When presented with the most common French words, I confidently know about 60 of the top 100. Does that indicate enough vocab to get by for three months in France? I know some basic verb contructions. Je mange. J’ai mange. Je vais mange. And I often listen to teach-yourself-French through headphones while scootering around the Wellington waterfront. Is that enough?
Yes it is. To my advantage, revealing faults in my French does not deter me from attempting the language. And I have some key phrases to help me in most conversations: Repetez lentement, s’il vous plait. (Say that again slowly please.)
Jennie has a better level of French than me and will back me up when required. Ollie and Tom face a bigger challenge, since they will probably have to speak French at school. They’ve been preparing for that challenge for a long time with after-school French classes, some French classes at school, and recently some French-language movies. This term both boys are doing much more intensive learning: private tutoring before school three mornings per week with Marion. Here’s Jennie’s blog post about that tutoring. They are making progress and it will certainly help them in France. In the longer term, it might pay a dividend in confidence from having prepared for, faced, and overcome a difficult challenge.