Raising My Son in Thailand or Ireland

I sometimes wonder if I’m doing the right thing by raising my son in Thailand. I’m happy enough to remain here indefinitely, but I just can’t imagine what type of future Timmy will have if he stays here. I not only have concerns about the education system, but I can also feel threatened by how fast my son is soaking up ‘Thainess’. I’ve had to bite my tongue in response to his latest fondness for wearing large amulets – his friends do it and he wants to do the same. I had hoped to raise Timmy to feel a part of both cultures, but I realize that this is a naive aspiration. He is growing up in Thailand, and that makes him Thai.

End of Term Report

Last week my wife and I were called in for Timmy’s end of term report for kindergarten 2. It came as a shock when one of his English teachers (not a native English speaker) reported back to us that our son did not speak much English. I felt flabbergasted because Timmy speaks it almost all of the time at home – I never speak to him in Thai. This teacher also tried to convince me that my son did not understand the word ‘blanket’ – a word that he has used on an almost daily basis since the age of two. She went on to report that she needed to sometimes speak to Timmy in Thai to get him to understand what she was saying. Like a good parent visiting a Thai school I kept my cool but inside I fumed. I doubt that it is Timmy’s comprehension of English that is the problem here.

I understand that my son can be reluctant to speak English in school. I’ve posted before about the situation ( see Now My Son Only Wants to Speak Thai ). He does not want to be seen as different from his friends who are not able to speak English. I had hoped that the teachers in the school would be able to encourage him, but the fact that one of his English teachers feels the need to speak to my son in Thai indicates that this is not happening. The next day I was able to chat to one of the native speaking English teachers, and he reported that Timmy is doing really well– the only problem is that the material is so below his ability.

The reality is that getting a good education in Thailand is not easy without lots of money. We selected his current school because it seemed to be one of the few places that offered a bilingual program that we could afford. The teachers there appear professional and dedicated, but I’m not impressed with the English program. They only have one native English speaker to cover all their classes. This might be enough for Thai kids who just need an introduction into the language, but it is not enough for a child who is bilingual. I worry that this program is so lightweight that it might be damaging his confidence – especially if English teachers resort to speaking to him in Thai.

Educating My Son in Ireland

If we were to move back to Ireland I know that Timmy would have a better chance of getting a good education. I also believe that he would have more opportunities once he completed his schooling. Of course it would also mean that he would get to know my culture, and it would be something that we could share. There are so many great things about Ireland that I’d love for him to experience. I would be in a much stronger position financially if we moved back home, and it might be nice to get to know the place again after living abroad for 24 years.

There are also plenty of good reasons not to move back to Ireland as well. This is our home. It would be a struggle for him to adjust and being half-Thai might mean that he never feels completely at home. Both of my parents were Irish and I grew up feeling like an outsider so how much harder might it be for my son? Despite any complaints I might have about the Thai education system there is no doubting that this is a great place to bring up kids.

There are also more practical reasons for why a move back to Ireland would be difficult. We have our dog Cola who is part of our family. She is getting on in years and six months in quarantine, so she can move to Ireland, is not a viable option – I couldn’t afford this anyway. It would be difficult to find a good home for her, and there is no way that I’d consider leaving her without at least this.

The other stumbling block to moving back to Ireland is my wife. She has agreed to do it for the benefit of our son, but I know that she’d find it a struggle. We’ve been back to Dublin a few times. She enjoys these trips, but she also suffers from homesickness once the novelty wears off. I was born with itchy feet but Oa is more of a home person.

Someone wise once told me that ‘if you don’t know what to do you should do nothing’. We will probably look for a new school next year, but for the moment our future seems to be in Thailand. I sort of believe in fate, and if we are meant to move to Ireland the universe will push me in that direction.

Anyone else in a similar situation?

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28 thoughts on “Raising My Son in Thailand or Ireland

  1. May I suggest you to get your kids to meet other English speaking kids (luk kreungs or expat kids) outside of school? A friend could well be all he needs to start chatting in English.

    1. Hi Froggy, that is something that I’ve thought about before. The problem is that we live in an area (outskirts of Minburi) that does not have many expats. There is not even one other luk kreung in his school.

  2. Education is a difficult decision here in Thailand if you want your child to have the most opportunities when they grow up. On the one hand, you know that a good English program is a great help in getting ahead, but on the other hand if you opt for an English language school you risk your child not learning Thai properly which kind of defeats the purpose of raising him or her in Thailand. For example, when we were looking at schools we visited one which has a teacher who is Thai, but is more comfortable communicating in English. She grew up in Thailand and went to the American School. She then went to university in the U.S. Consequently, she is quite weak in Thai language skills, especially writing. She also has an American outlook and cultural bias. It is readily apparent that growing up in Thailand gave her only the basics of “Thai-ness”.

    We have decided to put our daughter in a Thai bilingual school that sounds similar to Timmy’s situation. Instruction is primarily in Thai and the kids get 4 hours a week of English instruction. Since we speak English exclusively at home we feel this is a good compromise. She can learn Thai at school and will earn English at home. Once she is older we will need to make a decision as to what direction to take with her education, but to be honest I am fairly convinced that putting her in a Thai school will be doing her no favors in the long run. I know we run the risk of partially alienating her from her Thai culture, but so be it. When raising a multicultural child some concessions and compromises will always need to be made in regards to which culture gets priority.
    Steve recently posted..Thai Visa Costs, Types and Our Arrival in Thailand

    1. Hi Steve, you make some great points. I do also worry that my eagerness for him to speak English could alienate him to his Thainess. It is like walking a tightrope. My main concern is that he is happy, and that when he grows up he will have opportunities. I messed up my own education but living in Europe meant that I got many second chances – the same is not true for Thailand.

  3. Interesting post. My kids are half Indian and half Irish – born in Ireland. I have seen more and more mixed ethnicity kids in our area (Dublin south). So while my kids know they are different from their friends there seemd to be no stigma. I don’t think mixed races kids were that noticeable when I moved here 12 years ago, but it seems quite common. That being said, who knows how adjusted my kids will be in few years!!

    1. Hi Priya, nice to hear from you. I’m originally from Shankill in South Dublin and it has become a bit more multicultural. I’ve worked as a nurse during visits back to Dublin, and I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of the Indian nurses during these trips.

      I agree that Ireland is generally quite tolerant these days. I have a niece who is half-Chinese, and she has grown up in Ireland. I don’t think she has ever had any problems.

  4. Sawatdi khrap Khun Paul, Dia dhuit a Phóil,

    Similar? Well maybe a bit. I happened across this via the World Irish Facebook group. If you’ll indulge, I’ll give you my background and you can apply it’s worth as you see fit. My mother is from Bangkok area, my father, though born in Texas, the family hails from the Ballina/Enniscrone area (Mayo/Sligo). Tá beagan Téalainnis agus Gaeilge agam.

    My early years until I was about 6 was fully spent overseas (I’m in Texas now) in between Bangkok and Singapore. Thai was my first language as it was spoken in the house by my mother, housekeepers, mom’s kin, etc. and pretty much all the family friends. Dad was the only one that spoke English. I didn’t attend an English primary School (specifically the Singapore American School) until I was in first grade or so (say 5-6 years of age). At that time, we uprooted and came to Texas fulltime except for a month or two in Thailand for summers.

    Having Thai as my first language, as the one of my formative childhood years, has been a tremendous linguistic advantage due to my early mastery of tones. For example, it made picking up rudimentary Mandarin for business travel almost trivial – and my knowledge of Asian custom and practice paid lucrative dividends for my company in the relations and contacts I was able to forge (far easier than my compatriots who were fully American/monolingual/monoculture). By raising him bilingual/multicultural you are already giving him a tremendous advantage that will pay incalculable dividends in his life. I speak from experience.

    Now, also I should comment those early years affected me in little ways all the way up through my teenage years, I recall well that I wore the amulets, I did my time as a novice monk (búat nayn บวชเณร), I’m picky about Thai food, and things that others consider exotic are just simply “no big deal” to me.

    But also, I have “brown skin” thanks to my dear mother – I’ve never really been accepted by “white” culture. Now don’t misunderstand, that’s not to say I have to deal with rampaging racists on a regular basis (Texas stereotypes notwithstanding) … but I will say that in subtle ways all through my life, many well meaning but thoughtless (pardon the usage) ‘farang’ have made it clear that I’ve never been fully “part of the club” as it were. Whereas my whole life, due to my clear and native Thai … I’ve always been accepted as Thai – my half farang-ness rarely came up.

    This phenomena was a major part of why I learned Gaeilge… so that when my Irish heritage was challenged, I’d be able to give them a piece of my mind as Gaeilge (more than just cúpla focail). 🙂 You know, as well as I (I hope) that depending on what part of Ireland you go home to… he’ll likely encounter the same phenomena in rural Ireland that I did in rural Texas. Now if Dublin is home for you, maybe he’ll be lucky enough to avoid this annoyance.

    Why do I bother to bring up this… regardless of what you choose, don’t worry about your son losing touch with his Thai-ness. So long as his Thai stays chát (ชัด) with constant practice with his Mother, that will never go away, no matter the country. In little ways, Western-European culture will always remind him he’s half-Asian. That’s not a complaint mind, just an acknowledgement of the way it is.

    When he gets older, he will gain the exposure he needs to English to excel so long as YOU hold the line and speak it in the home. My father spoke fairly good Thai… but years later I asked him about it and he and mom had an agreement that – logically – since he was the native English speaker – he’d speak to me in English regardless of how I chose to reply. I’ve been told in my early years, I replied in Thai. Though alone in the house, he was the backstay, he held the line. Thanks to him, I didn’t grow up speaking my mother’s “pidgin” English. When I got to Texas I barely had an accent at all (and I’m told even that was gone quickly).

    As an aside, my mother hated/hates Texas, she stayed from duty more than anything, of that I’m certain… summers were for her to go home and take me with her so for me Summer was spent in Thailand. 🙂 When Dad passed on, she headed back … more or less… for good. I stayed, more of my life has been spent here than there after all.

    If I may be so bold … if you do go back to Ireland … don’t deliberately quell the tremendous advantage your son already has by starting out bilingual/multicultural… look into the Gaelscoileanna … and if not that, don’t let him opt out of the Irish if he attends the regular schools. If you didn’t pay much attention to the Gaeilge yourself, take the chance to léim ar ais ar an gcapall.

    my 2 baht

    1. Nice to hear from you Matt, you sound like a well adjusted Thai-paddy so that gives me hope 🙂 I agree with your father. I’ve only ever spoken English in front of my son. We had originally agreed that my wife would only speak Thai to him. This changed because my wife felt that he wasn’t getting enough English so now we both speak to him in my language – except when he is being bold because then my wife shouts at him in Thai 🙂 I failed Irish in school, but I have been thinking of trying to learn it with him. It really has been nice to hear about your experiences Matt, and I hope to learn more about you through further interactions on here – i.e. don’t be a stranger 🙂

        1. Sorry, didn’t do the quotes correctly.

          except when he is being bold because then my wife shouts at him in Thai

          Now that sounds very, very familiar.

          i.e. don’t be a stranger

          Go raibh míle maith agat. 😉

  5. This is a thought provoking post. I am a retired teacher from London, been here five years and married to a Thai university worker for the last three.

    You are the only one who can decide Timmy’s future. It is a gut wrenching choice which many farangs have to go through. A Scottish friend of mine in your position has just relocated to Edinburgh.

    Not all farangs in Thailand have a choice, either, whether for financial or other reasons. But it seems you do have that luxury.

    The fundamental question here is what is best for Timmy, and I am bound to say I started wondering whether this blog was about his needs or yours. Are you really telling us that a Thai education, with its notorious accent on rote learning and lack of critical thinking skills can properly equip Timmy for the future? Just take a look at what you are letting him in for.

    Dismal English Language Education

    You say Timmy would “struggle to adjust” yet he is only kindergarten 2. Children at this age are remarkably flexible. You say your wife is a “stumbling block” – is it her or is it you? She sounds like a big-hearted woman prepared to move for the sake of Timmy. Sure, she’ll get homesick, who wouldn’t? Then again, my wife’s sister married a guy from Alaska and moved out there with him, proving the point that Thais are pretty adaptable. What is more your wife would have a better opportunity to learn English while in Ireland.

    If you moved back to Ireland it would not necessarily be permanent, only until Timmy was independent. Could you wait that long? And are you really promoting your dog to the top of the agenda on an issue such as this – a child’s life?

    I hope I am not coming over as too harsh but there’s no point in blogging about this issue if all you get is what you want to hear. I don’t envy your position but I admire you for confronting the problem at such an early stage in Timmy’s life so that hopefully you will have the time to solve it.

    Good luck!

    1. Thanks Ian, one of the reasons I publish these posts is to hear other opinions. I welcome what you have to say. I have seen a great deal of harm caused when a parent believed that their right to be happy took priority over their child’s welfare. That is a mistake that I’m determined not to make. I’ve lived in Thailand for 12 years, and I’m generally happy here, but I’m sure that I could be happy anywhere. If I can be certain that moving back to Ireland would be the best decision for my son that is what I would do.

