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View Full Version : Weekly Poll: What foreign language are you teaching this year?



pandahoneybee
05-26-2011, 05:56 AM
This is something that I had been meaning to do since the beginning BUT never went any further with it! There just didn't seem to be enough time for it all, ya know, especially in those first years. It seemed like all we were doing was catching up from what DS wasn't taught in school.
Fast forward to oldest DS entering 9th grade over the summer (yes we homeschool year round and the new year for us starts about a week or so after we finish this year!) I wanted the foreign language that is required for high school to be something that he wanted to learn to make my job easier. For the past year, he was saying Japanese (because a lot of the kids in our homeschool group are learning that for their first year of high school- anime nuts like him!) but during our vacation (with no TV or video games) I sat down with him and laid out the languages that he could pick from to learn next year. Then I told him which ones I thought would be most helpful to him in the future- Spanish and Chinese. I encouraged him to think about it and let me know, I was willing to do any language he wanted to do. He came back with Spanish for next year with the possibility of learning Chinese the next! So we are going to make it a family affair and learn it together as a family. Already lined up a Spanish teacher, bought a HS Spanish book, and looking into an online program as well.

Stella M
05-26-2011, 06:22 AM
Latin with dd13. We're using Cambridge Latin after a year of Minimus and Minimus Secondus. We like CL but I feel it needs supplementing. Or maybe a tutor :)

surfmonkey17
05-26-2011, 06:50 AM
Well, not really a foreign language since we live in Hawaii, but we are going to start learning Hawaiian this year. My son is going to be taking a dance class at one of the local immersion schools and only Hawaiian will be spoken, so we figure we would take the opportunity to teach him as much of the language as we can. When our son gets a bit older, we will start Japanese.

hockeymom
05-26-2011, 07:49 AM
Spanish for us.

DS has been wanting to learn French since he was 4, but somehow we just never got to it (we enrolled him in a French immersion school for K-8 but then moved; thought he'd get French where we live since it's a bilingual province but they cut the program right before we moved here; and then we just haven't gotten to it somehow). Since we have no intention of staying where we are longer than we have to, DH and I figured Spanish would be more helpful back home so we encouraged that instead. DS immediately took to the idea and is excited to get going. We're hoping an impending mail strike won't delay our Rosetta Stone shipment.

Busygoddess
05-26-2011, 07:51 AM
Both kids:
ASL - Signing Time DVDs & various other DVDs
Spanish - Tell Me more
Latin - Oxford Latin for dd, Latin for Children for ds

pandahoneybee
05-26-2011, 08:28 AM
I probably should have said this year or for next year;) OH well that's what happens when I type things at 430 in the morning;) You all rock more than one language! I was doing well just to get them to speak English those first couple years of homeschooling!! Oh well better late then NEVER AT ALL.

inmom
05-26-2011, 08:49 AM
I require Spanish for the kids, but my daughter is also teaching herself Latin and French.

MarkInMD
05-26-2011, 08:55 AM
Spanish Rosetta Stone Homeschool Edition. We'll be continuing next year (4th grade) and probably the following year, too.

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
05-26-2011, 09:13 AM
I'm teaching my daughter French and my husband is teaching Latin to our son.

Teri
05-26-2011, 09:30 AM
My 8 year old just finished her second year of Chinese. I was absolutely not equipped to teach her Chinese so she is taking it at a Chinese school once per week. She absolutely loves it.
I started out helping my 11 yo work through Cambridge Latin, but we just didn't keep it up. I am going to enroll him in a Latin class in the fall.
I know that the 9 yo is going to want to begin a language also, but I am much more hesitant with her. I think she will have a lot more problems with learning a language than the other two. She wants to learn German.

I let them pick their languages. I did have to talk Joseph out of Greek because Greek is just very difficult to find instruction on (in person). He is using Latin to lead into Greek, so I am not off the hook yet. ;)

bcnlvr
05-26-2011, 09:31 AM
I put Spanish because we are already doing it. Next year we add Mandarin and Latin.

bcn

flfergo
05-26-2011, 10:09 AM
My kids are 5 and 7 and they love Song School Latin. I really feel that it is going to help them throughout their entire education.

