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I'm assuming this is a teenager (or close to it). Parents stop micromanaging and let teens make such decisions (or at least should).

 

Another idea is to allow her to take whatever she wants but have a graduation requirement to have X amt of Spanish (just like we have X amt of math). She can still do whatever she wants but will have to meet this requirement also.

 

HTHs a little :)

 

ETA: BTW, my parents wanted us to take Spanish. My brother took French and I took Latin. I do think we should have taken Spanish. However, in public school, it is IMPOSSIBLE to take all the subjects you want. I already had a huge issue because I couldn't take everything I wanted (extra maths, orchestra all 4 years, dance all 4 years, required classes, etc). With homeschooling, our kids don't have to be nearly so limited. We can offer more than 6 classes per year.

Edited by 2J5M9K
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I agree with Pamela. A teen should be allowed to start making their own decisions. This is part of their training to become adults.

 

Present the benifits of Spanish, but let her decide. Besides, you never know where she'll end up. In some fields, French is the better language to learn.

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I got "pushed" into taking French by the school. The set up was, the more advanced (I don't know another way to put it) kids, could start taking French in 7th grade. French I was split over 7th and 8th grade. Basically, if you were one of the kids it was offered to as an option, it wasn't really an option.

 

I ended up with 4 years of French (credit wise), 5 actual years of class. French has been absolutely useless to me.

 

So, I wouldn't suggest making your daughter take Spanish if she really wants French. I know how it felt to be pushed into the language you didn't want to take. At the same time, Spanish is very useful and only going to become more useful. So I would suggesting explaining this to her and encourage her to take the Spanish sometime in the future.

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I agree with the others: make your case, if you want, but leave the decision up to her. She really can't go wrong studying Spanish *or* French -- and either one will give her a good foundation if she decides to pursue the other in college. There are certainly advantages to either language -- it's not as if she's choosing between Useful Foreign Language with Daily and Academic Advantages versus Underwater Basketweaving for the Unmotivated. ;)

 

And she will be a better student if she feels she had a hand in the choice.

 

If I were in your position, I might also ask around about the teachers available at the school -- are the teachers pretty good for both languages, or is it acknowledged that one group is vastly superior to the other? Those things can change, certainly, but it's worth finding out. You might also ask around and see whether there's a distinct break between the types of *students* who choose one language or the other. It *may* be that the more academically-oriented students take one language, and the other classes tend to catch the less motivated students overall (and thus move a little more slowly with fewer expectations until the year after the minimum requirements for graduation are met). It's strange how that happens in some areas, but it may be that your dd would be more comfortable with one group over the other.

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I really respect the advice I get here. I should have been less vague.

She is an incoming freshman currently entering her first year of ps.

The choices for fl were Spanish, French, and Japanese.

She considered Japanese, but decided it may be too difficult given the alphabet is entirely different etc. so she decided on French.

I have to study a language to get into the Ph.D. program I want to enter in two years, and I am thinking of studying French alongside her - so maybe it will be a good fit.

my rising 7th grade dd will be studying Spanish for the next two years, so if dd and I did the Spanish route it would be fun to have all three of us studying the same thing - but I don't want to force her and have her hate it ywim?

Edited by Chris in CA
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oh, public school makes a HUGE difference IMO (see above post if interested). seriously, let her study what she wants. she may see how something else would have made more sense later on like my brother and i did but it's good for her to take what she wants especially since schools limit the credits, have so many of their own requirements, and take up so much time (school day plus homework).

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hi chris -

 

is she college bound? if so, then maybe she could look at available scholarships, etc. if she has a profession in mind, she could look to see if being bilingual english/spanish offers a hiring and/or pay preference. certainly in the health care industry, it is a distinct advantage.

 

once she's done her research, then i'd still let her make her choice... but now more factors are going into making the decision.

 

hth,

ann

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My advice to your daughter (because I, too, think a teen should be able to choose):

 

I took French and Latin in high school. The functional difference is this: I can order a beer AND find the toilet in a French speaking country. I can only order a beer in a Spanish speaking one. ;) Seriously, I took French because it is the language of my family (all great grandparents are from Quebec and PEI - my parents' is the first generation not fluent in French). I have run across exactly one French speaking (no English) person in the 20 years since. I have run into hundreds of Spanish speakers.

 

Of course, the great irony is that my children are learning French and Latin... my MIL took both in school, too, so now it's a tradition to be linguistically dysfunctional. :D

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I speak Spanish and French and only learned them as an adult. I took Spanish in high school and college, but was rather unmotivated until I finally took a trip to Spain when I was 28.

 

The truth is that motivation is the number one thing. Unmotivated, she'll be hard pressed to say buenos dias, me llamo...after a few years. So I would say to let her take the language that interests her the most.

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I had 2 1/2 years of French and 1/2 year of Spanish in high school. The two languages are SO similar that if you have the time to invest, she could easily do both. I'd suggest staggering them so that she's learning different concepts in each.

 

Dot is much younger than your DD, but the method we're using would work for an older child just as well. We do 6 months of a language using tapes in the car, videos, etc. After 6 mos, we add in reading & writing in that language, and fold in the second language via audio/visual methods. After 6 mos of listening, we add reading & writing in the language.

 

Since she's going to be taking a language at school, let her take French and just listen to Spanish in the car, etc.

Edited by skaterbabs
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because I have a dream of us taking a European vacation before my dd's graduate.

 

La France est tres belle: la nouriture, l'histoire, la culture. Pero no te olvides de España, porque tambien es un pais bien interesante con muchas cosas por ver y hacer. :)

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What I would do is... 1) I would get the book "How to Learn Any Foreign Language" by Farber?. 2) I would have her read most of it, especially the section about the advantages of different foreign languages. 3) Ask her to make her choice and write out her reasons and that you will accept her choice.

 

I took French. Not very practical, but I don't think I would have lasted as long with German or Spanish my other options.

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Well, I didn't give my kids a choice as to which FL to take. They all took Spanish. I took 4 years of French in HS because I wanted to be "different" and everybody I knew was taking Spanish. Total waste of time. I can't COUNT the times I have wished since that I had taken Spanish because I could have USED it! Almost everywhere you go, you can get paid more if you speak Spanish. My DH lost out on a job to a lesser qualified person, but the OTHER guy spoke Spanish. It just makes sense now a days. French doesn't unless you have a specific plan for a career where it would benefit you.

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