      I do believe that Ireland can offer a good education to young people, but I also have to keep in mind that I failed in that system. I left school at 15 years of age with no qualifications at all. I was expelled because I acted out after my parents separated. I returned to education as an adult in England, but it took a long time. I had to work through GCSEs, A Levels, my degree, and a PGCE. I know plenty of kids that have done well in the Irish education system, but I also know that success is not guaranteed there. My experience has also shown me that it is possible to recover from a crappy experience within a school system, but obviously I would rather that my son didn’t have to do this.

      I get what you are saying about my dog, but I think it is a bit of exaggeration to suggest that I’m risking my child’s life for the sake of her. I voluntarily euthanized our family pet when I was in my twenties. I had moved to England and my sisters were too young to give him proper attention. He became a bit wild and one day he knocked over a young child. The parent threatened to call the police unless we got rid of him. I was back in Ireland at the time, and I agreed to have him put down. That is a decision that haunts me to this day – it is one of my deepest regrets. I felt reluctant to get a dog here in Thailand, but after a few years agreed to it with the understanding that she would never be neglected or euthanized for the sake of my convenience. That is a promise that I intend to keep so ensuring her welfare is a genuine concern of mine. She is part of our family.

      I really want to do what is best for my son here, but I’m not sure that there is an easy answer. I also have to consider that there is more to his childhood than just education. I’ve met Thai kids who have managed to come out of their schooling here as well rounded and smart people – this gives me hope.

  6. As I said, Paul, it’s a toughie and I don’t envy you. At least it sounds like Timmy is a lot more fortunate than you were as a child.

    I wouldn’t wait, however, for the universe to push you in the right direction. I’d be doing as much research as possible into the various options open to me.

    Here’s a post from ThaiVisa from someone in a similar situation as yourself:

    http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/231185-thai-state-school-vs-bilingual-school-versus-international-school/

    I admit I’m not a dog lover and I have no idea of Timmy’s relationship with yours, but if Cola has as short a time left as you imply then maybe waiting for the universe to claim him/her and then reassessing the situation might be justified.

  7. Hi Paul,
    Similar situation, yes. My wife is Thai and our son is finishing up his first term in Anuban One here in Ayutthaya. There are some differences in our situations. I’m an American English teacher and our son was born in South Korea, where we lived for the past 6 years. My son attended a preschool there so he also speaks Korean. He spoke almost no Thai when we returned to Thailand six months ago, but he’s come around quickly and chatters quite fluently now with his mom. With me he speaks only English.
    Our plan at this point is for him to attend high school and university in the States. Whether we move back with him or he stays with a relative remains to be seen. Perhaps we’ll all move back when the time comes.
    He is enrolled here in the English Program, although it’s far beneath his abilities. Another issue is that they want to take him out of his classroom to show him off to the other classes, which makes him cry and not want to go to school. My wife called and got to the bottom of it. He’s not yet four years old and they want to put him on stage. We’ve asked them not to do that anymore.
    If you’re interested, Paul, I’d love for us to meet up sometime and see how our children get on together. I think you’re only about an hour away from us.

    Terry

    By the way, I’m a recovered addict/alcoholic and I’ve been following your blog for about a year now.

    1. Hi Terry, that sounds good. I remember a few of us expats were talking before about bringing our kids together so they can practice their English. It just never happened.

      I can understand why you would not like this type of fuss being made over your son. That would annoy me too.

      It is always good to hear from expats who weren’t always angels – I don’t feel so alone then 🙂

      1. It would be interesting to see which language they would choose to communicate with each other. My boy uses Thai with Thais and English with Farangs. He still watches his favorite cartoons in Korean. I don’t know what he considers himself to be or if he’s given it any thought. Probably not too much at his age.

  8. Paul, I agree with the person who said, “If you don’t know what to do, then you should do nothing.” Every time in my life when I forced a decision it never turned out right. Every time I waited, in time, things clarified themselves.

    Does your son have dual citizenship? My husband’s experience in America taught us that if you don’t have the language abilities, you are severely limited in what you can do.

    The other thing I discovered that you should think about is if you are hoping to send your son to college (university) back home, if you stay in Thailand he will have to pay rates as a foreign student which may make it too expensive. We ran into this problem with out daughter and I had no idea changing my residence would create this problem later. I used to wonder why many expats kept their official residence back home, and now, years later, I realize it was for exactly this reason. But in order to move back home, your children have to have the language abilities to fit into the schools there. So I wouldn’t wait too long, as it might be impossible for him to catch up. Also, you probably have to live back at home for several years in order to qualify as a resident for your son to go to college.

