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Amelia Davies said:
Hello Martin

I live here in the South of France in the heart of Provence, I understand where you are coming from when you say that you want to move for a better life for you and your family. You have to look at this on the positive side. You could sell your house and put the money from the sale in a high interest account in the UK, use the interest to help you rent a property until you decide if France is the place for you, and which area is going to be your new home. The £ is too low to change into Euros at the moment you would lose quite a lot of money if you transfered your equity.

Once you are here you will have to apply for a social security number so that you can work, you could look at doing some property management for people who let their homes to tourists, most of them are English speaking owners and tourist. There are classes run by the employment services, to help you to speak French, and they are free for people seeking work.

Here in Provence you could also work as a mobile hairdresser, there are a lot of English and Americans living in this area. You could advertise your services in quite a few ways, Toni & Guy have Salons here in Provence and people would be interested in your connection with this name. Free news papers, local notice boards in supermarkets and public places etc are a good place to advertise. Once you are here you could learn the language quickly by getting to know your neighbours and by joining in with local activities, and by doing some voluntary work. You could also make a start by accessing French word a day, you subscribe free of charge and you will receive an e mail daily with a new word which is put into a sentence, you can listen to it spoken for a good accent, this service is run by an American writer Kristin.Espinasse.

We had a dream, and we are now living that dream, we have been here for 5 years and would not return to the UK for anything. If you are prepared to work hard and to take on anything until you improve your language skills, you will succeed in your venture. Good luck, if you have any more questions I will do my best to answer them for you. Regards Amelia.
Amelia you seem like you have lived in france for awhile we are looking to move with work for a period of 3 to 5 years and have a twelve year old who currently doesnt speak french fluent yet. Do you know what the rules are for school for an ex pat?
Darren
 

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Amelia you seem like you have lived in france for awhile we are looking to move with work for a period of 3 to 5 years and have a twelve year old who currently doesnt speak french fluent yet. Do you know what the rules are for school for an ex pat?
Darren
If you are legally resident in France, your kids have the right to attend the public schools. (Actually, they can attend even if you aren't legally resident, but then you run the risk of being found out.)

It depends a bit where you'll be in France, but the schools do provide assistance for foreign students who need help with the language. Precisely what sort of assistance depends on the staff available in the rectorat (i.e. the school region) and the number of foreign students the rectorat serves.

Obviously, a private school is an option, too, with an English, American or "international" curriculum. There are a few collèges (junior highs) in France that have English language sections - these are public schools (so no fees) where part of the curriculum is taught in English. Getting in is competitive and they won't guarantee that all native speakers will be accepted, but most of the time expat kids are accepted with little difficulty.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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There are a few collèges (junior highs) in France that have English language sections - these are public schools (so no fees) where part of the curriculum is taught in English. Getting in is competitive and they won't guarantee that all native speakers will be accepted, but most of the time expat kids are accepted with little difficulty.
Cheers,
Bev
Bev's information is not entirely correct. While these things do exist, not all of them are for free. There are "Anglophone" sections that exist as a sort of private-within-a-public school.

There are many challenges with bringing a 12yo who does not speak any French and putting them in a French school. They may be offered FLE classes (equivalent of ESL), but it will be a HUGE challenge to get them up to grade level of their peers. They will need to learn to read, write and speak on grade level - and learn other subjects such as math, history and science that are taught in French. Although there is no law about it, most consider 12 to be the absolute oldest a child can be when arriving in France to successfully integrate into the French school system. However, I've talked to many a French person who believes anything older than primary school age is too old. And based on my experiences with my children, I really have to agree that a child over age 10 - especially one who will not be moving to France permanently - would be better served in a private/International school.
 

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My son Has been attznding School in the soute of France since septembre. You need to go to the local city hall and they Will give you the options of schools available in your area and what to do next. The School m'y son attends is a primary school i Will also be needing a high School for september.
 

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Hello everyone thought I would chip in with this, we are moving to Nice in 6weeks time and my daughter who is 6 will be going to a bi lingual school from April till the summer hols, at that point we hope to find a suitable summer school before she joins the main stream primary at the start of the new academic year in September (they won't take her til then) We are going to bump her down a year as a breather because it's to onerous to expect her to keep up with the curriculum and learn a new language as well. My question is how long do you think a 6 year old will take before she speak French or at least understand it? As anyone got examples?

