British Children in Spanish schools.

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katy
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British Children in Spanish schools.

Postby katy » Sat May 10, 2008 9:41 am

A report says that British children have the most problems integrating in Spanish schools.

http://www.diariosur.es/20080510/malaga ... 80510.html

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hillybilly
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Postby hillybilly » Sat May 10, 2008 9:50 am

What I've never understood fully is how parents who come to Spain with children can get them into schools, get free education for them all their school life but yet many of those parents aren't "in the system" in any way i.e. contributing to the cost of their children's education. So Spain's tax payers have to pick up the bill.
IMHO the same stance should be taken over education for immigrants' children as there is for health care...either pay your dues or go private.

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Postby katy » Sat May 10, 2008 9:58 am

Yes, it is strange :? Even in the USA they allow this too!

When the report says they provide extra language training they do not say that in some schools they charge for this. I know one parent who was asked to pay 50E per month for this.

Think the other problem for British kids is the long summer holiday here. If they do not mix then they are 3 months speaking only English. Not sure why the parents don't organise some spanish tuition during this time.

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hillybilly
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Postby hillybilly » Sat May 10, 2008 10:34 am

The USA has much more stringent immigration rules and requirements though, one of which, tho I'm out of touch with it now but AFAIR, was to at least have a work visa? Being an "illegal" in the USA is not so easy as it is here I don't think.
On your second point, yes, even worse, I know some expats who take their kids "home" to the UK for the summer holidays :shock:

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Postby crazyred » Sat May 10, 2008 11:50 am

I think that British children tend to have more problems with the language because they don't see their parents trying to speak Spanish and there is still the problem that the british don't try to integrate enough. There may be other reasons but, these are the things I have noticed in the Manilva area. Both of my children have Spanish best friends, both of us have Spanish friends and although we are not completely fluent we can communicate very well in Spanish and are treated very well by the local community.

We don't speak Spanish with the children at home as we feel that it is important that they keep their English up and, I also don't want to teach them any of my bad grammer!! The teachers at their school were also in agreement with this. The Spanish parents like it too as, when their kids come to our house they learn some English too :D

During the summer they go to summer school as I work. I can't understand why anyone would want to go back to the UK for the summer but, I have not been back to the UK in 3 years and never really want to.

To all the British parents out there, go for coffee in the mornings with the Spanish mums, get involved in the events at school.
I went shopping with 2 mums about a year after we got here, as our children had birthdays around the same time, and we were doing a joint party for them at the school during one of the breaks. I learnt more in an hour's shopping trip with these ladies than I had in a year with books/tapes etc... I also made 2 very good friends :D

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Postby Paula » Sat May 10, 2008 12:50 pm

There is a family near to me that have 4 children, last year she came out for 3 months of school term time and put the children into Spanish state school for this time. Couldn't believe she was able to do this, their home is a holiday home. Can't see what the children gained from it either being as they don't speak a word of Spanish.

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Postby mijas-lady » Sat May 10, 2008 1:43 pm

Crazyred-I totally agree - my two mix out of school hours with their school friends and that is why they are accepted -I think :roll: All sports activities are in the local sports centre etc In fact sometimes they are more Spanish than the Spanish :wink: and thats the way I like it

daisylulu

Postby daisylulu » Sat May 10, 2008 2:35 pm

My daughter who is 12 has been at the local village school since January last year, when we moved here. She has settled in well and has many friends, all of them spanish. Most days after school they are out and about together or playing in our garden. Last summer holiday she was at the village pool everyday with her friends or at their houses in their pools.

Our son who is almost 2 attends the village nursery for 4 hours a day and loves it. He is now starting to speak and speaks more spanish than english!!

We are going back to the UK for a couple of weeks during the summer but i don't like to be away for longer because i do feel that Daisys spanish improves by the day and at her age it is important for her to learn the language so that she can keep up with her school work.