    You didn’t say what nationality the teachers were in your son’s school; however, if they are not Irish, it COULD be a problem of their accent being different from yours, that your son does not understand the English words they speak. However, he could be pretending not to understand for the benefit of other children seeing that he is not Irish, but THAI, as you say, in order to fit in. My daughter speaks English TERRIBLY (in terms of correct accent) when she is speaking with other children from the local American school in our country. But she tells me she does this in order to “fit in.” If you speak it correctly, they view you as “showing off,” and not as part of the group. You son may be encountering this problem if his school is predominately Thai children as students.

    However, when my daughter went off to college in our home state, she told me people were “disappointed” that she did not have a foreign accent and that she sounded like she grew up in our home state! So I guess I finally have to believe my daughter when she claims that she can switch back to a correct accent when she feels like it.

    Best of luck with your decisions. Lynne

    1. Hi Lynne, yes he has dual citizenship. I would like him to have the option of going to university back in Europe, but I haven’t really considered how that would be possible financially.

      His non-native speaking English teachers are from the Philippines. I’m not always sure that they understand my accent so maybe it is the same with Timmy. I’ve worked with Filipino English teachers who are excellent, but sometimes the fact that they are not native English speakers can be a barrier in regards to communication. I’ve noticed that some of them end up speaking better Thai than English, and this can mean that they end up using more Thai with the kids than English. I’m not sure if this is the case here. I was impressed by his Filipino teacher last year, but I don’t really know this new person.

  9. Paul, I wrote my comment above before reading others’ comments, and I would just like to add a few things.

    As a former Kindergarten teacher and as a Third Grade teacher of many years, as well as the parent of a tri-lingual child who was raised abroad, and is now successfully in college back home, I think Matt’s comments above were very good (although everyone’s comments were good).

    I think there is a TREMENDOUS advantage in being bilingual or trilingual, and the only way to do it right is from a young age like you are doing with your son. I think you need to clarify your goals for sending him to a Thai school. It sounds to me like it’s not about the Thai education (rote leaning, etc.–which sounds like the type of education my daughter was exposed to) as much as the LANGUAGE ACQUISITION. Our original plan was to move our daughter to the American School (where I was a teacher and could do so for free) when she was about 8-9-10. But what I wanted for her was for her to be able to pick up a local newspaper and be able to read and understand it. After all, what is the point of learning a little bit of the language. If you are a citizen of that country, you must learn enough to be FUNCTIONAL in that language. What if, as an adult, your child wants to return to Thailand and spend his life there? He needs to be able to read and write in that language sufficient to be a parent and understand Thai notices that come home from school, to pass a written drivers’ exam in Thai, understand banking business, to be able to read and write sufficiently in the workplace. If you keep in a Thai school, in my opinion, that should be your goal. I think you should keep speaking English to him at home, and try to practice reading with him (as well as read him English stories regularly and try to get him access to satellite English programs if you can do so for free with a dish, or at a reasonable price). He sounds like the age he would enjoy a lot of good movies that are made for children. Those things will all help his English. When he can read and write Thai sufficiently, that might be the time to move back home, and hopefully his mother can continue to give him the support in Thai (whether reading magazines and newspapers from back home, in addition to speaking).

    But raising a bilingual child will always mean that the child is somewhat behind in both languages. But the main thing is that by keeping him in Thailand for the time being (I would suggest until age 7-8 at least) he will be a NATIVE SPEAKER with a proficiency he will never achieve if you take him out sooner. If you keep him in Thailand until Middle School (at least) he will become at least moderately proficient in reading and writing (I’m assuming Thai is harder to learn to read and write than English). Arabic, our language here, is MUCH harder than English. I hear that most people who come here even from the military, Department of State, or whatever, drop out after two years, because even after two years of study they still can’t even read a menu or make any sense of things. I think for Arabic speakers, it takes until age 13-14 to achieve the same level of reading-writing fluency in the language that we expect by age 10 in English-speakers (say in terms of being able to pick up a newspaper and read it). I don’t know if Thai is the same.

    We ended up keeping our daughter in a local school until age 14, when she became lost enough and the level of Arabic just became too tough, so we let her move to the American school (which she wanted to do). Unfortunately, since she was not a very good student (then) and didn’t like to study, even to read English at home with me, her reading level was about like a ten-year-old, and the books she was given at age 14 were actually university-level text books. She was a native speaker of English, but TV English does not really prepare one adequately for study vocabulary in school. So I had to help her a LOT her first couple years. But her reading level did come up and while she may still be a bit behind, she is a native speaker PROPERLY of three languages (English, French, and Arabic) and she is taking introductory Spanish at school in addition to her other courses. We did not put her into a TOP university, but into one where I attended for a year, and one which I was sure she could be successful at. So far, she is doing well. One can always transfer universities, too, if one desires, once one has proved they can be successful for a year in one university!