Thanks in advance.

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Ability to learn a foreign language varies a lot from one kid to another.
In total immersion, some people say it takes a couple of months. I personally think it takes longer.

Not every kids are able to learn a foreign language. I remember one of my little neighbor who arrived in France when he was 13 months. Went to a fully French nursery and then to a bilingual pre-school when he was 3. When he left France, it was so difficult to understand him that most of the time I did not even know whether he was talking in French or English. His parents were very worried about his speech. They moved back to the UK, I visited them 3 weeks after their move and he was talking and easy to understand (English).

My son being in a bilingual school I can see they all progress differently. He has a friend who will be 7 next month who is really fluent in French. This kid is from Turkey and hears no French nor English at home. Until this year he was only going part time to school. His family has been here for 3 years. I don't know about his English.

There is another kid who is Japanese who has been here for at least 4 years, barely speaks English and speaks basic French.
 

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Thank you for your reply dont know if that reassured me or not, my daughter has been going to France since she was born, my wife is french so we are hoping that some of it would have absorbed enough for her to pick it up really quickly, time will tell I guess!
 

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Ability to learn a foreign language varies a lot from one kid to another.
In total immersion, some people say it takes a couple of months. I personally think it takes longer.

Not every kids are able to learn a foreign language.
I agree wholeheartedly with your statements. When I first started coming to these boards (over 2 years ago), all I saw was, "kids are like sponges...they'll absorb the language naturally...within no time they'll be fluent..." and stuff saying that if they would just watch TV in French, they'll learn the language just fine.

Not True for everyone.

My experience runs contrary to the popular wisdom that the younger they are, the faster they learn. My oldest (10 when we arrived) picked up the language the quickest. My middle child learned at about an average pace. It took him about a year to become on grade level with his peers. My youngest struggled. Two years after we arrived and she is still behind grade level on reading and writing. (She speaks it accentlessly with ease). She has no problem reading and writing in English, so I know there's no learning issues.

I guess what's important is to not set expectations for your child to be fluent in XX time.
 

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I agree wholeheartedly with your statements. When I first started coming to these boards (over 2 years ago), all I saw was, "kids are like sponges...they'll absorb the language naturally...within no time they'll be fluent..." and stuff saying that if they would just watch TV in French, they'll learn the language just fine.

Not True for everyone.

My experience runs contrary to the popular wisdom that the younger they are, the faster they learn. My oldest (10 when we arrived) picked up the language the quickest. My middle child learned at about an average pace. It took him about a year to become on grade level with his peers. My youngest struggled. Two years after we arrived and she is still behind grade level on reading and writing. (She speaks it accentlessly with ease). She has no problem reading and writing in English, so I know there's no learning issues.

I guess what's important is to not set expectations for your child to be fluent in XX time.
I thank you for your input and your probably right they will learn in there own time.

I guess what a parent wants the most is for there child to be happy in the environment that we as parents have imposed on them.

The whole idea of moving now was for her to get settled with the language well before secondary education. So all in all I think we have plenty of time and I should just stop being a stress head about it and go with the flow :)
 

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International school Marseille

Do you know of any international schools for secondary education in Marseilles?
There is a relatively new international section in a French state school very near Marseille. It is entirely free! Pupils in the international section have 4 hours of English literature and language and 4 hours of history and geography teaching per week in English. They have the rest of their classes in French.

To get a place in the section, there is an exam in May or late August/September, but as another poster said, native speakers will have no trouble getting in. If you have just arrived in France, there is provision for FLE (French as a foreign language) for the first year and then it depends on how the student is getting on really.

The parents network has got a pretty helpful site. If you google international section parents network monod then you should find it! The school is called Collège Jacques Monod and is in Les Pennes Mirabeau.

Hope this helps!
 

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jbjbjb said:
There is a relatively new international section in a French state school very near Marseille. It is entirely free! Pupils in the international section have 4 hours of English literature and language and 4 hours of history and geography teaching per week in English. They have the rest of their classes in French.