Martha
05-26-2011, 11:49 AM
It won't let you choose more than one option.
My oldest is taking Spanish, next two up are taking attic Greek.

Jilly
05-26-2011, 12:43 PM
We will be starting French next year. Before this, the kids studied Latin.

Dutchbabiesx2
05-26-2011, 01:28 PM
We do Dutch, both immersion and Rossetta Stone. Hubby is native speaker and we will have Dutch speaking visitors over the summer. We;ve done Mandarin for one, and they both had French for 2 years. My husband graduated highschool and was able to communicate in 7 languages (this is typical in Europe upper level highschools though) . . . it is possible to do several!

MarkInMD
05-26-2011, 02:00 PM
I know that the 9 yo is going to want to begin a language also, but I am much more hesitant with her. I think she will have a lot more problems with learning a language than the other two. She wants to learn German.

As someone who once learned German and has since forgotten more than he should through not having anyone to speak it to post-college, I can tell you that in some ways German is easier (to me) than Spanish, because a lot of nouns are exactly the same or maybe only have one letter different, and they have pretty much the same regular and irregular verbs that English does when translated. However, sentence structure once you get past the basic tenses and start adding stuff like subordinate clauses, the subjunctive, etc. can get really strange, or it did for me. Learning it has its pros and cons, like learning any language. I'd be curious to see how a younger mind handles the stuff I mentioned. I'll probably try it with Hurricane eventually, but not for a couple years at least.

dbmamaz
05-26-2011, 03:49 PM
the kids all wanted to take french since dh's family is all french-speaking. dh isnt too excited about it, tho. Orion is supposed to be doing tell me more french while i'm working one-on-one w Raven, but he keeps reading fiction instead. he finished the 'pre-level' dvd, but seems to be dragging now. i just feel like he shoudl have some foriegn language . . . for some reason i'd forgotten how much i loved german .. . ahh, well

StartingOver
05-26-2011, 06:17 PM
Latin, this year and every year until graduation. We will add in Spanish, French and a language of their choice at some point.

dottieanna29
05-26-2011, 06:46 PM
I put other because we are doing American Sign Language.

farrarwilliams
05-26-2011, 07:18 PM
This question assumes we are doing a second language. We used to do Chinese, since I speak it (sort of). But our Chinese school closed down. We tried a new school with a different teacher, but she sucked, to put it bluntly. I did not understand her method *at all.* She wanted the kids to start writing with characters that I considered really too difficult for K'ers who were just learning to write at all. I know that's not how they do it in China either. Anyway, finding an alternative was just prohibitively expensive... so we dropped it partway through K and never picked it up again this year for first. I don't understand how people spend more than a thousand per kid on foreign language lessons year after year. I'm trying to decide what to do for next year. I don't speak Chinese well enough to teach it, I fear. I could probably do French... actually, I know I could do that with some very quick refreshers... but I can't wrap my head around the usefulness of it. Bah, foreign language.

Stella M
05-26-2011, 07:27 PM
For us, it's an interest subject K-6. So dd13 did some German and dd11 does some Old English and...umm...Elvish :) because they wanted to. But no drama from me if you don't happen to be into it.

sdvance
05-26-2011, 08:13 PM
DD (12) has been learning Spanish, but wants to try German. Found a great foreign language center, and she'll take classes in the fall. DS (8) is learning Spanish, and we'll continue that in the fall with him

dbmamaz
05-26-2011, 08:42 PM
yeah, i'm only making Orion do it cuz he's in high school. but honestly, thats part of why we are poor global citizens . . . . oh well.

MrsLOLcat
05-26-2011, 09:36 PM
We've done Latin for the last two years. We tried French this year, but with all the silent letters, it didn't work, so I'm dropping it. He'll study Spanish next year but is honestly picking up more German from me than anything else right now. I hope to teach him German once he has a good grasp of grammar.

