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What are your expectations for your kids, concerning foreign languages? What are your kids' actual accomplishments/skills? What do you think is the bare minimum for foreign language studies? What are your thoughts on when to start foreign language study? How important do you think foreign language studies are? How do you select which language(s) your kid(s) will study? What degree of fluency do you expect/aim for?

 

I think you get the idea :D.

 

Thanks,

Hadassah

 

ETA: Please don't feel obligated to answer every single question. I'm just interested in hearing your thoughts. Thanks!

Edited by Hadassah
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"What are your expectations for your kids, concerning foreign languages?"

I expect my son to be fluent in English and Spanish.

I expect him to be very good at Latin.

I expect him to be decent at Greek and Hebrew and able to have a reasonable conversation in Hebrew.

 

"What are your kids' actual accomplishments/skills?"

So far he is fluent in English and can converse to some degree in Spanish. He has a good sized vocabulary in Latin. He can read Hebrew. He has no Greek whatsoever so far. He's only 7, so I think we're on track enough.

 

"What do you think is the bare minimum for foreign language studies?"

I would say a goal of being nearly fluent is important because, otherwise, what is the point? There has to be some sort of practical value. If you can't actually converse with native speakers in the end, you might as well spend your time on something else. That's my thoughts on my family. I don't care if another parent thinks the study alone is worth it, just for the mental exercise. I can see the point of that. But after spending 10 years in Spanish class and moving to Mexico and finding out I know basically nothing, I have the opinion I have. :) I wish they'd have bothered to give me real skill and not just wasted my time for 10 years.

 

"What are your thoughts on when to start foreign language study?"

ASAP. The younger the better!

 

"How important do you think foreign language studies are?"

Foreign language is non-negotiable here. Of course, my son has to be able to get along on a practical level because his native language isn't the native language here.

 

"How do you select which language(s) your kid(s) will study?"

Spanish because we live in Mexico. Latin because Latin ROCKS. Hebrew and Greek so that my son has the capability of reading the oldest Biblical texts available. This became extremely important to me upon leaving the JWs. I didn't trust others to translate for me anymore. I went to a synagogue to learn Hebrew and got myself a Greek tutor. I want my son to have the skills to avoid the situation I was in.

 

"What degree of fluency do you expect/aim for?"

I aim for total fluency. Why not shoot for the stars, right?

Edited by Sputterduck
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What are your expectations for your kids, concerning foreign languages?

 

They learn some? :p I hope they graduate with:

Conversational Auslan (no plans to teach them good Auslan)

12 years worth of Arabic (that's got to put them on the path to fluency even if we don't quite make it)

A few years of French starting when they're done with Latin study and have moved onto reading, enough that they can continue at uni if they choose.

 

What are your kids' actual accomplishments/skills?
To use a popular Australian vulgarism, "bugger all." Being two years behind in their two home languages means foreign languages are probably going to be delayed.

 

What do you think is the bare minimum for foreign language studies?
That depends why you are studying them, I suppose. If you are studying languages because you are interested in aspects of linguistics, your minimum isn't going to look like someone else's who is studying for the purpose of learning that language and culture for itself. I tend to think if you've been studying a language at school for however many years and haven't graduated able to read, write, speak and listen well enough to get around or to find out more, your time could have been spent better. (That might mean your teacher was crappy, you should have done more of your homework, you never worked out how you learn language best, or you are better suited to learning some other language.)

 

What are your thoughts on when to start foreign language study?
The sooner the better, unless we're talking about Classical languages. I'm sure they can wait until the kids can read their own textbooks. :p

 

How important do you think foreign language studies are?
If they are taught well enough that all the kids learn is they hate that language or languages in general, that was a supremely unimportant class to take! Otherwise, I think other languages are very important. (We call them LOTEs here- Languages Other Than English, which is more accurate than "foreign language" because it includes non-foreign languages that aren't English.) Studying more than the bare basics of other languages reinforces those silly things your mamma used to say like "You aren't the only one in the world!" :p It opens a whole new world of ideas when you learn that people who speak other languages can have different emotions; emotions which you have never experienced because in your language, they don't exist!

 

How do you select which language(s) your kid(s) will study?
Auslan because The Dad Guy is half deaf, and their godmother is deaf too.

 

Arabic and French because they are UN languages, French being the second most important after English. Arabic is also the language of the "scary Other" and the part of the vocal world we have least insight into.

 

Latin because The Dad Guy likes it and it can give a good foundation for them to jump from into French. I can't teach French at home, but if I work hard, I can teach Latin.

 

What degree of fluency do you expect/aim for?
As much as reality allows! And I won't know what that is for about 15 years. :rolleyes: I don't know anyone who has studied a language other than English or Auslan to fluency.

 

Rosie

Edited by Rosie_0801
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We tinkered with foreign languages a little in upper elementary/middle school: little songs to learn, very basic vocab... but didn't hit it hard until high school. This was important to us; we are a highly mobile family that loves to travel and gain experience in other countries and with other cultures, and given that my kids were not so passionate about math and sciences, it seemed a good thing to push.

 

We required three years in high school, and several will have had four years. Because they enjoyed it so much, we encouraged them to work at it even moreso after high school. When our oldest three decided they wanted to take a gap year after high school, they ended up going abroad and studying their chosen languages even more. My two older girls went to language immersion schools -- one in France and one in Costa Rica. Our son worked at a school in Germany. They all picked up the languages very well.

 

Our son -- though not fluent in the languages he studied (Spanish and German) -- is proficient at both and can get by quite well with either of them. Our two oldest daughters are both completely fluent in their chosen languages (Spanish and French).

 

We never required or even expected our kids to become fluent, but have always encouraged them to continue working at it once we realized their love for languages. It has opened up many doors for them that they never dreamed of! Our oldest daughter is now a full-time university student in Costa Rica (all classes in Spanish), married to a Costa Rican. Our next daughter down received a full-ride scholarship partly because of her French fluency, and recently returned from studying in Senegal, W. Africa (all courses in French).

 

It definitely helped that they love it. If they didn't, we still would have required three years in high school. And btw, we let them choose the language they wanted to study. Whether it was practical or not, it seemed like a good discipline.

Edited by jjhat7
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DH and I were Chinese linguists in the military. Foreign languages are very important to us. Everyday we see how advantageous it is to be fluent in a foreign language. I think children who grow up monolingual will have SEVERE disadvantages when they are looking for decent job 15-20 years from now and I would consider it a horrible offense, on my part, to raise a monolingual child. I know that sounds harsh, but it's that important (to us). I don't judge others if they don't feel the same way... their kids aren't my responsibility and what they do or don't do doesn't phase me, at all. And selfishly, I know it will mean less job competition when DS grows up.... that's horrible... I know it is, but honestly, the thought crosses my mind sometimes....

 

We expect DS7 to take Chinese from now (just started Chinese class last week) until he graduates, and to be fluent by then. No exceptions, no whining; it is not optional. We started teaching him last year, but this is his first year in a class, being taught by a native speaker.

 

We also started Latin last year. I expect him to try his best at Latin.

 

I expect him to learn another language, of his choosing, before middle school and I expect him to start Spanish in High School. He doesn't have to be fluent in these two languages, but I think it would be good for him to at least have conversational ability. But I hope that he would want to be fluent in them, and pursue that. But I also understand that he is a lot like DH and more interested in math and science. We'll see what happens :)

 

I think this is quite normal in other parts of the world (learning multiple languages), he is a bright child, so this is our plan.

 

I think, in general, bare minimum is two languages; Spanish and something else.

 

Bare minimum for us is Chinese and Spanish.

 

His accomplishments? Again, he's only 7 :) But, he can count in Chinese and say Hello/Goodbye, all that stuff. He enjoys Latin and remembers a lot of the Song School vocabulary, uses it occasionally. He's a smart kid, there is no doubt in my mind that he can learn 4 or 5 languages, and be fluent in them, in his lifetime.