To get a place in the section, there is an exam in May or late August/September, but as another poster said, native speakers will have no trouble getting in. If you have just arrived in France, there is provision for FLE (French as a foreign language) for the first year and then it depends on how the student is getting on really.

The parents network has got a pretty helpful site. If you google international section parents network monod then you should find it! The school is called Collège Jacques Monod and is in Les Pennes Mirabeau.

Hope this helps!
Blessings! Thanks for the direction. That is huge!
 

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We arrived 5 weeks ago from Australia with a 6 almost 7 year old in tow. Before we left we had decided to put her into the French Public School system thinking total immersion was the best option, but once we arrived and started talking to different friends and contacts, we changed our minds. Our daughter is quite a confident and socially adjusted child, but she was expressing some anxiety about going to a school where she could not speak the language and where there was no one that could understand her. Our dilemma became more about where she would cope the best with learning yet another language and a new life. She had studied Italian (my husband and I are of Italian heritage) for 2 years and Spanish for 1 year, so we knew that there was an interest and she certainly has an ear for languages.

Then our enquiries within the public and catholic school system indicated that there is little if any support within the school for English speaking students so we decided to put her into a Private Bilingual school. They do 2 full days of English and 2 full days of French each week, and so far she is very happy. Mind you she has only been there one week and then went on 2 weeks holiday, but she is keen to get back to her new friends and is now beginning to use a little French at home just small words, but at least she is showing interest.

The decision will always be hard, you will think and agonise over it but in the end as long as we as parents are with them and near them, then these children will always cope.

I hope this helps. Good luck!
 

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smariani62 said:
We arrived 5 weeks ago from Australia with a 6 almost 7 year old in tow. Before we left we had decided to put her into the French Public School system thinking total immersion was the best option, but once we arrived and started talking to different friends and contacts, we changed our minds. Our daughter is quite a confident and socially adjusted child, but she was expressing some anxiety about going to a school where she could not speak the language and where there was no one that could understand her. Our dilemma became more about where she would cope the best with learning yet another language and a new life. She had studied Italian (my husband and I are of Italian heritage) for 2 years and Spanish for 1 year, so we knew that there was an interest and she certainly has an ear for languages.

Then our enquiries within the public and catholic school system indicated that there is little if any support within the school for English speaking students so we decided to put her into a Private Bilingual school. They do 2 full days of English and 2 full days of French each week, and so far she is very happy. Mind you she has only been there one week and then went on 2 weeks holiday, but she is keen to get back to her new friends and is now beginning to use a little French at home just small words, but at least she is showing interest.

The decision will always be hard, you will think and agonise over it but in the end as long as we as parents are with them and near them, then these children will always cope.

I hope this helps. Good luck!
Are you in marseille?
 

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smariani62 said:
We arrived 5 weeks ago from Australia with a 6 almost 7 year old in tow. Before we left we had decided to put her into the French Public School system thinking total immersion was the best option, but once we arrived and started talking to different friends and contacts, we changed our minds. Our daughter is quite a confident and socially adjusted child, but she was expressing some anxiety about going to a school where she could not speak the language and where there was no one that could understand her. Our dilemma became more about where she would cope the best with learning yet another language and a new life. She had studied Italian (my husband and I are of Italian heritage) for 2 years and Spanish for 1 year, so we knew that there was an interest and she certainly has an ear for languages.

Then our enquiries within the public and catholic school system indicated that there is little if any support within the school for English speaking students so we decided to put her into a Private Bilingual school. They do 2 full days of English and 2 full days of French each week, and so far she is very happy. Mind you she has only been there one week and then went on 2 weeks holiday, but she is keen to get back to her new friends and is now beginning to use a little French at home just small words, but at least she is showing interest.

The decision will always be hard, you will think and agonise over it but in the end as long as we as parents are with them and near them, then these children will always cope.

I hope this helps. Good luck!
Hello

Thanks for the reply it's good to share experiences and I will keep people informed on our progress.

My daughter is 7 in April, we decided to move to France now because any sooner and her English would have suffered, we think this year in school in the UK she has thrived and become a lot more confident so I think she will be prepared to cope, as long as she can make friend and I know she can and is really a lot more out going now than she was we won't have a problem.

At least she will enjoy the pool at the end of every day if she has the energy!

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