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  #41  
Old 14.03.2011, 19:24
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Re: Help! My daughter refuses to speak German

You have my total admiration - this is something we totally failed to manage. Our common language was English, all our friends were English, our neighbours and other kiddies were English - all our social life was 'English' - I tried to speak French to daughters, but it just didn't make sense to us at the time - lived in a cul-de-sac and little ones were popping in and out. OH was working very long hours and was too exhausted when he came home to even begin to think in a foreign language. Strangely enough, a couple of other French women did manage do speak French only to their kids- only to find they rebelled big time later and totally refused to speak French any more and to be 'different'. If you can do it and do it well - I do take my hat to you. Bravo.
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  #42  
Old 14.03.2011, 19:48
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Re: Help! My daughter refuses to speak German

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I do take my hat to you. Bravo.
Thank you .. probably had more to do with the boy than me

And as I have already posted higher up,from the difficulties he was having six months into Kinski (the point the OP's daughter is at now) you would never have thought we would end up where we have, 4 years on.
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  #43  
Old 15.03.2011, 11:17
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Re: Help! My daughter refuses to speak German

Hi there,

I have read your post but not had a chance to read what everyone else has said. Your situation sounds very similar to the situation I had with my five year old son. He started Kindergarten with only knowledge of English.

He is generally stubborn, strong willed but very friendly. For the first six months he made absolutely no progress and although I wouldn't say he refused to speak in German / Swiss German he certainly made no effort to speak to anyone in German and always spoke in English. After six months we asked the teacher not to speak to him at all in German unless he was very distressed. He really felt and expected that the teacher should speak to him in English. After another six months one day I had been out for a walk with my son and we said "Gruezi" to the farmer that I often just say hello to whilst we are on our walk. He in turn said something to us in German which I had no idea what he was saying and my son suddenly answered him back and then turned to me and said "the farmer has asked if I would like to go on the tractor with him".

I remember thinking with tears in my eyes how wonderful he understands and then think OMG I don't want him going on the tractor! Trust me it will come, it will get easier it just takes time.

Try agreeing with your daughter when you will talk German with her - maybe at lunch time? My German is still very limited but I try and talk to the children at lunch time in German. I was often a standing joke with my guests that the only German they learn't whilst staying with us was "Ich Mochte gern der hande washe bitte". I have always insisted the children wipe their hands on a flannel after eating their food. Ironically I found out that we should of got them asking for the "waschelappen" only a few weeks ago!

Keep trying good luck!
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Old 15.03.2011, 12:56
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Re: Help! My daughter refuses to speak German

Perhaps you are tying to saddle the wrong horse here, seems to me that the language is not so much the problem but your daughter is homesick.
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Old 16.03.2011, 16:16
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Re: Help! My daughter refuses to speak German

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Hi there,

After six months we asked the teacher not to speak to him at all in German unless he was very distressed. He really felt and expected that the teacher should speak to him in English. After another six months one day I had been out for a walk with my son and we said "Gruezi" to the farmer that I often just say hello to whilst we are on our walk. He in turn said something to us in German which I had no idea what he was saying and my son suddenly answered him back and then turned to me and said "the farmer has asked if I would like to go on the tractor with him".


Keep trying good luck!
How did it go down with him , the teacher not talking to him? Did she only speak in English or not at all? I think my daughter has the same opinion that everybody should speak English to her
Im not sure how my daughter would take to her teacher not talking to her, but it may do the trick, as she adores her, or possibly freak her out and upset her

I have an appointment with her teacher tomorrow and I'll let you all know the outcome...
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Old 16.03.2011, 16:21
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Re: Help! My daughter refuses to speak German

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Perhaps you are tying to saddle the wrong horse here, seems to me that the language is not so much the problem but your daughter is homesick.
I have considered this alot, but I really think she is quite happy, last week she requested to go back to Australia to see Kimba (our cat that we had to re-home) and I thought oh God here we go, but after about 10mins she came out of her room and said, we could just visit and then come back to Switzerland so I can play with my friends! So im quite sure she has adapted well enough here to consider it home.
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Old 16.03.2011, 16:50
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Re: Help! My daughter refuses to speak German

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How did it go down with him , the teacher not talking to him? Did she only speak in English or not at all? I think my daughter has the same opinion that everybody should speak English to her
Im not sure how my daughter would take to her teacher not talking to her, but it may do the trick, as she adores her, or possibly freak her out and upset her

I have an appointment with her teacher tomorrow and I'll let you all know the outcome...
The teacher did speak to him but just kept repeating it to him in German / Swiss German. I really do believe my son expected her to speak English all the time and genuinely felt if she was speaking in German then she wasn't speaking to him. Obviously if she is distressed the teacher can then speak in English.

I also have a daughter who was nine when we arrived and her teacher just didn't speak any English because he couldn't and my daughter picked up the language so much quicker.

Explain the situation to her teacher and ask that she only speaks in German unless absolutely necessary and give it six months - fingers crossed you will be happily surprised! Good Luck
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Old 16.03.2011, 19:20
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Re: Help! My daughter refuses to speak German

Try upping your positivity towards german out of the house, just don't directe it at her. Let her watch you trying out a new language so she can see what happens when you try. Fake it if you have to, but act like you love german! It's so much fun! Speak it to as many people as you can when she's around.
Two birds with one stone even!
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Old 16.03.2011, 23:41
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Re: Help! My daughter refuses to speak German

There is some good advice here. From what you have written, it appears that your child is actually speaking at school, but in English. Is that correct? That is a bonus - she is not an "elective mute," just not using the German that she seems to know. Don't worry about. I have taught an elective mute - for almost a year, she watched and joined in activities, but did not speak a word of any language in that time.She smiled, but even her laughter was silent. Then, one day she did speak! And she was pretty well fluent.

Another poster recommended that you have simple German songs. I agree with that - again, from observation, many young children ( and adults also) will sing in the targeted language before they ever start to speak it.

The fact that your daughter is correcting some of your mistakes is also a positive sign that she is actually learning German.

Keep calm, don't let your daughter see that it is worrying you, avoid giving her extra attention in an effort to draw the German words out of her, and in time she will just start to join in. Hopefully, that is also the strategy that is being used by her teachers at school. :-)
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Old 17.03.2011, 14:04
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Re: Help! My daughter refuses to speak German

Hi there, So I went to see her main teacher today (the one that complained is her afternoon teacher) and we have agreed to go with approch that mrshunkydorey suggested (thankyou)

Her main teacher admits that she sometimes resorts to explaining things in English because its, easier/quicker when she has a lot of children to instruct. Which then i imagine causes my daughter to think its ok not to communicate in German as the teacher will eventually speak in English if she looks confused long enough!
So we have agreed that the teacher will only speak in German from now on (unless she is distressed) just for a couple of weeks to she how it goes.
She has also agreed to help build up my daughters confidence in talking, she can say 'Good morning' in English - she does sometimes do this now but veryvery quietly, you can barley hear it! then when we have a decent volume with that we can move on to Guten tag ect....slow steps...

I hope that the message will filter through to the afternoon teacher, but I will tell her myself tomorrow anyway, I think she must of been having a bad day or my daughter was particularly frustrating for her that afternoon.

I am not going to mention speaking German in the home from now on unless she instigates it. And Im also going to try not to worry about it
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