 

I think you should start teaching languages as early as possible. Studies have shown that the earlier a child learns foreign languages (ANY foreign language) the easier it is to learn more as they age. If you don't start teaching languages before puberty, it is MUCH MUCH harder to learn a foreign language. It has something to do with forming brain synapses (?? is that the word ??) before puberty when they slow/or stop. Something like that :) I didn't search very hard, but this article was one of the first I found:

 

http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleId=60

 

We want DS to learn Chinese because.... 1) that is the language we learned in the military, so we could speak it together, and we love the language and culture 2) We know how many high paying jobs are out there for Chinese linguists and how desperate people are to hire them... especially the govt, it is pretty tough for native speakers to get high security clearances, so they like having Americans who can speak it fluently, and will pay for that, 3) China is a HUGE country, with a HUGE population.... they have the potential to be great friends (some day) or a great enemy; knowing the language will do NOTHING but benefit you.

 

Latin, because it's the root of all the romance languages and so many English terms and vocabulary are derived from it.

 

Spanish, obvious- because a large population of Americans speak Spanish, and eventually, there may be more Spanish speakers here than English speakers. It makes sense to be able to communicate with each other. Sitting around on your brain, shouting, "They came to this country by God, they can speak our language, I ain't learnin' Mexican, this is America jack!" is ignorant and pointless. (Yes, I have heard that said NUMEROUS times... I'm from North Georgia, it's practically the regional motto.) That's not aimed at you OP, btw, it's just a rabbit trail rant, LOL, brought on by PMS and a deeply rooted pet peeve :)

 

Neat story, we went on a tour of the US Capitol last week and our tour guide, and old man, spoke 59 languages!!! I thought, "Oh, he can say 'Hello' in 59 languages." But, I was wrong! He can FLUENTLY speak 59 languages!! On our 1 hour tour, he held conversations in Chinese, Swedish and German. He also knew Ethiopian and multiple other African languages. We asked him about it and he said he started at 7 yrs. old, learning Latin and French. Then Hebrew, and he just kept going. Then, at some point in his childhood, he moved to Europe. I think his dad was military. Anyways, that's all we could talk about as he had to talk about the Capitol at some point :) I was in awe!!

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My olders were public schooled, and started foreign language study in 6th grade. My experience is at a minimum, kids learn more about english by studying a foreign language.

 

foreign language study was a requirement for me. my girls both did six years of french - and have used it, even if it was just using it to build another language study on. 1dd classics major/computer geek has actually used her french at work when calling a vendor in france. her classics background transfered to study of computer langauges and they were very easy for her. (and history of english - the english majors all struggled, the classics majored had an easy time. this according to the prof. oh, and the returning/visiting computer geek shared that he found it more useful in his career than ANY of his computer programming classes.) the french study transfered so well to spanish study for 2dd, it was very easy for her to pick it up and she is reasonably able to communicate in french and fluent in spanish (which helps with some patients where she works).

My boys had ld's, so it was more of a struggle, but they've had exposure to several langauges each. german, chinese, spanish and their favorite- Japanese. the boys understand japanese, but even 2ds is hesitant to speak it. (and to think he wants his degree so he can go teach english in japan . . . . )

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DH and I were Chinese linguists in the military. Foreign languages are very important to us. Everyday we see how advantageous it is to be fluent in a foreign language. I think children who grow up monolingual will have SEVERE disadvantages when they are looking for decent job 15-20 years from now and I would consider it a horrible offense, on my part, to raise a monolingual child. I know that sounds harsh, but it's that important (to us). I don't judge others if they don't feel the same way... their kids aren't my responsibility and what they do or don't do doesn't phase me, at all. And selfishly, I know it will mean less job competition when DS grows up.... that's horrible... I know it is, but honestly, the thought crosses my mind sometimes....

 

We expect DS7 to take Chinese from now (just started Chinese class last week) until he graduates, and to be fluent by then. No exceptions, no whining; it is not optional. We started teaching him last year, but this is his first year in a class, being taught by a native speaker.

 

We also started Latin last year. I expect him to try his best at Latin.

 

I expect him to learn another language, of his choosing, before middle school and I expect him to start Spanish in High School. He doesn't have to be fluent in these two languages, but I think it would be good for him to at least have conversational ability. But I hope that he would want to be fluent in them, and pursue that. But I also understand that he is a lot like DH and more interested in math and science. We'll see what happens :)

 

I think this is quite normal in other parts of the world (learning multiple languages), he is a bright child, so this is our plan.

 

I think, in general, bare minimum is two languages; Spanish and something else.

 

Bare minimum for us is Chinese and Spanish.

 

His accomplishments? Again, he's only 7 :) But, he can count in Chinese and say Hello/Goodbye, all that stuff. He enjoys Latin and remembers a lot of the Song School vocabulary, uses it occasionally. He's a smart kid, there is no doubt in my mind that he can learn 4 or 5 languages, and be fluent in them, in his lifetime.

 

I think you should start teaching languages as early as possible. Studies have shown that the earlier a child learns foreign languages (ANY foreign language) the easier it is to learn more as they age. If you don't start teaching languages before puberty, it is MUCH MUCH harder to learn a foreign language. It has something to do with forming brain synapses (?? is that the word ??) before puberty when they slow/or stop. Something like that :) I didn't search very hard, but this article was one of the first I found:

 

http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleId=60

 

We want DS to learn Chinese because.... 1) that is the language we learned in the military, so we could speak it together, and we love the language and culture 2) We know how many high paying jobs are out there for Chinese linguists and how desperate people are to hire them... especially the govt, it is pretty tough for native speakers to get high security clearances, so they like having Americans who can speak it fluently, and will pay for that, 3) China is a HUGE country, with a HUGE population.... they have the potential to be great friends (some day) or a great enemy; knowing the language will do NOTHING but benefit you.

 

Latin, because it's the root of all the romance languages and so many English terms and vocabulary are derived from it.

 

Spanish, obvious- because a large population of Americans speak Spanish, and eventually, there may be more Spanish speakers here than English speakers. It makes sense to be able to communicate with each other. Sitting around on your brain, shouting, "They came to this country by God, they can speak our language, I ain't learnin' Mexican, this is America jack!" is ignorant and pointless. (Yes, I have heard that said NUMEROUS times... I'm from North Georgia, it's practically the regional motto.) That's not aimed at you OP, btw, it's just a rabbit trail rant, LOL, brought on by PMS and a deeply rooted pet peeve :)

 

Neat story, we went on a tour of the US Capitol last week and our tour guide, and old man, spoke 59 languages!!! I thought, "Oh, he can say 'Hello' in 59 languages." But, I was wrong! He can FLUENTLY speak 59 languages!! On our 1 hour tour, he held conversations in Chinese, Swedish and German. He also knew Ethiopian and multiple other African languages. We asked him about it and he said he started at 7 yrs. old, learning Latin and French. Then Hebrew, and he just kept going. Then, at some point in his childhood, he moved to Europe. I think his dad was military. Anyways, that's all we could talk about as he had to talk about the Capitol at some point :) I was in awe!!

 

MeiXue,

It is good to see you here. I am so very encouraged by what you said here.

Beginning this year (Jan.), I made the change to do Chinese first thing as our seat work after Bible and history. We are using Singapore Chinese and I highly recommend it for you, who already know how to speak and read Chinese.

We are doing well for our Latin. We are almost done with Getting Started with Latin with both ds9 and ds7. We will start Lively Latin very soon and I am just about to buy Latin Prep 1 for me to study first and then teach my kids. I love languages.

So I would like my kids to be close to fluent in Chinese and have solid Latin. We will add French or Spanish as a third language in middle school. So there you go. I hope we can also learn some Arabic, Hebrew, and Greek. There are the languages on my list. We will aim at Chinese, Latin, and Spanish (or French) for the minimum.