    I hope some of this narrative will be useful for you!

    Best regards, Lynne

    1. Thanks Lynne, you have offered some good advice, and it is something that I’ll consider. It is interesting that you suggest that we wait until he is at least 8 – I had worried that he might be too old to adjust by that age. It would be a shame if he left the Thai school system without at least getting a firm grasp of the language. There are just so many pros and cons to weigh up 🙂

  10. I can sympathize with your situation, Paul. I recently left Japan with my wife and two children because we specifically did not want to educate our children in Japan. My wife is Japanese and I’m a native English-speaking Westerner. Few people who aren’t familiar with Japan realize just how awful the Japanese public education system is: it’s all rote learning and it destroys a child’s creativity and individuality. The same thing happens outside of the school, in the park and on the playground. Also, Japan is so horribly mono-ethnic and xenophobic. Thailand is far more cosmopolitan, especially in Bangkok, but I gather the public education system here is not much better than that of Japan. For us, we are now sending our son to a private English-language medium preschool (our daughter is too young for school).

    One thing that contributed to us leaving Japan was the thought of our children growing up in Japan and feeling like it was home. Japan has such a dismal future – it’s stagnating in the worst way. And, whatever job you speak of there, be it full-time salaryman or part-time worker, the conditions are grim. And, the social conditions in general are grim. So, we definitely wanted to move our children out of there. Most importantly, we wanted our children to be international, and raising them in Japan means that they will never be that. Japan only prepares kids for Japan.

    I suspect there are more varied and interesting opportunities available to mixed-race kids in Thailand. Still, I think you must think very carefully about whether or not you want your son to spend his life working here. Foreigners, particularly Western white men, tend to get special treatment in Asia. They don’t always realize that their children may not get the same special treatment. Also, the unique way of thinking that we Westerners enjoy may not be engendered in children raised here.

    I want my children to be proud of being Japanese and to speak it well enough to be able to travel there and to speak with their grandparents in Japan, but it’s much more important for them to speak perfect English and to think and feel like Westerners. So, we’re thinking of doing a few more years here, then moving to an English-speaking country for most of our kids’ schooling.

    1. Hi Eric, I can identify so much with what you’ve written. I’ve worked in the schools in Thailand and rote learning is the norm here as well. It’s a worry. The thing that worries me the most about the system here is that it is not fair at all. Cheating is accepted as normal and in many schools giving anything less than a grade ‘A’ is against school policy. This means that those students who work hard end up with the same results as those who put in zero effort.

  11. Hi Paul,
    I am in a very similar position, except that my daughter is half Dutch (by me) and half Irish (my husband) and we live in Ireland.
    I speak Dutch to her, but in Ireland there are only a few people speaking Dutch so she does get not much practice in besides with me. So I’ve resorted to DVD’s, video, youtube, internet games, all things to get her to feel comfortable with Dutch until we can go and visit again.
    Same as yourself we prefer to stay in Ireland at the moment for multiple reasons, but I find the schoolsystem in Ireland ridiculously backdated (uniforms, gender-segregation) and would prefer for her to go to school in Holland as I consider them a lot better.
    But same as you I have to make do with what is here, as she is growing up in Ireland and will therefore be more Irish than Dutch. It stings, but that’s why I make such an effort for her to know the Dutch language in all ways possible.
    Besides that take her with me to visit Holland aa much as possible, so she knows people there also and will therefore feel comfortable there also.

    Good luck!
    Rds,
    Kim

    1. Thanks Kim, I’ve been using YouTube and games as well. We also have many English speaking TV stations – including his favorite Cartoon Network. I failed in the Irish school system and had to go back and redo everything in my 20’s so I know that it is far from perfect 🙂

      BTW – I can’t speak any Irish. When I was back in Dublin last time there was some TV program on and I thought it was in Dutch. I felt a bit ashamed when my mother told me that it was Irish 🙂

  12. Hi, I am Thai student in Dublin. Just finished studying. Looking for teaching Thai job before leaving for Thailand by September 2013. If you are looking for a native Thai student to help you to learn or improve Thai language; do please do not to let me in charge with that mission for you. let me know at zv2009@hotmail.com Cheers, Winai

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