The drawing to a close of Petit Section in French System

Petite section in French school System

So here we are coming into the last run of the first year, we send our then 2 1/2 year old into the french system in Petit Section. I thought that I would share my experiences with you. To begin, my son was only exposed to DVD’s before we got here so needless to say,I was extremely worried and guilty about how it would go.

We live in zone c, so they get 2 weeks off in October/November called Toussaint, 2 weeks off for christmas, 2 weeks off in February/March, 2 weeks off in April and loads of bank holidays off in May and then its the homerun til 5th July.

September seemed good, after a fight with the directrice to keep him in all day, monday, tuesday, thursday and friday as they have no school and to keep him in the canteen, we agreed that we would look at Toussaint to see how he was settling in.

He loved it, although you get no feedback from the teachers unless there is a problem so in September, I was told that he wasn’t listening or following instruction, I explained again to them that he doesn’t speak french so bear with him, so they did and gave him one to one instruction for a half hour with other children who did have french as their mother tongue. This worked out well

French School System Petit Section Photo

October he started to realise that they weren’t speaking English and as such ignored his teachers, they asked me to send him for a hearing test, which I did and of course he passed it. I did say to them if they offered him a chocolate sandwich from accross the room, he would have heard them

November and December, he seemed to be settling in, although he did start to stutter when he spoke, when I asked the doctor and did research, they explained that it was normal because he has 2 languages of word banks in his brain, he can’t get it out quick enough and it would go away which it did. Although sometimes comes back in a once and a while when he is learning a lot.

We went home for christmas and he was thrilled to be speaking in english and see his friends and watch english tv, so much so that when he got back he started demanding to the teachers that they speak english to him. Needless to say, that went down like a lead balloon but he was happy and having fun.

End of February and March he started to mix french in with English and then it just happened, he started speaking in fluent french. In April, the most amazing thing started to happen which was, what I found to be the most interesting, he answered back french people who spoke to him in french and when anglophones ( English speaking) people asked him something in french he would answer them back in English.

Petit Section French

Its now June and he now corrects us, and tells us what different things are in french and in english, although he doesn’t have a huge vocabulary like an adult, he would certainly put us to shame.

While I went through the guilt of putting him into full immersion, and to be honest if he was unhappy, I would have taken him out, but I am so glad that I did it, he finishes in a few weeks and he will do 2 weeks in the centre de loisirs which is the recreation side to the school, which helps his conversational french while also having fun.

As i remind myself and his teachers, he is only 3 and still needs to have fun and he does. I can’t wait to see how much he will enjoy Moyenne section, now speaking french, although I dread the day, he realises he speaks better than me and will only speak french to mess with you.

The joys of a journey… Let me know how your journey is going