Persikka
05-26-2011, 09:41 PM
Rosetta Stone French (plus German, but just me for now. DH has family in Germany). We've also been learning American Sign for a while now though (books/dvds, signing time!, etc), but know only really basic signs, alphabet, etc. We're not really strict about the lessons right now, mostly just playing with it (the mic step up has been a pain), but will be more regular come fall.

ksb427
05-27-2011, 05:52 PM
Spanish because it's my passion (been studying it since 9th grade with a gap of 4 years after college; studied abroad in Spain). Needless to say I feel pretty comfortable teaching it to the boys. No set curriculum at this time, but my goal is to make it fun and useful. Luckily where we live, they'll actually have many opportunities to use it which I think is so important when learning a language. We may even set a goal of traveling abroad in three years to a Spanish-speaking country. After learning Spanish for a couple of years, we may go onto another language of their choice. So far, German seems to be it.

farrarwilliams
05-27-2011, 08:13 PM
I guess it's just something I've very torn about. I had three teachers for French grades 6-12. One was terrible. One was wonderful. One was certifiable (no, really, I heard she was later institutionalized). Other than my two good years with that one wonderful teacher, French was a very useless experience for me. Useless in learning, in application, in everything. I do feel like it helped me understand grammar a little. And I guess it's cool that I read a bunch of stuff in French, like Huis Clos and Les Jeux Sont Fait... and I actually enjoyed reading Le Petit Prince in French. But... it was all just an academic exercise. I've have never needed French for any reason in life. And I don't know if reading a handful of books in high school French made the experience (especially enduring those bad teachers) worth it.

But... on the other hand, I don't like that Americans don't learn languages and expect everyone to speak English. And I guess I liked Chinese well enough. But the only experience that made it worthwhile was actually living in China... and I certainly learned more there than I did in school studying it. Well, maybe not... living there didn't actually help my reading or writing one bit since everything is in pinyin. But speaking. So I guess I just question how much I can even teach a language.

Dh speaks a little Spanish. Maybe I should just turn this over to him and settle for Spanish. At least there are decent materials.

Busygoddess
05-27-2011, 09:40 PM
I took Spanish 1st - 6th grades, with the exception of 3rd (the school I was at for 3rd didn't offer foreign language). I also took French, in elementary school, at the local Community College. Then, I took both Spanish & French in high school. While I've yet to have the opportunity to use the French I learned, Spanish was useful in several of the jobs I've had. I also found the experience of learning them fun. So, I want my kids to have that, too. I require Latin, because it helps with so many things (English vocabulary, English Grammar, learning certain other languages). I also require Spanish, because we have a large Hispanic population here. They both also want to learn French (we'll be getting a program for that for Dea's 9th or 10th grade year), Dea is interested in learning Gaelic, and Jay has expressed interest in learning German. I figure it's good for them to learn as many languages as possible. They both want to travel, and are both looking at careers in History and/or Anthropolgy. I figure being multi-lingual could be useful for that. Also, if they change their career paths, many places pay more for being multi-lingual. To be honest, though, we'd likely learn several languages, even without all these beneifts & reasons. It just really ties in with our natural interests in History & cultures. Plus, it's fun!

dbmamaz
05-27-2011, 09:57 PM
My father was a language nut. When we were going to spend some time in Europe on a NSF exchange, he made us all take family lessons . . . I cant actually remember what language it was . . . german or italian maybe? But he ended up being placed in Czechoslovakia, so we had to learn Slovak on the ground. My sister and i became fluent in a few months, going to school. I think it was a good foundation for me taking languages later.

but my dad spoke hebrew, yiddish, german, italian, french (I think), and slovak. He taught himself a little greek when we went to greece. I dont remember him knowing spanish. My mom knew food words in almost every language - she worked in the food industry.

I do feel learning languages is a great thing, and its another area i'm coming short in . . . but its only in the past year i'm not feeling like i'm totally over my head in life, so . . . you do what you can.

(eta yes, he knew french - we had a french exchange student once and my father loved talking to him)

Caddy Wampus
05-27-2011, 10:48 PM
Spanish with Powerspeak through K12, teacher supported.

Ariadne
05-27-2011, 11:25 PM
Some sign language (my daughter is partially hearing-impaired and it seems to be worsening.)

Spanish seems most practical, but I studied French for years and still read in it. It makes more sense for us to start with that so I plan to.

My daughter wants to study Japanese, but I've forgotten most of my Japanese. {facepalm}

I think Indonesian would be fun because of their cousins.

Busygoddess
05-27-2011, 11:39 PM
The first time we attempted learning ASL was shortly before Jay had his tonsils out. I figured his throat would be sore after surgery, and it would be nice for him to have a way to communicate without talking. He refused to use signs, though, and talked even though it made his throat hurt. We gave up on it for a while after that. One day, a man came to our door. He handed me a note saying that he was deaf & mute and was looking to do odd jobs to earn meals. It hit me that my only real way to communicate with him was to write a response because the only ASL I learned in school was the alphabet, and the kids & I hadn't kept up on it after Jay's surgery. That was when I decided that ASL was being re-introduced to our school day. As a bonus, I'm partially deaf in both ears (and it appears to be getting worse), so when my hearing goes completely the kids & I will still be able to 'talk.'

ksb427
05-28-2011, 10:14 AM
Spanish with Powerspeak through K12, teacher supported.

How is Powerspeak working out for you? I've signed up for a free sample which I plan to look at this weekend.

ksb427
05-28-2011, 10:21 AM
Spanish surprisingly has come in handy with my current job (summer camp). A mother from Spain has sent her two girls to the camp the last two years because she feels reassured that she can communicate with someone in the office in her native language. :) Now that I think about it, I've used Spanish in some capacity with every job I've had - especially when I was a newspaper reporter covering the strikes at a chicken processing plant. The majority of the workers were native Spanish speakers. Man, that was pretty exciting... kind of miss those days. ;)

Because of my personal experience, I pretty much put learning a foreign language right up there with math, science, history and so on.

MarkInMD
05-28-2011, 11:18 AM
I completely agree with you, Karen. It's on my list to become fluent in Spanish so that, as a voiceover person, I can get all kinds of jobs that monolingual readers can't. I used to work with a guy who could speak four languages fluently (English, Spanish, French, and Italian) and was pretty good with Portuguese, too. As voiceover guys go, he's loaded. Always working. And I'm sure that goes for a lot of other fields.

Teri
05-28-2011, 11:26 AM
I agree with you Karen.
I took 4 years of Spanish and 1 year of French in high school and then spent a semester in Rome in college. I would feel confident teaching my kids a Romance language. ;)
So, of course, my kids want German, Chinese and Greek! LOL

dbmamaz
05-28-2011, 01:24 PM
I would feel confident teaching my kids a Romance language. ;)
So, of course, my kids want German, Chinese and Greek! LOL
LOL of course!

Ariadne
05-28-2011, 03:21 PM
I agree with you Karen.
I took 4 years of Spanish and 1 year of French in high school and then spent a semester in Rome in college. I would feel confident teaching my kids a Romance language. ;)
So, of course, my kids want German, Chinese and Greek! LOL

As Cara said, of course they do. I swear they do this sort of thing on purpose, don't they? ;)

Caddy Wampus
05-28-2011, 05:21 PM
How is Powerspeak working out for you? I've signed up for a free sample which I plan to look at this weekend.

Powerspeak is working much better than Rosetta Stone, although I will say that the teacher supported aspect has been a complete waste. The teacher isn't responsive, doesn't offer input, etc.,.... I will continue with Powerspeak, but I won't pay for the teacher again.

lynne
05-28-2011, 11:35 PM
Is anyone NOT teaching a language? Honestly, I took two semester of German in college, which was required because I was working on a science degree, but I don't remember much of it at all. Unless you're going to use the language every day, you will never remember it, right?

