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Hi all. I'll try to be brief and concise. I have a possible job opportunity with the company I work with in Alicante. The job is great and secure and the money is good. My main worry is schooling.
My oldest is starting High School after the summer and youngest is 2 years behind him. Don't think we can afford international schooling so state school it would be I'm afraid. Has anybody ever placed a kid this old into state school without having a grip on the language first? Feel as if I'm being selfish even considering it but would hope it could lead to the both of them having fantastic teen years growing up in a different country. Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

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If they are about to start secondary in the UK they will be too old to learn Spanish for the school. You say you have a good salary. I would use that to pay for an international school. They will get a bit of Spanish but it won't be so necessary for them to complete their education. Don't listen to anyone telling you that kids learn language quickly and that within a year they will be fluent it is all just myth
 

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If they are about to start secondary in the UK they will be too old to learn Spanish for the school. You say you have a good salary. I would use that to pay for an international school. They will get a bit of Spanish but it won't be so necessary for them to complete their education. Don't listen to anyone telling you that kids learn language quickly and that within a year they will be fluent it is all just myth
I wouldn't say it's a complete myth, but those that learn the language quickly ie in a year are usually much younger.
At the age of 0-7 it could be possible given the right input, support and character/ personality of the child. Older than that it's likely to take longer for the child to become fully fluent and of course as children don't just study the language, they have to study history, sciences, technical subjects, maths etc they will be getting further and further behind in these areas whilst they catch up linguistically.
The younger child, around 10? may stand a chance, but it could place enormous pressure on him/ her...
 

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I wouldn't say it's a complete myth, but those that learn the language quickly ie in a year are usually much younger.
At the age of 0-7 it could be possible given the right input, support and character/ personality of the child. Older than that it's likely to take longer for the child to become fully fluent and of course as children don't just study the language, they have to study history, sciences, technical subjects, maths etc they will be getting further and further behind in these areas whilst they catch up linguistically.
The younger child, around 10? may stand a chance, but it could place enormous pressure on him/ her...
The language issue "could" in theory be overcome quickly (within a year) but this is not the only issue. The change in circumstance / environment / culture, all add up and make moves much more traumatic for children than many people realise.

I have taken my children to Thailand and back to Spain again and I can assure you that the "they adapt to anything quickly" statement is very misleading. My older son was 5 when we left Spain to go to Thailand, so he already had a native level of Spanish, but returning to Spain 3 years later it took him quite an effort to re-adapt to the language and cultural changes. I cannot imagine what it would have been like if he had never lived in Spain before. Our younger son who was only 1 yr old when we left Spain has had a very difficult year, one issue being that some state schools are not prepared to pay any extra attention to "immigrant" children who may be behind the rest of the class, he was simply "abandoned" by the teacher (I am not suggesting that all state schools are like this but this is just our experience).

In overall terms, kids probably do adapt and learn quicker than adults, but when you look at a year of adaptation for a 5 yr old, you should think of it as 20% of his lifetime, like for me it might take nearly 10 years to adapt.

Your job opportunity seems to have come at just the wrong time as far as family is concerned, but I would not give up such a great chance unless I was absolutely sre that there was no way of getting them into private education.
 

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My brother moved to France when his kids were of a similar age. They both went straight into French state education and both did very well. In my view, it was a three-way street. The kids were keen to learn, they had very capable and caring teachers, and my brother and step sister were very supportive. The net result is the eldest is working as a journalist on a French travel magazine, the younger is in Uni in Nantes.

It isn't a one size fits all. My brother and sis in law were prepared to switch plans had things not worked out, and indeed nearly did during the different early stages. But keeping on top of things with the school and talking it through, provided the positive outcome they wanted.
 

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Have you tried negotiating with the company?
Are they offering you any concessions for moving at all?

They really should do to some extent although it may not be an actual requirement. I would definitely be putting it to them however, even if it is just to cover some of the schooling costs. Sometimes you may even get rental reduction. It all helps.
 

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I see many children of many nationalities moving here at this age and going straight into the state school system. Many cope extremely well (but some nationalities such as Russians seem to take this more in their stride - for whatever reason), some have a tough time and others really don't manage at all. Some parents use private tutors initially to help their children adjust. I used to have an Austrian friend in Spain who moved at 14 and had no problem learning the language quickly, adjusting to a different school system or succeeding in school. Everyone is different and that makes decisions such as the OP is faced with particularly difficult. Also, much depends on the individual teachers that a child encounters (BTW I have a friend in Spain who recently retired from teaching in Murcia - absolutely dedicated and awarded many times over for her attention to students and extremely highly respected in the local and school communities - but not all teachers are like Rosalia).
 

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Bear in mind that a 5 year old will not have the vocab and grammatical range required by secondary school student and obviously they won't have any/much writing/reading skills. So whilst it might be true that a 5 year old can communicate sufficiently with peers and adults who adjust their language it does not quite mean they are fluent. Secondly the idea that children learn quicker than adults is not demonstratively proven. Children in school are subjected to huge amount of L2. 30/40 hours a week. They still have to work to learn the language it is not a passive process. This means it will be a lot of work to go from zero to C2 in one academic year for a teenager and I am yet to see a child who has achieved this although I have met a lot of parents ( who don't speak spanish ) making the claim their children have.
 

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...although I have met a lot of parents ( who don't speak spanish ) making the claim their children have
Yes, I am am often struck by this. The people who say "My child is fluent when they have little idea of Spanish themselves. How do they know?
It happened to me a couple of years ago in a queue in the airport when the man behind me heard me chatting in Spanish to OH and daughter (who are Spanish). He congratulated me on how well I spoke Spanish, but when I later heard him speaking to the woman on check inI realised he didn't speak a word.
 

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Yes, I am am often struck by this. The people who say "My child is fluent when they have little idea of Spanish themselves. How do they know?
It happened to me a couple of years ago in a queue in the airport when the man behind me heard me chatting in Spanish to OH and daughter (who are Spanish). He congratulated me on how well I spoke Spanish, but when I later heard him speaking to the woman on check inI realised he didn't speak a word.
Yes, This is why I referred to it as a myth. I know lots of Brits who are questioning my sons level of Spanish saying that friends of theirs children were all fluent within a year but not one of them speaks Spanish. My wife who is bilingual gets really fed up with these people going on about how easy it is for children to adapt to school etc when not one of them has the slightest clue as to what is happening. Half of them don't even seem to know when then school starts of finishes yet they feel compelled to lecture us on spanish!!:gossip:
 
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