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Postby Zofia » Sat May 10, 2008 3:00 pm

My boys started at the village school on March 24th so are very much still the 'new boys', but they seem to have settled well. I *think* they are learning Spanish, but they won't tell me anything they have learnt, although I've heard them say a few words to each other. I wouldn't say they have made any friends yet, as they are twins, they are always each other's best friend, so perhaps don't need other friends so much. The other Mums all say hello to me, but that is as far as it goes, they all know each other, being a small village ( I live outside the village). I'm also a bit of an 'older mum', perhaps they think I'm the granny!!! :lol:

They are only 4, and it will be interesting to see how it all pans out.
Finally really and properly living in Andalucia.

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Postby dido72 » Sat May 10, 2008 8:19 pm

It's been a happy experience for us too so far, my daughter has been in Spanish school for 6 months now and has been more than accepted. Every day the children in her class fight to stand next to her in the line for the class, there is always someone hugging her or kissing her or playing with her hair. Her teacher speaks no English but tells me (I think) that she is very quick and is almost fluent already at least with everything she needs to know at school, she is also very affectionate which is why they all love her so much!!

It remains to be seen if my sons have the same happy experience when they start in September this year and September next year, I will keep you posted :)

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Postby HKM » Sun May 11, 2008 10:10 am

I find this quite an interesting subject, my son was 5 years old when he started Spanish school, he knew a few words but could not hold a conversation...

Within 3 months he could hold a basic conversation, but we worked with him at home, sent him for private lessons, only let him watch Spanish Tv..

Even at 5 years old it was very hard.. People would say ' he will be fluent in 6 months' no, no, no....

He has been in school for nearly 4 years now, I know he would not have coped if he was much older when he started school.. Now he is doing well as the teacher say's 'fluent for his age', he does not go to extra Spanish lessons anymore, he does well in his exams. He does not mix with any other English children. It has been very hard but we feel he is now there, or thereabouts as does his teacher. He is happy, well liked.

Each to their own but bringing older children who have only basic or no Spanish is to me cruel, I know of 2 kids who when the bus drops them off they do not actually go into school but go to the park etc... The parents just do not care. What future have they got to look forward to, they can't speak, read or write enough Spanish to pass any exams here, and are not doing them in the UK?

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Postby katy » Sun May 11, 2008 10:52 am

So, are you all saying this article is wrong or is it just the posters on here who see it different :?

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Postby crazyred » Sun May 11, 2008 2:52 pm

I would say that because a child does not speak Spanish within 6 months does not mean that they do not understand what is going on. Understanding always comes first (think about how babies learn, they understand what we are saying to them before they can reply). Sometimes children also feel embarrassed about speaking Spanish in front of people who are English speaking and vice versa so, won't always speak Spanish in front of their parents. Personally I think that the introduction to a new country/language should be done before the age of 7 but, that's just my opinion and some children are more adept at learning languages later on than others.

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Postby twiggy » Mon May 12, 2008 6:16 pm

I also think it depends on the age of the child and the commitment of the parents. My son was 5 when he started spanish school and after 18 months here, he gets glowing reports and has no problems at school. However, this has taken a huge effort from us as parents to ensure that he is tutored and encouraged. I must admit that it was very simple to get him into school, just a few forms and he was attending the next day!!!

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Postby mijas-lady » Mon May 12, 2008 9:53 pm

I think thats what we are all saying on here-that its the parents support etc that make the difference :roll: Town Crier states that the problem is they gather liitle groups in school and therefore dont mix either inside or out of school due to the fact the British have so many numbers here ( I mean English speaking being from N.I. myself :oops: )
May I also add that at the weekend I met a lovely girl (14) who doesnt go to school here as she doesnt like it and anyway its in Spanish!!!! As a teacher I wonder at parents logic(that could be a full thread when I make it to the AMIGOS lounge :wink: )

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Postby kelly » Tue May 13, 2008 10:42 am

i live in a totaly spanish area we have 2 children 12 and 14 both are only British in their schools and have passed each year since we have been here (4 years). My 12 yr old girl has the odd spanish friend my 14 year old boy doesnt realy mix much out of school quite smply my kids have a differnt outlook. Whilst we can speak spanish we PREFER TO
1. watch english telly and films
2. mix with other (few english around here)
3. avoid all the religous clap trap that most spanish are in to Rocio etc etc..
so i dont give a t** about not integrating. English is the most important language so dont feel you have to forget it. Most spanish want to speak english anyway


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