“We’re learning French!”, my nine-year-old told me about a week ago. I mentally placed a check mark in the ‘definitely worth it’ column regarding our recent move to the UK, as it would have been 5 years before he learned a foreign language back home.
“What did you learn?”, I asked.
“Bon Jour, Mademoiselle!”, he piped up, “it means hello to a girl” he said with a cheeky smile. Well, that’s useful, I thought. His accent even sounded quite French, too. “Great job!”, I exclaimed in my best proud mom voice.
About two weeks later…
“We learned more French today!”
“Oh, what did you learn?”
(insert French for “where do you live?” here)
“So, let me get this straight, you’ve learned how to say hello to a girl and then ask her where she lives?”
(insert a speechless nine year old boy here)
What ever happened to learning the basics like the alphabet and how to count? How about ‘Can you please tell me where the bathroom is?’ or a simple ‘Thank you’? I took three years of Spanish and all I remember is how to ask someone if they like to play volleyball and the words for shirt, pants and shoes. And, I do not recall speed dating being on the syllabus.
Being the trusting soul that I am, I have to assume they know what they are doing. I’m sure they taught the children an array of French phrases and my son simply chose to remember the two that will come in handy as a twenty-something tourist, or for that summer job as a taxi driver in Paris.
My husband, as you may imagine, found this all quite amusing. He even gave our son a big thumbs up and a high five. It doesn’t take a genetic test to determine where my son gets his selective memory.