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What are your expectations for your kids, concerning foreign languages? What are your kids' actual accomplishments/skills? What do you think is the bare minimum for foreign language studies? What are your thoughts on when to start foreign language study? How important do you think foreign language studies are? How do you select which language(s) your kid(s) will study? What degree of fluency do you expect/aim for?

 

Expectations- By graduation, I expect DD to be functional in three languages: French, Spanish, and Portuguese. I expect some degree of literacy in Latin, and a beginning study of a fourth modern language which she can choose in high school.

 

Actual accomplishments- Well, she's 5, so we've only been working on French so far. She has a basic understanding of the very basics. :D I suspect that she understands much more than she lets on and uses though.

 

Bare minimum- I think this is very individual. Each family, and even each child, have different minimums. For our family the bare minimum will be to be functional in three modern languages. (French, Spanish, Portuguese.) But we'll *hopefully* be spending time in Brazil, which is why I've added Portuguese, otherwise it would be two. However... for other families I can't say what the bare minimum is. Time constraints, other focuses, etc. may take precedence.

 

When to start- the earlier the better. Especially when it comes to modern languages. Even just exposure is better than nothing.

 

Importance- *I* think foreign language study is very, VERY important. IMO, you can't really understand the concepts and beliefs of another culture without reading/hearing it in the language it developed in. Also, it's important to be able to communicate with as many people as possible.

 

How I picked languages- DD will be studying the languages I know/will know. (1) it's easier to teach something you know, (2) they are widespread languages that will allow lots of travel/communication all over the world, (3) it's pretty cool that we'll speak half the official UN languages, and (4) those are the languages we will have the chance to use.

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What are your expectations for your kids, concerning foreign languages? What are your kids' actual accomplishments/skills? What do you think is the bare minimum for foreign language studies? What are your thoughts on when to start foreign language study? How important do you think foreign language studies are? How do you select which language(s) your kid(s) will study? What degree of fluency do you expect/aim for?

 

I think you get the idea :D.

 

Thanks,

Hadassah

 

ETA: Please don't feel obligated to answer every single question. I'm just interested in hearing your thoughts. Thanks!

 

Foreign languages are a focus of our homeschool. I start exposure in toddlerhood for at least one foreign language although my youngest has been exposed to three different ones. I expect my kids to go as far as they are able. Fluency is ideal, but I would minimally like my children to be able to read, write, understand the culture, and communicate effectively with native speakers.

 

Actual accomplishments are in progress. My two older kids are learning Mandarin, Arabic, and Greek right now. We make slow and steady progress. My 2nd and 4th grader can understand some Arabic and read and write words. They are on different levels with the older able to do more reading and writing. My oldest can read and write Greek and is learning more vocabulary while my 2nd grader is learning basic vocabulary. For Mandarin they are learning conversational skills as well as learning to read and write characters. My older son will learn French next year as well and they both will be learning Sinhala next year too. My oldest son wants to learn Italian and Japanese too, but I think we will have to wait awhile to add something new or he can learn those in college. I'm considering teaching my youngest German since I've been speaking what German I remember to her since she was little bitty and she has really taken to it. I chose Mandarin and Arabic because they are some of the most common languages in the 10/40 window. I chose Greek because I believe it is important for my children to be able to read the Bible in Greek. I chose French because my children are Canadians. I chose Sinhala since we will be living in a Sinhala speaking area. And German? I may choose that because I love the language and speak it whenever I get the chance.

 

I hope that helps :)

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I expect reasonable fluency in a modern foreign language by 16 (able to function in the foreign country) so that simple original literature can start thereafter. I was reading Candide in French at school at 18. For Latin, I expect a start on classical literature at around 16.

 

We started Latin seriously at nine or ten, using Latin Prep. French we started seriously at about 12 (a bit late, I think) using Galore Park SY French.

 

We had previously studied Chinese (and continue to do so) through immersion plus tutoring. Both boys are fairly fluent, but need to improve their vocab. Both are working on writing.

 

Laura

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Interesting to hear all of your responses. I'll share mine too, if anyone's interested:

 

What are your expectations?

To be fluent in Modern Hebrew, Spanish, and one "hard" foreign language - either Mandarin or Arabic or something similar

To know very good Latin and good-ish ASL.

To know basic Greek.

 

What are your kids' actual accomplishments?

Dd, now at college, accomplished the Latin, Hebrew, and Spanish requirements in homeschool, and she's studying Arabic at college. She knows barely any Greek, though, and only knows very basic ASL. I didn't get much time with her, because she left for college at age 14.

Ds (13) has accomplished the Latin, ASL, and Hebrew goals, and is almost fluent in

Spanish. He will start Mandarin at ps next year and plans to study an additional language in college. I am working with him and dd (5) on Greek at a very leisurely pace.

Dd (5) has almost accomplished the ASL goal, is currently studying Latin, and is doing very leisurely Greek with ds.

 

What do you think is the bare minimum for foreign language study?

Some Latin or Greek, and fluency in a modern foreign language.

 

What are your thoughts on when to begin foreign language study?

As young as possible! In utero! :D

 

How important do you think foreign language studies are?

Essential. Foreign language is one of our three core daily subjects, along with language

arts and math.

 

How do you select which foreign languages your children will learn?

Latin, because I really think it helps you understand the concept of languages as a whole.

Spanish, because we live in a very Spanish-speaking area and country.

ASL, because we have several deaf cousins, and because my kids are kinesthetic learners.

Greek, for the same reasons as Latin - but I require lesser proficiency because I personally prefer Latin.

Hebrew, because we're Jewish

Mandarin or Arabic (or comparable), to stretch their minds and offer them a little choice

Both of my oldest children also plan to, at some point, study Italian to fluency, and they have this little plan worked out where dd will study Arabic, and then tutor and teach ds, and ds will do the same for her for Mandarin

 

What do degree of fluency do you expect?

Obviously, total fluency is the greatest goal, but I'm satisfied with basic proficiency for

some languages.

Edited by Hadassah
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Interesting to hear all of your responses. I'll share mine too, if anyone's interested:

 

What are your expectations?

To be fluent in Modern Hebrew, Spanish, and one "hard" foreign language - either Mandarin or Arabic or something similar

To know very good Latin and good-ish ASL.

To know basic Greek.

 

What are your kids' actual accomplishments?

Dd, now at college, accomplished the Latin, Hebrew, and Spanish requirements in homeschool, and she's studying Arabic at college. She knows barely any Greek, though, and only knows very basic ASL. I didn't get much time with her, because she left for college at age 14.

Ds (13) has accomplished the Latin, ASL, and Hebrew goals, and is almost fluent in

Spanish. He will start Mandarin at ps next year and plans to study an additional language in college. I am working with him and dd (5) on Greek at a very leisurely pace.

Dd (5) has almost accomplished the ASL goal, is currently studying Latin, and is doing very leisurely Greek with ds.

 

What do you think is the bare minimum for foreign language study?

Some Latin or Greek, and fluency in a modern foreign language.

 

What are your thoughts on when to begin foreign language study?

As young as possible! In utero! :D

 

How important do you think foreign language studies are?

Essential. Foreign language is one of our three core daily subjects, along with language

arts and math.

 

How do you select which foreign languages your children will learn?

Latin, because I really think it helps you understand the concept of languages as a whole.

Spanish, because we live in a very Spanish-speaking area and country.

ASL, because we have several deaf cousins, and because my kids are kinesthetic learners.

Greek, for the same reasons as Latin - but I require lesser proficiency because I personally prefer Latin.

Hebrew, because we're Jewish

Mandarin or Arabic (or comparable), to stretch their minds and offer them a little choice

Both of my oldest children also plan to, at some point, study Italian to fluency, and they have this little plan worked out where dd will study Arabic, and then tutor and teach ds, and ds will do the same for her for Mandarin

 

What do degree of fluency do you expect?

Obviously, total fluency is the greatest goal, but I'm satisfied with basic proficiency for

some languages.

 

I am absolutely in awe that you can get so much foreign language accomplished. Do you teach all of these languages yourself or do you outsource? Are you learning along with your children or are you already fluent in some of these languages?

 

I recently chunked our foreign language program. :tongue_smilie:

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I am absolutely in awe that you can get so much foreign language accomplished. Do you teach all of these languages yourself or do you outsource? Are you learning along with your children or are you already fluent in some of these languages?

 

I recently chucked our foreign language program. :001_smile:

 

I teach Hebrew and some ASL, dh and I teach Spanish together, we sort of do our own thing with Greek, and everything else is either outsourced or we use an independent curriculum. I am definitely learning Latin and Mandarin along with the kids - I am already fluent in Hebrew, Spanish, and, to a moderate degree, ASL. We just use library books and other eclectic resources for Greek.

When dh and I first got married, we agreed that we would emphasize multilingualism for all of our kids. We didn't plan for our kids to learn so many, though. It just kind of happened. Foreign language is their favorite subject. Dd is majoring in linguistics at college.

I feel blessed by my kids, and blessed by their intense interest in languages (not that

they're perfect little darlings :lol:).

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Would some "real" people please post in this thread. Obviously most of these people that have posted are multi-lingual themselves or have relatives. What about for the rest of us???

 

I tried Latin with all three... I just can't keep with it and I have some background in it. It gets pushed aside for other things... I restart it every year only o have it go out the window by October. Same with Spanish.. My oldest two are now doing Spanish in cc. They are starting their 2nd semester out of 4. Outsourcing is the only way I have been able to make it happen.

 

So if you don't live in a foreign country or don't speak languages yourself, what do you do??? My days are already incredibly full making sure math gets done.

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Our languages are Greek, Latin and Japanese. When they were in preshool,and the few years in elementary, before homeschool, Spanish was pushed (with no choice, and in a sort of icky way), so I am not ready to go there. It put us off. At some point we may get over that. We use outside tutors because I honestly would butcher pronunciation any another of the three languages they learn/will learn. Japanese we start very young (4ish), Latin and Greek is high school ...so they test in...my oldest at 10. We use Rosetta Stone to supplement the Japanese.

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We are working on conversational French, and I expect them to be fluent in French by high school, but only because I'd like to spend more time in France. :tongue_smilie:

 

We are slowly learning some Latin, and will pick up a more intensive study during the logic stage.

 

They learn Hebrew at our synagogue, mostly just working toward their bar mitzvahs, but members from our congregation also host young Israelis that teach the kids some conversational modern Hebrew. And the rabbi likes to teach them conversational Hebrew during children's services. I'm learning a little, too, because they come home and teach it to me.

 

I hope that they will be interested in another modern language. I will leave the choice of additional languages up to them. I will introduce Greek at some point, too, just so they are familiar with it. I don't expect proficiency.

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My kids are still so young, but they seem to like language study overall. And, my dd, while not being the best at pronouncing English, is about darn perfect with French. Since many French-speaking Canadians visit us during the summer, the children get some practice there. They, and my husband, are also ethnically Chinese. And, we have some close ties here for Chinese speaking, so that's also practiced. (It's a real mish-mash of "Mandonese* though ;), which hopefully more formal study will straighten out!)

 

We've kicked around the idea of Italian for awhile, and another part of our family has started studying it, so we'll be adding that as well. Oh, and natually, we already have a smattering of Spanish as well. Living in NJ, we're extremely fortunate, as there are native speakers of just about language in proximity.

 

I am not enforcing any level of proficiency at this point, but we do speak to our children already in terms such as Gao Meixue outlined, because we wholeheartedly agree.

 

Oh, and for my dd, who was having some issues translating the names of our numbers 11,12 and also having a host of problems with thirteen through nineteen not being 31,41...91, Chinese is surely a blessing! The number system is completely sane!!! :D For that reason alone, all kindergarteners should learn to count in Chinese. ;)

 

Another thought -- for those old enough to remember "Esperanto" (sp??). Learning to read Chinese, even if not learning to speak it, is a worthwhile endeavor. I can navigate easily through the everyday life of functioning in a Chinese city, while my brain happily clicks along in English. (And, over time, my brain is slowly substituting the Mandarin I learn when it's comfortable doing so.)

 

*Mandarin/Cantonese

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So if you don't live in a foreign country or don't speak languages yourself, what do you do??? My days are already incredibly full making sure math gets done.

 

 

Do math in a foreign language. See my post above. I'm completely serious! ;)

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Interesting to hear all of your responses. I'll share mine too, if anyone's interested:

 

What are your expectations?

To be fluent in Modern Hebrew, Spanish, and one "hard" foreign language - either Mandarin or Arabic or something similar

To know very good Latin and good-ish ASL.

To know basic Greek.

 

What are your kids' actual accomplishments?

Dd, now at college, accomplished the Latin, Hebrew, and Spanish requirements in homeschool, and she's studying Arabic at college. She knows barely any Greek, though, and only knows very basic ASL. I didn't get much time with her, because she left for college at age 14.

.

 

I curious how your dd at college Latin training was accomplished at homeschool when earlier this year you stated you know very little about Latin?

 

Here's the thread so you won't have to recall:

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3487430#post3487430

 

And in this thread you stated (post 14) that ds had studied classical Latin for four years. That was only a few days after you stated you didn't even know the difference classical and ecclesiastical Latin. http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3498823#post3498823

 

 

Just curious, because it is fascinating that your ds could self-study a language that you know so little about. :bigear:

Edited by elegantlion
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I curious how your dd at college Latin training was accomplished at homeschool when earlier this year you stated you know very little about Latin?

 

Here's the thread so you won't have to recall:

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3487430#post3487430'>http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3487430#post3487430

 

And in this thread you stated (post 14) that ds had studied classical Latin for four years. That was only a few days after you stated you didn't even know the difference classical and ecclesiastical Latin. http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?

p=3498823#post3498823

 

Just curious, because it is fascinating that your ds could self-study a language that you know so little about. :bigear:

 

Those threads are gone?!?! :confused:

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What do you think is the bare minimum for foreign language studies?

B2 (CEFR) in one modern foreign language by graduation is something I would consider a good general "blanket standard". See here for a rough descriptions of A1-C2 levels in understanding and written and spoken production.

What are your thoughts on when to start foreign language study?

The first modern foreign language at an early age after the child has mastered the basic structures of their native language (i.e. roughly from the ages 3-4 onwards). I do think it is ideal to start it before middle school in any case.

The first classical foreign language around the end of elementary / early middle school.

How important do you think foreign language studies are?

Overall, past elementary school notions, secondary in importance only to native language literacy and literature, and to mathematics.

How do you select which language(s) your kid(s) will study?

First and foremost - cultural criteria. Languages which are "compatible" with the framework and the context of their education.

Secondly, practical necessities (related to where one lives, with which countries one has strong connections, etc.)

And finally, secondary to the above two, personal interest.

Edited by Ester Maria
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MeiXue,

It is good to see you here. I am so very encouraged by what you said here.

Beginning this year (Jan.), I made the change to do Chinese first thing as our seat work after Bible and history. We are using Singapore Chinese and I highly recommend it for you, who already know how to speak and read Chinese.

We are doing well for our Latin. We are almost done with Getting Started with Latin with both ds9 and ds7. We will start Lively Latin very soon and I am just about to buy Latin Prep 1 for me to study first and then teach my kids. I love languages.

So I would like my kids to be close to fluent in Chinese and have solid Latin. We will add French or Spanish as a third language in middle school. So there you go. I hope we can also learn some Arabic, Hebrew, and Greek. There are the languages on my list. We will aim at Chinese, Latin, and Spanish (or French) for the minimum.

 

I was using Better Chinese, but our Laoshi picked out MeiZhou Chinese for the class, and I really like it. It reminds me of the stuff we used at the Defense Language Institute... I mean the stuff we used wasn't colorful and stuff, but the content is similar :) And the whole Level 1 only cost me $21.50!! It goes all the way up to high school :)

 

I really like this class that DS just started, it's very immersion-like, in that she speaks mostly Chinese. It's not a "let's spend all week just learning Yi, Er, San and the colors, KWIM??

