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Hi, my husband and I are native English speakers living in an Arabic-speaking country. Our kids, ages 3 and 5, were born here, and the older one was interacting well in Arabic before we left 2 years ago. Now we are back and are trying to help them learn Arabic again.

We deliberately chose not to put them in one of the prestigious preschools where the instruction is in English and some of the kids even speak English. We put them in a fairly basic preschool where we thought they would get exposed to more Arabic. The problem is, they don’t like the school, and I don’t really blame them, since they had experienced more “fun” preschools in North America. Don’t get me wrong, this preschool is clean and safe, etc. but it doesn’t have many toys and the teachers follow a fairly old-fashioned pedagogy.

Has anyone else had an experience with being forced to choose between a more enjoyable preschool and one where the second language is spoken?

Also, has anyone had experience training a language tutor to do fun activities with small children, or else training a babysitter to do intentional language activities with the kids?

Thanks for any suggestions!


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