I'm undecided about teaching a language to my boys. Would it be awful to skip it?

MarkInMD
05-28-2011, 11:43 PM
It's up to you, naturally, but I think it's important to expose them to it at some point. It doesn't necessarily have to be until middle school or so. We got started this year because Hurricane had an interest in it. The world is becoming increasingly connected, and many skilled positions are looking for bilingual workers these days, because a bachelor's degree isn't worth what it used to be since so many people are getting one. I'd like my kids to have a leg up, whether they become fluent or not. But there will be people like my wife, who because of her own learning disabilities related to language processing, has lots of trouble learning a foreign language, so it's torture for her. If your kids are like that, then maybe it's not worth the aggravation.

dbmamaz
05-28-2011, 11:47 PM
I'm only doing language at the high school level because i feel its pretty important to have on a transcript if you ever apply to college. I was a bit unnerved, tho, when I was at the last home school conference i was at, and in the high school discussion, several of the presenters said that their children had 4 years of a language and implied that was one of thier requirements for their child. I questioned that - i was an engineering major and got in with 2 years of 2 different languages. One of them admitted that her daughter was actually a langauge major.

but no, most americans wont need it much . . . but it can be a great way to expand the mind, perhaps discover a passion, and possibly come in handy.

jar7709
05-29-2011, 12:08 AM
"other". My kids are small and DH is fluent in German, so sometimes he'll break out some German words over the dinner table and maybe read a German-language story. I am trying to convince him to step that up a little so the kids learn to string a sentence together organically...baby steps. Considering picking up some more formal lessons but my kids resist formal lessons, so, we'll see.

Ariadne
05-29-2011, 12:12 AM
Is anyone NOT teaching a language? Honestly, I took two semester of German in college, which was required because I was working on a science degree, but I don't remember much of it at all. Unless you're going to use the language every day, you will never remember it, right?

I'm undecided about teaching a language to my boys. Would it be awful to skip it?We've not gone "whole hog" yet. I plan to get more serious about it next year. I've had a lot on my plate with my special needs 12yo and my busy-busy-moving-moving little guy. Now that things are settling down some (finally!) I'm going to add a more formal sign language class + French.

Ariadne
05-29-2011, 12:12 AM
Anyone have experience with Powerglide?

lynne
05-29-2011, 12:08 PM
I'm only doing language at the high school level because i feel its pretty important to have on a transcript if you ever apply to college. I was a bit unnerved, tho, when I was at the last home school conference i was at, and in the high school discussion, several of the presenters said that their children had 4 years of a language and implied that was one of thier requirements for their child. I questioned that - i was an engineering major and got in with 2 years of 2 different languages. One of them admitted that her daughter was actually a langauge major.

but no, most americans wont need it much . . . but it can be a great way to expand the mind, perhaps discover a passion, and possibly come in handy.

I didn't take a language in high school and had no problem getting into college. I guess I just wonder how practical it is because, as I said before, unless you are going to be using it in your daily life you will never remember it. You would have to be around others speaking the language and using it daily. I guess I'm going to put it off for as long as possible.

Satori
05-29-2011, 01:54 PM
We are doing both Spanish and Latin. I couldn't vote because it wasn't a checkbox poll.

