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Ysengrin
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello

  My daughter is learning at own her pace to speak English and French in South-East Asia where we live. She arrived here speaking only Russian from Central Asia at age 5. Yes she is technicaly my step daughter so she had to learn a common language with myself: her second dad. At home me and my wife speaks English and it was our first focus for her. Even if I was telling my daughter late-night stories in French. She went to a Montesorri pre-school just in English and it took her 6 months to start to speak with ease. Watching lots of cartoons helped a lot. Then at 6 we did put her in French school in first year elementary. She started again to learn again a new language from scratch put with good spirit. Plus she had to learn to read and write in a language she did not understand. Her first year elementary teacher explained helpfully it is common in Western-Africa when children learn the official language over the famial/regional language in thir first years of schools. My daughter and I have a very good relationship and speaks father-daughter mostly in English but now more and more in French as she is in second year of French school. The only stress is her present school is basically a French school outside France. Her second year teacher has little exposure to non french culture and multilingual children. She judges our child too slow and can be quite discouraging: no positive feedbacks (french habit maybe... ;o)). I did not want originaly French school remembering it as very strict and not very accepting of cognitive difference. But as our home is Canada if we leave Asia: a French speaking schooling is very useful to access good schools anywhere back in NOrth-America. So for now we hang in there and accept that a non supportive teacher might happen once in a while, and still teach a lot to our daughter. In the mean time: she is learning at her own space. She stills enjoy school and we have no plan to change her to an easier system. She enjoys professional support with home work (I travel a lot). The teacher suggested a psychological and orthophonist evaluations but unless these specialists are Russian speakers it will be quite meaningless to conduct such tests. We rely on the fact that she is happy child and still curious to learn. From immigrant experiences told by other teacher: we assume it takes 2-3 years for a child new to the school language to be in sync with her native speakers peers. And in the mean time she seems to have fun and pride to correct her father beginner Russian, Work-English and even native French. The main thing we realise is that in late language acquisition: non multilingual teachers or familly will have odd reactions and try to fit in a category a child out of their common experience. As long as they cannot take away the smile of your child: they should not take yours!
kathy
Reply with quote  #2 
Don't worry you are not alone.  The teaching profession can be very one sided in thinking that they know everything about everything.  They are often wrong and I suggest to you that you use your own experiences to put forward to your child.  As you say if she is happy and learning that is all that matters because in the end she will get it and when she does no-one will say anything.  I know this because I have had a similar experience with my pre-school (la maternelle) based in Sydney Australia.  We live in an area where all the children speak english at school but my son speaks french/english.  He has taken 2 years to grasp the two languages and still is getting there.  He is going to a french immersion school next year and I can't wait.  I was given a lot of negative from the pre-school about his language and told to see a therapist also.  I ignored this advice as I could see otherwise and you know in the end I was right.  So there you go use your own intelligence and do what you think is right for your child not what someone else says you should do.  It all works out in the end. 
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