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School Enrolment in Spain Part 3

Part 1 and Part 2 of School Enrolment in Spain can be found here.

I have pursued my real-person-research involving lots of legwork and in-the-flesh encounters to add to my confusion by visiting several state schools close to my house. First, I visited the school 4 minutes walk away but which is across the rather arbitrary municipal border.

The Problem With Arabic

Anyone who has put their minds to Arabic will know that the initial major issue is WHICH Arabic to learn, classical or dialect and if dialect, which one. Do you study the written language you can find in books, or the daily conversation Arabic which has no written form?

Kids’ books in Arabic

I realise it’s a bit odd trying to introduce Arabic to my kids when it’s not my language. I know that out of the three key factors - need, exposure and prestige – none are really present enough for Arabic in our family. There’s really no need to speak of, since all the Arabic speakers in the family have a second native tongue, French or English. As for exposure, the kids only get a tiny bit of exposure from my in-laws, but at least it’s authentic. However, I’m not aiming to teach them the language as such. I couldn’t if I wanted to. I just want to open their minds to it, to give them the option of tuning in to it, rather than tuning out when they hear it spoken.

School Enrolment in Spain part 2

See here for Part 1 of School Enrolment in Spain.

After a good look at “colegios públicos” on Google Maps, I went along to the ayuntamiento (town hall) to start my real-people-research. The ‘Department of Education’ ended up being a nameless office on the second floor. In fact, a lady from the information desk readily accompanied me to make sure I got the right place. I’m consistently surprised by how patient and helpful people are despite my terrible Spanish.

In fact sometimes I wonder how they understand me at all.

School enrolment Part 1

I may have gotten out of doing the school run for an extra year, but it’s now time to get my head around enrolling my little Beiruti. The application process seems to run in February or March and there are several reasons why I should be getting a head start, not least of all the length of time it takes me to understand anything in Spanish. Also I might have to take her birth certificate to a sworn translator.

Translated books: The Gruffalo

Although I do OPOL English with my kids I am still trying to indirectly bolster the French they get with their dad. We aim for consistent OPOL-ing, but we do allow ourselves to sing in other languages. Another good way I try is through books. Songs and books seem to work well as an exception to the OPOL rule, without undermining our consistency the rest of the time. It’s a bit like playacting, so it seems alright to transgress, as it were, into the other language, without fear of abandoning the spirit of OPOL.