We started both of these last year, and will continue both for a very long time. This year we will progress from a baby Latin program (Song School Latin) to a real one though. I have a degree in Spanish. We're using Elementary Spanish and Getting Started with Spanish. For Latin, I think we'll be using Lively Latin and Getting Started with Latin.

cumminsk
05-29-2011, 11:55 PM
Starting with spanish. Hoping to work up to all spanish taco night, or at least a taco night. Still looking for good free online spanish for 7 year old. (It's not easy being cheap)

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
05-30-2011, 10:29 AM
Still looking for good free online spanish for 7 year old. (It's not easy being cheap)

Check out these videos: http://www.knowitall.org/instantreplay/content/program.cfm?SeriesIDpassed=43

They are an introductory Spanish program for elementary age kids. It has a teacher's guide with lesson plans. There are two more levels of videos after these. All FREE!

mommykicksbutt
05-30-2011, 07:16 PM
Rosette Stone Homeschool Edition European Spanish.

ksb427
05-31-2011, 04:43 PM
Powerspeak is working much better than Rosetta Stone, although I will say that the teacher supported aspect has been a complete waste. The teacher isn't responsive, doesn't offer input, etc.,.... I will continue with Powerspeak, but I won't pay for the teacher again.

Good to know. Appreciate the feedback.

Drew Campbell
06-01-2011, 02:42 PM
We're continuing with Latin and starting Chinese this summer.

Shoe
07-10-2011, 06:01 PM
We're doing both French and Spanish.

mamakaty
07-11-2011, 11:53 PM
I want to do Spanish, because it's the most practical for where we live. The 9 year old would rather learn Gaelic and Greek. :) I have decided not to include foreign language as part of our curriculum this year since it is our first full year homeschooling. I may see how things are going halfway through the year and think about introducing something then (like maybe the free spanish that was linked earlier; and I know there's some on Discovery Education too).

KristinK
09-11-2011, 09:22 PM
we're supposed to be doing French, since we're in Quebec and even the english schools here are only 50% english, the other 50% taught in French. But I just can't get myself teaching it! And my inlaws are french, so you would THINK the kids would be learning it...but no. Actually DH is fluent in french and works in french, but he won't use it with the kids. So it's up to me, the anglo, to make it happen...and I've been totally letting the ball drop. I really need to make up my mind and get on it, and stop waiting for DH and his parents to teach them!

Has anyone used the "Step by Step" language programs? they have spanish and french...it's on sale now for almost half price, and it's really reasonable, so I was thinking of trying it. I have a pretty good background, since I took french all through school, then worked briefly in it. I just have a very hard time being fast enough to follow and carry on a conversation...

lakshmi
09-11-2011, 11:51 PM
Thanks to KristinK for reviving this thread.

Rosetta Stone Chinese. @Farrar, You so could use rosetta stone and turn off the pinyin and only use characters and it would be fine. My feelings about language for young kids is just to get them familiar with them.

crunchynerd
09-13-2011, 12:11 AM
Neat, I was the only one so far to mention Japanese! I have a talent for languages, and got pretty good at Russian and Japanese in high school and college, have a lot of books, and driving CDs for learning and review. My daughter can say a few phrases, and we enjoy watching Miyazaki films (My Neighbor Totoro, etc) sometimes in Japanese. The CDs to listen to in the car are great, as is the NHK station on Nowhere TV via Roku.

Satori
09-17-2011, 01:29 PM
Spanish and Latin - I voted Latin because I could only chose one.

In the future I'll try to figure out a way to get a tutor or something for Mandarin Chinese.

Stacey B
09-17-2011, 02:55 PM
I said Spanish but we are also doing Portuguese as well. At this point we are mainly doing it through movies but we just joined a co-op Spanish class a friend is organizing. I'm glad he is interested in languages now because we have the opportunity to spend time in Brazil next year, so we'll be learning together (what ever Portuguese I had has vanished). I guess this could fit in the learn along with our children thread too.

pnctink
09-17-2011, 05:28 PM
We're doing Spanish, but not grammar yet. Listening to favorite tv shows (Sesame Street) in Spanish, along with a few books and cassette tapes. I think we'll start French in a few years. DD has a thing for Fancy Nancy right now (and is learning a few words) and DH learned French in school. (I took Spanish for 7 years.)

leanderthal
11-15-2011, 09:33 AM
We're (myself, two daughters) learning Polish via Pimsleur. Hubby is a native speaker. I may also teach them German.