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Christine
Reply with quote  #1 

Hi, my name is Christine, I'm the mother of a 10 year-old girl and 7 year-old boy. I'm native in  English (American), majoring in Linguistics/German at university, and will be starting Italian this summer. I did get a late start 1 year ago in starting my then 9 and 6 year-olds in German, but I felt better late than never. I have found two really great websites I'd like to share, one for German instruction and the other in many languages. My situation is different from all of the parents trying to instruct their children in either their own native language, or parents starting the teachings while the children are still babies. Since my children are 10 and 7 they speak, read and write fluently in English (their native language, and the language of the community) This has allowed me to ignore English for the most part, and focus soley on the foreign language they are to learn. Because they can read and write, I am also using schoolwork (in German) an hour a day, as part of their lessons. The hardest part was finding material and resources for the elementary level (aside from Spanish which is abundandt in my state, but not the language I am teaching). Our local teacher's material store only carries Spanish, and a few items like flashcards in French. In America IMHO, it seems to me that language acquisition isn't taken seriously until middle school. If you are a parent, trying to teach an English speaking child (that can read and write) then I have found a few good resources. Firstly, The Enchanted Learning website has free printables for members (the anual fee is only $20 a year US) and they have French, German, Dutch, Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanich and Swedish. I have printed literaly hundreds of pages of German lessons for the children. My professor is Swiss, she teaches German and Spanish at the university level, and teaches those languages plus French and Italian at the elementary level. She also uses these printables. Secondly, a site called Alphabet Garten, supplies books, workbooks, DVD, CD and many other materials......inlcuding multi-national DVD players, all in German. Because of my children's ages, I am attempting to teach them partly, in the same manner as how an adult acquires a language. I speak to them in German, adding new phrases each week. Once a phrase is phased into our conversation, and they grasp the meaning, I never say it in English again. However, since my kids are older, I can also teach them some of the grammar. All is going well so far. We are hoping to also add trips out of the country during the summer for 2-3 months at a time, increasing the chances they pick up the correct accent. My question is, how do I go about taking June-August off, in another country, (Swizterland or Italy for example) without living like a tourist? I don't want a 5 star hotel and room serice, rather I would like to actually LIVE there during the summer. Does anyone know if it is possible to rent an apartment for 3 months abroad, or any other advice on summer travel?

  • http://www.enchantedlearning.com
  • http://www.alphabet-garten.com
  • Country-United States

    Lanugages-English and German

    Ages-10 & 7

    ML@H

    Melissa
    Reply with quote  #2 
    Hi Christine,
    There are lots of American Womens Clubs overseas (especially in Germany) and each publish a monthly newsletter. I would suggest getting in touch with someone from the newsletter staff at an AWC in whatever German city you would like to visit and place an ad to "housesit" for the summer. The following website has the lists of the American Women's Clubs in Germany by location. http://www.newcomersclub.com/ge.html 
    Lots of Americans who come abroad to work also leave for summer vacations back in the states. Additionally, you could also check out the local newspapers such as http://www.rp-online.de and look in their "apartments to rent".
    mit freundlichen Grüßen
    Melissa

    1.Duesseldorf, Germany
    2. Family Language-English(mother American/Father-German)
    3. Three year old son
    4. OPOL method




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