping, and will jabber at them in French or will sing some silly song. I *know* this stuff.


That is your answer, friend! :group: :kiss:

shonda in ca
07-27-2009, 11:20 AM
Yes, Paige, Hollie is right! :yes: If your goal is for the children to have an ear for languages, then you speaking french during the day is absolutely the right thing to do! Immersion french is so valuable. Much better than setting out to "do a FL curriculum".

:yes:

Oney
12-28-2009, 10:44 AM
I just keep thinking about how, even now, I'll clean the kitchen with the kids helping, and will jabber at them in French or will sing some silly song. I *know* this stuff. It would be SO much easier to teach them what I already know. I'm really leaning towards French...... I just need some elementary materials........... We'll see.....

I think you have your answer, dear! :lol: Let me ask you this: How did you teach your children English?

Exactly! You spoke to them in English and they learned the language. Speak to them in French and they will learn French. Set aside one hour each day to speak nothing but French to them as you work along your day... It could be fun!

Oney
12-28-2009, 10:47 AM
I am such a dork! I did a search for something language related and of course this thread pops up. I read it with interest and just had to put my 2 cents worth in...and then realized how old the thread is :blush: only after I clicked "submit." Nothing like getting carried away and not paying attention to details. :eyes:

Paige, I hope your French lessons are going well. :lol:

Jeni
12-28-2009, 11:12 AM
We are doing Japanese and Latin at this time. Why? Because I believe Latin is very, very valuable to them, like a key to understanding their mother tongue on a deeper level and an invaluable tool for learning other Latin based languages. I treat it as an extention of language arts, not a foreign language. We are learning Japanese because Japan is forever a part of our family history now. It's a way of keeping those memories alive. Will it be useful to them in their future? Who knows. I hope so. I really really hope that our family can return to Japan at some point.

I'm having them study Latin from 5th grade through high school. Japanese in middle school. Spanish in high school with maintenance on the Japanese. I studied Spanish and French in high school (not fluent but I can read and understand speech in both languages fairly well) and then Japanese as an adult living in Japan. My dh is nearly fluent in Japanese and has an understanding of Spanish, Arabic, Swahili, Bosnian and several other languages. Who knew when we first started dating in high school that we would learn so many languages? All that to say, learn a language that interests you and your children. With young kids, my goal is to teach them the skills of how to acquire a new language and have them discover than foreign language is fun and exciting, not intimidating like many older children and adults perceive it to be. ;)

Jeni
12-28-2009, 11:13 AM
I am such a dork! I did a search for something language related and of course this thread pops up. I read it with interest and just had to put my 2 cents worth in...and then realized how old the thread is :blush: only after I clicked "submit." Nothing like getting carried away and not paying attention to details. :eyes:

Paige, I hope your French lessons are going well. :lol:

:lol: I'm guilty too Oney :lol:
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Paige P
12-28-2009, 11:30 AM
I am such a dork! I did a search for something language related and of course this thread pops up. I read it with interest and just had to put my 2 cents worth in...and then realized how old the thread is :blush: only after I clicked "submit." Nothing like getting carried away and not paying attention to details. :eyes:

Paige, I hope your French lessons are going well. :lol:


:lol: Ya'll are too funny!!! I must say I was amazed to see this thread revived and was going to be humiliated into admitting that nothing "formal" has happened :blush:

I will, however, say that I HAVE been speaking French to the dc much more often, not regularly, but definitely more often (usually while we're in the kitchen) and then I'll explain to them what I'm saying and will have them try to pronounce the words, too. Maybe they're getting something out of it :perplex:

Oney
12-28-2009, 12:20 PM
:lol: I'm guilty too Oney :lol:
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:roflol: Jeni! :group:

Alice R
12-28-2009, 12:23 PM
The thread is old but the information and ideas expressed are always valuable. :group:

Kendall in GA
12-28-2009, 02:36 PM
I'm very biased towards Spanish. :thumb:

I just think that Spanish is just plain practical.

Ditto 100%! :yes:

Nancy Ann
12-28-2009, 04:12 PM
We will be doing Spanish just basic because it would be useful around here.

In highschool we will be doing Greek because we are Orthodox and though we are Russian Orthodox and not Greek Orthodox many prayers and language used in our liturgy is Greek.

I am also thinking of maybe a year or two on Latin instead of teaching a formal grammar.

I really think you should choose a foreign language that will be useful in some way or it will probably just end up being forgotten.

carriejoy
12-28-2009, 08:45 PM
hilarious! I hadn't noticed the age in the thread either! Funny!

Nancy Ann
12-28-2009, 09:43 PM
:roflol:

Didn't notice the time either. Oh Well, it's always fun to talk and share opinons on stuff!!