 

Anyways, good luck!! Here is the link to MeiZhou :)

 

http://www.mzchinese.org/

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Would some "real" people please post in this thread. Obviously most of these people that have posted are multi-lingual themselves or have relatives. What about for the rest of us???

 

I tried Latin with all three... I just can't keep with it and I have some background in it. It gets pushed aside for other things... I restart it every year only o have it go out the window by October. Same with Spanish.. My oldest two are now doing Spanish in cc. They are starting their 2nd semester out of 4. Outsourcing is the only way I have been able to make it happen.

 

So if you don't live in a foreign country or don't speak languages yourself, what do you do??? My days are already incredibly full making sure math gets done.

 

You find a class and put them in it :) Or, you can get foreign language curriculum that have on-line subscriptions.... DS loves to play the Chinese games and listen to the animated stories that are a part of our Better Chinese package.

 

And, I am a very real person, btw. I don't have any Chinese relatives and wasn't raised bilingual, I learned it in the Army... before that I took 3 years of Spanish and 3 of French in High School and double-majored in them at College.... but that only lasted a year, then I joined the Army.

 

I don't know where you live, but maybe it's a regional thing? When I lived in Georgia, hardly anyone knew (or cared to know) a foreign language, but after getting the heck outta there and seeing the rest of the country, I realized that there are TONS of people here that speak foreign languages! We now live in the DC area and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't hear people speak in foreign languages. Every family in my CC Co-op is teaching a foreign language, not all of them speak a foreign language. They just realize that foreign language can no longer be considered an "extra", it's got to be "required".

 

Good luck with whatever you choose :)

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Would some "real" people please post in this thread. Obviously most of these people that have posted are multi-lingual themselves or have relatives. What about for the rest of us???

 

I tried Latin with all three... I just can't keep with it and I have some background in it. It gets pushed aside for other things... I restart it every year only o have it go out the window by October. Same with Spanish.. My oldest two are now doing Spanish in cc. They are starting their 2nd semester out of 4. Outsourcing is the only way I have been able to make it happen.

 

So if you don't live in a foreign country or don't speak languages yourself, what do you do??? My days are already incredibly full making sure math gets done.

 

I'm not multi-lingual and my family only speaks English. I know bits of a couple languages and have a strong background on phonology, but I'm no where close to fluent. I took Spanish in high school and only one semester of German in college and I'm not teaching either of those. I'm trying to learn along with my kids and I can only use resources written for a self-learner or an English teacher. It is not ideal, but I'm highly motivated to have my children be able to communicate in more than English. If you can outsource or pay for a tutor then do that:001_smile:

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What are your expectations for your kids, concerning foreign languages?

 

i expect him to be fluent in Arabic

i would love him to be fluent in french but functional is great

 

What are your kids' actual accomplishments/skills?

 

my son is 2.5 and not talking yet so speaking wise nothing, understanding wise he understands both arabic and english (we do OPOL-one parent one language)

 

 

What do you think is the bare minimum for foreign language studies?

 

i think this depends on what the families expectations are. for us we want fluency in Arabic and of course we want him to speak english well

 

 

What are your thoughts on when to start foreign language study?

 

we start in the womb lol my husband recited Quran in arabic to my stomach lol and he only speaks arabic to him now

 

How important do you think foreign language studies are?

 

for us its highly important because my husbands side of the family has a few who speak english. they all speak Arabic and most french as well

 

How do you select which language(s) your kid(s) will study?

 

we select by priority. in our family Arabic has priority over all languages including english. Arabic is important for our family as muslims to know so we will focus moreso on it and then follow with english. Also we plan to live in a arabic speaking country so he needs it. french because husband is Algerian and they speak french as well

 

 

What degree of fluency do you expect/aim for?

 

we aim for full fluency in Arabic

fluency in english so he can get a good score on SAT since he won't have diploma for foreign universities

conversational french

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I curious how your dd at college Latin training was accomplished at homeschool when earlier this year you stated you know very little about Latin?

 

Here's the thread so you won't have to recall:

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3487430#post3487430

 

And in this thread you stated (post 14) that ds had studied classical Latin for four years. That was only a few days after you stated you didn't even know the difference classical and ecclesiastical Latin. http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3498823#post3498823

 

 

Just curious, because it is fascinating that your ds could self-study a language that you know so little about. :bigear:

I was a bit taken aback by the exercise she wrote about, honestly. Not "suspiciously" taken aback, because it is not impossible or unheard of as an exercise, but it did strike me as somewhat odd, especially after only a few years of studying Latin. But who knows. Maybe the boy is profoundly gifted, or they had delegated Latin to a private tutor before and it is only now that the mother is planning to take it upon herself, or whatever.

 

I am wary (in general, not specifically related to this thread) of how people use the words "fluent" or "proficient", though - especially people who are not truly proficient in another language and perhaps cannot estimate just what amount of work and dedication goes into getting there. For example, the general blanket goal I listed - B2 - is something like "upper intermediate", although with the grammar covered. It is a reasonably high goal actually, if you read the descriptions from the link I provided. Yet, B2 is not what I would call "really proficient" in a foreign language - C1/C2 are classified as proficient users (academically and professionally proficient). For example, I estimate my English as C1, C1+ and I think one francophone on these boards has estimated her English before as something like that too when we had a discussion of those standards (i.e. she did not claim the highest level possible, even if she most definitely "speaks English" and in writing she is basically indistinguishable from a native speaker - which I am not sure can be said about *me*, because in retrospect I find many calques and instances of problematic syntax in my posts). I have only once attempted to do a professional translation INTO English, and it was... less than stellar. Even professional translators rarely translate INTO their foreign languages, one typically translates FROM foreign languages into their own, because it is just difficult. So, when you have somebody translating a text INTO a foreign language, you at least assume that they have somebody who knows that language check it, because it is not an easy exercise you can complete and check on your own. I have a friend who is a lecturer at a foreign university and the reason why they NEED foreign lecturers in every foreign language department is exactly this: things are just too complex even for "ordinary" lecturers sometimes when it comes to checking translations INTO the foreign language.

 

Typically, however, it is inexperience talking. I think most people do not attempt to provide false claims about their levels, goals, or what they do, but that they just genuinely do not appreciate, due to the lack of real experience, what it means to be truly fluent and highly proficient in a foreign language. I think few people who are not professionally into languages, or who do not live and work internationally, actually appreciate the amount of intricacies or the level of difficulty involved, so the words "fluent", "bilingual", etc. are thrown around a tad bit "arrogantly". A long time ago, however, I gave up making this issue my personal hill to die on. (I would just like to point that I am not "calling out" anyone in particular right now - not that, on the internet, we could know whose claims are realistic and whose claims are exaggerated anyway - just a general observation, so I really hope nobody feels alluded to or personally offended.)

Edited by Ester Maria
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I was a bit taken aback by the exercise she wrote about, honestly. Not "suspiciously" taken aback, because it is not impossible or unheard of as an exercise, but it did strike me as somewhat odd, especially after only a few years of studying Latin. But who knows. Maybe the boy is profoundly gifted, or they had delegated Latin to a private tutor before and it is only now that the mother is planning to take it upon herself, or whatever.

 

I am wary (in general, not specifically related to this thread) of how people use the words "fluent" or "proficient", though - especially people who are not truly proficient in another language and perhaps cannot estimate just what amount of work and dedication goes into getting there. For example, the general blanket goal I listed - B2 - is something like "upper intermediate", although with the grammar covered. It is a reasonably high goal actually, if you read the descriptions from the link I provided. Yet, B2 is not what I would call "really proficient" in a foreign language - C1/C2 are classified as proficient users (academically and professionally proficient). For example, I estimate my English as C1, C1+ and I think one francophone on these boards has estimated her English before as something like that too when we had a discussion of those standards (i.e. she did not claim the highest level possible, even if she most definitely "speaks English" and in writing she is basically indistinguishable from a native speaker - which I am not sure can be said about *me*, because in retrospect I find many calques and instances of problematic syntax in my posts). I have only once attempted to do a professional translation INTO English, and it was... less than stellar. Even professional translators rarely translate INTO their foreign languages, one typically translates FROM foreign languages into their own, because it is just difficult. So, when you have somebody translating a text INTO a foreign language, you at least assume that they have somebody who knows that language check it, because it is not an easy exercise you can complete and check on your own. I have a friend who is a lecturer at a foreign university and the reason why they NEED foreign lecturers in every foreign language department is exactly this: things are just too complex even for "ordinary" lecturers sometimes when it comes to checking translations INTO the foreign language.

 

Typically, however, it is inexperience talking. I think most people do not attempt to provide false claims about their levels, goals, or what they do, but that they just genuinely do not appreciate, due to the lack of real experience, what it means to be truly fluent and highly proficient in a foreign language. I think few people who are not professionally into languages, or who do not live and work internationally, actually appreciate the amount of intricacies or the level of difficulty involved, so the words "fluent", "bilingual", etc. are thrown around a tad bit "arrogantly". A long time ago, however, I gave up making this issue my personal hill to die on. (I would just like to point that I am not "calling out" anyone in particular right now - not that, on the internet, we could know whose claims are realistic and whose claims are exaggerated anyway - just a general observation, so I really hope nobody feels alluded to or personally offended.)

 

I agree with this. And in a funny aside.... it makes me think of Peggy Hill, on "King of the Hill" who prided herself in being a substitute Spanish teacher and fluent in "Espanol", but she was always pronouncing stuff wrong, LOL!!

 

Ester, are those levels you are talking about similar to the DLPT levels?? In the military/government we use the DLPT (Defense Language Profiency Test) scores to rate how fluent a person is. The scores go from 0-5 in Listening, Reading and Speaking. 0 means you have memorized a few terms and require long pauses to understand what a person is saying, if you understand it at all... You can't hold a conversation. 5 means you are equivalent to an educated native speaker and can hold intelligent conversations in that language without any trouble at all.

 

I was a 2+ (listening), 3 (reading), 2 (speaking) liniguist. Or, 2+/3/2

 

Here is what they break down to:

 

Listening 2+ (Limited Working Proficiency, Plus)

 

Sufficient comprehension to understand most routine social demands and most conversations on work requirements as well as some discussions on concrete topics related to particular interests and special fields of competence. Often shows remarkable ability and ease of understanding, but under tension or pressure may break down. Candidate may display weakness or deficiency due to inadequate vocabulary base or less than secure knowledge of grammar and syntax. Normally understands general vocabulary with some hesitant understanding of everyday vocabulary still evident. Can sometimes detect emotional overtones. Some ability to understand implications. (Has been coded L-2+ in some nonautomated applications.)

Reading 3 (General Professional Proficiency)

 

Able to read within a normal range of speed and with almost complete comprehension a variety of authentic prose material on unfamiliar subjects. Reading ability is not dependent on subject matter knowledge, although it is not expected that the individual can comprehend thoroughly subject matter which is highly dependent on cultural knowledge or which is outside his/her general experience and not accompanied by explanation. Text-types include news stories similar to wire service reports or international news items in major periodicals, routine correspondence, general reports, and technical material in his/her professional field; all of these may include hypothesis, argumentation, and supported opinions. Misreading rare. Almost always able to interpret material correctly, relate ideas, and "read between the lines," (that is, understand the writers' implicit intents in texts of the above types). Can get the gist of more sophisticated texts, but may be unable to detect or understand subtlety and nuance. Rarely has to pause over or reread general vocabulary. However, may experience some difficulty with unusually complex structure and low frequency idioms. (Has been coded R-3 in some nonautomated applications.)

 

Speaking 2 (Limited Working Proficiency)

 

Able to satisfy routine social demands and limited work requirements. Can handle routine work-related interactions that are limited in scope. In more complex and sophisticated work-related tasks, language usage generally disturbs the native speaker. Can handle with confidence, but not with facility, most normal, high-frequency social conversational situations including extensive, but casual conversations about current events, as well as work, family, and autobiographical information. The individual can get the gist of most everyday conversations but has some difficulty understanding native speakers in situations that require specialized or sophisticated knowledge. The individual's utterances are minimally cohesive. Linguistic structure is usually not very elaborate and not thoroughly controlled; errors are frequent. Vocabulary use is appropriate for high-frequency utterances, but unusual or imprecise elsewhere.

 

Examples: While these interactions will vary widely from individual to individual, the individual can typically ask and answer predictable questions in the workplace and give straightforward instructions to subordinates. Additionally, the individual can participate in personal and accommodation-type interactions with elaboration and facility; that is, can give and understand complicated, detailed, and extensive directions and make non-routine changes in travel and accommodation arrangements. Simple structures and basic grammatical relations are typically controlled; however, there are areas of weakness. In the commonly taught languages, these may be simple markings such as plurals, articles, linking words, and negatives or more complex structures such as tense/aspect usage, case morphology, passive constructions, word order, and embedding. (Has been coded S-2 in some nonautomated applications.)

 

Anyways, when people ask if I am fluent, I usually say, "No, I used to be very proficient, now I consider myself barely proficient." However, those people usually just think (I have been told) that I am being modest, b/c they consider me to be fluent b/c I can hold a simple conversation, LOL. I think a lot of people think "fluent" means being able to ask where the bathroom is and order food in the foreign language.

 

So, when I say I want DS to be fluent, that is what I mean :) I hope that he will be able to freely converse with a native speaker on many subjects/topics.

 

That's a good point!!

 

Do you know of a website that lists whatever scores/levels you are talking about? I would be interested in learning more about them and seeing how my DLPT scores compare to them :)

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OK, someone please tell me that I am not the only person reading this thread who felt just fine before opening it, but now feels like a Complete and Total Loser.

 

I mean, ds did several months of Rosetta Stone Spanish a few years ago (maybe more than a few years ago? I don't even remember.:blush:) We also have Muzzy French in VHS out in the garage. Somewhere out there... It's probably with the BJU French stuff that came in the 7th grade package from last year, so at least it's not lonely.

 

I bought a couple of different Latin programs, as well as things like English from the Roots Up, but they weren't that helpful because we never actually used them. I am, however, hoping to get partial credit for the Latin stuff because I took it out of the package and almost watched one of the DVDS one afternoon. :rolleyes:

 

And That's It.

 

Give me an L, give me an O, give me an S-E-R. LOSER. :glare:

 

I guess we really need to step up and get moving on our language program.

 

But really. I can't be the only one whose kid isn't up to speed on multiple languages, can I?

 

And in case you were wondering, this is where a lot of people should immediately chime in and say no. (OK, maybe a few people can gloat a little about how advanced their kid is in foreign languages compared to mine, but only a few and only a little. ;)

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No.

 

I'd like to. I have an interest in it, but its always been an unattainable interest. We do not live in an area with many language resources, especially in terms of tutors.

 

My problem is that I know enough about language programs (from my time working at Berlitz) and how lame most of them are that I dither..and dither.

 

My kids check out language tapes from the library. I buy Usborne sticker books. They call each other names in Spanish. That's as far as it goes.

 

Suggestions for non-lame German, Spanish, Russian or Arabic resources welcome.

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Would some "real" people please post in this thread. Obviously most of these people that have posted are multi-lingual themselves or have relatives. What about for the rest of us???

 

So if you don't live in a foreign country or don't speak languages yourself, what do you do??? My days are already incredibly full making sure math gets done.

 

Hey. I'm a real person, who at the time my daughter was born was not multi-lingual, and really even now I don't really consider myself multi-lingual. Although I can communicate in multiple languages, I'm not fluent in any but English. I call myself a functional French and Spanish speaker.

 

Do math in a foreign language. See my post above. I'm completely serious! ;)

 

That's an interesting suggestion. I've read a number of studies saying that no matter what level of proficiency you gain in a second language (not truly bilingual people who have two first languages), you always do math in your first language. I know I do, but numbers are one of my big weaknesses in foreign languages. I can barely count to 100 in any language other than English. I wonder how this would work if you purposely did math in a language other than your first? Does your DD actually do math in another language, or just count?

 

Typically, however, it is inexperience talking. I think most people do not attempt to provide false claims about their levels, goals, or what they do, but that they just genuinely do not appreciate, due to the lack of real experience, what it means to be truly fluent and highly proficient in a foreign language. I think few people who are not professionally into languages, or who do not live and work internationally, actually appreciate the amount of intricacies or the level of difficulty involved, so the words "fluent", "bilingual", etc. are thrown around a tad bit "arrogantly". A long time ago, however, I gave up making this issue my personal hill to die on. (I would just like to point that I am not "calling out" anyone in particular right now - not that, on the internet, we could know whose claims are realistic and whose claims are exaggerated anyway - just a general observation, so I really hope nobody feels alluded to or personally offended.)

 

:iagree:with everything here, although it is hard to know what other people mean. I know that I, personally, try to stick to the word "functional" when talking about skills in foreign languages. I can use my languages, I'd be okay in a country speaking that language, and I can read something written in that language and at least understand what it's about. I think a word like 'proficient' leads to a lot of confusion. What one person considers 'proficient' may be another person's 'almost fluent' may be another person's 'barely able to speak'. And let's not even go into the levels, since most people I've met (other than on this board) have no idea they even exist.

 

But really. I can't be the only one whose kid isn't up to speed on multiple languages, can I?

 

And in case you were wondering, this is where a lot of people should immediately chime in and say no. (OK, maybe a few people can gloat a little about how advanced their kid is in foreign languages compared to mine, but only a few and only a little. ;)

 

As a person whose child will be doing multiple languages, let me say.... you aren't a loser. We all have different focuses in our homeschools (and our homes in general!) It just so happens that language is very important to my family and it is a priority. But I'm sure if we compared what I do to what you do, there are subjects that your children are more advanced than mine. Science, art, and music are three areas that get very little notice around here because of our language studies.

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Suggestions for non-lame German, Spanish, Russian or Arabic resources welcome.

 

I don't know the age of your children, but we are having success with Alif Baa for learning how to read and write and Arabian Sinbad for vocabulary/conversation. I wrote about how we use Alif Baa here. Arabian Sinbad is immersion-based and I've found it to be a great way to introduce vocabulary and develop understanding of conversations.

 

:bigear: to see if you get any other recommendations.

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Would some "real" people please post in this thread. Obviously most of these people that have posted are multi-lingual themselves or have relatives. What about for the rest of us???

 

Well I'm not imaginary, but as I said, we are not yet fully acquainted with reality. :tongue_smilie:

 

Dh and I have rusty, but fluent Auslan, which is good enough for our household purposes. He likes Latin and I think if both of us work at it, we'll learn enough to teach the kids. Neither of us know any Arabic or French, so Arabic will be outsourced to Saturday school, if possible. He will throw money at it, I'll throw time at it, and in 12 years, I'm sure we couldn't help but learn a lot. Neither of us know any French either, but since the kids can't be in two Saturday Schools at once, that will have to wait until they are more independent learners. Latin will have given a good basis to jump to another Romance language and we'll have all learned how the kids learn language best.

 

The two main problems with language learning, from my experience, is that most students (here anyway) don't know any grammar and don't know how their brains need to go about learning language. By high school, if not sooner, we should have solved both of those problems and that should enable them to make decent headway with the French. Enough that they can study it at uni if they want to.

 

It seems like a plan theoretically workable if we, well, work. :P But as I said, I have two language delayed kids so maybe we shan't be able to do any of it.

 

But really. I can't be the only one whose kid isn't up to speed on multiple languages, can I?

 

And in case you were wondering, this is where a lot of people should immediately chime in and say no.

 

I think I freely and clearly admitted my kids are ranked at "bugger all" in their two home languages at present. I don't even expect to start on my nice little plan for another two years. Actually, with the way my kids are going, I'll be delighted if they are finally speaking English by grade one. Maybe they'll be linguistic geniuses when they finally warm up, but I doubt it! Slow and steady is my plan of action. I'm getting good practice at that. Grr.

 

Rosie

Edited by Rosie_0801
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OK, someone please tell me that I am not the only person reading this thread who felt just fine before opening it, but now feels like a Complete and Total Loser.

 

I mean, ds did several months of Rosetta Stone Spanish a few years ago (maybe more than a few years ago? I don't even remember.:blush:) We also have Muzzy French in VHS out in the garage. Somewhere out there... It's probably with the BJU French stuff that came in the 7th grade package from last year, so at least it's not lonely.

 

I bought a couple of different Latin programs, as well as things like English from the Roots Up, but they weren't that helpful because we never actually used them. I am, however, hoping to get partial credit for the Latin stuff because I took it out of the package and almost watched one of the DVDS one afternoon. :rolleyes:

 

And That's It.

 

Give me an L, give me an O, give me an S-E-R. LOSER. :glare:

 

I guess we really need to step up and get moving on our language program.

 

But really. I can't be the only one whose kid isn't up to speed on multiple languages, can I?

 

And in case you were wondering, this is where a lot of people should immediately chime in and say no. (OK, maybe a few people can gloat a little about how advanced their kid is in foreign languages compared to mine, but only a few and only a little. ;)

 

You're OKAY. Different people have different priorities for very legitimate reasons. Recognize that people who do emphasize foreign languages will flock to this thread and those that don't will generally ignore it. Some people live internationally, have multilingual households, have kids who want professions that require a person to be multilingual, etc. I betcha people in those positions are in the minority here and just over-represented in this particular thread. It's no reflection on you. :001_smile:

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No.

 

I'd like to. I have an interest in it, but its always been an unattainable interest. We do not live in an area with many language resources, especially in terms of tutors.

 

My problem is that I know enough about language programs (from my time working at Berlitz) and how lame most of them are that I dither..and dither.

 

My kids check out language tapes from the library. I buy Usborne sticker books. They call each other names in Spanish. That's as far as it goes.

 

Suggestions for non-lame German, Spanish, Russian or Arabic resources welcome.

 

i 2nd arabian sinbad its good for young children. we have it but don't use it, i think its great for secular ppl check out noor art they have all kinds of reading series/ textbooks etc for arabic most are religious but you can find secular stuff there too. also on youtube al jazeera kids has childrens channel and they post videos online. they have tons of american/ british cartoons dubbed in arabic as well none of them are religious(they have strawberry shortcake, chugginton etc)

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You're OKAY. Different people have different priorities for very legitimate reasons. Recognize that people who do emphasize foreign languages will flock to this thread and those that don't will generally ignore it. Some people live internationally, have multilingual households, have kids who want professions that require a person to be multilingual, etc. I betcha people in those positions are in the minority here and just over-represented in this particular thread. It's no reflection on you. :001_smile:

 

:iagree:. Nothing else to add. Perfectly stated.

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This thread makes me want to come out of the closet, I love foreign languages, which is unfortunate, because I don't have much aptitude. I would absolutely love for my kids to become fluent in Arabic, Chinese, French, and Spanish eventually. For now, we are studying Chinese and Spanish. I am conversational in Spanish, but it has been ten years of work to achieve that, and complete fluency alludes me. For now, I will settle for teaching them the rudiments of each language. In my dreamland, we would be able to spend a year traveling and immerse in each language for 3 months. I have a good friend who was brought up bilingual (in Gujurati and English), and is able to pick up languages at the drop of a hat. She thinks early language training is the key to her easy fluency. Thanks for the resources for Chinese and Arabic.

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i 2nd arabian sinbad its good for young children. we have it but don't use it, i think its great for secular ppl check out noor art they have all kinds of reading series/ textbooks etc for arabic most are religious but you can find secular stuff there too. also on youtube al jazeera kids has childrens channel and they post videos online. they have tons of american/ british cartoons dubbed in arabic as well none of them are religious(they have strawberry shortcake, chugginton etc)

 

Thank you! This is a great find :)

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This thread makes me want to come out of the closet, I love foreign languages, which is unfortunate, because I don't have much aptitude. I would absolutely love for my kids to become fluent in Arabic, Chinese, French, and Spanish eventually. For now, we are studying Chinese and Spanish. I am conversational in Spanish, but it has been ten years of work to achieve that, and complete fluency alludes me. For now, I will settle for teaching them the rudiments of each language. In my dreamland, we would be able to spend a year traveling and immerse in each language for 3 months. I have a good friend who was brought up bilingual (in Gujurati and English), and is able to pick up languages at the drop of a hat. She thinks early language training is the key to her easy fluency. Thanks for the resources for Chinese and Arabic.

 

You need to spend more than 3 months immersion in each language in your dreamland. :tongue_smilie: I've been in Mexico for 2 years. What really causes me trouble are the concepts that are just phrased in ways that make zero sense to an English speaker. There seem to be an infinite number of those things. And all the strange sayings. They says things to the effect of "Well, you know trees aren't made of tin." That's not a real example. I can't think of any real examples right now because they make so little sense that they don't stick in my brain. I'm always going :confused: when people say things like that. People are always patient and willing to explain what they mean, too. They'll saythings like, "Trees are wood, not metal, so you can see how that applies to bad drivers." :confused: Sometimes I wonder if they are messing with me.

 

I can memorize endless grammatical concepts and vocabulary lists when I put my mind to it. That doesn't help much with understanding the language after a certain point. :glare:

 

The worst thing is that I'm always asking why and everyone tells me that is "so American". :001_huh: How can I apply something I learn to a new situations if I don't know the whys behind something? :confused: "It just is." they say. BUT WHY? Why???

Edited by Sputterduck
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That's an interesting suggestion. I've read a number of studies saying that no matter what level of proficiency you gain in a second language (not truly bilingual people who have two first languages), you always do math in your first language. I know I do, but numbers are one of my big weaknesses in foreign languages. I can barely count to 100 in any language other than English. I wonder how this would work if you purposely did math in a language other than your first? Does your DD actually do math in another language, or just count?

 

She's in Singapore 2A...so it's only handling the numbers and computation functions in Mandarin. I don't even attempt to translate the word problems, but perhaps I might into French for the words, and Mandarin for the numerals and functions. (Which would explain a lot of the "unique Patois" happening in this house.:001_huh:)

 

Again, Chinese numbers are sane -- translated, they are ten-one, ten-two, ten-three, etc. It really removed a hurdle for my dd.

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You need to spend more than 3 months immersion in each language in your dreamland. :tongue_smilie: I've been in Mexico for 2 years. What really causes me trouble are the concepts that are just phrased in ways that make zero sense to an English speaker. There seem to be an infinite number of those things. And all the strange sayings. They says things to the effect of "Well, you know trees aren't made of tin." That's not a real example. I can't think of any real examples right now because they make so little sense that they don't stick in my brain. I'm always going :confused: when people say things like that. People are always patient and willing to explain what they mean, too. They'll saythings like, "Trees are wood, not metal, so you can see how that applies to bad drivers." :confused: Sometimes I wonder if they are messing with me.

 

I can memorize endless grammatical concepts and vocabulary lists when I put my mind to it. That doesn't help much with understanding the language after a certain point. :glare:

 

The worst thing is that I'm always asking why and everyone tells me that is "so American". :001_huh: How can I apply something I learn to a new situations if I don't know the whys behind something? :confused: "It just is." they say. BUT WHY? Why???

 

I don't live in a Spanish-speaking country, but I know what you mean about strange sayings. My sister's BIL is from Puerto Rico and says "Don't throw a house by a window" :lol:

 

They all looked at him like he was nuts. I guess what he was trying to say was "Don't throw a rock in a glass house". I don't know why he thought he conveyed his message clearly, though.

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. I've read a number of studies saying that no matter what level of proficiency you gain in a second language (not truly bilingual people who have two first languages), you always do math in your first language. I know I do, but numbers are one of my big weaknesses in foreign languages. I can barely count to 100 in any language other than English. I wonder how this would work if you purposely did math in a language other than your first? Does your DD actually do math in another language, or just count?

 

 

I know someone who was educated in another country, in English, which is not his first language. He prefers to say numbers (like phone numbers or account numbers) in English, even when speaking in his first language. I made fun of him until I understood why. He also thinks English numbers are harder to confuse due to hearing wrong. I also know someone totally comfortable using English words for numbers even though he doesn't speak English except for a few phrases.

 

Unrelatedly, I recently found these Arabic DVDs from Lebanon. They look cute ; they are secular. http://www.syraj.com/answswandsia.html

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I don't live in a Spanish-speaking country, but I know what you mean about strange sayings. My sister's BIL is from Puerto Rico and says "Don't throw a house by a window" :lol:

 

They all looked at him like he was nuts. I guess what he was trying to say was "Don't throw a rock in a glass house". I don't know why he thought he conveyed his message clearly, though.

 

Oi. Imagine living in a place where everyone says things like that! And then imagine trying to follow a conversation there.

 

I wonder... do people feel that way when they move to America? Do we make no sense? :lol:

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Oi. Imagine living in a place where everyone says things like that! And then imagine trying to follow a conversation there.

 

I wonder... do people feel that way when they move to America? Do we make no sense? :lol:

 

Oh definitely!!!!

 

In high school, I was friends with an exchange student from the Czech Republic and he would keep a tablet handy and write down all these phrases he didn't understand and ask me what they meant in History class. :lol: He would go down the list, I would explain it, he would make notes in Czech (?) and check it off, LOL!!

 

"What does it mean, when people say, 'What up dog'?"

 

"What is this, homeslice?"

 

"What is a- yonder"?

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I curious how your dd at college Latin training was accomplished at homeschool when earlier this year you stated you know very little about Latin?

 

Here's the thread so you won't have to recall:

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3487430#post3487430

 

And in this thread you stated (post 14) that ds had studied classical Latin for four years. That was only a few days after you stated you didn't even know the difference classical and ecclesiastical Latin. http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3498823#post3498823

 

 

Just curious, because it is fascinating that your ds could self-study a language that you know so little about. :bigear:

I apologize for confusion. Good questions :001_smile:.

First thing to note is I part-time homeschool some kids that are not my own, so in some cases I may talk about dd(15) in two posts, and they are two separate people, if that makes any sense.

In this case, it is the same person. When she was starting out, I asked around and it turned out that a neighbor was a Latin teacher. My dd studied Latin under her and I was completely uninvolved. I knew nothing, really, about Latin, except that dh wanted the kids to learn it.

I want to to be more involved with the rest of my kids' Latin studies, and so I am trying to learn as much about Latin as I can.

HTH,

Hadassah

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Oh definitely!!!!

 

In high school, I was friends with an exchange student from the Czech Republic and he would keep a tablet handy and write down all these phrases he didn't understand and ask me what they meant in History class. :lol: He would go down the list, I would explain it, he would make notes in Czech (?) and check it off, LOL!!

 

"What does it mean, when people say, 'What up dog'?"

 

"What is this, homeslice?"

 

"What is a- yonder"?

 

Yep. I suppose we don't make sense.

 

For example, "What up dog?" First of all, "What's up?" doesn't really make sense. When we say that are we really referring to anything being up? What's happening? How are you? We mean those things. We are not actually asking about what is up. What's up? The sky. Clouds. The sun. What does that have to do with what the question really means? Nothing.

 

Then there is "dog". Why would we want to call someone a dog? :lol:

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