That's my son. Three years old, stubborn, and shy. This makes for a less-than-ideal combination for his first French class!
Our family has a membership at the local children's museum, WOW! World of Wonder, so we receive their regular newsletters. Imagine my delight when I saw that someone--a native speaker!--would be offering a French class there for preschoolers for a very reasonable price (six 40-minute lessons for $54).
And imagine my surprise and delight when my sister-in-law reported that my nephew Carl wanted to attend the demo class with us! I had visions of the boys singing and dancing and answering questions in French together with a native speaker and other adorable children.
Well, we all went to the demo class, and I was pleased with what the teacher covered, especially the hands-on interactive stuff (playing with puzzles while she narrated and described what they were doing, leading easy dance moves to French pop songs). But Griffin does everything his so-admired big cousin does, which means that when Carl lost interest Griffin stopped participating too.
But I signed Griffin up for the class anyway, thinking that even if it didn't turn out to be anything special it still was worth it for the exposure to a native speaker who is good with children.
We missed the first class last week because he had been puking, but managed to make it there last week. Only one other child, a girl, is enrolled, so it's almost as if he has a private French tutor for $12 an hour! However, he spent the first half of the class on my lap, refusing to dance, refusing to repeat words, refusing to answer the teacher's questions. Maman had quite a challenge to sit there quietly and not bug him to show off what he knows. She asked him how many shoes he has...he understands the question, he can count to twenty in French, and he can't even bring himself to utter "deux"!
At least he's consistent. He's definitely three years old: it's been all about the power struggles, the selective listening, the willful destruction, the removal of socks at inappropriate times for a few weeks now. Off and on for months, actually.
Anyway, at least I enjoyed the class (and took some mental notes about teaching French to preschoolers some day down the road), and he did finally climb off my lap and participate. While I still don't understand where the shyness comes from and why most of what he eventually said was in English, I think he enjoyed the class too. I'm glad we've got four more lessons to go to get him comfortable.