Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chinese lessons in the charente

There's a big debate in the Downie household at the moment and my reading of this article has only stirred things up further.

The article has the headline "Relocate or wither & die on the corporate vine" and is written by a UK headhunter. It leads with:

Des Hurlby, Human Resources Director at international car maker Jaguar Land Rover, has had ”pointed” conversations with up to five of the company’s best employees urging them to consider moving “out of leafy Warwickshire” to China to help the company capitalise on emerging markets“.

This seems to be coming more commonplace and is a trend that I can only see continuing.
The debate we are having is whether to find someone to give the girls lessons in Mandarin.  There is a Lycee in Angouleme that offers this later on in their education but it's a complicated language and, at just 10 and 11, it would be better to start them early.
The good news is that there is someone advertising locally who offers lessons in the Cognac & Angouleme area.
The quandry is this:
For sure it would give them a huge advantage when they come to leave school.  No matter which career path they choose it's likely that fluency in English, French, Spanish & Mandarin would help them stand out from the crowd.
It's also far easier to learn a language when you are young (I know this from bitter experience).
On the flip-side they already have special English lessons on a Saturday morning and as I have posted before teachers in the French education system give out homework for fun.  Add in gymnastics, swimming, dance & singing and they don't have much free time as it is.
We left London for rural France to escape the rat race and watch the girls grow up in the country. We don't want them to lose the benefits by being continually stuck in a classroom. 
Of course, the ultimate choice will be theirs but it will be interesting to see how the debate evolves....watch this space.

No comments: